While app use is often linked to breaking productivity, it can actually increase efficiency if users can switch from mindless swiping to thoughtful tracking.
Whether for personal or professional use, these nine productivity apps were designed to keep you focused, organized and moving forward.
Apps for task management
1. Things 3
Things 3 has been dubbed by many as the supreme task-management and productivity app for work, personal life, or both. The clean design allows users to break up tasks in a way that will excite even the most list-opposed users. With multiple redesigns, Things 3 has smoothed out the planning process. Features include abilities to create categorized checklists, explore tasks in calendar view, and set reminders.
The app is cross-device, meaning you won’t have to pull out your phone to check your agenda while working on your computer. While the app costs $9.99 to download on your phone, many users would say the price is well worth it.
2. OmniFocus 3
This powerful task manager is for the user who is serious about keeping multiple projects in order. The premium product has a variety of features that will organize tasks into projects, allowing you to assign due dates and importance. The tag feature lets you differentiate between errands, social events, etc.
This app works best if you’re willing to take the time to learn the many helpful features of the system. You won’t be alone in your journey to understand Omnifocus as the app contains video tutorials to walk users through eve more helpful features.
If you’re looking for a to-do list app that doesn’t get cluttered or confusing with unnecessary features, StickK is for you. The simplicity allows less technology advanced users to stay organized in a low-key manner.
StickK allows you to schedule tasks in your calendar while keeping them in list form. The app lets users transfer tasks between devices, making sure you always know what’s on the list, whether you’re going to complete the task now, tomorrow or next week. The minimal approach to the tech to-do list allows you to focus on the task at hand, without overwhelming you with features.
Apps for computer efficiency
This cross-device app is designed to help users understand the value of their time. The design uses categories such as time spent on projects, clients and tasks. The main goal is to help you realize which tasks are making you money and which projects or habits are actually holding you back. While some apps will have users mindlessly track their time, Toggl offers reports and notifications to keep you aware of their positive and negative habits.
The suggestions and shortcuts decrease the time it takes for you to log activity. The notifications will remind you to track activity, ensuring the report accurately reflects how you are spending your time each day, week and month. The app, which is completely free to download and use, has features that are easily customized and allow the app to work for you.
Expert organizer Marie Kondo helps people tidy their homes, but there are no cleaning goddesses to help give our technology spaces the same attention. A messy workspace can decrease productivity, and your tech is not immune. Shift helps to declutter your computer space by gathering all your notifications in one spot.
Shift collects all those numbered red dots in one convenient hub and eliminates time wasted hopping from app to app or account to account. The app collects updates from email accounts, social media channels, apps, and extensions. For the aspiring productivity extraordinaire, you can even link the task and time management apps mentioned in this list.
Pocket is a cross-device app that acts as a digital folder for articles that users desire to save and read later. One of the main features users love is the ability to read articles offline. This app will clear up desktops that are cluttered with saved PDF files and notepads that are filled with links to articles that will never be read.
Once the pocket clipper is installed, a cluttered desktop is no more. Users can share articles right to the app and access them from any device in which they are signed in.
Apps for time management
While habits are usually looked upon negatively, productive people are actually creatures of good habits. StickK allows you to track and maintain good habits while holding you accountable to stick to your goals. The app forces you to create a commitment contract with yourself, and even allows you to assign a friend to check that you’re making progress on your goals.
For extra motivation, and an added thrill, the app even allows you to bet money on yourself.
According to the Moment app, people underestimate their screen time by 100 percent. The tools offered on Moment are designed to not only track phone usage but also to help you balance real life and screen time. While many smartphones have implemented their own screen time tracking software, Moment goes beyond by providing you with the data to help you set and meet screen-time goals.
The app allows you to customize what you want to focus on, including having more family time, getting better sleep, reducing anxiety, being happier and more. The Moment coach nudges you in the right direction, without being overbearing or punishing you for every little slip-up.
9. Life Cycle
This app is perfect for someone who is trying to spend more time doing one activity and less time doing another. The app tracks users locations through WiFi and presents your day to you in a way you’ve never seen before. Categories are able to be completely customized, allowing a user to choose whichever icon and color work for the corresponding activity. While location tracking is notorious for eating up your phone’s power, the app uses only 1% of battery per day if you leave it on recording mode.
With graphs and data, the app allows you to track trends in your activity and recognize your problem areas. Commuters may move when they finally see what percent of their lives is spent transporting themselves from place to place.