The Best Productivity Apps
Are you sick of reading about the same productivity apps again and again? The only reason all the articles about productivity apps are the same is because they are all rewrites of the previous version. Writers check out the top few entries on Google and they rewrite them. That is why you keep reading about the same old productivity apps over and over again. Here is a list of apps we have actually downloaded and tried.
Productivity Challenge Timer
Productivity Challenge Timer is a Pomodoro-based timer. You set up a project within the app, and you give yourself a time limit as a goal. That time limit is then broken down into smaller time limits. Once your project is set up, you start your project. Set the app timer, and you work for as long as the timer runs. It then stops and tells you to take a break. After your break, it tells you to start working again. Using the Pomodoro method is supposed to help you work for longer by forcing you to take breaks before your willpower starts to erode away. The app doesn’t allow you to pause the timer during work sessions, which makes it a little more difficult to screw around and come back to your project later. The shortest work session you may set is ten minutes.
Todoist: To-do lists
Todoist is one of a many to-do list apps available on the Internet. The interface is not as confusing as “Remember The Milk,” and it is not as complex as “Evernote.” Todoist allows you write to-do lists and store them in the app. It is mostly useful for people who create a large number of to-do lists and have trouble keeping track of them. Some people use their Memo app or even their SMS text drafts folder for their to-do lists, but this app helps you keep your to-do lists separate from your notes to yourself. You may also use this app on a regular basis and keep track of how much you get done via the weekly accomplishments section. The app allows you to customize your lists by highlighting the most important tasks of the day, and by allowing you to delegate tasks and share your errands by sharing your Todoist lists.
Forest: Stay focused
Forest was created for people who lose a lot of time because they are always messing around on their phone. Forest was designed to help highlight how much time you spend on your phone. It was also created in order to dissuade you from picking it up and playing with it all the time. The app allows you to plant a seed within the app. The seed is planted in the virtual forest within the app. Over time, the seed will grow into a tree, but if you keep picking up your phone and doing things such as checking your Google+ app, then the tree’s progress is stunted. Over time, if you keep picking up your phone and using it, then the tree whithers and dies. Despite the claims of the developers, it will not help you beat your phone addiction, but it is a fun way of highlighting how much time you are spending on your phone. A forest full of dead trees on your phone may help to highlight how much time you are wasting away during your day.
Block Apps On Google Android
A Similar App Called Freedom For Apple iOS
A Similar Paid App Called FocusMe For Microsoft Windows And Apple Mac
(Free) Contains ads & in-app purchases
Block Apps helps you block certain apps during certain times of the day. For example, if you are at college during the hours of 9:00 – 13:00, then you may have all of your entertainment and social media apps blocked during that time of the day. Maybe you are still hurting over an ex and it is putting you off your job, in which case you may have Block Apps block all of your communication apps so that you are not constantly checking for messages or waiting for a beep that indicates a message. You may schedule times and dates where your apps are blocked, and you may set recurring times and dates where apps are blocked. Like many other app-blocking apps, you are unable to deactivate Block Apps or its rules while a block is in progress. As you can see on the image, the game “Fallout Shelter” has been blocked. I have had times where Fallout Shelter has distracted me because it is a game that rewards you for nipping back to check how your shelter is doing.
Evernote started as an app for making and arranging your notes, but it is now more of a personal organizer. I was reluctant to mention Evernote because it is mentioned in most other articles about productivity. However, at the time of writing, the Evernote app is still popular and still highly ranked, so it gets a mention here. The app allows you to write notes and categorize them as you wish. You may take notes as text, photos, video and as audio. It allows you to take a photo of business cards, and allows you to take notes in your own handwriting or as sketches. You may attach other documents to your notes, and allows you to keep your receipts, bills, invoices and correspondence together. Add notes to your device memory, or save your notes and files to the cloud and access them from a different device using your Evernote account. The app is free for personal use, and you may buy upgrades that allow you more cloud space. Upgrades may also allow you to save emails to your account. Alternatively, you may upgrade so that your app is more suitable for business use.
ClearFocus allows you to set up working sessions on your mobile device. You determine when your working sessions are, and then set the app to start. Your mobile device will only operate a few basic apps and functions while your working session is active. This helps to stop you being distracted by your phone. To make things a little fairer, the app sets up break times where your phone returns to normal. The idea is that if you are less distracted, then you are more likely to get some work done. Clear Focus is overly simple, which is not something we tend to agree with or support, but some users claim that its simplicity makes it easier to commit to. They argue that the ability to click the app and then click a start button is so effortless and hassle-free that they are less likely to lose interest over the long term.
Loop Habit Tracker
Loop is an odd app that I am pretty sure doesn’t work as a habit-building mechanism, but it is so popular that I am clearly in the minority. You have to come up with a few positive habits such as brushing your teeth twice per day, or whatever it is that you want to start doing as a habit. Once you have a target habit, and you need to set target occasions. In the teeth brushing example, your target is twice per day. You then have to track your habit the same way you may track your spending when you are budgeting or your calories when you are dieting. If you miss on one occasion, then you have to enter it into the app. Whenever you complete your habit, then you have to make a note of it in the app. Over time, you will get to see how often you undertook your positive habit. You may see visualizations of your habit as it was tracked. The app will also come up with additional statistics, such as how strong your habit is based on how often you have undertaken it and how often you have missed.
