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Published on March 11, 2021

7 Best Time Blocking Apps That Make Scheduling Easy

7 Best Time Blocking Apps That Make Scheduling Easy
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Bill Gates and Elon Musk are just two people in a long list of the world’s most successful businessmen who have shared that they use time blocking management techniques to complete all of their commitments and accomplish complex tasks. If your schedule is also full of varied tasks, if your to-do list is so long that you have no idea where to start it, and if your mind is easily distracted, then time blocking is the solution for you. And with the help of time blocking apps, you’ll achieve your goals in no time.

What Is Time Blocking?

Time blocking is a time management technique designed to help you prioritize tasks, work on them more deeply, and gain control over your time with the help of a clear schedule plan. The main idea of this technique is to make the most of your day by scheduling every minute. All of your tasks, meetings, events, and activities need to be shown on your calendar in specific time blocks that you choose for each category.

The goal is to work on your task on the time block you scheduled in advance and finish it on that exact frame time. Keep in mind that it will probably take you some time to learn the difference between the time you think you need to schedule for tasks and the time you actually spend on them.

Time blocking will help you prioritize your tasks from different life categories, all under one calendar. Using this technique will also help you learn more about your work habits, improve them and get things done on time.

In a world where companies like Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, news sites, and even software like WhatsApp are fighting for your time and focus, this technique will help you stop wasting your time and more wisely devote your attention at pre-set hours to work, creativity, social networks, leisure, workouts and more.

How to Use the Time Blocking Technique?

If time blocking is new to you, your first step should be writing down all your tasks that come to mind – both in work and personal life. Once you have done that, you will notice that some of the tasks have higher priorities than others. Mark the important tasks and those with a close deadline and approximate how much time you need to complete them.

The next step is defining your time blocks. It would help if you decided when to block time and for how long. For example, you probably want to block time in the morning hours for deep work and tasks that have a high priority. Still, if you concentrate better after lunch hours – maybe you would prefer to time block morning hours for personal tasks such as workouts and grocery shopping.

Defining how long you need to block time is up to you and your own ability to focus. Suppose you can focus for a long period of time. You can define a time block of 90 minutes. If that is too long for you, you can always reduce the length of the time block. Anyway, don’t forget you also need to schedule your break time!

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Start acting according to your new schedule, but track all of it in real-time so you will know if some of the time blocks are too short or too long for your tasks. If so, adjust your time blocks and schedule the tasks according to the real-time results.

So, now that you know what to do, here are some time blocking apps that will help get you started.

1. Clockwise

    Clockwise is a free app—a chrome extension—that will help you increase productivity by using a smart calendar assistant. Its main goal is to motivate users to maximize their focus and deep work hours. Using the autopilot clockwise will allow the app to optimize your schedule automatically. For example, you can rearrange meetings that you marked as flexible.

    Clockwise will even move around tasks on your calendar if it identifies a conflict in meetings. In other words, this calendar will work for you and help you make the most of your time. One of its slogans is “make your calendar work for you.”

    Check out Clockwise here.

    2. TimeBlocks

      TimeBlocks is another calendar app that allows you to organize your work and personal life while analyzing the time you spend doing all sorts of tasks. Using this app, you can plan your to-do list, events, and meetings, and modify them easily by dragging items on the calendar from one time zone to another.

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      This app uses color coding, which makes it much easier for you to see in a glance how you divide and use your time during the week. You can define group-related tasks, meetings, and events by color and view your calendar in pie charts.

      Check out TimeBlocks here.

      3. Clockify

        Clockify is a time tracking app that is great for those who want to use time blocking mainly for deep work hours. You can easily log your task, activities, notes, events, meetings, etc., and use its feature of a time tracker to start a timer and see exactly how much time you spend on your work.

        With this app, you can categorize blocks by the type of work and tasks, compare between the estimated time you thought you needed to perform the tasks to the time that was really required, view visual charts showing the use of time and money, invite your team to work with you on the app, and track the progress of team projects in real-time.

        Check out Clockify here.

        4. Skedpal

          Let AI do the hard work for you when using Skedpal. This app integrates with your existing calendar and allows you to add your tasks and to-do lists. Then, the app can schedule all of your tasks, meetings, and hour-work for you, according to your perforations of time frames, the time duration for each task, and your availability.

