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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

Top 7 Most Essential Apple Watch Productivity Apps

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Top 7 Most Essential Apple Watch Productivity Apps

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,[1] 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[2] 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

Reference

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

Top 17 Personal Time Management Tools

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Top 17 Personal Time Management Tools

When at work, what do you focus on? Hopefully, it’s getting things done. Even though detailed agendas and time management tools seem are associated with the office, time management tools are key to work-life balance. Having a game plan to plan your day, week, or even month, will help you keep on top of personal projects, pay the bills, plan your next vacation, and even protect important personal downtime. The great news is that there are many great apps to help you with time management.

Track your day

1. Toggl

The first thing to successful time management is knowing where you spend your time. Toggl is a great free app that has web, mobile, and desktop versions that sync automatically. The app can add colour-coded project and client labels. Small details such as auto-fills from previous tasks are super convenient. Seeing the clock ticking away is one of the best motivations to keep focused.

Use straightforward management tools

For personal projects, whether it is planning a two-week holiday or writing your next book, using management tools is a great way to keep yourself accountable and motivated. The tools below are also great for teamwork!

2. Trello

Trello has a simple board and card layout structure that users can title however they like. The design is like a digital whiteboard with tagging, attachment, and team collaboration features. Trello is great for to-do lists, tracking project / pipeline progress, and even sorting ideas. You can create boards for each project for free and collaborate with teams. One account syncs to the web, iOS, and Android systems.

3. Asana

Asana is a great project management app designed for working with teams. Creating items in new lines are as easy as pressing “Enter”. Asana is also great for centralising files and checking messages between team members within a task to track progress. Asana is free for teams with up to 15 members.

Make your to-do Lists

Even though we have organisational tools for the workplace, our non-work life can sometimes seem a bit scattered. A simple checklist is a great reminder tool to keep us on top of those loose ends.

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Todoist screenshot

    4. Todoist

    Todoist can be a simple task list for sorting your personal life, but also has tagging functions to handle projects. Unlike Trello and Asana, the focus for Todoist is to send reminders for items you’ve created. For people who like to sort, Todoist also has more detailed functions that filter items into today, the next 7 days, projects, labels, and other pre-set priority filters.

    5. Any.do

    Established itself as a minimalist interface that helps you input tasks and strike them off as you go. It is usually tied with Todoist as one of the most popular task list apps. The only drawback is that it does not have other app integrations.

    6. Google Keep

    Google Keep operates like your digital post-it notes (complete with colour choices). Notes can be multi-paragraph, links with previews, or image attachments. Checklists can also be created for easy check-off.

    7. Remember the Milk

    Remember the Milk is a more powerful to-do app that is like a personal Asana. Like many of the previously mentioned to-do and task management apps, tasks can be dragged like cards. Sub-tasks can be created. Color coding is available. In addition, Remember the Milk also allows for custom sorting and can create tasks using formula shortcodes.

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    Keep an agenda

    With the endless stream of interesting events to attend, catch-ups with friends and personal commitments having an integrated agenda can help you keep your work, social, and personal calendars coordinated.

    8. Google Calendar

    Google Calendar is an easy event-scheduler that is already integrated into your Android phone and other popular sites such as Eventbrite and Meetup.com. Create an event by simply dragging a box up and down. You can invite guests, drop links to video conferences. Google Calendar even automatically generates events from your Gmail e-mails such as your flight tickets!

    Note to Sunrise Calendar users, the app will stop updating as of October 2016 as the team has been acquired by Microsoft.

    Share files effortlessly

    Have your files in one place to save yourself from editing and sharing multiple versions.

    9. Google Drive

    Google Drive is an effortlessly integrated workplace ecosystem. Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Slides and Drawings do not take up cloud memory space and support real-time collaboration with colleagues. In addition, Google Photos and Google Keep files are automatically searchable in Google Drive. Sharing can be customised to individuals, a private link, or a fully public file. Drive can also automatically back up a designated folder on your computer or smartphone to the cloud, which is convenient for work files or personal photos.

    10. Dropbox

    Dropbox is another cloud syncing platform that is free for first-time users. It is a great way to share files on the go with people from your desktop or mobile. Files can be dragged and dropped from your folders into the web browser or automatically synced from a designated folder. Dropbox links can easily be sent to other people and files such as videos can be opened in the app itself without downloading.

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    Capture everything in one place

    The internet is a great source of information. Make it easy for yourself to capture articles that are relevant when working or saving images to use for later.

    11. Quip

    Quip is a simple note-taking app that has supports comments, tagging, sharing, links, and image attachments. You have an “inbox” to track the latest documents created by you and your team members as well as a file cataloguing system. The app can be used as a personal notebook or as a collaborative tool where team members can highlight text, provide comments, and tag another team member to help. The app is free for web, desktop, iOS, and Android.

    12. Evernote

    Evernote is the place to store everything – your ideas, documents, files to read for later. Evernote is more than just a notebook and can be used to organise tasks and manage projects. The free version is only available online while the premium version costs US$45/year.

    Cut out blocks of time

    13. Pomodoro Timer

    The Pomodoro Technique is a theory of using 25-minute sprints for your tasks. One collects pomodoros only if one finishes the entire 25-minutes. You can choose from a variety of Pomodoro technique tools, including an actual Pomodoro tomato timer!

    Keep your passwords

    14. 1Password

    1password helps you secure all your passwords in one place and has a unique key that only you have to access your account. Never lose your password again! 1Password also helps you share passwords with other team members in a secure fashion.

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    Save distractions for later

    15. Pocket

    Pocket is a great offline reading app that lets you save articles you come across for later. Pocket has mobile iOS and Android apps, as well as web browser plug-ins. With a simple button click, you won’t miss out on the article that looked so interesting or get distracted from the work you were originally doing. Save the reading for later, when you’ve got downtime on the commute home.

    Automate, so you won’t forget!

    If you have a social media presence, below are some tools that can help you share with your friends while saving yourself a few minutes a day sharing across your various platforms.

    16. IFTTT

    IFTTT is a great automation service that helps you set up “recipes” for things that you want to do. For example, if you want a calendar event to be created for every e-mail from your company, you can set that up. If you want a tweet for every blog post you publish, you can also set that up. IFTTT saves hours repeating important tasks.

    17. Buffer

    Buffer is another great sharing app that is free for 2 social media accounts. If you don’t want to spam your friends on Facebook with all your shares in the morning, “Buffer” your posts so that they will be shared throughout the day.

    Featured photo credit: Azamat E via unsplash.com

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