It’s important to be organized when you live with a roommate. These apps will help make sure you and your mates can run the household a little more effectively (and peacefully).
Each app we’ve featured focuses on a specific task critical to sharing a place with someone. Things like paying your bills equally, splitting chores, or simply knowing what’s going on in the other person’s life. Many of these things can be solved by having a chat about the situation, but having tools to organize your information is always helpful—especially when you’re all juggling class loads, jobs, and more. These apps let you stay on the same page even when you’re not in the same room.
Best For Managing Bills: Splitwise (Free, iOS/Android)
It’s important that both you and your roommate keep up with the bills, and that everyone pays their fair share. After all, you’re both students, right? You’re probably not swimming in cash and every dime counts. Available for iOS and Android, Splitwise makes it a breeze to split every bill, from a utility expense to simply paying your half at breakfast.
The app lists all your balances, bills, and expenses, so each of you can check in to see who owes what. Push notifications remind you to pay your bills on time. At a touch of a button, you can settle up instantly with Paypal or Venmo, before moving on with your day. Every transaction is tracked so there’s never any risk of your roomie arguing that you didn’t actually pay up.
Best For Quick Payments: Venmo (Free, iOS/Android)
Not everything is a regular bill and sometimes you might just want to quickly split a small expense. Venmo can do that with ease, as long as you both have an account set up. It’s a breeze for making speedy payments between friends, with no transaction fee for sending money with your debit card or bank account. Even if your roommate is far from technologically minded, they can figure this out.
It’s possible to add notes to your payments using emojis, or simply comment or like someone’s story. Yup, even finances have been turned into a form of social media. Still, it’s a useful feature if you’re part of a big group of students and you want to see what’s going on. You might want to make sure your transactions are set to private, though. It’s available for both iOS and Android.
Best For Organizing Shopping Lists: Wunderlist (Free, iOS/Android)
To an extent, Wunderlist can organize pretty much every part of your life from your work schedule to planning a vacation or simply reminding you to call your Mom. When it comes to life with your roommate, however, it’s awesome as a way of ensuring that no one gets lumbered with the shopping list for your dorm.
It’s super simple to add quick things to your to do list, and you can break them down further to individual components. Want your roommate to buy juice but only a specific kind? Make a note to get the kind with no pulp. You can also set reminders, to let yourself or your roommate know when something important like a dorm inspection is coming up.
Of course, you need to be able to share these lists easily enough which is exactly what Wunderlist does well. The app syncs across a wide variety of platforms including Android, iOS, Mac, PC, and Chromebook. You can also share your lists with multiple people so everyone’s on the same page.
Best For Planning (And Completing) Chores: Any.do (Free, iOS/Android)
Both iOS and Android have plenty of chore based apps available, but there are comparatively few that work across both systems. You need maximum flexibility when there’s a chance that you and your roommate have different smartphones. Any.do is that ideal middle ground. It’s a to-do list at heart, backed up with calendar features, but its simple nature means it’s perfect for your chore list.
The app divides things up according to day and priority, allowing you to set time- and location-based reminders so you’ll never forget when a chore needs to be done. You can also chat with other users about individual tasks through the app as well. It takes seconds to share lists via Android, iOS, web, and desktop apps, so there’s no excuse to ‘forget’ a chore.
Best For Organizing Your Schedules: Google Calendar (Free, iOS/Android)
Is there anyone left who doesn’t have a Gmail account? It seems unlikely, especially for college students. For both iOS and Android, the Google Calendar app is the perfect way to coordinate when you or your roommate are busy or away. It’s effortlessly easy to use, and you can look stuff up on your phone or on the web.
Alongside simple calendar options and event creation, Google Calendar also includes goals and to-do lists. Neither quite replaces a dedicated app, but it’s a handy backup source for the important things like keeping on top of bills. Google Calendar is smart enough to suggest a good time to fit in one or more of your goals, no matter how busy your study schedule looks.