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Last Updated on December 4, 2020

10 Best Task List Apps to Boost Productivity in 2020

10 Best Task List Apps to Boost Productivity in 2020

Organizational drag is anything that eats up time and keeps people from getting things done in time. Companies that wish to boost productivity do so by creating more efficient processes.

This also applies to individuals, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. Whether you work alone or as part of a team, it is important to use the right tools to boost productivity, and having an accessible and easily manageable task list can go a long way.

Here is a list of the top ten productivity apps that you can use to achieve more.

1. ToDoist

    ToDoist is an awesome to-do task list app that is used by over 10 million people. To use the app, you just have to write down all the activities that you plan to do. The software will then interpret these activities and categorize the tasks accordingly.

    For instance, if you create a task to go for lunch at noon with a friend, the app will automatically categorize this task as a meeting and will send you a reminder at the right time.

    However, this app is more than a personal activity planner. You can use it to plan activities for the entire team. It is also good for planning entire projects, discussing details about the project, and monitoring the deadlines.

    The basic functionality is free, but you can unlock premium features for $36 or $60 a year for full access.

    Available on iOS and Android

    2. monday.com

      This productivity app lets you manage your workflows and tasks. It is a great tool for creating a task list and helping you have a clear view of your work and the status of each task.

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      The app is a bit similar to a spreadsheet. However, it looks much nicer, and it allows you to toggle between multiple views. It gives you alerts and notifications, and it allows you to attach files as well as communicate with colleagues.

      The features of Monday.com include a task board that can be customized to manage due date, hours spent, task status, and much more. Users can upload and attach files, make comments, mention members of their team, and more. It can also be integrated into Google Drive, Slack, GitHub, Jira, Dropbox, and many other platforms.

      If you have problems setting it up, you can contact the customer via email or phone.

      Available on iOS and Android

      3. CloudApp

        CloudApp is a great app for boosting productivity. It offers highly intuitive communication, which can help you save up to 56 hours a week. Your only problem will be deciding how you can utilize all the extra time.

        Whether you are talking with a customer, colleague, or client, this app has all the features you need. With GIFs, screenshots, and image annotation, you no longer have to write lengthy emails. Instead, you can show people what you want them to do.

        The app has over 3 million users. It has proven quite reliable when it comes to helping users to boost productivity. You can opt for the free version or you can opt for a $9 a month upgrade to access premium features.

        Available on iOS

        4. Quip

          If you are working closely with members of your team, Quip is a great app for team activities. The platform combines spreadsheets, documents, slides, and chat. Its main strength is that it comes with a suite of Live Apps. You can use them to increase the functionality of Quip.

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          Moreover, you will waste less time by being able to streamline the use of various tools. Quip is one of the most adaptable productivity apps in the world.

          There are options to use connected tools to track time, manage work, and much more. Some of the integrations of Quip are Dropbox, Github, Slack, Salesforce, and much more. The app costs just $30 a month for 5 users.

          Available on iOS and Android

          5. Trello

            Trello is an app that makes managing projects an easy task. This is made possible by the app’s Kanban philosophy. It is a visual and intuitive platform.

            Users can break huge tasks into small chunks, making it useful for creating a task list. This is made possible by creating cards for each task. The cards can be organized into different columns, which are representative of various stages of the project. Once a task is complete, a card is moved from one column to the next.

            The app is free but it comes with a premium plan with $9.99 a month.

            Available on iOS and Android

            6. Focus Keeper

              This app is perfect for those who wish to improve their work habits and minimize distractions while maintaining focus on current tasks. Focus Keeper is based on the Pomodoro technique. This method utilizes timeboxing to ensure each task is complete.

              This is more than a task list app. If you wish to understand how you work best, the app delivers a suite of tools that you can use to set up your workday. It tracks your hours, analyzes, checks interruptions, and much more. Some of the integrations of Focus Keeper are Trello, Asana, Todoist, Basecamp, Outlook, Google Keep, and many others.

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              The app costs $2.99 a month for those who wish to access premium features. It is accessible on Linux, iOS, Android, web, macOS, and Windows.

              Available on iOS and Android

              7. Quire

                This app is designed as a professional and personal to-do task list manager. The app has a very efficient and optimized design due to the developers’ philosophy on visual task management. It allows you to easily get updates and work with your teammates.

                The app also allows users to customize and choose templates based on their preferences. It is easy to use, but it helps you get things done. The app is currently free.

                Available on iOS and Android

                8. Asana

                  This Kanban-style app is quite popular. It helps you visually organize your tasks. With this app, you can set deadlines, tasks, assignees, and visualize your workflow. It is quite popular and used by many people.

