Productivity is kind of addictive. Once you realise how much you can actually get out of a single day, you’ll constantly be finding ways to get rid of those pockets of time spent scrolling, clicking and procrastinating. And productivity isn’t about filling every scrap of time with hustle and grind. It’s about using your time in the best way possible to get the job done as quickly as possible, thus freeing you up to do more of the things that you enjoy – like walking the dog or going to the beach. On my journey towards becoming a more productive human being, I found that certain tools completely changed the game for me. They were my secret sauce for changing my habits and setting myself up for success. These are the 5 apps I’d recommend to anyone who’s aiming to increase their productivity and get more out of their day.
An oldie but a goodie – I live my life by the Google Calendar app. It’s constantly open on my laptop browser and has pride of place in the widgets on my phone (that thing that pops up when you slide to the very left of your iphone screen). I’m a massive fan of time-blocking. I input all of my tasks for the day into Google Calendar at specific times. This stops me from stressing about one task when I’m supposed to be doing another, because I know I’ve blocked out time for everything. It also keeps me super on track. I have to change my calendar throughout the day to reflect what I actually did with my time, which is seriously eye-opening. When you realise that you have to input the fact that you scrolled on Instagram for half an hour, you’re way less likely to be sucked into the scroll!
Google Calendar’s slightly less popular younger brother, Google Keep was an absolute game changer for me. Up to this point, I’d use the apple ‘notes’ app. As you can imagine, this was a recipe for disaster, with a backlog of random notes from the past 2 years or so. In Google Keep you can create folders and use colour coding to keep things organised. You can also add photos, voice memos and to-do lists. I keep everything in my Google Keep, from present ideas for all of my nearest and dearest, reading lists, workouts, packing lists and goals. It’s the best.
Trello is amazing for working on a specific project and great for working within a team. You can create a board for a project and within this board create a work flow that takes your project from its initial stages to its final one. This is great for creating a workflow for things like podcasts, blogs, or product launches.
Things 3 is my to-do list app of choice. It sits right next to Google Keep in my widgets section and gets used on the daily. I use it for my daily to-do lists, as well as creating to-do lists for specific projects. It’s simple but effective and is amazing for keeping track of what needs to be done over long periods of time for different projects. You can also create group projects & to-dos based on different responsibilities, such as family or work.
The Forest app works by ‘planting’ a tree on your phone. You can set a timer to do work and if you leave the app your tree will die. The more you work the more your forest will grow. It provides you with detailed statistics and analytics about your focused time, which is super motivating to track your progress. I loved this app when I was at university writing essays (let’s just say I was very easily distracted by Instagram until this came along) and it even lets you grow a tree with someone else, which would be great for studying. The app also plants real trees on the earth, so your focused work contributes to the wellbeing of the planet!