Mindly is a mind mapping app built for mobile devices. Mind maps may help you become more productive in cases where a set of notes will not do. For example, if you have several ideas and a number of them are linked, or a number of them depend on each other, then a mind map will be more useful than a written document or a set of notes. It is very hard to find a good mind mapping program. There are very few good mind mapping apps and even fewer good mind mapping programs for desktop computers. Mindly is not perfect, but it may be suitable for you personally. It allows you to create mind maps where you may also add extra notes, images and icons. You may set up an unlimited hierarchy of elements, and you may color-code your mindmap to make it easier to understand. The app uses a visual clipboard with which you may organize and reorganize your content.
My Effectiveness has earned its place on our best productivity apps article because it is a to-do list app that was created by a person who clearly doesn’t like to-do apps. You start off with very simple concepts such as a “First Things” grid that features four squares. The squares are part of an urgency grid where you have tasks that are very important and very urgent, and three other variants where the opposite alternative is least urgent and least important. Those simple concepts are then layered into a plan where you may also include dates, timers, action points, where you may define roles within your plan. The app allows you to build a framework that gives your efforts a form of structure. It is like a planning app that allows you to determine the depth, breath, and detail of your plan. You can stick with just a to-do list, or maybe you would like to add a set of goals to your list, or maybe add a schedule onto that, or maybe add a project checklist. You may keep adding layers until your plan is strong enough to ensure your success if you follow it.
Goodtime Productivity Timer
Goodtime Productivity Timer is an app that works on a variant of the Pomodoro method. You work for 25 minute sessions and take a 5 minute break between each session. After you have worked through four sessions, you are given a slightly longer break. The app is simplistic in nature, which is good for people who are not looking for a complicated and/or sophisticated app. The added benefit of its simplicity is that it is battery friendly. You may configure the Pomodoro timer to settings that suit you personally, and you may pause the timer at will. It works in the background, and you can enhance its usefulness by turning off your sound and your Internet connection while you work. Goodtime Productivity Timer is an app for self-motivated people who are simply looking for a Pomodoro timer tool. This is an app for people who are already highly motivated and who are looking to be more productive via the employment of the Pomodoro technique.
OneNote is a free note-taking organizer app of an extremely high quality. Plus, it is free. The app allows you to draw freehand, write notes, and clip things in order to add them to your notes or your OneNote files. The app is designed to look like a three-ring binder. It was built to look like a paper-based organizer, which is a type of organizer that people used to use before Smartphones became popular. You may set up plans and share what you have created with others. The app also has online features that allow you to sync your files across numerous devices. If you learn the app’s control functions, then you may turn this app into your primary note-taking app. This is especially true if you learn how to quickly start the app and quickly create and save your notes. Learn how to use it and how to use it quickly, and it becomes a very efficient tool for quickly taking and organizing your notes.
Elevate – Brain Training Games
Elevate is a brain-training app. This is another app on this list that I do not think deserves its place on a “Best productivity apps” article, but it has a good online reputation and has been downloaded 15 million times, so I appear to be in a minority again. I just don’t believe in brain-training apps. I feel it is like buying a set of weights for a fat person and assuming that the fat person will get thin because he or she owns weights. The Elevate app has a series of games, mostly puzzles, that are are designed to improve math skills, processing speeds, memory, and things of that ilk. The app is little more than a set of puzzles and games, but some people think these sorts of things help to keep their mind alert. I suppose it is better than sitting around watching TV. It is a free app, so you can always try it and then delete it if it doesn’t work for you. In my opinion, the use of such an app will not make you more productive, but since it is free, I say there is no harm in trying to prove me wrong.
Office Lens is another Microsoft entry onto our “Best productivity apps” article, and it is another Microsoft app that is of a very high quality. It allows you to take photos of whiteboards, receipts, and written notes. If you have ever tried taking photos of such things yourself, you will know that your camera tries to focus in a way that makes most of the text unreadable. The Office Lens app has found a way of allowing you to take photos of text where the text is readable in the subsequent image. Sure, it may be a little foggy around the very edges, but compared to how your phone normally takes images of text, the Office Lens it is as clear as crystal. Scanning text is as easy as using the app to take a photo. It is not instant, you will need to line up the document and get a clear view of it in your screen. It takes a short while to render, but if you take the photo correctly, then you will have a readable piece of text that you may now store as an image. Plus, you may use the Office Lens app to convert your images into PDF files or PowerPoint files. This app means that you no longer have to make hand-written copies of pieces of text; especially pieces of text you see on whiteboards. Plus, you will no longer have to do that thing where you photograph sections of a whiteboard and then knit the images together later because the Office Lens app allows you to take a photo of the entire board and come away with an image that offers readable text.
