Let’s face it, we could all be a little more productive when it comes to some aspect of our lives. Whether you’re struggling to stay off Facebook at work or are noticing a slight addiction to your Netflix account while you’re at home, this list of 14 Productivity Apps has a little something for everyone.
If there’s one thing that will help make you more productive, it’s a to-do list. Personally, I’m a stickler for the classic pen and paper to make my to-do lists, but Any.Do may have me making the digital switch.
Any.Do is a super simple list and task management app that carries a few extras to really keep you on track. The app gives you 4 starter lists, All Tasks, Work Projects, Grocery List and Personal Errands. It also gives you the option to add more lists for things like Events or Meetings. With one click tap you can add your tasks, a swipe to the right marks the task as complete and you can press and hold to move items around. Additionally, tapping on your newly created task lets you add notes, photos and even videos. It also allows you to set reminders or share your list with someone.
Any.Do has a unique feature called Moment, which reminds you to check your task list each day and add your daily to-do’s. This feature is a big plus to me because I’m getting a little sick of finding ancient (and incomplete) to-do lists in the 20 different apps I’ve downloaded trying to find the best one.
The downfall is the free version only allows you to use the moment feature 5 times per month, so if that’s what’s tempting you to switch, you’re going to have to pay. The good news is it’s only $3.00/month, or $27/year, and includes things like unlimited sharing, location-based reminders, themes and 100MB file attachments. I’m still running with the free version as of now, but the more I use it the more tempted I am to shell out a few bucks for the pro!
Evernote is productivity app that tops almost everyones list. Not only is it an exceptional note taking app like the name suggests, it also includes some pretty interesting (and very useful) extras.
First off, we have to begin with Evernote’s pricing options because which one you choose makes a big difference in the functions you’ll be able to access. Basic (Free) provides you with 60MB of storage space and the ability to take notes, write lists, “clip” things from the web and chat with other Evernote users. Plus ($28.99/year) includes everything included in the Basic version with 1GB of storage, plus access to a passcode, the ability to save emails to Evernote and access to all your documents when you’re not online. Premium ($57.99/year) is the cream of the crop with everything previous, plus 10GB of storage, the ability to turn your notes into presentations, related content, scanning, a search function and annotatable PDF’s.
If you like apps with all the bells and whistles, the Premium version of Evernote will have you drooling. The hefty price tag actually breaks down to only $5/month. Giving up one fancy latte per month to get hyper-organized? We’re in.
I have a love-hate relationship with Calendar apps. None of the ones that I’ve tried (and that’s most of them) are quite right, I always find there’s something missing. So when Sunrise popped up in the app store last year, I didn’t expect much from it. But, to my surprise it has become one of my most used, and most loved, apps on my phone and here’s why.
Sunrise has all the basics you’d expect from a good Calendar app. When you open the app, it goes straight to your calendar and lists you appointments underneath. There’s also an alternate view to see a more detailed version of you day hour-by-hour. One tap will get you to the “add task” screen where it makes it super simple to schedule whatever you need, even recurring tasks.
Sunrise has the ability to sync with almost any of your already existing apps and calendars. It supports Google Calendar, iCloud and Exchange and will import your information from apps like Evernote, Todoist and even Twitter.
One of the most unique features is it’s new “Meet” function. Meet is actually a supplementary keyboard for your phone that you can instantly pull up when trying to schedule meetings. You can see if when you’re free, pick a few times and send them over to your colleague. They then open the link and see what time works for them, once they choose it goes into both of your calendars so there’s no need for back-and-forth.
And for those of you who are suckers for little style details like I am, the calendar even assigns your tasks icons based on what you type. For example, if I type “call Jeff” it adds a phone icon beside my task, and if I type “meeting with Bill” it adds a conversation icon. Awesome.
Too lazy to walk over to the next cubicle to ask John if he wants to go for lunch? Yeah, us too. That’s why we use Slack, well, that and a lot of other reasons.
Slack is a team messaging app that lets you collaborate, share and work together effectively and efficiently. This is the perfect option for anyone who is tired of getting 4,000 emails per day or getting cc’d on every email that has nothing to do with you. Slack gives you the ability to talk one-on-one or in a group and even create different channels for different projects.
Slack gives you the ability to share files in an easy drag-and-drop screen and even connect all your tools like Asana, Twitter, Google Drive and Dropbox so you have everything in one place.
Slack is free for an unlimited amount of users but if you want to up your game, the premium plans start at only $8/month and include things like usage stats, guest access, priority support, google apps for domain sing-on, forwarding of email to slack and even exports of all your messaging history.