                  The app features a sleek clutter-free design and comes with several integrations. As a result, it can be adapted to a wide range of projects. The app costs $9.99 a month.

                  Available on iOS and Android

                  9. Toggl

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                    You can use this simple time tracker to help boost your team’s productivity. It works on different devices across several platforms, and it comes with numerous friendly reminders to ensure that you remember to keep it on. It usually sends you a report once you complete a task to help you make improvements next time.

                    The app is free and those who wish to access premium features pay $9 a month.

                    Available on iOS and Android

                    10. Omni Focus

                      This app is considered the gold standard of the to-do apps. Omni Focus delivers a huge number of features that can be used to sort, prioritize, and plan tasks. It features several ways to categorize tasks such as location, energy needed, and priority.

                      It is only available on Apple devices and it costs $39.99 for the standard package.

                      Available on iOS

                      Summary

                      All the apps above are great for boosting productivity. However, you will need to pick one that best suits your needs. Try a number of them out before you decide to settle on one.

                      More Tools for Productivity

                      Featured photo credit: Bram Naus via unsplash.com

                      More by this author

                      Tanvir Zafar

                      The founder of ISU Technologies, passionate in writing about productivity, creativity, entrepreneurship, work and technology.

                      7 Best Goal Tracking Apps to Help You Reach Your Goals 10 Best Task List Apps to Boost Productivity in 2020 10 Most Effective Apps to Help You Beat Procrastination How to Type Faster: 12 Typing Tips and Techniques 10 Free Learning Tools Best for Self Learners

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                      Last Updated on January 21, 2021

                      How to Not Get Distracted: 10 Practical Tips to Sharpen Your Focus

                      How to Not Get Distracted: 10 Practical Tips to Sharpen Your Focus

                      You sit at your desk, ready to finally get some work done. “Okay, lets do this,” you think to yourself. You scroll over to Word (or Excel, or Office, etc.) and open up a fresh document. You have some idea of what needs to be done, but what happens next?

                      You write a few words down but just can’t stay focused. Then you say “Maybe I should wake myself up with something fun.” You go to Facebook, 20 minutes gone. Then comes Youtube, 60 minutes gone. Before you know it, lunchtime has come and half the day is gone.

                      Does this seem familiar? Do you ever find yourself wasting your day?

                      Well it doesn’t have to be this way, all you need to do is focus on finishing this article to find out how to not get distracted easily.

                      But before we move on to the tips, here’re some important notes you need to know:

                      • Avoiding distraction is tough. You’re not alone when it comes to distractions. It’s not easy staying on task when you need to work for hours at a time, but some people are able to do it. The question is: why them and not you?
                      • You were never taught how to focus. It’s funny how all throughout our school days we were never taught HOW to learn and be focused, even though that’s all we did. It was just assumed, and ultimately it was hit or miss on whether or not you ended up knowing how to do those things at all.
                      • The tools to help master your ability to focus. Since everyone’s left to their own devices, it’s up to you to find ways to master your focus ability. That’s what these tips are for, so you can finally stay focused and on track with what we want to accomplish for ourselves.

                      So without further ado, let’s get started. 

                      1. Keep Your Vision and Goals in Mind

                      First things first, why do you even need to focus? Do you want to become a skilled guitar player? Do you want to write a novel? Do you want to start working from home?

                      Think about it.

                      Knowing why we need to stay focused can help us push through the tough and tedious parts of accomplishing our goals. That’s when our ability to focus is really tested and when it’s most needed.

                      2. Reduce the Chaos of Your Day by Focusing on 2 to 3 Important Tasks

                      If you have 20 tasks you need done everyday how effective do you think your focus ability will be? Terrible, right?

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                      You can’t expect to do those things with sophistication if you’re too scatterbrained to focus. You need to break it down to the essentials.

                      Focus on only doing 2-3 important tasks a day (even one is okay), but no more than that. It’s all you need to take steps towards accomplishing your goals. Slower is much better than giving up early because you took on too much, too early.

                      3. Do Those Tasks as Soon as Possible

                      In order to make sure you get those 2 to 3 tasks done, you need to do them early. This means as soon as you wake up, you’re already plotting how to do them.

                      So get up, use the bathroom, eat breakfast, and do it (Yes, BEFORE work is the best time to do it).

                      It’s tough, but waiting to do them only invites distraction to take over. Those distractions WILL come, and they will drain your willpower. This makes working on your goals harder to do, so don’t wait do work on your goals, do them as early as possible.

                      4. Focus on Only the Smallest Part of Your Work at a Time

                      An easy way to kill your focus is to see a goal for the big giant accomplishment that it is. Most goals will at least take a few weeks to months to accomplish, and knowing that can make it feel like it’ll take FOREVER to do.

