You got a brilliant idea, you want to sit down and work on it right away. But every time you start, you are distracted.
One day you somehow make time and sit down in isolation to complete that project.
Then in few mins, your mind starts to wander and still can’t get the project done.
We live in a modern society filled with distractions. Too many things to remember, follow-up, many projects to get done and on and on.
How on earth can we even keep up with these demands?
You can’t. If you are tracking everything manually.
Fortunately, there are tools that help you to solve many of these problems.
I am going to list the ones I use and found it really useful.
BrainFM is no.1 productivity app on my list. It is amazing how this little app can help me focus better.
Whenever I sit down to write or read or focus on anything. I turn the music on in this app and it works like magic.
This app claims that it figures your brain patterns. Based on that it feeds the brain with right kind of music to helps you focus or relax or sleep.
I haven’t used those much except the focused music.
I can’t recommend this enough to anyone who likes to focus and get work done.
Scrivener is a desktop app that helps writers to write effectively. Especially, for long content like books, lengthy posts or guides.
This advanced editor helps to write well-organized content. And provides good visibility to categorize the content.
It also works as one place to collect reference materials, images, and screenshots.
If you are serious about writing then scrivener is a must to have app.
Evernote is a multipurpose app, available as a desktop, web, mobile and chrome plugin as well.
The app is a notebook app. Yet, the app is super powerful and you can do a lot more with it.
I use it
- to collect reference materials,
- snippets from the web,
- take screenshots,
- organize notes.
Now there is a feature in mobile to create hand drawn images too.
It comes in handy for any kind of work we do on the computer.
I call it a mini project management app. Not too complicated to use and works best for small teams.
Basically, you can list all your tasks in the asana app, add notes, set deadlines, assign it to your team member and close the task as you complete it.
You can also create separate projects, add team members to the projects, create and assign tasks.
Finally, track all the work in one place to understand the status of the projects.
It helps immensely when we outsource work or have someone else do the work for us.
Another top productivity apps that I use regularly. It is a giant chat application with a ton of integrations.
You can add your team to the slack and collaborate with them.
Share ideas, files or send information to other apps from the slack itself.
For example, while chatting with your friend if an idea pops up. You can directly tag it and send it to asana as a task or Wunderlist as a reminder.
With a ton of integrations with other apps, the possibilities are endless.
I don’t think I can live without this app. Grammarly is a proofreading app which outsmarts most of the other proofreading apps I ever tried.
The best part is the chrome plugin helps you to proofread anywhere you write. Whether you are writing an email in Gmail or sharing a status on facebook. The app automatically points out the spelling or grammar issue and helps to correct it in a click.
It even has an integration with MS office, so you can proofread while you are writing on Word too.
Amazing app for everyone.
7) Hemingway app
Another writing editor that I use. Hemingway app primarily focuses on helping you write better. Not as good as Grammarly on checking for grammar. But it helps to write better and format in a way to make it is easy for people to read.
It points out the use of adverbs, active passive voice usage and breaking into smaller paragraphs. Finally, based on the writing it grades your article.
Wunderlist is a reminder app that works well for me. There is a phone version and web version as well. You don’t have to search for the phone to add a reminder when you are working on the computer.
The main feature I like is you can add users and assign reminders for them.
It also helps you customize the categories and add the tasks in them.
You can choose to see all the reminders at once or reminders for the day or for the week.
9) Google Apps/Gsuite
Google apps are an alternative to Microsoft office products.
I use most of the app even though I have Office installed on my computer. The reason is it saves the content instantly in the cloud.
For some reason, the system shuts down or crashes or if I forget to save (which I do more often). The data is already saved and when I reopen the app, all the content is right there where I left off.
10) Google Drive
Google Drive lets you store information, files in the cloud. With the desktop drive app, you can instantly sync the content on your computer. There is no need to upload or download the content.
And when you move from one computer to another, the files automatically appear in the system for you to use.
11) Google Drawings
The drawings let you create flow charts and diagrams. It is useful to create diagrams to share ideas. Or to send the instructions to your contractors about the project.
12) Gmail with Streak CRM
Of course, most of us use Gmail as the primary email provider. You can add more power to Gmail by adding other apps to it.
One of them is Streak CRM
They help me track emails. Especially when I send it to important people. It lets me know if the person opened the email and read it or not.
Then you can create pipelines to follow up, track and interact with that person.
It is fundamentally a CRM app, so there would be stages from leads to converting to a customer.
But I use it for tracking emails and not much for CRM.
Followup and Boomerang are emails productivity apps to send follow up emails. You how critical it is to follow up people and get the work done. Unfortunately, this is the area where most of us forget to remember the follow-up part.
Even if you set up reminders, you might be busy with other work to send that follow-up email.
These apps let you draft the content and schedule it for follow-up. If the recipient did not send a response, the app sends this follow-up email automatically.
14) Rescue Time
Rescue Time is a chrome extension that helps you track your time. You can define the productive tasks and distracting tasks in the app.
The app will automatically track where you are spending your time every day. It will send an email with a report every week about the progress.
Based on the trend you can alter the way you are spending time. For me, it was an eye opener.
Every time you will be surprised to see where you are spending a lot of time.
This app also lets you set goals and track it. For example, you can say that you want to write for an hour every day. It will track and let you know if you met the goal or not.
With the advanced option in the app, it will also let you block sites for a specified time.
A productive app to help stay focused.
I create images more often and I need an easy way to customize them. Rather than spending hours in photoshop or some complex tool.
Stencil makes it easier. It provides many templates and design that you can readily use.
The best part is, it also provides many royalty free stock images. Search for the image, apply a template and set the size. Share it directly from the app. Super helpful app.
Dashlane is a popular app to store passwords and notes securely. You won’t believe how much time you spend on entering the username and password, every time you go to a website.
Not even counting the time you need to store and retrieve. Unless if you have extremely good memory, it is also impossible to remember all the password.
The app lets you store the credentials automatically. When you create it and auto fill whenever you open that website.
I am one of those people who like shopping online. It easy and convenient.
When shopping online, you can always find coupon codes and save money.
The problem is finding those coupon codes is not easy. More than that finding the best coupon code with most saving is even more difficult.
For me, it is too much waste of time.
Honey does this automatically. You install the chrome plugin and whenever you reach the checkout page of any website. It searches the internet for the best coupon code and picks the one that has better saving.
It works like magic. Even if you forget, Honey will automatically apply the savings to your cart.
It works on almost every single website.
IFTTT is one of a productivity app that automates integration between apps. The full form of IFTTT is “if this then that”.
You can automate many things with IFTTT.
Like you can share your content on all social media automatically as soon as you publish it.
Get the weather update automatically to your email or slack.
set to unmute your android phone as soon as you enter the home and much more.
There are a lot of these integrations in IFTTT that can be used for day to day activities.
Zapier is a lot like IFTTT but a premium app with lot more integrations. They have 750+ apps in their directory. Many apps are targeted for business than personal use. However, it’s powerful and very productive.
You can do complex integrations in Zapier and automate many repetitive tasks.
These are my top productivity apps that I use regularly.
What is yours?