How many times do you reach for your phone during the day?
I’m going to take a wild guess here and say… A LOT. Checking your email, Twitter feed, answering a text message. I remember when I was in college my sociology professor asked us to list things that our phones can do. People said texting (duh), browsing the web, taking pictures, updating your Facebook status, using a timer, taking a video. After a few minutes of this my professor smiled and said: “That’s it? How come none of you said that your phone can make phone calls?” Booom. Mind Blown.
It is true though, nowadays we use our phones to do so much more than just to make phone calls. I, for instance, have a ton of different apps on my phone; you can pretty much find anything on my phone, from Harry Potter Wizard Trivia Quiz to Pocket Justice- an app detailing more than 600 constitutional law cases. Today, I’m sharing a few of my favorite apps, all of which will help you take your productivity to the next level.
IF by IFTT (If This Then That) is not only great when it comes to being more productive, but it’s also a very handy app for bloggers. It lets you create “recipes” that connect different apps like Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. A lot of you probably know that when you share your Instagram post to Twitter, it only shares a link, not an actual image. This app lets you create a “recipe” between two apps so that when you share a post to Instagram, it shares the same image to your Twitter feed. It also allows you to automatically sync photos you take with your phone to your Dropbox or Google Drive or share your Facebook status to Twitter, save liked tweets to Pocket, automatically send a thank you email to new followers and so much more. This app can help you automate a lot of different tasks you’d otherwise have to do manually, therefore, saving you a ton of time. When it comes to these “recipes” (connections between web-bases services) the possibilities are endless. This can eliminate constant copying and pasting, emailing and making sure all of your files are backed up. It makes your life easier, without constant need to log in and out of various web services.
If you find yourself being constantly distracted, reaching for you phone to check your email or Twitter feed while working, this app is perfect for you. It’s also a pretty fun solution to the problem: you set the time- let’s say 30 minutes- you plant a tree and put your phone down. During those 30 minutes, you cannot reach for your phone- otherwise, your tree will die. The key is to eventually build a forest, which gives you an awesome sense of achievement. Seeing your tree wither and die away is a bummer, and will definitely make you think twice before reaching for your phone while the tree is growing.
This is sort of like a real-life pensieve (and if you get the reference, we should probably get some tea soon, cuz you’re my people). This app will let you organize your thoughts- it’ll help you capture your ideas, group them, expand them and even share them with others. I love this one because sometimes I feel like I have at least 10 ideas running through my head- Mindly lets me connect them together and store them in one place. In addition to writing and connecting your ideas, you can add images and web links to them. This app is a must for anyone who loves to write and it can also help you boost your creativity (which, coincidentally, we recently talked about).
If you love making lists (like I do!) then you’ll also love this app. This app has the ability to sync simultaneously across multiple platforms. It has time and date reminders, you can organize your tasks in different categories, and cross them off as you complete them. This app also has the ability to remind you to review your upcoming to-dos; the app will remind you that it’s time to review your day, displaying all the tasks you have planned for yourself. This is something that your calendar just doesn’t do. I mean, how many times did you write yourself a big to-do lists in the morning, only to remember about it just before you went to sleep? This is what makes this app so unique.
This app is based on the Pomodoro Technique– an idea that when working on a large, involved task, breaking it down into short, timed intervals that are spaced out with short breaks will help you be more productive- it’s similar to the 20-10 technique I talked about in this post about procrastination. This also helps you train your brain to stay focused for short periods of time and improve your concentration. This app will help you use this technique, by managing both your work and your break sessions.
How do you stay productive? Do you know of any other apps that are similar to these?