Advertising
Advertising

This List of 15 Free Productivity Apps Will Give You Your Time Back

This List of 15 Free Productivity Apps Will Give You Your Time Back

As I’m sure any of us can attest, there are many distractions that take away from our productivity and occupy time that would be better spent elsewhere. There are plenty of ways to help you save time and increase efficiency. These 15 free apps will make day-to-day tasks a breeze and give you back your focus for where it really belongs.

Self Control

This app for Mac gives you laser focus by taking away that which distracts you the very most on your computer. Rather than blocking out absolutely everything, Self Control lets you specify a blacklist of websites. Just set your list and a period of time, and crank through your to-do list. But be warned: once you’ve specified an amount of time, you will not have access to your blacklisted sites until time is up.

SelfControlApp-Lifehack

    Remember the Milk

    Available for Android and iOS, Remember the Milk is an easy way to stay on top of your tasks without employing a single post-it or back-of-your-hand-note ever again. The app syncs seamlessly with apps like Evernote and even commands you give to Siri so nothing falls through the cracks. New releases are rare with this app – but the feature set is already so great, this is hardly a big complaint.

    RemembertheMilk-Lifehack

      Dashlane

      Available for Android, iOS and desktop, this password manager gives you an easy-to-use password management app. Securely store your data and use the free form filler to quickly log into different accounts and rapidly fill out forms.  The app also tracks your online shopping, and has emergency password retrieval. There are a few login pages that Dashlane doesn’t cover, but the peace of mind more than makes up for it.

      Advertising

      Dashlane-Lifehack

        Day One

        Currently only available on iPhone, iPad & Mac, Day One gives you a place to journal. Automatically include details like the date/time, weather, photos, music you’re playing, location and more to remember for years to come. Only con: for the more sentimental people out there, you won’t have a journal you can hold in your hand later on down the line.

        DayOne-Lifehack

          Pocket

          Keep track of relevant and interesting webpages – everything from articles and recipes to videos – and take a look later when you have the time to really digest it. Pocket will highlight the best information for you to focus on. Just make sure you go in and sort through what you’ve saved regularly or you might accumulate a backup and end up reading for hours, with no actual productivity saved. Available on Android & iOS.

          Pocket-Lifehack

            Sunrise

            Available on both Android & iOS, Sunrise is a calendar app with a clean and beautiful interface. Keep track of everything you’ve got going on with reminders, sync with iCloud and Google Calendar, weather updates and more. If you’re frequently on the road like me, don’t worry – you’ve got automatic time zone adjustment. It’s set to only show you three days at a time, which could be a pro or a con depending on how you look at it.

            Sunrise-Lifehack

              Slack

              This app is available on Android, iOS and your desktop and gives you a platform for team communication. My own team and I have found it minimizes email deluge and provides a great place to collaborate. Create different channels for sub-teams within your larger team and archive conversations when they’re no longer relevant. Slack also has a powerful search function that helps you locate conversations from weeks before.

              Advertising

              Slack-Lifehack

                Shyp

                Never experience another interminable wait in line at the post office. Shyp’s tagline – “the easiest way to ship anything” – is no joke. The app’s got a simple and clean UI and all you have to do is fill out your recipient’s info, snap a picture of the item you’re sending and request a ‘hero’ to fulfill your request. So far, our team in San Francisco hasn’t waited more than 10 minutes for a pickup. The only drawback is a lack of transparency on what the exact shipping costs will be, but you can’t deny the simplicity of the entire process – as well as the fact that it’s only available in San Francisco for now. Available on iOS & Android.

                Shyp-Lifehack

                  Evernote

                  Long hailed as one of the best apps for productivity, Evernote lives up to every bit of the hype. A beautiful app that lets you, literally, remember everything. Document your brainstorm, collect webpages, pictures and more in one place, and collaborate on all of this with those that need to be in the loop. Some of the other great features come at a cost, but definitely worth considering the investment! Available on both Android and iOS.

                  Evernote-Lifehack

                    Venmo

                    No more difficulty sharing the bill – Venmo lets you quickly and securely send or receive payments. From rent to splitting dinner, making a payment is done in a matter of taps and less than 30 seconds. You can set these payments to private or share them more widely with those in your network. Be aware: using a credit card in the app comes with transaction fees, while a debit card is free. Available on both Android and iOS.

                    Advertising

                    Venmo-Lifehack

                      Contacts+ 

                      A simple and well-designed UI to keep all of your contacts in one place. Contacts+ pulls in information from other services you use, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, among others. Merge your contacts to save time, and use the smart search to quickly find exactly who you’re looking for. Available on both Android and iOS.