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          Don’t worry, you can always drag the calendar items to rearrange the tasks for your liking. You can also define time zones for specific work categories so that the app will schedule your tasks on those slots only instead of after work hours.

          Check out Skedpal here.

          5. Plan

            This app is made for simple and quick task scheduling. It focuses on straightforward planning on your to-do list and calendar, and the main purpose of the app is to help you save time.

            On its website, Plan promises to users that teams using this app save an average of 15 hours a week. So, instead of spending your time managing work, you actually work. The app integrates with your google or outlook calendar, and all you need to do is add tasks, prioritize them, and then drag and drop items onto your calendar.

            Check out Plan here.

            6. Timebloc

              Timebloc is another productivity app that lets you organize your events and tasks by customizing them with colors and tags. You can create daily routines that will integrate into your calendar, edit your time blocks, set reminders.

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              In the premium version, you can also learn more about yourself from the statistics of your calendar. The statistics will show you how many hours you have spent on different categories—work, study, leisure, etc.—so that you can review, change, and improve the time you dedicate to each category.

              Check out Timebloc here.

              7. Things

                Things is a task manager app with many great features. You can alternate between different calendars (personal, family, work, and more), create task categories, arrange groups of to-do lists, use a checklist, and track projects with pie charts. This app is a little less focused on the technique of time blocking but definitely goes hand in hand with it and will achieve the same goal—maximize your time and get things done.

                Check out Things here.

                There are many other time blocking and calendar management apps out there. Here are some that didn’t make the list but are still worth mentioning:

                • Todoist – A task management app that can also help you create and organize ultimate to-do lists by categorizing tasks, defining deadlines, using color-coded flags, and more. The projects can then be scheduled in time blocks.
                • Any.do – A task management app that can help you add and prioritize tasks in time blocks and automatically reschedule low priority tasks.
                • HourStack – A time blocking app that will show you how much time you spend on tasks comparing to your estimates. It includes integrations to all of the major tasks and collaboration systems.

                Summary

                Time blocking is a great technique to improve your time management. It forces you to think how much time a task would require from you and helps you commit to a time frame to do it. It’s a wonderful way to improve the likelihood of getting something done.

                Time blocking requires some self-discipline to actually do what you have committed to do, and this is where time blocking apps come in handy. But if you’re here reading this article, then it means that you already have that motivation in place.

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                More Time Blocking and Productivity Apps

                Featured photo credit: Debby Hudson via unsplash.com

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                Yair Nativ

                Yair is an award-winning serial entrepreneur passionate about the opportunities that technology offers to improve people's lives.

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                Trending in Technology Shortcut

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                Last Updated on July 21, 2021

                Master These 25 Mac Shortcuts to Work Faster and Smarter

                Master These 25 Mac Shortcuts to Work Faster and Smarter
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                In a busy day, you know it well what it means to save a second of time. It seems a waste of time to leave your keypad and fiddle on your mouse or keypad.

                Another approach to save those seconds is to remember Mac shortcuts to work faster and smarter. This will truly make your work quicker than trifling on mouse or touchpad. In fact, not using keyboard shortcuts actually makes you lose 64 hours every year.

                I think all of you know command- C means copy and Command- V means paste, but there are a lot more shortcuts other than these. The following commands have been compiled to sky rocket your productivity.

                Before we start, here’re things to take note of:

                • The shortcuts that I will be discussing here corresponds to the keyboard of US layout .
                • Sometimes you may find a couple of difficulties using console substitute routes in Mac as the OS and a couple of uses may struggle with each other. If you come across such problems, then please refer to Mac help for your version of the operating system or you may also refer to a utility application.

                Okay, let’s get to it!

                1. Command+Shift + Three(3)

                For full screen capture, press Command+ shift + 3.

                2. Command +Shift + Four(4)

                You may similarly need to take a screen catch of a selected window from the entire screen.

                Hit the Command +shift + four and as the desired window gets emphasized tap the mouse or trackpad.

                3. Command + Option + D

                This shortcut helps you to hide or show the dock. It is particularly important in Macbooks where the screens are smaller and you need more real estate.

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                4. Command + Q

                If you want to stop an application at a point, you just need to click Command + Q and you are done.

                5. Command + T

                With the dispatch of Mac OS Sierra, windows now can carry a tab. However, all the applications in Mac Sierra may not bolster multi-tab control. For the ones which do, you can press Command + T, to open another tab.

