If you find yourself in a productivity rut, or just need a little help organizing your day-to-day, there are ways to help you thanks to clever technology. From blocking time-wasting sites to ensuring you never forget an item on your to-do list, here are eight apps that can help keep you focused.
Google is no stranger to bringing useful tech products to life, and Gmail Tasks is definitely one of them. Tasks is a productivity-increasing tool found within Gmail, and using it is super easy. Within your Gmail inbox on the right side, you’ll find a Tasks icon (it looks like a wand with a dot). Click it and a task list pops up on the right side of your inbox. That’s it! Start adding tasks to it, and then just as easily mark them done. Tasks also syncs up nicely with Google Calendar.
Find it: Gmail
If you’re a Mac user and having trouble staying focused, you can block your access to online time-wasters like blogs and social media sites. Self Control lets you choose which sites to block and how much time you want to stay away. Here’s the kicker: Self Control will absolutely not allow you to override the block, even if you restart your computer. That’s some commitment to increasing your productivity.
Find it: iOS
Cold Turkey accomplishes the same thing as Self Control, but this productivity app is exclusively for Windows users. Cold Turkey takes it a step further by even allowing you to block applications, the whole internet, and even your entire computer.
Find it: Windows
For some people, listening to music can help turn up the dial on productivity. But for others, tunes can just be a distraction. With White Noise, you can block out background noise like home or office chatter. This sound machine-esque app lets you choose between white noise and ambient sounds so you can feel more relaxed and less stressed.
If you’re obsessed with Evernote, you’re not alone — and for good reason. Evernote provides one work space where you can keep lists, longer writings, articles from around the Internet, photos, and even handwritten notes. You can easily search your notes and organize them. Beyond its note-taking capabilities, you can scan documents for easy keeping. And because the app is cloud-based, you can access your information from any device.
If you’re looking for even more features, Evernote also offers a paid premium plan for $7.99/month as well as a business plan for $14.99/month.
Remember the Milk
Remember the Milk seems pretty simple: A task list that you can check off as you go. This task manager has seemingly endless options so you can input reminders from Gmail, Google Calendar, Evernote, Siri, or Twitter. Manage your tasks within your existing favorite app.
If you’re a fan of the Pomodoro technique (a time-management system that divides working time into intervals with breaks), Focus Keeper is one of the simplest timers you’ll find. It keeps you on the standard Pomodoro timing: 25 minutes of work with a five-minute break, the idea being that short breaks increase mental agility.
Find it: iOS
Keep is another great Google productivity tool. Keep allows you to take note via text, written lists, images, and audio. You can use keep on your phone and online. You can also easily share any of your Keep notes with friends and family, and let them collaborate. Organize your notes easily with color-coded labels.
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