So whether you work in a team of 2 or 200, Slack is something you’re going to want to try out, even if you just use the emojis. 😉
This app is a lifesaver for anyone needing to delegate tasks or know which task they need to be working on. So, most people. Asana combines an easy project management interface with a chat function so you’re sure to have all the information you need about your given task.
Asana can save you hours of time wasted in meetings, responding to emails and misunderstandings about projects. The chat feature works much like Slack, with real-time messaging and eliminates the need for those excessively long email threads we all have in our inboxes. The project management side (what Asana is all about) is where things get interesting.
Within a specific workspace (say, you’re department) you are able to search, follow, share and work on public tasks. You can combine related tasks, organize them by priority, set notifications and due dates and chat about any changes that need to be made.
Asana essentially keeps everyone in the loop and keeps communication and collaboration flowing around your office, home or personal life. A must have for any team.
6. Hootsuite FREE (From $9.99/Month + Premium)
Available on: IOS, Android, Web
If you run any sort of social media sites, Hootsuite should already be on your radar, but if it isn’t let me introduce you to your new best friend.
Whether you’re running your own personal Twitter and Facebook account or managing 20+ for customers and clients, Hootsuite will help make your life easier. This social media powerhouse manages all your profiles and pages in one spot, saving you the time and energy of repeated logins, skipping from website to website and even schedules your posts.
The internet is full of distractions. From the seemingly unending stream of cat videos on your Facebook feed, to trying to keep up with your twitter feed, it’s inevitable that we get distracted at some point in the day.
Rescue Time is a downloadable app (desktop only) that tracks your internet usage and lets you know if what you spend your time doing is productive or distracting. At the end of the day, it gives you a round up of how productive you were during the day as a percentage. You can also set alerts to let you know if you’ve been on an distracting site for too long or you can just block them all together.
Another great feature is the goal setting area. If you’re one of those people whose day gets eaten up by responding to emails, this is a great way to try to lessen your time doing so and streamline the process. Say you set a goal of spending only 1 hour per day responding to emails, after that 1 hour, Rescue Time will alert you and you can assess how far you’ve gotten. It’s almost makes responding to emails like a game and you ultimately find yourself trying to beat yesterdays time each day.
All of these features are included in the free version with the premium $9/month version adding unlimited report history, tracking time away from the computer, more detailed reports and faster data processing.
It’s definitely interesting to see where most of your time is spent either at work or at home (since it tracks 24/7). It may even make you realize your relationship with Netflix is borderline excessive…
StayFocusd is a Chrome Extension that does exactly what the name suggests, helps you stay focused. If you’re someone who really can’t keep themselves away from Twitter and Facebook throughout the day, this might be the app for you to increase your productivity.
StayFocusd is pretty tricky in the way it blocks potentially distracting sites. Initially, you set a timer with say, 30 minutes, for the day to be spent on distracting websites. StayFocusd knows which sites these are (ie. anything social media) and once your time is up, it’s up. This keeps you from setting individual timers for each site then just skipping from Facebook to Twitter once your timer is up. See what they did there? Tricky.
You can also block entire sites for the day to keep you from scrolling through Reddit for 3 hours at a time or go the really drastic route of blocking the entire internet in their Nuclear option. Sometimes I feel like I should use this feature once in a while in order to get my housework etc. done, but let’s be honest, no one will ever press that button.
StayFocusd is free, but if you go to their website, they do request a donation of $10 if you like the app and find it useful.
While doing research to find the top productivity apps for this post, Focus@Will was one that kept popping up on people’s lists and I had to find out why.
Focus@Will wasn’t what I expected. It’s actually a music site that uses neuroscience to find the best tunes to make you focus. They boast that trials showed a “typical 12-15% increase in focus bio-markers” and up to a “400% extended session time” of whatever you were doing.
I know, you’re probably thinking, “well, I already listen to music while I work, why would I pay for this?”. According to Focus@Will, the music we like (ie. Pop, Rock, Country) is made to engage our minds and that’s why we like to listen to it. That’s also why it’s distracting when you’re trying to work. Once you starting singing along, all your focus is out the window.
The music on Focus@Will is different. There’s no singing, just instrumentals and they’ve all been, “remixed, re-edited and scientifically remastered” to enhance your focus. The soothing music stops your “fight or flight response” and in turn, increases your attention and concentration.
