We’re pretty much on our phones and laptops most of our waking hours, so it only makes sense that these devices also help us in areas where it counts—particularly in increasing productivity for work or for school.
Thank goodness, then, for technology that helps us work more efficiently. We’ve rounded up a list of the best productivity apps to download on your smartphone, in case you don’t have them yet.
If you haven’t heard of the Pomodoro technique, it’s a time management method developed in the 1980s where a timer is used to break down work into intervals separated by short breaks. These intervals are usually 25 minutes in length.
Available in Android and iOS, the PomoDone app is based on that Pomodoro technique, developed into a productivity app that’s easy to configure. To get it started, users put together a to-do list for the day and use the built-in timer to accomplish those tasks.
It’s a handy way to make sure that you’re actually finishing a number of tasks in any given time. PomoDone also allows for integration with a host of other apps, including other productivity favorites such as Wunderlist, Evernote, Todoist, and more.
This means if you’re already using one of those apps to create your daily tasks, you can import them straight to the PomoDone app. It’s a nifty little program that allows you to stay on top of all the things you need to accomplish.
Wunderlist is hailed as one of the best to-do list apps, mainly because it offers most of its features even in the free version.
Featuring a user-friendly interface, it’s extremely easy to get started with Wunderlist and integrate the events and to-dos in your life, such as creating actions directly from the web, forwarding emails, indicating due dates and attachments, and allowing for in-app messages and folder organization.
Wunderlist works great for your personal productivity, but you can also use the app for group collaboration—perfect for remote teams or freelancers, as it allows you to assign tasks with a real-time comments system so you can stay on top of your projects.
Featuring mobile and desktop versions, the app is also available on a host of programs such as iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Kindle Fire, and more. You can also access Wunderlist through the web, allowing you to work almost anytime and anywhere.
Evernote is about the closest thing to having a cork board, or a tickler, or a journal by your side as you jot down all your ideas, or compile them into a single file. Whenever the light bulb strikes for ideas or creative inspiration, Evernote allows you to write it all down and let it simmer before it fades.
Evernote lets you tie all of your ideas together—whether it’s for taking mental notes, a to-do list for the day, or rambles of your thoughts and essays, this app lets you do them all. Aside from text, you can also attach photos, screenshots from the webs, links, and other resources for your ideas and projects.
You can also use Evernote in a team setting, great for brainstorming or creative collaboration on projects. It lets you add a reminder to a note, as well as an e-mail alert for urgent tasks. Evernote’s Notebooks can be synced across all your devices as required, such as your phone, tablet, and laptop.
There are a dozen of apps that help you put your phone down and focus, but none of them are quite as interesting or quirky such as Forest. Adding a game component to this productivity challenge, Forest tracks your time and keeps you focused on your task. You set the app’s built-in timer and you plant a seed, which continues to keep growing unless you exit the app to check something else on your phone.
In short, when you leave the app, the tree dies. Keep yourself focused, however, and you can grow an entire forest. The more time you spend away from your phone, the more the tree or forest grows. Think of it as Tamagotchi but for grown-ups.
We’re not just talking about virtual trees here. When you do well by focusing on your tasks, you can earn virtual coins and use them to grow real-life trees through the app.
If you’re one of those people whose Saved tab on Facebook is overflowing with links, or your album full of screenshots, they end up becoming unnecessary clutter and prevents you from actually scouring through them. In all its simplicity, Pocket allows you to keep track of all these by letting you save web pages for further reading. You can assign a category to it for better organization of these references, allowing you to organize things you actually want to read or learn more about.
Tally is a simple tool to help you track absolutely anything: tracking habits, medications or vitamins, your daily to-do list, budget journal, symptoms, moods, or even your thoughts. With a simple and straightforward interface, the app itself is user-friendly and easy to understand. Trackers are fully customizable, which you can reset to every day, week, month, year, or never.
Tally’s charts, calendars, and notes are also helpful in analyzing activity and detecting progress or patterns in your habits. While the main screen displays all of your trackers, this interface is also customizable, meaning you can display these trackers in a way that makes the most sense to you.