Couldn’t we all use a little help in the productivity department of life? When your days get busy and you feel pressed for time, the answer isn’t always finding more useful hours in a day, it’s finding more effective ways to use the time you have. And in today’s digital world, productivity apps are the way to go. After all, we spend a LOT of time on our smartphones, so shouldn’t they be working for us while we’re working on them? As Fortune reports, according to a 2015 study conducted by Flurry, a Yahoo-owned analytics company, “time spent on mobile devices was up 117% in the year compared to 2014,” and “total mobile device usage was up 58% in the last year.” Every year we are becoming more and more reliant on our cell phones to not just communicate with others, but also function in our daily tasks. So if you want to not just get things done, but done well, done fast, and done effectively, you need the right tools at your fingertips.
For some people being productive is a matter of keeping your tasks, your thoughts, your schedule and your life organized. For others it’s about holding yourself accountable for your responsibilities. Sometimes it’s a matter of being inspired and getting your creative juices flowing. Whatever it is that you need in your life to help you get more done, there’s an app for that. Here are 8 productivity apps to ignite your motivation and make you more effective and more successful every day.
1. Workflow This app basically lets you program your phone to do what you want so you don’t waste time with busy work or tasks that could suck up your precious time. You set notices and actions ahead of time that you would like your phone to do, like call an Uber before your dinner reservation, remind you to call a loved one on their birthday, share a photo to your social media page, set up an appointment etc.
2. Humin This app, which was just acquired by Tinder, so expect big things in the future, is all about cleaning up your contacts and revolutionizing the way to keep track of the people and relationships in your life. After all, what’s worse than running into a business colleague or friend from years ago and not remembering their name or where you know them from. Humin helps by helping you quickly search through your contacts using simple search parameters like “lives in New York” or “met last night.” It also helps quickly scan your existing contacts so you can see all of your connections and friends in common, so you can make the most of that new relationship.
3. Paper by Fifty Three This amazing app is easy to use and truly transforms how you get things done. It’s a place to take notes or make lists, it’s a place to create quick sketches or charts, to take and store photos and put everything that inspires you into one place. Think of it as a bulletin board with post-it notes for the digital age.
4. Evernote The beauty of Evernote is that whatever you put into your app, from to-do lists to notes to sketches or ideas, will all be saved on all of your devices, so you have it wherever you go. It’s also easy to search Evernote for an idea or task, whether you type the word or write it in. You can search for everything from an image to a list and then you can easily share those items with others, making it really easy to collaborate as a group.
5. Timeful If your standard calendar system or old-school datebook isn’t quite cutting it when it comes to staying on top of your schedule and your responsibilities, you need Timeful in your life. This app, which was just acquired by Google (big deal!), uses your existing calendar as well as analytics tools to help you make the most of the time you have. The app evaluates your schedule and prioritizes certain activities and then dedicates time to those tasks, so you not only keep your day organized but you also get some help managing your free time so you can get things done.
6. EasilyDo Imagine having a personal assistant to keep track of everything from your appointments to your receipts to your upcoming travel plans. That’s what EasilyDo can be for you—an assistant on your smartphone, no more forgetting where you are supposed to be and when, and no more scrambling to find your plane ticket or dinner receipt.
7. Trello Think of Trello as a digital board where you can display everything you want to know and see about a single project/day/task/event. Instead of having to sift through lengthy email chains and waste tons of time searching for a single message or spending hours digging through stacks of papers just to find one note you wrote down, Trello keeps everything organized so you can see it all in one glance. Articles you flagged online, to-do-lists, messages, even resources to help you get it done.
8. Inkflow If you are more of a visual thinker and you prefer to jot down ideas through hand-written notes or sketches, then this app is for you. Inkflow allows you to embrace the things you loved about old-school brainstorming sessions but with a digital spin. No more white boards or notepads; instead you’ll use this app to design layouts, jot down ideas, sketch out plans, create charts and more.