For many of us, our phones are simultaneously the biggest distraction and the most important tool in our lives. Here are our favourite 8 productivity apps to help keep the scrolling efficient.
Even the best of us find ourselves aimlessly thumbing away on our phones from time to time. What starts out as a productive venture can devolve quickly into a hopeless waste of time – not to mention a black hole of productivity. If that sounds familiar, don’t panic. There are apps that want to come to the rescue. Read on to discover our pick of the best 8 productivity apps to keep you organised, save you time and help you stay on top of your goals.
Launched back in 2007, ToDoist has quickly become a market leader. They’ve helped their users organise over 1.3 billion tasks to date. As the name suggests, the app is a to-do-list that aggregates all your tasks in one place. With the option to add tasks, set priority levels and deadlines, separate them based on categories such as work or home chores, and synchronise them across all your devices, it’s no wonder this organiser has been downloaded by 10 million people and counting.
Price: Basic features for free. USD 3 per month for their premium plan.
Buffer is a social media manager that combines all your social media platforms into one app, be they Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin or Pinterest. Letting you schedule your posts for all of them at a specific time, reply to messages through a combined inbox and acting as a platform to review and analyse how your posts are doing with informative graphics and details, it’s a one-stop shop for your social media management. Since 2010, Buffer has attracted over 80,000 businesses including the likes of Microsoft and GitHub. Opt for its premium services to unlock a whole slew of extra features like planning further in advance and connecting more social media accounts.
Price: 1-2 week free trial. USD 15 per month for the pro plan, or USD 12 per month if you pay annually.
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Meet the last password manager you’ll ever need. Download the app and you’ll kick off by creating one last ‘Master Password’ that’s super strong, super secure, and also super memorable. That password will then get you into your ‘vault’ where Lastpass files away your details and remembers them for you. All you have to do is sign into Lastpass at the start of each day after you’ve connected all your other accounts to it. Lastpass will then use an ultra-safe computer-generated password for each account, automatically remembering and signing in for you. Using two-factor authentication and secure encryptions, it claims to keep your details safe, so you can concentrate on the tasks that really matter rather than trying to keep track of the endless variety of passwords you have to have. Since its inception in 2008, Lastpass has been trusted by over 13.5 million users and 43,000 businesses around the world.
Price: Basic features for free. USD 3 per month for Lastpass premium.
A bit of an anomaly amongst these other apps that utilise your phone to increase productivity, Forest takes a slightly different approach. Designed by Seekrtech and released in 2014, its sole intention is to stop you using your phone so that you can get on with tasks in real life. It does this through a gamified experience: you plant a tree and have to wait for it to grow. Nothing happens as you wait, but if you use any other apps, it dies, forcing you to leave your phone alone and do something likely more productive instead. Even better, after you plant enough trees and earn enough virtual coins, they can be used to fund the planting of a real tree – an addictive motivator with a positive outcome to keep you using the app. So far, almost 500,000 trees have been planted worldwide.
HabitBull is all about tracking your habits, whether you’re looking to break a bad one or start a good one. It lets you measure just about anything and everything – just set it, give it a schedule, and receive reminders to keep you on track. Whether you want to decrease the amount of time you spend on Facebook, quit smoking, or double the time you spend at the gym, HabitBull is designed to push you towards a more productive life through building up your own data and presenting it through graphs on any one of your devices.
Price: Basic features for free. One year of premium for USD 20.
You’ve probably never thought about emails having an impactful carbon footprint, but you’d be surprised. Estimates vary, but the total email usage around the globe equates to a figure as impactful as tens or even hundreds of millions of cars thanks to the electricity cost alone. That’s just part of Cleanfox’s motivation to clean out your inbox, though. Supported by all major email providers, it’s there to help cut through the clutter by providing quick and easy one-click steps to unsubscribing to newsletters that you don’t read anymore. The app also helps organises your stream of incoming emails, detecting and displaying things by category so that you can sort out the truly important stuff for maximum productivity.
Doodle exists to make scheduling meetings easy. Used by companies such as Apple, Amazon and Google and over 180 million people since its smartphone app was released in 2014, gone are the days of painstakingly trying to figure out a time that suits everyone. With this app, the organiser sends out a request to people they would like to have a meeting with. The invitees then select what times and dates they’re free, and with it all in one neat place, the organiser chooses a time that suits everyone best. It’s a simple app with a simple premise, but it gets the job done, shaves off a tremendous amount of time and helps sharpen productivity in the workplace.
Price: USD 4.08 per month for a private plan.
Welcome to your digital pocket. If you’re one of those people that always has what seems like hundreds of web browser tabs open at any given time, this is the app for you. Founded in 2007 and used by over 30 million unique users to date, Pocket lets you save articles, videos and anything from the web that you intend on reading later, but don’t have time to straight away. You can curate your online content to help you learn as much as possible and not forget things, or simply just keep up to date with news articles that you might have wanted to read. By keeping your web browser clean and tidy, it also makes sure you don’t get lost in a pile of tabs and your computer doesn’t get clogged up and slow down.
Price: Basic features for free. USD 4.99 per month for premium, or 4.08 if paid annually.