Advertising

3 New Tools That Will Make You A Productivity Ninja & Finally Help You Get Your Life Organized In 2014

3 New Tools That Will Make You A Productivity Ninja & Finally Help You Get Your Life Organized In 2014
Advertising

It seems there’s a never-ending list of productivity tools available on the Internet. Heck, we’ve got an entire section on Lifehack dedicated to them. That said, every once in a while, there are a few apps that rise above the rest.

Here are 3 apps that will help be more productive and finally help you get your life organized whether you’re blogging, working or just trying to get more stuff done.

Get ready—we’ve got a to-do list, a calendar app and a new dashboard for your chrome browser.

1. Any.Do

There’s a billion to-do apps. Out of all the ones I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a lot), Any.do is the simplest to-do list out there—by far.

Simply tap, enter your time and you’re done. Want to get rid of it? Simply strike it through to cross it off & then shake to clear it from the screen.

Advertising

None of the features are unique (how unique can a to-do app really be?), but where Any.do really shines is the interface. It’s clean, simple and well designed. It doesn’t try to be something it’s not—it’s just a to-do app that lets you see what you have on your plate & makes you want to get stuff done.

Get Any.Do For iOS Here – Free

Get Any.Do For Android Here – Free

anydo

    2. Cal

    Cal is the cleanest calendar app out there for iOS.

    Advertising

    Besides typical scheduling, it also shows you free time in between appointments—a personal favorite feature. It’s brought to you by the same people who run Any.do, so it actually integrates with your to-do list. It’s pretty cool to see your to-do list pop up in your calendar as a reminder to get stuff done instead of just swiping through apps on your phone.

    The interface of Cal is minimalistic & sleek (the Apple team liked the interface so much they took a lot of the features in the default iOS 7 calendar interface from Cal) and syncs seamlessly with your iCal calendar if you use it on OSX. It’s simultaneously pretty to look at & easy to see all your days’ activities at a glance.

    You can take notes, set alarms, add people from your address book, and set locations for meetings that automatically pull up your maps application.

    Fun feature: If you have a meeting & set it as a certain location, you can call an Uber directly through the app & have them pick you up.

    If you want a super-clean way to manage your calendar & get organized, check out Cal.

    Advertising

    Get Cal For iOS Here – Free

    Get Cal For Android Here – Free

    Cal

      3. Momentum

      This is a chrome extension that changes the default home screen for your chrome browser to a beautiful dashboard. Instead of looking at nothing—or the last sites you visited—you have sort of a home base headquarters with the following features:

      • Beautiful inspiring background photo
      • The current weather outside in your location
      • Main Focus For The Day
      • Inspirational Quote of the Day
      • Mini to-do list. You can use this instead of or in addition to your Any.do list. (I use this as my “urgent” task list for things I have to focus on while online).

      Since installing Momentum, I’ve found I spend less time bouncing around to different sites—and more time focused on getting stuff done.

      Advertising

      Get Momentum For Free Here

      Momentum

        So there you have it—three stellar productivity apps that can help you finally get your life organized in 2014.

        What Are Your Favorite Productivity Tools For Organizing Your Tasks?

         

        Advertising

        Featured photo credit: Visual Panic via flickr.com

        More by this author

        Hip Distraction Stretch 3 Exercises You Need To Do To Counteract Sitting All Day iPhone with Apps 5 Fitness Apps You Should Be Using Foam Rolling Your Hips 5 Amazing Benefits Of Foam Rolling 9 Charities Worth Donating To 40 Creative and Healthy Recipes Kids Will Love

        Trending in Productivity

        1 7 Effective Ways To Motivate Employees in 2021 2 How a Project Management Mindset Boosts Your Productivity 3 5 Values of an Effective Leader 4 How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them 5 The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on July 21, 2021

        The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

        The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
        Advertising

        No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

        Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

        Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

        A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

        Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

        In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

        Advertising

        From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

        A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

        For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

        This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

        The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

        That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

        Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

        Advertising

        The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

        Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

        But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

        The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

        The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

        A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

        For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

        Advertising

        But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

        If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

        For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

        These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

        For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

        How to Make a Reminder Works for You

        Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

        Advertising

        Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

        Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

        My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

        Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

        I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

        More on Building Habits

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

        Advertising

        Reference

        [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

        Read Next