                      Contacts

                        Google Drive

                        This one’s an obvious choice – but one that my team uses every single day to collaborate on docs and stay on the same page (no pun intended, I promise). I’m a particular fan of the feature that lets you “suggest” edits to the doc, rather than just leave comments or completely edit without the owner’s approval. Available for Android and iOS.

                        GoogleDrive-Lifehack

                          RescueTime

                          RescueTime gives you weekly reports of how you’re spending your time online – which sites you’re on and how long you’re spending on them. This helps you understand your daily behaviors and which behaviors are the ones making you the most productive. You can set goals for yourself and see how you’re measuring up over time. The only drawback is that for the app to be truly accurate, you have to properly and sometimes painstakingly categorize your behaviors. This takes a while, but you’ll get this time back in no time. Available on Android.

                          RescueTime-Lifehack

                            Lift

                            This community-driven app gives you a way to set goals for yourself and keep track of them. Watch your progress, and turn to the community – which includes expert guidance – when you need support. There are options for peer coaching, bringing your friends on board and helping others with their own goals. One con is that the app crashes fairly regularly. Available on both Android and iOS.

                            Advertising

                            Lift-Lifehack

                              Concur

                              Never confront masses of mangled and torn receipts ever again! As someone who finds himself on the road regularly for work, managing and submitting expense reports on a timely basis can be difficult. With Concur, all you have to do is snap a picture of the receipt (and then throw it away – you don’t need it anymore!), fill out necessary details and instantly add it to your existing report. Managers can quickly approve or deny reports as well. The UI leaves a bit to be desired, but that’s a purely cosmetic complaint. Available on both Android and iOS.

                              Concur-Lifehack

                                Save even more time by swapping out your default keyboard for a third party keyboard (whether you’re on Android or iOS!) that you can use in all of your apps for fast, easy typing.  What are your tech tips for staying productive? Share them in the comments!

                                Featured photo credit: Top Free Productivity Apps via picjumbo.com

                                More by this author

                                15 Amazingly Useful Google Services You Should Know About Top 12 Online Resources for Total Coding Beginners This List of 15 Free Productivity Apps Will Give You Your Time Back

                                Trending in Productivity

                                1 How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life 2 How to Develop Mental Toughness to Help You Stay Strong 3 How to Calm Down When You’re Stressed and Anxious 4 How to Reinvent Yourself And Redefine Your Future 5 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                                Read Next

                                Advertising
                                Advertising
                                Advertising

                                Published on April 16, 2019

                                How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

                                How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

                                When was the last time you did something for yourself?

                                Whether it was deciding to treat yourself with a little something or travel for some R&R, how often do you practice self-care?

                                Well, as good as above sounds, there’s a common misconception that many of us have about self-care: that it’s only about indulgence and enjoyment.

                                However, self-care goes far beyond indulgence. It’s actually about respecting your mind and body, understanding its limits, and being able to take care of every part of yourself, in a holistic way.

                                And, you really don’t have to go to extreme measures or do anything specific–like meditating or following a plant based diet–in order to practice self-care. You just have to make sure that what you’re doing is in your best interests.

                                So how can you make that happen?

                                Below are a few proven methods that will help you become a better version of you. Follow through with these regularly and you’ll be well on your way to living your very best life.

                                Listen to Yourself

                                The bulk of self-care is knowing yourself.

                                This means knowing your body’s limitations, and being in tune with your feelings, emotions and thoughts. So it’s important, then, to know who you are and what you want to do in life, in order to truly say that you know yourself. 

                                Advertising

                                What is your purpose?

                                Have you ever thought about this question?

                                Your purpose doesn’t have to remain the same throughout your life. What you found a purpose in at age 19 would likely be different at age 49.

                                In your current situation, think about the different roles that you have – as a working professional, a spouse, a partner, a parent, etc.

                                Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose through any of these roles?

                                All you have to do is ensure that what you’re chasing is meaningful to you; this will bring focus and motivation as you strive to achieve your goals.

                                If you have your purpose defined, then that’s awesome! You know what drives you and why.

                                But, if you don’t feel like you have a purpose nailed down, it’s good to start by asking why.

                                For example, why are you working in your particular job or industry? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. In which case, you may find yourself not having a direction for where you’re headed in life.

