More than ever before young professionals are required to be exceptional, even for the most basic job. To consistently exceed expectations at work, school, and professional commitments while having some semblance of a personal life, it’s important to properly value your time and manage your tasks (as well as distractions). A quick search for productivity apps will yield hundreds of promising-seeming results. Sifting through them often takes longer than the tasks you wanted to organize in the first place. To save you the trouble, here are the best productivity apps that will organize and streamline your work life.
1. Boomerang – Email Scheduling App
Communicate your 3 AM strokes of genius without giving away your strange sleeping patterns or waking up colleagues. Boomerang is a Chrome and Firefox browser extension for Gmail, enabling you to draft emails and choose a time and date to send them – something which you can’t do within Gmail itself. Use it to send your emails at optimal times, increasing the likelihood that they’ll be opened.
Still in its beta phase, Unroll.me is a dream for those who love productivity apps (no, seriously). Sign in with your email, and it gives you a list of the astonishing number of subscriptions and recurring emails you’ve racked up over the years. It then gives you the option to unsubscribe, “roll-up”, or keep sending directly to your inbox. The roll-up combines all of the disruptive subscription emails you get throughout the day into a single, well organized email sent to you at the time of day that you choose.
3. WasteNoTime – Time Management App
Do you ever find that as soon as you have a looming deadline, nothing becomes more interesting than how Zooey Deschanel does her hair, or how many times Honey Boo Boo can burp in a row? All of the sudden it’s 2am, you haven’t so much as glanced at your projects, and you’re not too sure what just happened to the last four hours. Not with this productivity app. After installing WasteNoTime, not only can you specify the amount of time you’re allowed per time-sucking website or block it completely during set time periods, you also have the option of viewing how much time per website you spend over a day, week, or month. Nothing puts things into perspective like examining your online history by the minute. Bonus: if you try to use a website during “off” hours, you’ll be greeted by a motivational quote about the value of time. How’s that for getting you into gear?
EDIT: It has come to our attention that WasteNoTime only works on Chrome and Safari web browsers. If you use Firefox, you can use Leechblock, or go to Internet Options and Content for Internet Explorer. But really, why on Earth would you be using Internet Explorer?
Whether you are starting or running a business, collaborating with people in volunteer organizations, or just looking to knit yourself an infinity scarf because they’re too expensive at Club Monaco, Asana is fantastic project management software. It lets you track projects with multiple organizations, easily assign tasks to colleagues, as well as upload and collaborate on documents in real time. It even gives you unlimited storage space for files under 100MB, and has simple DropBox integration. The clean interface makes it easy to use, even for your less than tech-savvy team members. The best part of this productivity app? It’s FREE for under 30 team members.
Switching from a PC to a Mac, one of the only things I missed was Microsoft OneNote (if you’re using a PC, get it with your Microsoft Office package). Evernote is the best alternative, and is particularly handy for keeping research and notes organized and at your fingertips on various devices with an autosync function. This productivity app allows you to create virtual notebooks and write, clip, copy, paste, and make audio clips until the cows come home.
NotesTab is a close runner-up to and competitor of Evernote, where it sits on the menu tab of your computer, making it a very accessible and non-intrusive alternative. It backs up your notes to the cloud so you don’t have to worry about losing your important data or meandering thoughts. If you are looking for the equivalent of a post-it note on your computer screen, this is fantastic. However, I do not recommend this productivity app for anything more in-depth than that because although there is a search function allowing you to retrieve your notes, there is no simple way of organizing them.
With the help of these productivity apps, all of which are free, you’ll be able to streamline and organize your workflow at work and at home. So say hello to your most productive year yet – now get to it.
What are you favourite productivity apps? Do you use any of the productivity apps listed? How was your experience with them?