In today’s fast-paced world, we’re constantly on the hunt to do more in less time. With smartphones, laptops and the world wide web at a perpetual arm’s reach, it’s easier than ever to become distracted. However, when used correctly, these machines also play host to a multitude of apps and programmes with the capability of turbocharging your output.
We’ve put together some of our productivity essentials. All apps listed are totally free or include a free to use service.
Identifying a problem is the first step to solving it. RescueTime is a tracking app that will audit your internet browsing behaviour and present you with weekly and daily reports outlining where you’ve spent your time on the web. This can help you in identifying, and blocking, problem websites that are taking away from your workflow (We’re looking at you, Facebook). Although it may seem obvious, getting to see the concrete figures behind your usage can often shift your perspective on how these websites interfere with your workday.
To-do lists, reminders, notes, email draughts, proposals and your scratch pad - EverNote houses all these functions in one sleek app, with added functionalities such as images and being accessible across all your devices.
Download, print, sign, scan, send. Thanks to HelloSign, the time-consuming (and resource-wasting) process of printing documents just to sign them and scan back onto your computer can be a thing of the past. Simply install the app on your smartphone, draw your signature and just like that you have a digital version you can apply to documents in a matter of seconds. The app works on PC and laptops as well. Working with documents that require signatures in multiple places? HelloSign’s smart AI will automatically fill in the spaces for you. You’ll never have to print another document just to throw it away ever again.
Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro Technique? Touted a revolutionary time management technique that involves focusing entirely on one specific task for 25 minutes, with absolutely no interruptions, followed by a 5-minute break. After completing 4 x 25-minute cycles, your breaks then increase by a 5 extra minutes. The method is designed to increase longevity and mental focus when carrying out long, mentally consuming tasks.
FocusBooster is an app designed around this time management method. With a number of fully customisable parameters and timers, you are able to create and keep track of a tailored time management system that works best for you.
Say goodbye to misplaced Post-It’s! GoogleKeep is essentially a virtual sticky note pad that you can use across all of your digital devices. It can also be applied as a Google Chrome extension, meaning you can seamlessly pull it up to add notes and comments while on the web, which can be extremely useful while conducting research. The notepads also stay true to the colours of their real-life counterparts, which we’re quite fond of.
The internet and app stores on your PC and smartphone are filled to the brim with smart companion apps that can help you fight the clock and make meeting deadlines simpler and more efficient. Try experimenting with a few to see if they add value to your workflow. Chances are that you won’t be able to go back to doing things the ‘old fashioned’ way.