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Top 7 Most Essential Apple Watch Productivity Apps of 2016

Top 7 Most Essential Apple Watch Productivity Apps of 2016

When the 1st generation iPhone came out in the summer of 2007, it has changed the way people interacted with technology. Suddenly, everyone was connected online at all times of day, playing games, catching up on email, or researching where they want to go to lunch, all while walking down the street. While elements of the iPhone were, and in many ways still are, a distraction, iPhone apps streamline productivity and put greater capabilities at your fingertips too.

Wearables are the latest trend that wants to pervasively integrate technology into your daily routine. The average employee checks their phone every three minutes, for a total of 200 times a day. Some of those checks may be for a purpose, but many are simply habitual. The Apple Watch has the potential to bring your focus back to productive tasks through apps that funnel only important information right to your wrist!

Many of these apps have desktop counterparts, but to keep them functional on an interface as small as a watch, app designers have kept the psychology of wearables in mind and stripped the app down to its core, most basic function and streamline its processes for ease-of-use.

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If you’re looking to boost your productivity in 2016, here are 7 essential Apple Watch apps that you should be using today:

1. Do Button

Created by IFTTT (If This, Then That) for the Apple Watch, Do Button allows you to set up “recipes” for communication between apps or devices in the simple setup of “if this happens, then that will happen” scenarios. The possibilities are nearly endless. Whether it’s automatically uploading new documents to Dropbox every time you use a task manager or connecting your smart home devices to your wrist, there are numerous ways Do Button can boost your productivity through the automation of simple tasks.

2. Evernote

Evernote’s app for Apple Watch is the easiest way for you to keep track of new information as you learn it. With the push of a button, you can dictate a message to the app, and Evernote will translate it to text and save it for later. You can also use voice search to find a specific note in the app, making navigation much more manageable despite the Apple Watch’s small screen. If you need a quick reminder of something later that day, you can schedule notes to be sent to your watch screen too.

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3. Slack

Slack is known for its incredibly popular and colorful desktop app that serves as a chat platform for teams with a need for multiple communication channels. If your chat is very active, this app could very well distract you more than it aids you. However, for the Apple Watch, Slack pares down its functionality somewhat and limits access to messages, so users can keep their sanity. The app will only notify you of direct messages or mentions. This means that if someone needs to get ahold of you to ask a question or vice versa, they can, but you won’t be overwhelmed by group chatter either.

4. Swipes

The organizational tool Swipes utilizes an elegant interface to funnel your to-do list directly to you. The app sets itself apart from other task management apps by focusing on your priorities. Users can connect their tasks and assignments across different platforms and communication channels and send actionable tasks directly to their Apple Watch to make sure that they keep track of all their projects. Perhaps the most useful feature of Swipes is that users can customize snooze options and task types, so, for example, you could snooze any communications-related tasks during Tuesday afternoons to give you a chunk of time to work on personal projects without being distracted by other responsibilities.

5. Productive

Similar to a task management application, Productive lets you schedule your days around your priorities and can act as an aid to remind you of tasks that need completing. However, beyond task management, Productive is a habit tracker. Want to start waking up an hour earlier to build that side project you’ve been talking about? Productive will send a reminder to start the task to your Apple Watch, and if you’re ready to begin, you tap the message. To encourage increased productivity in the future, the app will show you how many days you’ve met your goal in a row, pushing users to meet the challenges they set themselves.

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6. 1Password

Tired of entering the same passwords, again and again, every time you log on? 1Password can save you that hassle by keeping all of your log-in information in one place and then letting users sign into their accounts with just a single tap on your Apple Watch. The app utilizes a browser extension and many supported mobile apps to autofill user’s information into sign-in fields. You’ll never have to type again, just swipe and tap on the watch. While keeping all of your information in one app sounds risky, 1Password is encrypted and possesses strong security measures to make sure your treasure trove of private information isn’t discovered by anyone else.

7. CloudMagic

CloudMagic, an email app with over 4 million users, has made waves with both critics and users for its speed and minimal design. With its latest addition of an Apple Watch extension, the best email app for desktop and mobile brings its platform to your wrist. CloudMagic is faster, more efficient, and boasts a better interface than any other email tool out there. The app integrates with every main email platform too, and you can save your emails to a number of different apps. If you need to check email on a regular basis, you don’t have to look any farther than at the CloudMagic on your wrist.

Boosting your productivity through an Apple Watch is as much a matter of understanding your needs as it is using apps for efficiency. If you don’t need a to-do list or the ability to chat anytime with co-workers, then those apps will prove a distraction to you rather than help you become more productive. Explore different combinations of apps for the Apple Watch to find out what helps you stay productive most effectively, and use them to your advantage to respond faster, stay on top of your schedule, and get more done.

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Featured photo credit: Shinya Suzuki via flic.kr

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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