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Last Updated on August 1, 2018

18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2018 Updated)

18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2018 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.

However, despite the wide variety of different tools and devices to make life easier and more comfortable – how many tools and apps are you currently using to optimize your time?

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…

Are you using your time wisely?

1. Rescue Time

    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

    Keep on top of all your tasks (wherever they may be)

    2. Remember The Milk

      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

      Need extra motivation to complete tasks?

      3. Focus Booster

        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

        Keep track of the amount of time spent on projects

        4. Toggl

          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

          Struggling to send large files?

          5. Dropbox

            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

            One online home for all your notes

            6. Evernote

              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

              Use mind mapping to focus on the tasks at hand

              7. Mind42

                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

                Back up and sync your files effortlessly

                8. SyncBackFree

                  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

                  Manage your to-do lists effectively

                  9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO)

                    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)

                    Are you wasting time trying to remember your passwords?

                    10. 1Password

                      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

                      Keep your eye on the ball

                      11. Pocket

                        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

                        Does your attention span need a boost?

                        12. Focus@Will

                          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 Focus@Will

                          Interact in a smarter way with your computer

                          13. Launchy

                            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

                            Boost your focus by growing a forest!

                            14. 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

                              Searching for a highly-visual way of tracking your tasks?

                              15. Trello

                                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

                                Digital to-do lists offer much more than their paper equivalents

                                16. Wunderlist

                                  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

                                  Wouldn’t it be great if your family had a shared calendar?

                                  17. TimeTree

                                    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

                                    Easily capture and order all your tasks and activities

                                    18. Todoist

                                      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

                                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                      More by this author

                                      Kirstin O´Donovan

                                      Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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                                      Last Updated on August 6, 2018

                                      20 Google Search Tips to Use Google More Efficiently

                                      20 Google Search Tips to Use Google More Efficiently

                                      Millions of people use Google search every day for a variety of reasons. Students use it for school, business people use it for research, and millions more use it for entertainment. But most people may not be using Google search to its full potential.

                                      Want to use Google search more efficiently and get the search results you want quickly? Here are 20 Google search tips and tricks to maximize your search efficiency:

                                      1. Use the tabs

                                      The first tip is to use the tabs in Google search. On the top of every search are a number of tabs. Usually you’ll see Web, Image, News, and More. Using these tabs, you can help define what kind of search you need to do. If you need images, use the Image tab. If you are looking for a recent news article, use the News tab. It’s rudimentary and most people use the tabs already. If you are not, then it’s highly recommended to get associated with them. They can cut search times dramatically if utilized properly.

                                      2. Use quotes

                                      When searching for something specific, try using quotes to minimize the guesswork for Google search. When you put your search parameters in quotes, it tells the search engine to search for the whole phrase. For instance, if you search for Puppy Dog Sweaters, the engine will search for content that contains those three words in any order. However, if you search “Puppy Dog Sweaters”, it will search for that phrase exactly as you typed it. This can help locate specific information that may be buried under other content if not sorted out correctly.

                                      3. Use a hyphen to exclude words

                                      Sometimes you may find yourself searching for a word with an ambiguous meaning. An example is Mustang. When you Google search for Mustang, you may get results for both the car made by Ford or the horse. If you want to cut one out, use the hyphen to tell the engine to ignore content with one of the other. See the example below.

                                      • Mustang -cars

                                      This tells the search engine to search for mustangs but to remove any results that have the word “car” in it. It can be wildly helpful when finding information about something without getting information about something else.

                                      4. Use a colon to search specific sites

                                      There may be an instance where you need to Google search for articles or content on a certain website. The syntax is very simple and we’ll show you below.

                                      • Sidney Crosby site:nhl.com

                                      This will search for all content about famous hockey player Sidney Crosby, but only on NHL.com. All other search results will be removed. If you need to find specific content on a particular site, this is the shortcut you can use.

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                                      5. Find a page that links to another page

                                      This Google search tip is a little obscure. Instead of searching for a specific page, you’re searching for a page that links to a specific page. Think about it this way. If you want to see who cited a New York Times article on their site, you would use this trick to find all the sites that link to it. The syntax is below.

                                      • link:nytimes.com

                                      That will return all pages that link to the New York Times official website. The URL on the right side can be practically anything. Be aware, though, that the more specific it is, the fewer results you’ll get. We know not a lot of people will likely use this Google search trick, but it could be very useful for some.

                                      6. Use the asterisk wildcard

                                      The asterisk wildcard is one of the most useful ones on the list. Here’s how it works. When you use an asterisk in a search term on Google search, it will leave a placeholder that may be automatically filled by the search engine later. This is a brilliant way to find song lyrics if you don’t know all the words. Let’s look at the syntax.

