May 1, 2015

Top Apps to Boost Productivity



I try to write encouraging, uplifting posts. We’re all on this Earth together, despite our differences. It’s our job to help each other, given the opportunity. There are numerous ways to assist people because we all have our strengths and weaknesses.

Today’s helpful post addresses a different theme from my usual ones because I didn’t write it. I am not tech savvy enough to have composed it. Technology is not my main strength. That’s not the case with the author of this piece.


It is my distinct pleasure
to introduce my favorite guest blogger of all time,
the one who puts a smile on my face,
the young lady who is usually glued to an electronics screen (so she really knows her stuff),
my 15-year-old daughter, Caitlin Lawrence.

She is the managing editor at her high school newspaper. Caitlin wrote this useful article for the paper, and I had to share it…
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Sometimes it is hard to be productive. You can’t stay focused, you lose your motivation, or forget what needs to be done. A place to put reminders, set tasks, take notes, and organize your thoughts would be helpful. The following 12 apps will help boost your productivity and desire to stay focused. All are free, unless said otherwise:

KEY: ★ Android ★ iOS ★ Chrome Web Store

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1. Trello

Trello is an easily-compatible collaboration app that lets you create different boards, groups, and lists. Organize your tasks into subjects, or Need To Do/Doing/Done. Once you’ve put a lot of tasks into your Done list, you’ll feel very accomplished. Trello is a great place to put all of your tasks, homework, and to-do lists so you can remember them easily! With just one glance, you’ll know what needs to be completed.

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2. Quizlet

Need a way to study quickly and easily? Quizlet’s got that. It has over 50 million free study sets that you can choose from, but you can also make your own. Once you create your flashcards online, you can choose 6 study modes that include Flashcards, Scatter, Learn, Speller, Test, and Space Race.
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3. Evernote

Though it may seem a little more complex, Evernote has tons of features to suit your needs. This app saves your notes, pictures, projects, to-do’s, research, and more. Put all of your tasks and thoughts here, and Evernote will remember them. This service also syncs all of your notes across all of your linked devices.

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4. Google Keep

Google Keep is a colorful and simplistic app to keep all of your notes, lists, photos, and voice memos. You can easily find what you need with color codes, labels, and searches. Google Keep also allows you to collaborate with others and sync across all of your devices. If you need a reminder, this app has that too.

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5. Taco

Taco is a Chrome extension that turns your New Tab page into a task list. This extension imports your tasks from more than 40 different services, like Google Tasks, Trello, Gmail, iCloud, and Evernote. One they are imported, you can drag and drop them to prioritize. Taco even lets you customize your background of the New Tab page, for free!

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6. Momentum

Another Chrome extension, Momentum also changes your New Tab page. Momentum is your personal dashboard that inspires you to be more productive throughout the day. With this app, you can set your main focus for the day so it will be there whenever you open a new tab. Momentum also comes with scenic backgrounds, a to-do list, links, weather, time, and an inspiring quote every day.

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7. Workflowy

Clean and simple, Workflowy is a great way to take notes and organize your thoughts. Workflowy is like a notepad, but better. With this app, you are able to zoom in on any sub-list, add notes to any list item, instantly search for what you need, and add tags to list items.

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8. Pomodoro Timer

The Pomodoro Timer uses the Pomodoro Technique, which is one of the most effective time management methods out there. Decide on the task to be done, set the pomodoro (timer), work on the task, then take a short break. The Pomodoro Timer allows you to take a longer break every four “pomodori”. This app is fully customizable and allows you to set whatever time you want and your target number of pomodori per day.

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9. The Homework App

This is a pretty straightforward title. The Homework App has a beautiful, minimalistic interface that helps keep track of your homework. This app also lets you add subjects, due dates, subtasks, and reminders. You can view your tasks, subjects, and calendar all on the main screen.

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10. Forest: Stay Focused ($0.99)

Grow your very own cute, virtual forest by planting trees whenever you are focused for a period of time. Every 30 minutes that you are focused, Forest plants a tree. Not only does Forest help you concentrate on your work, but it also cures phone addiction! Whenever you leave the app, your tree will die,

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11. CARROT - Talking Task List ($2.99)

CARROT is a very unique task-management app with an attitude. Level up as you complete tasks, and unlock lots of awesome features, such as mini games and a cat! However, if you don’t make any progress, you will anger CARROT, which you don’t want to happen. All in all, CARROT is a very useful app to keep you on task, giving you incentives when you complete work.

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12. Owaves

View your schedule for the day, week, or month with Owaves. Owaves turns your schedule into a 24-hour circle with colors that help you balance work, sleep, exercise, and more. Plan out your day with this super simple app!