                                Advertising

                                If you’d like to learn more about finding your purpose, then I recommend you check out this article:

                                How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

                                Seek Out Continuous Education

                                Now, this may seem less common when you think of self-care, but lifelong learning is incredibly useful and an important component of taking care of yourself.

                                It’s Super Practical

                                Lifelong learning is extremely practical these days and does not require as much effort as it may have in the past. Long gone are the days when you could only find information on something by visiting a library. In this day of the internet, anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.

                                You don’t need to physically go to a learning institution to learn. You can watch Youtube videos to learn new skills, take online courses to earn a degree, and scroll through an endless amount of articles, books and journals from reputable news and informative sites.

                                When you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and take up new things, your mental health also improves. Research shows that an active and engaged mind is responsible for diminishing age-related memory loss and improves overall cognitive abilities.

                                Your Confidence Will Skyrocket

                                You’ll also have improved self worth as it teaches you to step outside of your comfort zone, which will undoubtedly improve your confidence.

                                You’ll also connect better with others by expanding your knowledge base. Learning exposes you to a multitude of new ideas and perspectives that you may have otherwise never considered. This also increases your adaptability. Whether it’s at work or just wanting to adapt to society, your peers, and loved ones, life long learning prepares you to take on new challenges.

                                You’ll Be More Desired in the Job Market

                                Another obvious reason for continuous education, is that your employability will also increase.

                                With the ever changing economy, and huge influences from technology, social media, science etc., job descriptions today are moving targets. Assignments and roles change so quickly in response to changing business demands, it becomes a Herculean task to keep a job description database current.

                                Advertising

                                In years past, stability was a characteristic of the world of work. Procedures, information, jobs, and organizations were established and provided continuity. Education was completed in the first 14 to 22 years of one’s life, followed by a long career occasionally punctuated by short-term job training.

                                Today, however, jobs, companies, and technology are disappearing and being created simultaneously. To remain current and maintain a competitive advantage in the human capital marketplace, an individual is challenged to continually learn.

                                People return to school at every age to enrich their skills and knowledge for their current positions. Some even prepare themselves for new jobs or career changes, moving them forward into new opportunities and technology.

                                We can be assured that we will be challenged to continue to learn new tasks and information throughout our lives. Successful careers belong to flexible, curious learners who are prepared for opportunities because they know themselves and where they make their best contribution. As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management stated,

                                “Knowledge is choice.”

                                Lifelong learning also increases social awareness and perspective. To genuinely understand and empathize with others, increase social awareness, and foster strong interpersonal relationships, it’s important to seek out new perspectives. Enhancing the skills that positively impact emotional intelligence can bring even greater happiness and success, both personally and at work; and, this is all part of self-care.

                                Improve Your Habits (Both at Work and at Home)

                                Now, the last piece of advice I want to introduce to your self-care regimen, is to improve your habits.

                                Habits define who you are, and are built up over time. You are what you eat is a great example of this. If you make it a habit to eat foods that nourish your body, rather than make your body feel bad, then you will be much healthier overall.

                                Good Habits Allow You to Reach Your Goals

                                Since habits dictate your days and nights, such as waking up every morning to get to work before a certain time, or brushing your teeth before bedtime every night, they play a major role in whether we do or do not reach our goals.

                                Advertising

                                When you form habits that allow you to progress towards your goals, you’re automatically living a purposeful day, everyday.

                                Habits Make Your Time a Priority

                                How do you spend your free time? Do you opt to lounge on the couch watching Netflix passively, or do you engage in activities that support your purpose in life?

                                It’s natural to waste a lot of time during the day, but fostering good habits will make you set a pattern for how you spend your time and give you the choice of what you choose to spend your time on. By improving your habits, you’ll find that you can be a LOT more productive. When you create good habits, you become more efficient with your time and a lot less is wasted.

                                This in essence creates an overall positive influence on your life, allowing you to treat your mind and body well, which is why improving your habits are so important to self-care.

                                Your Well Being Comes First

                                We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times.

                                If you’ve ever watched the safety video onboard a plane, you’ll know that they always ask for a parent or adult to put on the safety mask first, before tending to the child. This may sound selfish, but the fact is that if you truly want to ensure the child’s safety, then your safety needs to come first so that you can protect and care for the child without complications from your end.

                                The same goes for self-care. We need to ensure that our well being is priority, so that we can be the best for the people around us.

                                Listening to yourself, practicing lifelong learning and improving your habits are steps that you can take to ensure you’re constantly in the best state of mind, alongside the indulgence and rest that you reward yourself with.

                                Featured photo credit: Photo by Raychan on Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                Read Next