Every where we turn we run into a distraction. Our precious time shouldn’t be wasted with these simple distractions such as having too many options on note taking, having temptation to browse the web, or just being unorganized, and letting time slip by without a way to track it. These 9 must-have productivity apps will help you to get on track to efficiently use and track your time.
One thing every person knows is how easily ideas come and go. With the rise of electronic devices a pen and pad might not be readily available, but chances are your smartphone or laptop is. These are our favorite apps out of thousands that allow us to quickly take and manage our notes.
Microsoft OneNote – Free
As a Windows Phone user, OneNote is my absolute personal favorite. As a tech-nerd it’s up there as one of the best. The key feature to OneNote is the simple fact it’s available on every major platform, from Windows to Mac and to iPhone to the web. This makes sure that all of your notes are available no matter where or what you may be using. OneNote’s clean interface makes it a pleasure to use because having a simple interface with minimal distractions is one of my musts when it comes to taking notes. I don’t want to play around with 5 billion fonts and colors when I have a great idea in my head. OneNote nails this with their mobile and web apps – it’s easy to jump into writing. However the native computer apps look a bit like a cluttered, watered-down version of Microsoft Word. So from my computer I use the web app, which works great and is more then enough. OneNote is a great must-have app for everyone.
OneNote is simple, free, and available on all major devices. OneNote is a must have app for anyone who uses multiple devices and needs to have their notes front and center.
Evernote – Free / $45 Yearly (Premium)
Evernote is one of the most well-known note-taking apps ever. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also available on almost every device you own. Evernote has plenty of features, but are arranged in way that is never overwhelming. Evernote arranges everything in a way that all of your notes are available within a few clicks. All of the icons in Evernote are simple and straight to the point, which is why Evernote can pack in more features in a beautifully intuitive interface. One of my favorite features of Evernote is the ability to take a picture within the app and add it to your note just like that. Evernote also has a premium subscription-based option that offers even more features such as the ability to search documents photos, PDFS, and more. Those great features help to take all of your writing completely digital. Evernote is a must-have for students to business owners.
Evernote’s simple, uncluttered design makes it a perfect fit for everyone’s digital toolbox. Evernote allows you to tackle everything from simple one liners to more advanced documents. Using its core features is free, but the $5 a month for premium is a small price to pay for anyone who need a more advanced document editor.
Simplenote – Free
Simplenote is a true to its roots note-taking app. It may not be the most feature rich app, but in this case that is a good thing. When you need to quickly get your ideas out, Simplenote will be your go to app. Simplenote may not be available on all devices natively, but it’s available on the major ones – plus it has a web app to keep all your notes near (which is close enough). The simple interface is an elegant and welcome change to the infinite options of note-taking apps.
There may feel like an underwhelming amount of features in Simplenote, but it gets the job done quickly and with out distraction. You don’t get to organize notes by notebook or sections. However, Simplenote adds organization with simple tags. I like the tags because it makes finding your notes easily searchable, unlike other apps that have you fumbling around through notebooks. Simplenote is perfect for anyone just trying to write down their ideas. Simplenote is a free app that isn’t full of features and isn’t trying to be, which makes this one of the best apps to quickly take notes and organize them using only tags.
Keeping a to-do list is a perfect way to organize all of your tasks, and even order them from most to least important. It’s great that we now have a digital way to organize, collect, and share our lists. Having a reminder that a task deadline is coming up is wonderful and keeps you on track. Digital to-dos give us convenience unlike paper, which is easily buried around our busy schedules.
iTriumph – $25 (Currently 50% Off)
iTriumph is an app for Apple devices that aims to keep you on track and on time. It’s a planner, a calendar, and an assistant of sorts. iTriumph has a user-friendly interface and syncs among all your Apple devices. It’s nice that iTriumph is centered around a calendar and you can make new calendars for different things such as work tasks or personal tasks. Adding tasks is simple and after adding a name, a due date, priority, and reminders your task is in your calendar. If you’re as attached to your electronics as everyone else, it’s nearly impossible to miss a deadline. Although you can add a name to your task, a feature I would like to see added would be the ability to add a note describing the task. iTriumph is perfect for anyone who sees their work getting out of hand and/or deadlines being missed.
iTriumph has a nice 30 day trial to see if it fits your need, but I’m almost certain it will. After the 30 day trial iTriumph will run you $50, which is a small price to pay to keep your to-do list organized and meet all your deadlines. If it’s not for you and/or too expensive don’t worry there are other great options too.
iProcrastinate – Free (Mac) / $2 (iOS)
iProcrastinate is another organizer, planner, and task manager for Apple devices. iProcrastinate is feature rich and beautifully designed to ensure you get your life organized and your tasks done.
iProcrastinate has an intuitive interface where everything is arranged into groups depending on the due date, followed by importance. iProcrastinate automatically arranges tasks due on the same date by order of importance, which is a nice touch. Another great feature in iProcrastinate is the ability to add steps into tasks, which not only allows you to keep track of your tasks, but allows you to keep track of what needs to be done on that certain task. One feature oddly missing are reminders, which is a bummer because if you forget to check the app then you may forget about a task. iProcrastinate is the perfect app for anyone looking to organize their life and adding a reminder would make it the app to have on Apple devices.
