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Determine Whether an App is Worth Your Money in 1 Minute or Less

Determine Whether an App is Worth Your Money in 1 Minute or Less

With more than 1 million apps available in the App Store, it can be difficult to decide what’s worth your money and what you can live without. Although $1.99 might not feel like a risky investment, those periodic impulse downloads can add up. Just consider the fact that 80 to 90 percent of all apps are eventually deleted.

Luckily, there are a few universal indicators of a great app versus a glitchy mess.

Quick: Your phone is dying, and you have about a minute to decide whether or not to download the app before you leave that Wi-Fi hotspot. A quick evaluation of any one of these factors can give you better insight into the true value of the app, but all of them together paint a clearer picture that ensures you’re getting your money’s worth.

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1. Cost

If an app costs money, look for a free version first. Lots of apps offer a “lite” version that allows you to try out key features to determine whether an app fits your lifestyle.

The only time you should pay for an app is when you absolutely need the features the paid version offers and you’re familiar with the company making it.

2. Reviews

Don’t just look at the average star rating. Take in the whole package. The more reviews an app has, the more likely the aggregate rating is accurate. Read a few of the actual comments in the reviews. Are the most critical reviews about quality, reliability, or something else? An app could have a negative rating just because of an iOS or Android issue that’s already been resolved in a recent update.

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3. History

If you haven’t heard of a company, check out its website. As software companies gain experience and grow, they accumulate large catalogs of apps and games. How has their other software held up? Do they make regular updates to their apps? If a company has a track record of building good apps, it’s a strong bet that its next app will retain that level of quality.

4. Utility

Apps can drain your battery, even when your smartphone or tablet is asleep. When you fill your device with apps you never use, you have less space for pictures, videos, and music. It also slows your phone down considerably.

Before you buy an app, make sure it’s one you will use regularly. I use a little app called Genius Scan. It’s a very simple program that saves scans of documents as PDFs, which is very handy on the go. I started using the free version and then upgraded to the paid version, which allowed me to upload PDFs to the cloud. It’s incredibly simple, but the $3.99 I paid saved me the cost of buying a scanner.

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5. Privacy

Many apps ask you to log in with your Facebook or Twitter account. Use caution when doing this. It’s not worth exposing your personal information to a company simply to unlock another level in a game. Many games and apps ask for more access than they need and, once they have your information, it’s theirs forever.

If you’re uncomfortable with the access an app you’re downloading is asking for, don’t allow it. If it’s a necessary permission, you can always enable it later. Treat your personal information (including social media accounts) just like your Social Security number. Keep it safe.

With so many apps to choose from, it’s tempting to download a bunch on impulse just because they seem cool. But just because your friends are buzzing about an app doesn’t mean you need it on your phone. Listen to their recommendations, but also factor in user reviews and your own research. In the end, it’s not really about the $1.99 you pay–it’s about the valuable home screen real estate you’re giving up and the privacy you could be sacrificing.

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Featured photo credit: Photo of an iPhone 5C/ Dedi Grigoroiu via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on December 30, 2018

18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. It’s undoubtedly allowed us to connect, perform, improve and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

If you’re not taking advantage of one of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use? Well, this will depend on your needs, but we’ve put together a list of 18 of the very best time management apps that can help you with the most common time management challenges.

Let’s dive straight into the list…

1. Rescue Time — Use your time wisely

    If you have doubts that you’re using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. You may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

    Download Rescue Time

    2. Remember The Milk — Keep on top of all your tasks

      If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool which is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc. It helps you to manage your tasks easily, and reminds you of them – wherever you are.

      Download Remember the Milk

      3. Focus Booster – Boost motivation to complete tasks

        This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It’s designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures.

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        Download Focus Booster

        4. Toggl – Keep track of time spent on projects and tasks

          This is a great alternative to time-sheets, if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects. Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks, and then through analysis, working out how you can manage them more effectively.

          Download Toggl

          5. Dropbox — Store and send large files easily

            There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices – but Dropbox is free and easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go.

            Download Dropbox

            6. Evernote — Keep all your notes in one place

              Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes or images).  You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to really optimize your time.

              Download Evernote

              7. Mind42 — Focus on tasks at hand with mind mapping

                Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mind42 is the best free mind mapping app currently available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

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                Download Mind42

                8. SyncBackFree — Back up and sync your files effortlessly

                  This free software allows you to back up, restore and synchronize your files easily. It not only saves you time now – but also in the future. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this pivotal tool.

                  Download SnycBackFree

                  9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) — Manage your to-do lists effectively

                    Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, to work with your to-do lists, and to organize your goals. This task management system helps you to target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives. It automatically generates to-do lists, with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                    Download MyLifeOrganized (MLO)

                    10. 1Password — Have all your passwords remembered

                      This app allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database, protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. It also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                      Download 1Password

                      11. Pocket — Keep your eye on the ball

                        When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. Use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time which will not impact on your immediate work.

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                        Download Pocket

                        12. [email protected] — Boost your attention span

                          This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400%! Ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working or reading.

                          Download [email protected]

                          13. Launchy — Interact with your computer in a smart way

                            This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want.

                            Download Launchy

                            14. Forest — Boost your focus by growing a forest

                              This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track. The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                              Download Forest

                              15. Trello — Track your projects in a highly visual way

                                This is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board (which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed) as your start, work on and complete the associated task.

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                                Download Trello

                                16. Wunderlist — Digitalize your to-do lists

                                  Purchased by Microsoft in 2015, Wunderlist is an easy to use, feature-packed to-do list app. From planning a holiday, to sharing a shopping list with a partner, or managing multiple work projects, Wunderlist will keep you on top of all your tasks.

                                  Download Wunderlist

                                  17. TimeTree — Have a shared calendar with your family

                                    This app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments. So, whether you’re planning a party, or run a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                    Download Time Tree

                                    18. Todoist — Capture and order all your tasks and activities easily

                                      Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list. It’s available via browsers and apps, and lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as given a due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                      Download Todoist

                                      The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools. And the good news is – that many of them are completely free of charge! So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you – and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                      Oh, and one more thing… Take a look at a couple of our other articles that will help further streamline your time management:

                                      40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone and 20 Quick Tips For Better Time Management

                                      More Recommended Productivity Experts on Lifehack

                                      • Leon Ho — The Founder and CEO of Lifehack, which he share productivity hacks to make life easier
                                      • Carl Pullein — A renowned productivity and time management coach
                                      • Mark Pettit — A Business Coach for ambitious entrepreneurs who want to achieve more by working less

                                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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