Focus@Will is availble in a web-based application or on your smartphone to keep you in the zone all day. There are lots of different channels to choose from so you can mix up your listening based on your mood and they even have suggestions based on your personality.
I definitely recommend taking advantage of the 14 day trial. In the time I’ve been using it I’ve definitely felt more productive and less distracted… Although I do miss singing along to my favourite songs.
Pozify is a totally unique and uplifting app that everyone needs to try. If you have a hard time keeping positive and motivated, this app will definitely give you the boost you need!
Pozify is a social networking platform that gives you rewards for sharing positive messages and images across the internet. Instead of scrolling through a newsfeed on another site and seeing a mixture of positive and negative stories, Pozify keeps you in the warm & fuzzy side of life.
It’s proven that we are more susceptible to notice and spread negative content, whether in real life or on the internet. The makers of Pozify wanted a choice in what they saw on their news feeds and made a “positive only” zone.
Pozify also features games where you can play, earn and interact with other positive people. That’s a novel option considering most of the time when I play internet-based games there’s always at least one irate player ruining, what is otherwise, a fun game.
Although we can’t escape real-life all together, this is a nice option to have if you’re having a bad day or need a little pick-me-up! Definitely a great app to have within arms reach.
Even though it’s been around for centuries, meditation has been gaining traction recently as the best way to clear your head and become more productive. There are a lot of new apps on the market that help you do this either though guided meditations or just soothing music and sounds, but Headspace is different, and better.
Headspace labels itself a “gym membership for the mind” and it certainly lives up to its name. They offer a free course called Take 10 that gives you 10 days of basic meditation tips in only 10 minutes per day. Once you’ve finished this, you can then subscribe for $12.95/month to gain access to hundreds of hours of different meditation sessions.
In the subscription version, there are lots of specific courses you can “take” for things like overcoming addictions, building better relationship and even boosting your creativity. The possibilities really are endless.
There is a lot of research showing the benefits daily meditation can have on our minds and bodies. Meditating alone at first can be difficult, so these guided versions can help you understand how and why you should do it.
One of the biggest advantages is the connection between meditation and reduced stress levels. One of the best things you can do to become more productive is to take care of your mind and body so they are able to focus better and concentrate harder. Even though this app may seem pricy, $13 isn’t a lot to pay for peace of mind, is it?
About.Me (and it’s accompanying app, Intro) are essentially your digital business cards. How many times have you been at a conference or gathering, only to run out of or forget your business cards? This can be a big problem, especially if you’re trying to generate leads or sales.
About.Me makes sure you always have your information on you at all times. You start by creating a professional and short profile on About.Me. From there, other people can connect with you either by searching your interests, organizations or location.
But it doesn’t end there. Intro, the downloadable app, lets you share your “page” or business card with the click of a button. You can choose to email, text or share your About.Me page with anyone new you might meet. It also has tracking features so you can remember who you shared your info with and who shared their info with you so you never forget a connection.
This a great alternative, or backup, to traditional business cards and is a great app to have on your phone just in case you forget them at an important event.
While this isn’t really anything new or exciting (I can almost guarantee you’ve heard of Dropbox) it’s definitely an essential for keeping your documents organized and accessible.
Dropbox beats its competition like iCloud and Google Drive by having a seamless computer to cloud interface, excellent sharing between users and the ability to backup your important documents.
Since Dropbox is so widely available, there are few places you won’t be able to sync your files to or access them from. It makes sharing documents with clients and colleges a breeze and has a very good amount of storage space even in the free version.
If you want to share, backup and access your files anytime, anywhere, Dropbox is the way to go, no questions asked.
Being productive is often tightly connected to managing your money. So whether you’re someone who likes to never look at their bank statement and cross their fingers whenever making a purchase or someone who knows how much they have down to the penny, Mint will help you in many ways.
Mint is a money management app that lets you keep track of every purchase and payday in one easy to use platform. It acts both as a budgeting tool as well as account monitoring software to help you get on top of all things money.
You can directly connect bank accounts, credit cards, loans and mortgages to the app so you’ll never have to manually enter a purchase again. You can even add in your upcoming bills including how much they are and when they are due so you never miss a payment again.
Mint has the ability to set alerts to let you know when you’ve gone over budget, when you’ve paid a bank fee or even when your credit limit is getting low. If you’re an American customer you also have access to a free credit report in order to further help you manage your money.
Since Mint is made by trusted brand Intuit, you’re guaranteed all your information is safe and secure. So whether you’re bad with your money and could use a little help or have it all down pat, Mint will help you get to the next level of financial greatness.