You may not be able to get reminded about upcoming tasks needing completion, but if you stay on top of your game iProcrastinate will help you stay organized and quickly complete tasks by breaking them down into steps. It’s amazing that such a great app is free on Mac, and only $2 on iOS. iProcrastinate syncs through Dropbox, which makes it a great affordable task manager.
OmniFocus is another great planner, task manager for Apple devices. OmniFocus is the most advanced and is for serious hardcore work addicts. A nice interface with massive features makes OmniFocus the go to for any serious business person.
OmniFocus has set up there app so whoever may want to use it can get started fairly quickly, they have great video tutorials to teach you how to make the most out of OmniFocus. Great features in this app are the ability to add actions to a project, which helps break it down into easily manageable bits to prevent you from getting overwhelmed. Speaking of being overwhelmed for the busy body you may have multiple tasks that need to be addressed, and OmniFocus has included a nice feature to help ease your mind called focus. Focus (only available in OmniFocus 2 Pro) hides all other tasks besides the one currently being worked on.
Omnifocus is available with a 14day free trail, and $40 for the standard addition and $70 for the pro addition. The iOS addition will also run you an additional $20 bucks. Maybe not for everyone, a clean, easy to use interface, and great features easily makes the price justifiable.
Wunderlist – Free / $49.99 Yearly (Premium)
Wunderlist is a minimal to-do app for those that don’t need calendars and stacks of features. You can use Wunderlist to make a list for anything you can think of. The best part is Wunderlist is available for all major devices (or at least will be with a dedicated Windows app coming soon) and the web. One of the best features is the fact that you can add people onto a list. What this means is that you as a group can work on the same task and get it done quicker. Don’t worry Wunderlist allows you to check off completed tasks and is synced in realtime to insure the same tasks is not completed twice. Also you can set reminders, which is important so you never forget a task. You can also set a due date for a large tasks and individual dates for each step to complete the task. Wunderlist is perfectly versatile for everyone’s needs – from going grocery shopping to working on a huge project.
The features available to you in Wunderlist range from simple to advanced. It’s a pleasure to use this app to complete tasks, organize your tasks, and get things done as an individual or a group. It’s great that Wunderlist has most of its features available for free, but if your working on a big project with a big group $5 per month is a small fee to keep your team on track.
Keeping your tasks organized and your notes nearby are only part of the equation to get work done in the most painless and efficient manner possible. You know what has to be done and you have the tools to do it, but you still have many distractions that could deter your road to success. These few apps used alone or together will help you knock out any distractions and complete your goals.
Concentrate – $29.99
Concentrate does what its name says, helps you concentrate. Having the temptation of the internet or fun games right at your fingertips is one of the main focus breakers we face. Using Concentrate you should be able to smash your goals in record time by eliminating access to said distractions. Concentrate has a simple design and allows you to set specific actions to create your prefect digital workspace. It blocks your access to unneeded website and apps and allows access to site or apps that you specify. Concentrate lets you pick a block of time to work for and at the end everything goes back to the way it was. Upon starting Concentrate it opens and closes apps you need or don’t need, and even changes your background if you want (set something motivational). Concentrate is perfect for all individuals who find themselves constantly checking out things online, like myself.
Concentrate comes with a 60 minute trail, which is a cool way to try out all of the features. For $30 you gain access to unlimited time and the ability to forever focus on the tasks at hand. If you find yourself online more than you work, Concentrate is a must have app.
Focus Booster – Free / $29.99 Yearly (HQ Version)
Working on a task nonstop for a prolonged period of time could be a real pain, a lot of researchers suggest breaking up work-time into blocks of time. It’s said working this way will keep you from getting overwhelmed, and will increase productivity. We previously recommended this method when working at home, but Focus Booster is a simple app that helps you accomplish this block time work method. Focus Booster doesn’t need a lot of features to work how the developers intended it to. Just designate the amount of time you want to work and how long your break time will be then let it go. An alarm will sound at the end of the designated amount of work time and again at the end of the designated amount of break time. It’s that simple – perfect for anyone who has trouble concentrating for a prolonged period of time.
I recommend everyone use this app, wether you can work for a prolonged period of time or not. I believe using the time block method for working will allow you to create better work and reduce your stress levels immensely. It’s a great app for free, or if you want to the added bonus of keeping track of your session or even time tracking for $2 a month you can get the Focus Booster HQ.
Didn’t see your favorite app in this article? Let us know in the comments in the below so we can take a look at them!