You might assume that a typical eight hour workday means eight hours of productivity. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average American working 8.8 hours everyday is only productive for about two hours and 53 minutes.¹ The main reason behind this? Social media and news websites are two of the most popular unproductive activities that distract from achieving a full work day.
If you’re looking to take back your work day and get stuff done, there are a number of mobile and web apps you can download. You can find free and paid services that will help you stay organized, manage projects and keep distractions away.
Here are 10 productivity apps to boost your productivity.
Price: Starting at $6.50 monthly²
RescueTime is a time tracking and distraction blocking software you can download on your computer or mobile devices. It works by tracking how much time you spend on apps, websites and specific documents. Not only will you get reports on your work habits, but this tool will also block distracting websites which you can schedule or launch manually when you need to focus.
To keep all of your notes in one place, check out Evernote. This free note taking app can be synced to all of your devices. You can write small to-do lists, develop projects, keep track of deadlines and just about anything else you need to manage your work. You can insert webpage clippings, voice memos, images, handwriting and other forms of media to personalize your notes and keep everything in one place.
Available on iOS devices, Due is a customizable task management app. Users can set reminders for tasks big or small. Due will repeatedly notify you of overdue reminders until you either mark it as complete or reschedule. These reminders can exist forever so you don’t have to worry about resetting them. Plus, it can be synced to iCloud or Dropbox on all your devices.
For desktop and laptop users, download Stayfocusd. This browser extension is free to download on Google Chrome. It prevents you from wasting time on distracting websites by blocking them completely. You can set timers and customize the days you need this program in full gear, giving you a chance to kickstart productivity and stay on task. All you have to do is install it through Google Chrome and customize the URLs you want to block with a few clicks.
5. Be Focused
Instead of powering through one long work period, try breaking down your day into smaller pieces. Be Focused is a work interval app that helps you get things done with periodic short and long breaks. Users can set timers with a designated number of intervals per day so that you can pace yourself and rest often, but ensure you’ll get back to work during the next work duration.
If you love a color coded calendar, then you’ll love the app Todoist. This app allows you to free your thoughts of tasks and reminders by transferring it onto this virtual calendar. One nifty feature is the Todoist Karma, an awards system where you earn points by completing tasks and maintaining streaks. You can prioritize tasks and projects, create repeating reminders and track your productivity throughout the week with visual graphics.
7. Just Press Record
You’ll never have to transcribe an audio recording again after downloading Just Press Record. Audio note takers can speak into the app and have it immediately written into text thanks to the built-in transcription feature. It can transcribe multiple languages and allow you to easily search through recordings for specific terms.
One of the most customizable to-do list platforms is Trello. Users can create highly visual lists with details, comments, attachments and due dates using Trello cards. It’s a straightforward workflow tool where you can move around tasks where you need them to be. Transfer tasks to the done folder, flip over cards for more details on tasks and utilize its intuitive robot tool that can assist you with just about anything task related.
An interactive way to stay on task is with the app Forest. Whenever you need to buckle up and get something done distraction-free, you can plant a tree on the app. Your tree will grow as you keep the app open and focus on work. As you complete tasks, you’ll be left with a lush forest that shows off your progress. But if you leave the app before completing a task, your tree will die. Users can also spend virtual coins they earn through their productivity, and Forest will donate them to plant real trees around the world.
Turn your productivity into a game with Habitica. Over four million people use this app to set goals and track your task progress. It world by turning your real life achievements into a game. You’ll earn in-game rewards to level up and unlock more fun features, or punishments that will motivate you to get back on track and achieve your goals.