                                      • “Come * right now * me”

                                      To you or me, that may look like nonsense. However, Google search will search for that phrase knowing that the asterisks can be any word. More often than not, you’ll find they are lyrics to The Beatles song “Come Together” and that’s what the search will tell you.

                                      7. Find sites that are similar to other sites

                                      This is a unique one that could be used by practically everyone if they knew it existed. Let’s say you have a favorite website. It can be anything. However, that website is getting a little bit boring and you want to find other websites like it. You would use this trick. Below is the syntax.

                                      • related:amazon.com

                                      If you search that above, you won’t find a link to Amazon. Instead, you’ll find links to online stores like Amazon. Sites like Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, and others that sell physical items online. It’s a powerful Google search tool that can help you find new sites to browse.

                                      8. Use Google search to do math

                                      As a college student, I can attest that I use this one rather frequently. Google search can actually do math for you. This is a rather complex one to describe because it can be used in so many ways. You can ask it basic questions or some more difficult ones. It is important to note that it won’t solve all math problems, but it will solve a good number of them. Here are a couple of examples of the syntax.

                                      • 8 * 5 + 5
                                      • Planck’s Consant

                                      If you search the first one, it’ll return 45. It will also show a calculator that you can use to find answers to more questions. This is handy if you need to do some quick math but don’t want to do it in your head. If you search the second term, it will return the number value of Planck’s Constant. So it can do math, but it can also help you solve math problems by showing values for known mathematical terms.

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                                      9. Search for multiple words at once

                                      Google search is flexible. It knows you may not find what you want by searching only a single word or phrase. Thus, it lets you search for multiples. By using this trick, you can search for one word or phrase along with a second word or phrase. This can help narrow down your search to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Here is the syntax.

                                      • “Best ways to prepare for a job interview” OR “How to prepare for a job interview”

                                      By searching that, you will search both phrases. Remember the quotes tip above? It’s being used here as well. In this instance, these two exact phrases will be searched. It can be done by word too, like the example below.

                                      • chocolate OR white chocolate

                                      This will search for pages that have either chocolate or white chocolate!

                                      10. Search a range of numbers

                                      Searching for a range of numbers is another tip we don’t anticipate a lot of people using. The people that do use it, though, will probably use it quite a bit. People interested in money or statistics will find this tip particularly useful. Essentially, you use two dots and a number to let Google search know you’re looking for a specific range of numbers. Like the syntax below.

                                      • What teams have won the Stanley Cup ..2004
                                      • 41..43

                                      In the first instance, the search will toss back the team that won the Stanley Cup in 2004. The two dots with only one number will tell the search that you don’t need anything before or after 2004. This can help narrow down searches to a specific number to improve search results. In the second, Google will search for the numbers 41, 42, and 43. It is obscure, but wildly useful if you happen to need to search for numbers like this.

                                      11. Keep it simple

                                      Now we’re getting into the general tips. Google search knows how to search for a lot of things. What this means is you don’t need to be too specific. If you need a pizza place nearby, use this to search.

                                      • Pizza places nearby

                                      Google search will grab your location and deliver a variety of results about pizza places that are near you.

                                      12. Gradually add search terms

                                      There will come a time when Google search doesn’t shovel out the results you expect. In this instance, keeping it simple may not be the best option. As Google itself suggests, the best method is to start with something simple then gradually get more complicated. See the example below.

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                                      • First try: job interviews
                                      • Second try: prepare for job interviews
                                      • Third try: how to prepare for a job interview

                                      This will gradually refine the search to bring you fewer, more targeted terms. The reason you don’t go straight from the first try to the third try is because you may miss what you’re looking for by skipping the second step. Millions of websites phrase the same information in a number of different ways; using this technique lets you search as many of them as possible to find the best info.

                                      13. Use words that websites would use

                                      This is a very important one. When people use Google search to hunt the web, they generally search for things using the same language that they would use for speaking. Unfortunately, websites don’t say things the way people do; instead, they try to use language that sounds professional. Let’s look at some examples.

                                      • “I have a flat tire” could be replaced by “repair a flat tire.”
                                      • “My head hurts” could be replaced by “headache relief.”

                                      The list goes on and on. When searching, try to use terminology you would find on a professional website. This will help you get more reliable results.

                                      14. Use important words only

                                      The way Google search works is to take what you search for and match it with keywords in online content. When you search for too many words, it may limit your results. That means it may actually take you longer to find what you’re looking for. Thus, it is apropos to use only the important words when searching for something. Let’s see an example.

