Find yourself picking up your phone to scroll through your social media feeds when you’re really supposed to be hard at work? Or, perhaps you’re feeling so overwhelmed by the number of tasks on your plate, you can’t even bring yourself to focus on one. Whatever the reason, all of us can relate to how hard it is to be productive, sometimes even more so when there are lots of things to get done!
What are productivity apps?
It’s a good thing that there are productivity apps to help us to cut through the clutter, get organised, and keep our minds on the tasks at hand. Some apps help us break our big tasks down into smaller, more manageable ones, whilst others block the random distractions that might come in the way of work.
And, since there are so many productivity apps to meet your different needs, the best thing you can do is to try some out to find out what works best for you. To help you get into the zone ASAP, we share the seven best productivity apps that’ll keep you focused throughout the day!
Notetaking productivity apps
You’ve probably heard of this name from friends or on social media – Notion is a popular productivity app that helps you to organise multiple aspects of work and life all in one place.
You can use this app to create a to-do list and keep track of the tasks that need to be done, are ongoing, or have already completed – but that’s just the beginning. Notion also lets you create reading lists, take meeting notes, create content calendars, providing an overview of everything you need to keep your finger on.
What people love most about Notion, however, is that the app gives you the freedom to be creative! You can think of it as a digital bullet journal – you can design your workspace using pictures, colours, and more, making it all the more enticing for you to get things done there.
Just take a look at all the beautiful Notion setups online, and you’ll know what we’re talking about.
Compatibility: iOS, Android, Windows, Mac
Pricing: Personal – Free
Personal Pro – $4 per month, billed annually
Team – $8 per user/month, billed annually
Notion Personal Pro plans allow you to do more with unlimited file uploads, unlimited guests, and 30 days version history. Start using Notion here.
Designed to help you take the best notes, Evernote is the app to use to get your ideas and tasks sorted!
It’s a no-frills, highly extensive note-taking app that allows you to jot down every note with detail and clarity, as well as organise them into different notebooks.
You can organise within each new note by creating tables, highlighting your text, using headings, subheadings, and more. Or, use Evernote’s templates that allow you to type in your meeting notes, add tasks to monthly calendars, or create to-do checklists.
One star feature of this app is that you can simply drag and drop key documents, images, sketches, and even audio recordings into your notes. Even save webpages to your Evernote, which you can then annotate later. This way, you’ll have an easy overview of everything that’s important to a project!
The clean, green theme is a draw for us too – use Evernote to make your everyday note-taking much more productive!
Compatibility: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Web app
Personal – S$5.98 per month, billed monthly
Professional – S$7.48 per month, billed monthly
Find out more about Evernote plans and download this productivity app here.
To-do list productivity app
Overwhelmed by the many tasks on your plate, that you can’t even bring yourself to begin? Writing down your tasks can make everything feel more manageable and help you to feel more in control, as you check off your tasks little by little on your list.
Todoist is a productivity app that lets you create comprehensive to-do lists, so that you keep your tasks off your mind and on an easy-overview digital space instead.
Besides creating tasks, you can also set due dates or recurring due dates for the ones you need to complete regularly. Todoist even lets you group your tasks into different categories – for instance, home, work, or social – as well as tag a priority level onto the task. That means, you get to see what are the tasks that require your attention first and get them out of the way, before moving on to less important ones.
Share or assign tasks with others too – that way, you can help each other out on the simplest things like watering the plants at home, or for more complex projects like having the brochures printed for work.
Tasks are much more manageable with Todoist, so you’ll have a clearer mind and be more productive throughout the day!
Compatibility: Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Web app
Pro – S$5.41 (US$4) per month, billed monthly
Business (for teams) – S$8.11 (US$6) per month, billed monthly
Get this productivity app here.
Maximum focus productivity apps
Do you find yourself working sluggishly only to rush to finish your tasks as the day wraps up? If you do, then Pomofocus is the app for you!
For the uninitiated, the Pomodoro Technique works to section a long day into shorter periods of time, thus encouraging you to make the most of the time you have. This method involves setting 25-minute intervals to work on your tasks, with five-minute breaks in between; you’ll take a longer 15 to 20-minute break after four pomodoros (i.e. intervals).
By giving you more “deadlines” to meet within the hour, the Pomodoro Technique instils in you a greater sense of urgency and drive to get things done – rather than drag them out throughout the day.
The Pomofocus app makes it easy for you to use this productivity technique! It lets you create tasks you want to accomplish in the day and set an estimated number of pomodoros for each task. For example, you could set out to finish a report within four pomodoros.
Once you’ve listed your tasks, simply click on the tasks that you’re going to work on and start the Pomofocus timer. At the end of the 25 minutes, the timer will ring and reset for your five-minute break. You can also customise the timer for intervals that work better for you.
Compatibility: Mac, Windows, Web app
Stay consistently productive throughout the day with the Pomofocus app – get it here for free.
Grow a whole forest of trees whilst you stay off distracting sites or apps with this productivity app!
The Forest App is ideal for the ones who find themselves constantly picking up their phones to browse their Instagram news feeds or hopping onto Youtube on their browser each time a new video notification pops up, thus taking their attention away from the tasks they’re supposed to be doing.
To help you stay focused, the Forest App lets you set a time slot to focus, during which a tree will grow. If you successfully stay on the app for the entire time, then you’ll earn a tree for your forest; however, exit the app while the timer is running and your plant will die immediately. It gives you an incentive to stay off distracting apps or sites as you work on your task at hand!
Compatibility: Android, iOS, Chrome Extension
Pricing: S$5.98 to download from the App Store
Get the Forest productivity app here.
Relaxing workspace productivity apps
If you love having ambient sounds as you study or work, then Tide might just be the app that’ll help you stay focused!
It’s a meditation and productivity app that combines the Pomodoro Technique with natural sounds to lengthen your attention span. The app’s sound scenes have everything from the cosy crackling of fires to the serene pitter-patter of falling rain for you to choose from.
With inspirational quotes that show up on the app, you’ll also get to realign before you start your hustle, and keep at it with the right mindset.
Compatibility: iOS, Android, Web app
Get the Tide productivity app here.
You can be anywhere in the world whilst working from your humble desk with the LifeAt productivity app.
It’s an app that lets you experience a fresh working ambience using video spaces from around the globe. Whether a café in Mexico or a library in New York City, you’ll get to choose the video space that’ll help you set the mood for work, plus personalise it with other productivity tools. You can add a to-do list to your online workspace, time yourself with a Pomodoro timer, or have music play in the background too.
Most uniquely, you can enjoy the ‘company’ of celebs like BTS or Rosé from BlackPink through the selection of pre-recorded broadcasts available on the app!
Compatibility: Web app
Use this productivity app here!