Five Productivity Apps

Do you feel like you can’t get anything done?  Feeling like you spent the whole day on TikTok? Do you miss having a day planner to make sure you didn’t miss anything?

Well, if this year you have said “I’m going to get more organized”, then this month’s blog is for you, as we are going to look at five recommended Productivity Apps.  A big thank you to Tech Trainer Nia for suggesting to do this blog. Read on for a closer look at apps that are available for both the iOS and Android platforms, and are also available for free.

What are Productivity Apps?

Basically, a mobile productivity app is a software program that allows smartphone, tablet, and wearable device users to perform essential day-to-day tasks. These apps can replace physical planners, sticky notes, and other paper clutter. The purpose of these productivity apps is to make mobile device users more efficient wherever they are by allowing them to access functions such as note-taking, email, scheduling, to-do lists, reminder apps, as well as word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Mobile productivity apps are optimized for touch-based devices as advancements in app development have made it easier for users to view and edit files on their devices.

Todoist (To Do (L)ist)

If you’re looking for a simple way to organize and keep track of your daily to-do list, Todoist is a great task management app to use. It allows you to organize and sort tasks, set due dates and reminders, and even track your progress and collaborate on projects with others.

Todoist, is a multi-platform planner app that keeps things efficient with a clean, gimmick-free approach to interface and task management. It features a powerful natural language engine that can easily transform a jotted down thought into a one-off or recurring task, color-coded priority levels, shared projects, and productivity graphs that record your progress, Todoist is a handy companion for getting things done. More advanced users will appreciate the powerful integration with services like Dropbox, IFTTT, and Slack. Updates have added features like Sections for organizing all of your projects and to-dos in groups and Quick Add to speedily add items to your lists.

The app is free forever, though premium subscriptions unlock additional features for around $4 a month. They also offer a discount price to nonprofit organizations.

Evernote

Evernote is a popular notes organizer and planner app, Evernote is a favorite for taking notes and organizing all of your ideas in one place. The app allows you to capture notes not just with writing, but also with photos, audio, digital sketches, PDFs, and more.

One of Evernote’s selling features is that when you search for a word or phrase, the app looks not only in your text but also for pictures of the words in images. That means, if you snap a picture of a For Sale sign and later search for “sale,” Evernote will find it. Paying account holders can search PDFs and other uploaded documents from instances of words as well. Plus, you can sync all your notes across different devices for an easy way to keep it all on the go.  The free version lets users upload 60MB worth of content monthly, with paid accounts allowing more options.

The app is free and you can get a premium account for about $8 a month.

Slack

Slack takes conventional instant messaging a step further to make a more useful group messaging and coordination tool. Slack covers your IM basics with real-time messaging synced across devices.

Discussions can be public, meaning anyone can join to follow along or chime in as necessary. Chats can also be private, whether one-on-one or among a group. In the workplace, Slack has earned a reputation for fostering a sense of community, too, as people create channels (similar to discussion boards) for leisure topics, simulating the watercooler chat from days gone by. Most importantly, Slack lets you connect with colleagues in whatever way works best for you—in real time, asynchronously, in public where other people can chime in—which is something email never could do.

The app also supports file sharing, direct and group messaging tools. Slack archives your communications, allowing you to search through old messages, channels and shared files, and includes integration with a variety of services such as cloud storage, Asana, Zendesk and more. Premium plans provide more features, such as expanded file storage and better app integration.

The app is free and you can get upgraded plans for about $7 a month and up.

StayFocusd

You sit down at the computer, and you swear you’ll be productive. Next thing you know, it’s twelve hours later. You’ve checked your email, updated your Facebook status, blown through 200 pages of Reddit, read every article in your Twitter feed, vanity Googled yourself, browsed through all your high-school crushes’ Instagram feeds, and lost a week’s pay playing online poker.

What you haven’t done is WORK.

Stayfocusd is a browser extension that keeps you productive by blocking distracting websites while you’re trying to work. You can block distractions either for set times and dates (like 9 to 5, Monday through Friday) or after you’ve reached a limit (e.g., no more than 30 minutes of Twitter per day). It’s simple, free, and can help keep your productivity up. Sure, you could get around it by simply using a different browser, but the point is not to defeat your worst impulses. It’s to give you a tool that can aid your self-discipline toward a more productive life.

Stayfocusd is not a stand-alone app, but is added to the Google Chrome browser through the Chrome Web Store. There is no fee involved and no paid premium accounts. You just download it and go.

Toggl Track

Put simply, Toggl Track is a time tracking app that helps you keep track of how much time you’re spending on different tasks — the idea being that once you’re more aware of how you spend your time, you can learn to make the most of it and plan your schedule accordingly. Beyond the simple timer tool, Toggl also offers detailed reports of your data as well as easy scheduling to optimize your productivity.  You can start, stop, and log times and tasks on your mobile phone or desktop with data syncing between the two platforms, allowing you to easily record hours spent on projects or tasks. These tools help you organize, bulk edit, or tag entries for easy auditing and reporting, with the ability to import or export data in PDF or CSV formats.

Toggl Track is free, but there are premium upgrades starting at $9 per month per user if you are managing a team.

There you have it! There are many more productivity apps available through your app store but this list highlights some of the best to get you started.

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