                6. Command + R

                I write a lot of mails and a lot of people write to me as well. Hence when I want to reply to someone instead of hunting for the reply button, I simply click Command + R and a new reply box opens up.

                It is important to note that this function is useful only when you are in your mailbox.

                7. Command + Spacebar

                This is an amazing feature Apple has added to the Mac. If you are searching for something on your operating system or on the web then you can call for a spotlight, you can do this merely by holding Command + Spacebar.

                8. Command + shift + ?

                If you want to learn how a custom application works or are stuck up with troubleshooting of Mac, a quick shortcut from the keyboard for “Help”, then just hit Command + Shift + ?.

                9. Command + OPTION + ESC.

                Sometimes when working with an app, it might so happen that the system hangs and stops working. The mouse or touchpad is of no use and at that point just by pressing Command + option + esc together you can quit the application.

                10. Command + X / C / V / Z

                Although most readers would know this, these are important functions and worth mentioning. These four shortcuts – Cut, Copy, Paste and Undo can be summoned using Command + X/C/V/Z respectively.

                11. Command + F

                If you are perusing a long article and looking for a specific word or expression, you can take the assistance of Find Order by holding Command + F.

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                A finder pops up and you can easily enter your search term and it will navigate to all the places in the document where the word/term is mentioned.

                12. Control + Media Eject.

                A single command to help with restart, shutdown and sleep for your Mac – Control + Eject.

                When you press the command, a dialogue box will be opened, asking you what would you like your system to do further – sleep, shutdown or restart.

                13. Command + A

                If you’d like to select all the content of the document at one go, then this command comes in handy. Just press Command + A and the entire document will be selected.

                14. Command + Navigation keys

                If you are going through a long record and need to go to a dedicated page without troubling your mouse, you can do so by holding the Command + up or down key.

                15. Command + Option + H

                If you are not using a window and want to keep your desktop free of clutter, then the shortcut key you can use is Command + Option + H.

                It hides all windows barring the front app giving you a clean looking screen.

                16. Command + M

                The window you are working on is not of use now and you’d like to minimize it? Just press Command + M and your current active window will be minimized.

                17. Command + W

                In the event that you need to close a functioning window the order that you can utilize is Command + W.

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                18. Control + P

                If you have to print a record, the key combinations that you can use is Control + P. If you have a printer connected, a pop up box will open and will ask for further necessary actions to print the document.

                19. Command + Move + F5.

                In the event that you need to alter an archive, just hold Command + Move + F5.

                20. Command + N

                If you are working with a document or a browser tab, hitting Command + N will open up a new window. Remember a new window for the current active application opens up.

                For example, if you are surfing on your browser, activating the command will open up a new browser window. If you’re on a document, a new document window will pop up.

                21. Command + Control + N

                This is one of my favorite shortcuts that not too many people know about or use. However it is super useful.

                If you have too many files on your desktop and would like to move them to a new folder, this command is what helps you out.

                Simply select all the files that you would like to be moved and press Command + Control + N. In a second, all the selected files will move to a new folder.

                22. Command + Shift + V

                You’ve found something on the internet and you would like to paste it on your document. Most of the times, it ends up in a weird format. To solve this issue just use Command + Shift + V and the text will be pasted without any formatting, making it easy to format the way you want it.

                23. Command + B/I/U

                The old classic. If you want to make your selection, Bold, Italics or Underline them, simply use the command button and press B/I/U respectively.

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                24. Command + Tab

                Working with too many windows? It gets difficult to navigate seamlessly between applications when a lot of them are open. Use this command to easily navigate between windows.

                25. Option + Shift + Volume(+/-)

                When I work on my Mac system, I usually use the volume keys frequently. However, I noticed that just pressing the volume key would increase/decrease the volume speedily. So I hunted down this shortcut.

                Using this you can adjust the volume by +/- 1 point for the perfect decibel sound you require.

                Summing It Up

                Depending on the usage of your Mac and the kind of work you do with it, you will find a selection of these shortcuts, extremely helpful.

                You might already be using some if these shortcuts but adding a few of them to your arsenal will save you on those precious seconds that don’t hamper your flow.

                If you are a new Apple user, it might be a bit challenging to get accustomed to these quickly. However, once you’ve got used to it, you’ll be a lot more productive.

                Featured photo credit: Alex Bachor via unsplash.com

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