                                      • Don’t use: Where can I find a Chinese restaurant that delivers.
                                      • Instead try: Chinese restaurants nearby.
                                      • Or: Chinese restaurants near me.

                                      Doing this can help Google find what you need without all the clutter. So remember, keep it simple and use important words only.

                                      15. Google search has shortcuts

                                      A number of commands can be entered to give you instantaneous results. Like the math example above, Google can immediately give you the information you need that is displayed right at the top of the search results. This can save time and effort so you don’t have to click a bunch of bothersome links. Here are a few examples of some commands you can enter into Google.

                                      • Weather *zip code* – This will show you the weather in the given zip code. You can also use town and city names instead of area codes, but it may not be as accurate if there are multiple area codes in the city.
                                      • What is *celebrity name* Bacon Number – This is a fun little one that will tell you how many connections any given celebrity has to famed actor Kevin Bacon. The popular joke, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, is that no actor is more than 6 connections away from Kevin Bacon. Mark Zuckerberg has a Bacon Number of 3.
                                      • The math example posted above is another one.
                                      • What is the definition of *word* or Define: *word* – This will display the definition of a word.
                                      • Time *place* – This will display the time in whatever place you type in.
                                      • You can check any stock by typing its ticker name into Google. If you search for GOOG, it will check the stock prices for Google.

                                      These quick commands can take a web search that is usually multiple clicks and condense it into a single search. This is very helpful for information you need repeatedly.

                                      16. Spelling doesn’t necessarily matter

                                      Google search has gotten a lot smarter over the years. These days, you don’t even need to spell words correctly. As long as it’s pretty close, Google can usually figure out what it means. Here are some examples.

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                                      • If you search “Nver Gna Gve Yo Up” Google will automatically assume you mean to search for “Never Gonna Give You Up.” If by chance your misspelling was intentional, Google gives you the option to search for the misspelled term instead.

                                      This trick is great if you happen to forget how to spell something or are not altogether sure how something is spelled. It can also be helpful when searching for obscure words. This applies to capitalization and grammar as well.

                                      17. Use descriptive words

                                      Pretty much everything can be described in multiple ways. Take our namesake, the “life hack.” The terminology “hack” refers to a computer programmer breaking security on a network or system. However, when used in conjunction with the word “life”, it alters the meaning to tips and tricks people can use to improve their lives. If you have trouble finding what you’re searching for, keep in mind that people may search or define what you need in a different way than you do.

                                      • You may search “How to install drivers in Ubunut?”
                                      • When you really mean “Troubleshoot driver problems Ubuntu.”

                                      There really isn’t a good specific example for this one. If you search for something and you can’t find an answer, try asking the same question using different words and see if that helps the results.

                                      18. Find a specific file

                                      An often forgotten feature of Google search is the ability to search for a specific file or file type. This can be infinitely useful if you need a specific PDF or PowerPoint file that you previously viewed or need to use for another project. The syntax is quite simple.

                                      • *Search term here* filetype:pdf

                                      In the above example, you simply replace the search term with whatever you’re searching for. Then use the filetype command and enter the extension of any file type you can think of. This can mostly be useful for scholarly purposes, but business presentations and other assorted presentations can benefit from this kind of search as well.

                                      19. Money and unit conversions

                                      Google search can quickly and accurately convert both measurement units and currency value. There are a variety of uses for this, like checking to see the conversion rate between two currencies. If you happen to be a math student, you can use it to convert from feet to meters or from ounces to liters. Here’s how to do it.

                                      • miles to km – This will convert miles to kilometers. You can put numbers in front to convert a certain number. Like “10 miles to km” will show you how many kilometers are in 10 miles.
                                      • USD to British Pound Sterling – This will convert a US dollar to British pounds. Like the measurements above, you can add numbers to find exact conversions for a certain amount of money.

                                      It’s true that this tip is geared toward math students and international business people. However, you’d be surprised how often these tips are used by regular people.

                                      20. Track your packages

                                      Our last trick is to use Google search to find out where your packages are. You can enter any UPS, USPS, or Fedex tracking number directly into the Google search bar, and it’ll show you the tracking information about your package. This is much easier than going to the specific sites, waiting for them to load, then searching for your packages there. No examples are really needed for this one. Just type your tracking number in and see where your package is.

                                      Google Search wrap-up

                                      Google search is a very powerful search tool. Using the tips outlined above, you can find anything and everything you could ever need on the World Wide Web. Whether it’s avoiding Wikipedia for a school essay project, finding the latest stock prices, or even finding song lyrics, there is a way to make Google search work for you.

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