                      This will cause you to do one of two things:

                      • You become discouraged because the goal is too big; or
                      • You fantasize about what it’ll feel like to achieve the goal

                      Either way is terrible for your focus and always a potential problem when focusing on the big picture or using visualization.

                      So what should you do? Focus on doing a very small, minimum amount of work instead.

                      For example, which seems easier:

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                      Writing 200 words per day or writing a minimum of 2 sentences per day?

                      20 pushups per day or a minimum of 1 pushup per day?

                      The key here is to use minimums. Chances are you’ll push past them.

                      Eventually your minimum will increase, and you’ll slowly improve your ability to stay focused on the bigger tasks.

                      5. Visualize Yourself Working

                      I briefly mentioned in tip #4 that visualization techniques can hurt you more than help you sometimes. But there is a proper way of using visualization, and it’s by visualizing yourself actually WORKING (not as if you’ve succeeded already).

                      Champion runners use this technique to great effect, usually by working backwards. They imagine themselves winning at first, then they act out the whole process in reverse, feeling and visualizing each step all the way to the beginning.

                      A quicker and more relevant way to apply this would be to imagine yourself doing a small part of the task at hand.

                      For instance, if you need to practice your guitar but it’s all the way across the room (let’s assume maximum laziness for the sake of this example), what should you do?

                      First, imagine standing up (really, think of the sensation of getting up and then do it). If you really imagined it, visualized and felt the act of standing up, then acting on that feeling will be easy.

                      Then repeat the visualization process with each step till you have that guitar in hand and you’re playing it. The process of focusing so intently on each step distracts you from how much you don’t want to do something, and the visualizations “ready your body” for each step you need done.

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                      All you need to do is apply this process to whatever it is you need to focus on, just start with the smallest motion you need to do.

                      6. Control Your Internal Distractions

                      Internal distractions are one of those problems you can’t really run away from. You need to find ways to prepare your mind for work, and find simple ways to keep it from straying to non-essential thoughts as well.

                      A good way to prime your mind for work is to have a dedicated work station. If you always work in a specific area, then your mind will associate that area with work related thoughts.

                      Simple enough, right? When you take breaks make sure to leave your work station, that way you’ll know when you’re “allowed” to let your thoughts roam free as well.

                      Deadlines are useful here also (use Pomodoro method for example, see tip #9). This method helps keep your mind from wandering around since you’ve got that looming deadline coming along.

                      Ultimately though, silencing those unwanted thoughts is all about getting some traction going. So instead of focusing on what’s happening internally, focus getting something done (anything!). Once you do that, you’ll see that all your thoughts will be about finishing your task.

                      7. Remove External Distractions

                      This tip is straightforward, just get away from things that distract you.

                      Is the television a distraction? Work in another room. Are the kids distracting you? Get up earlier and work before they wake up. Is the Internet distracting? Turn off the modem.

                      It’s usually obvious what you should do, but you still shouldn’t overlook this piece of advice.

                      8. Skip What You Don’t Know

                      This is a tip I don’t see often enough, if you hit a snag in your work then come back to it later. Focus your attention on what you CAN do, keep working “mindlessly” at all costs. All this means is that you should focus on the easy parts first.

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                      Eventually you can come back to the more difficult parts, and hopefully by then it’ll have come to you or you’ll have built up enough momentum that it won’t break your focus if you work on it.

                      9. Improve Your Discipline With Focus Practice

                      There’s a few focus exercises you can do to improve your overall discipline.

                      The first one is meditation, which is basically the definition of focus in practice. Think about it, you’re literally just sitting there doing nothing. It’s a great method for building focus ability, de-stressing, and giving you greater control over your emotions. You should definitely give meditation a shot.

                      The second exercise is the Pomodoro method. These are basically “focus sprints,” and each one is followed by a solid break. Like real sprints, you’ll get better and better at doing them over time. Each interval improves your ability to stay focused when it matters, so it’s more than worth your time to try this out.

                      10. Manage Your Momentum

                      Momentum is like a discipline lubricant‒it helps ease the process of sticking with goals. That’s why I think it’s important that we never take true breaks from our goals; we end up losing momentum and relying on discipline to get back on track (not an easy thing to do).

                      This means each and everyday we need to do something significant to further our goals (yes, even weekends and holidays). And when I say “significant,” I don’t necessarily mean a big task‒but rather, any task that brings us closer to our goals.

                      For instance, if your goal is to be a freelance writer, then write one single pitch on a weekend. If your goal is get healthy, then go for a short 5 minute walk even on Christmas day.

                      Nothing big, nothing crazy, only stuff that is significant enough to contribute to the success of your overall goal.

                      More Tips on Staying Focused

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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