Poor Smart Phones Got a Bad Rap. We Call Them “THE” Distractors! But They Can Help Focus Too, Here’s How
As we climb out of lockdown, we all need to brush off our unproductivity and get into productive habits while still social distancing. So here’s a list of apps for productivity to do just that.
Let’s get to work.
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First up, it’s time to get into a good workflow. A proven rhythm of time is the Pomodoro Technique. This divides your day into intense 25 minute slots with short breaks between them.
The Tide app uses this intermittent workflow and helps you to work smarter, take regular breaks and boost your concentration with ambient noise that helps your mind focus. It’s one of the thoughtful apps for productivity.
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It’s easy to be productive when you’re in the focus mode. But if you work online, its near impossible not to let the internet distract you by the endless amount of interesting stuff that grabs your attention all day.
Add the Pocket App to your life and you can save all those interesting things for a better time and get back to work. Pocket also lets you download for offline times, and allows you to share to your socials in an easy click.
The free version includes ads, or subscribe to their premium package if that annoys you.
For an emergency fix, downloading an app might help you work on your focus. But here are 15 Ways To Build FOCUS like you never did before.
Working remotely is the new norm, but don’t feel you need to get expensive office hardware to scan documents and the likes. CamScanner lets you scan with your phone camera meaning that you don’t have to dust off and fire up the old 3-in-1 office printer when you need to send some forms off. And you can add notes, and secure important documents with a password.
According to digitalinformationworld, the most used Apps are Facebook, YouTube and FB Messenger, so you can see where the user’s attention is focused. Coming up, is one of those Apps for productivity that will cut down the time you spend on these social apps.
Forget complicated time tracking, Clockify is a simple stop watch approach, so you can clock in and out between tasks as you go. You can label and colour code tasks and add project details. At the end of the day you can see how and where your time is spent, and also have an accurate time spent on project for accurate billing.
It can be downloaded across all your devices and has a handy browser extension for Chrome and Firefox.
This stopwatch software integrates with most project management tools like Asana, Trello, and Todoist, more on them coming up soon.
Logging into your actual social media accounts to create posts is a total waste of time. So boost your productivity by monitoring and interacting with all your social media accounts in one place with Buffer.
This app allows you to manage all of your accounts, from creating posts to scheduling as well as RSS support to share content from chosen sites. All action on your account is tracked and reported in comprehensive data that allows you to analyse your progress.
Buffer is free for 3 social media accounts and a single user, or work in a team or with more accounts with the subscription version.
Monday.com brings all your project tools and team members, plus scheduling into one place. It integrates the programmes you use like Excel, Slack, Dropbox or Google Drive in a clean and simple interface where you can collaborate with your team efficiently and have a visual on the progress on your projects and get a notification when work needs your attention.
It’s a subscription service, and prices are based on how many team members you need, and what features you require.
There are many project management apps for productivity, one of them is Todoist. It can be used by just one person or by teams. Basically, it’s a marriage of time and project management tools and to-do lists. Add in all that needs to be done, break it into tasks and assign deadlines and delegate tasks. Now that everything is in one place you can get to doing.
You can follow up, feedback and re-assign work all in the app, and it integrates across all devices with intuitive navigation. The free version has number limits, but you can upgrade and go unlimited at a fee.
At some stage in your quest to be productive you would have needing to screen share. And TeamViewer does just that. With virtual meetings becoming the norm, TeamViewer has added even more capabilities to share and collaborate live with up to 300 people!
Even better is that TeamViewer is now completely mobile friendly. They have cut data usage by 80%, so no high cell bills. And they allow screen sharing on iOS devices, something that was previously unheard of.
You can record your live sessions for anyone who missed them, or to turn into a passive training income. Or you can host an entire conference complete with a whiteboard, file sharing and video and text chat. If you think this is cool, one of the apps on the list is literally saving the environment when you are productive.
Spike explained simply, transforms the unglamorous email inbox into a place for total productivity. So you can streamline and hone your email game to feel as if you have a PA, fielding and sorting everything into actions for you.
It merges all your emails, chat threads and calendars into one interface so that you won’t miss important emails. Spike lets you immediately turn emails into tasks that get calendared, filed or followed up, so that you can move your projects forward. It endlessly helps you cut through the inbox clutter and prioritise. Now who doesn’t need that?
Stop wasting time getting yourself locked out of accounts or having to change your password every time you log-in. LastPass saves all your passwords in one place like a super secure little black book. It even generates strong passwords for you. All those minutes you save can be better used, and you won’t have to try and remember what colour underwear you were wearing when you had to give the answer to a secret questions. If there’s a list of apps for productivity that help cut screen-time, this is definitely somewhere at the top.
Nothing is worse than an activity tracker than ends up taking up more time than the social media scrolling you’re trying to track. So if you’re interested in tracking how much time you waste in a day try RescueTime. It runs quietly in the background across all your devices and when you want to track your activity you can just give it a look.
You can also set targets and alerts to help you work smarter, or kick those scrolling habits with some gentle reminders. Once you know where your time is spent you can work on being more productive.
Another way of tracking your time is Beeminder. Beeminder will track your run, your To Do List, your gym session or how you are doing working on your bookkeeping. So whatever your goal, Beeminder will help you achieve it with a bit of a boost of a game element. The app plots your progress on a graph where you define the measurement such as number of words written on your novel, or number of sales calls made. It tracks everything and rewards you in the game too.
Plus, if you want to really keep yourself on track you can add your credit card details and a sum and it will fine you real cash dollar when you don’t meet your goals. Now that’s a good motivator.
Another app promoting focus to boost your productivity is Forest. So we had to add this app because it has such special real world impact.
Forest lets you get hold of all the distractions on your phone, and rewards you every time you put down the screen and stick to your tasks. It’s got a gaming element to it. When you set a task and time you are planting a seed on the app. If you stick to the task your tree grows.
If you don’t, your tree dies. It’s like an adult Tamagotchi I guess. If you stick to your task, you will soon have an entire forest growing.
But here comes the real clincher. The app is joined to Trees of the Future, and they are planting actual trees when you interact through the app. Yup, that’s right. Your avoiding distraction can plant real forests and help save the planet.
Freedom is next level distraction busting. You can literally block your distractions from your weak self. If you are using a time tracking app from this list you will know where you’re wasting the bulk of your time.
Now you can use Freedom to block those apps and sites so that you can get on with your projects. The best is that you don’t have to rely on the will power to turn on Freedom every day. You can automate and customise the times or days that those time wasters are blocked. You can even block yourself from the internet if you need to do something like a craft or study and get fully immersed in the task without annoying pings.
We at Alux can tell you first hand that Trello works. It’s the app we use as a team to co-ordinate getting fresh Alux content out to you every day.
Trello lets you collaborate with teammates, but also uniquely lets you also share information with clients. Your projects look organised, are scheduled and can be displayed in several easy layouts. And it integrates with many common work tools like OneDrive, MailChimp, Slack, Hangouts and Evernote to name only a few.
Your tasks can be grouped into boards, or even broken down into cards, and you can assign individuals tasks that are then checked off as your team progresses or send reminders if a deadline is missed. It’s the simplest way of ensuring everyone is on the same page…well board… and that work is moving full steam ahead.
Which app do you find works best for your productivity? We’d love to hear from you.