One of the benefits of the 21st century is the advent of technology. While it can be both a bane and boon at times, there is no denying that it has helped in making our lives better. Of course, it is up to us to pick sides. I believe that we can achieve a lot by making tech our friend. So, here are some of my favourite productivity apps that make my life more efficient!
I just started using Notion last month after they updated their free plan. I have heard a lot about notion and its versatility but I wasn’t sure of investing in it. However, when the updated freemium plan was introduced, I decided to try it out and now, I love using it. Notion’s versatility makes it a very promising app for anyone involved as one can modify and customise it according to their benefit. I have started building a personal knowledge base/second brain in Notion and love the feeling of an organised and simple format.
One of the best tools out there, Google Calendar needs no introduction. I love the Google ecosystem. It is simple and systematic. Google Calendar enables me to have a visual format of my timeboxing technique, which is a very efficient way to increase your productivity and get things done.
Another product of the Google ecosystem, This app helps in building a to-do list for oneself. Although, I feel like it needs some modification as other apps have a better structure than Google Tasks. The only reason I am still sticking with it, is because the tasks easily sync to my Google Calendar, giving me a bird’s eye view of my entire day.
Alternative: TickTick – To be honest, TickTick is by far my favourite to-do app I have experimented with many but TickTick stole my heart with its amazing GTD format. However, I like the system of integration that Google Task have with Google Calendar. And that is why I ended up keeping it on my phone.
I have been using Forest for almost two years now. And it is one of my favourite apps. Previously, I used it only for my studies and work but now, I also use it during reading and writing. It lets you set a timer (say, for 25 minutes) and then you can focus on only one task fully. When the timer goes off, you take a 5 minutes break. After 4 Pomodoro sessions, it is advised to take a longer break of 15-30 minutes. If you end up using your phone and leave the app, the tree that grows along with the timer would be withered. It is a simple yet so effective technique to increase your productivity.
Alternative: Tide – I use both Forest and Tide as Pomodoro timer. Forest is on my phone while Tide plays a role in my computer when I’d like to keep my phone at bay. Tide has a great library of white noises, which I love. And its simple and minimalist interface is amazing.
Perhaps the highlight of this app is its beautiful Kanban board feature. No other app, according to me, gets it better than Trello. Using the Kanban method to track your actions and process is a good way to analyse your productivity. As mentioned earlier, I have been building a database on Notion for a few weeks now. Notion also has this feature. But, Trello wins this round.
Adobe Scan helps you to scan photo and/or document. Although, this might not fall into the category of “productivity apps” for some people but it helps me in keeping things organised and that aids in my productivity. I also hate clutter and so having scanned documents in my phone while I go about to go about working throughout the day helps me to tackle things with a clearer mind.
LeechBlock helps in blocking websites while you work on your computer. With the advent of technology, we are slowly moving towards a paperless era, where most of our work are being done digitally. And, along with this, come many distractions that the internet offers. LeechBlock’s role is to curb those distractions and enable you to be more productive and focused. In this app, you can list down the websites that you want to steer clear off while working. After you set a time, the lockdown mode will be activated and you won’t be able to access the websites until the timer ends.
Spotify [Focus Playlists]
A little bit of an unconventional choice, Spotify Focus Playlists help me get in the zone and delve into deep work. Studies have shown how instrumental music can be quite brain-stimulating while doing focused work. My personal favourites are the white noises involving rain, thunderstorm and library soundtracks. It provides me with a sense of comfort. There are numerous focus playlists on Spotify (or your personal favourite music app). They are a sure way to cut off any distractive noises from the outside world and be productive.
Alternative: Ambient-Mixer – As mentioned earlier, I am a fan of white noises while working, and this app has a vast library of them. My favourites are the Hogwarts Library and the Ravenclaw Common Room soundtracks (even though, I am a Pottermore-verified Hufflepuff).