Google throws its hat into the note-taking ring with its notes and list taking app called Google Keep. It does many of the things that Evernote does, but it is laid out in a different way and features recognizable icons from other Google products (including the Google Android operating system). You may take photos of things and add your photos to your notes, and you may easily share your notes, lists and ideas with other people. You may record voice memos, and you may catagorize your notes in a customized manner. Google Keep allows you to add labels and color to your note categories, and sync your account with your various other devices. Add location based notes and reminders, and collaborate with other Google Keep users in real-time. The GUI is a little awkward, which is probably why this app hasn’t taken off as successfully as other note-taking apps, but it is otherwise a fine note-taking and organizer app.
Brain Focus Productivity Timer
The Brain Focus Productivity Timer allows you to try the 52/17 or Pomodoro method. The hope is that by helping you to try these methods that you will enjoy increased productivity. You may find it more useful as a task tracker. The idea is that you track how long it takes you to complete your tasks so that you may more accurately plan your tasks in the future. Also, if you track the time it takes to complete your tasks, then you will know if you are ahead of schedule or behind. Plus, you may run trial and error tests to try to increase your productivity while using the timer to check your progress. You may pause sessions, disable your Wi-Fi, and add time to work sessions when needed. It allows you to skip breaks and end sessions early. This is not an app that was built for procrastinators or people with poor willpower. This app was created for people who are looking to actively improve their working process and who are self-motivated enough to take the initiative.
Here we have yet another productivity app from Microsoft that is completely free. It allows you to plan your day with to-do lists. You may quickly add reminders, schedule your tasks and organize your productivity efforts. It reminds me a little of the Microsoft calendar and the Outlook email service that is provided by Microsoft. You may sync your information between your mobile device and your computer, which means you may create larger and more complex plans with your computer and then pass your plans over to your mobile device for when you are out and about. You may sort and categorize your lists with color coding. The app allows you to plan your day, your week, or your year. You may plan up to five years with the app, and you may create additional list categories. For example, you may create a “Follow Up” list or a “Someday” list. The Microsoft To-Do app is on our “Best productivity apps” article because it has very little bloat, and yet it is not a simple or basic app. The developers have created a streamlined app that may be lacking in features, but is still a suitable app for people who do not want to invest hours at a time into planning their week.
Habit Tracker (Habit Bull)
Habit Tracker, also known as Habit Bull, is an effective tool for building positive habits if you are already highly motivated. It is like giving a carpenter a buzz saw. If you are not already highly motivated towards building positive habits, then this free app will become a waste of space on your phone. If you are looking for a “solution” to your unproductive lifestyle and you think that positive habits will help, then this is not the app for you. If anything, this app is only useful for people who wish to track their positive progress and self-congratulate themselves on their achievements. Enter your desired positive habits into the system, such as reading for 15 minutes every night before bed. Then, track your progress by keeping your app updated. It gamifies the process so that you may keep score on how well you are doing while building your positive habits. It may also be used for regular habitual behavior such as taking your medication on time. If you use it for regular habitual behavior, such as taking your medication, then it is imperative that you get into the habit of keeping your progress updated. For example, it may cause problems if you take your medication but forget then you forget to update your app because you may look at the app later and start believing you didn’t take your pills.
Wunderlist allows you to create lists on your mobile device, attach photos and files, and then delegate your tasks to other people via the sharing functions. You may collaborate with others and start conversations about the listed tasks that need to be done. The free app is very basic. You will have to purchase an upgrade if you want unlimited access to files, or the ability to assign tasks to other users and assign subtasks. The Pro version costs a monthly fee. The app gives you a fair amount of room to customize your lists and your categories. Wunderlist may be used as a personal organizer and a business organizer too. It works on simple organizational structures, so it should be avoided if you are looking to create in-depth plans. The app takes a little getting used to, but it is still a popular app and is still highly rated in places such as Google Play.
Goal Tracker And Habit List
The Goal Tracker And Habit List app is a plain looking app that has tried to create a hybrid between tracking your goals and building your habits. The aim of the game is to get a positive mark on every day of your year. When you complete a designated task that will help you become a better person, then you get a tick for the day. Your aim is to get a full year of ticks. For example, if your goal is to become a habitually positive person, then you may enter a tick for the day if you are positive, or a cross if you are negative that day. After a year, if you have more ticks on your app’s calendar than you have crosses, then your goal of becoming a habitually positive person is clearly working. This app is not the best looking app. In fact, give it a few more years and it will probably be too ugly to look at, like those 2006 organizer programs you used to pay $30 each for.
Even though the “Goal Tracker And Habit List” app’s interface is not as ugly as the one shown above, it is still on the less-appealing side. Still, the app is simple, it is add-free and there are no in-app purchases being pushed on you, so it is hard to complain since it is an okay/above-average app. If there are elements in your life that are holding back your productivity, then you may use this app to track your progress as you build positive habits.