Regardless of your profession, your passion, or your place of employment, working efficiently as possible is a top priority.

Productivity is the gauge against which we measure ourselves.  How much work can we do? How high of quality is it? How many tasks can be checked off on our list on a daily basis?  They all point back to the same buzzword.

With our work world now often spread out from the office to our home office to traveling all over the globe, productivity tools include much more than just a calendar, a spreadsheet, or a flowchart.  You need tools that are flexible, scalable, and tailored to fit your best practices when it comes to how you work best.

Here’s a look at some of the very best apps for productivity on the market today.

Time Management

  • FocusList – FocusList allows you to create a schedule within your schedule, divvying up the amount of time you want to spend on each task of a project, then keeping track of that time and letting you know when you’re lagging behind.
  • Forest – Forest acts like your conscious for specific intervals. When you need to be locked in on a task for a certain amount of time, you activate Forest, and it will eliminate your ability to use your phone to check messages, answer calls or access the Internet on your phone until that time is up.
  • Trello – Of all the time management apps out there, Trello might be the easiest to learn and the most satisfying to use. You create categories, for instance; To Do, Doing, and Done, then create individual tasks to populate each list. As you complete them, you swipe or drag the items from one category to the next. When issues are no longer relevant, they can be archived.
  • TeuxDeux – The name might be a little too cutesy, but this list-based to-do app is intelligent and well run. Included in your time-focuses tasks is the “Someday Bucket” where you can dump all those things you’d like to get around to … someday.
  • Pocket – When you see a social media post, a headline, or an email you want to read but don’t quite have the time to delve into it now you can save it to Pocket. This app stores everything you note and makes it available to read almost anywhere, including your computer, your phone, your tablet, etc.

Scheduling

  • Cisco Spark – You might never have a personal assistant, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a virtual one. Spark emails your schedule to you every morning showing you every meeting, every deadline, and every appointment on the slate. It can also send reminders to the rest of your team.
  • Timezone  – Having worked for clients in Australia, England, and Dubai in the past year, I can tell you this is a slam dunk must have app. It doesn’t just tell you what time it is in different locales, but you can assign a picture of your clients and team members around the world so you can see what time it is for everyone working together on the same project.

Marketing

  • Buffer – If you’re a marketing guru, you appreciate how social media spurs sales. Knowing what days and what times of day to release your messages can be an essential part of how successful they are. Buffer allows you to pre-program your social media posts and release them at the exact second you want to during the day. It integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Personal

  • Noisli – Why is it we can be so productive in a crowded Starbucks but struggle to stay on point in our office? Background noise is often the answer to this perplexing question. Noisli labels its output as “productive sounds” including rain, coffee house background, and waves crashing at the beach to help your brain lock in on the task at hand.
  • 1Password – How many passwords have you created just in the last 12 months? One survey says the average American business person had 27 logins that need passwords at any given time. Remembering all 27 is a colossal waste of brain power. 1Passwords is a vault for all your passwords. No more trying to remember whose birthday goes with what website or writing them all down and then leaving the list in your other briefcase.
  • SiteBlock – Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads or ESPN, there are some sites we can’t seem to stop clicking on when we’re supposed to be working. SiteBlock is a Chrome plugin that lets you block a specific website from 30 seconds up to forever. It keeps you from checking your Facebook feed every five minutes and focus on the task at hand.
  • Strides – Strides is a great way to keep track of personal goals and view them in a compelling statistics-based visual.  Create a goal, say “Eat a healthy breakfast” and then simply hit the slider every day to confirm whether you were on task or not.  Over time, Strides builds handy graphics showing your weekly success rates, how far you’re lagging behind, and what your best “streak” is for consecutive days on task.
  • Day One Journal – Writing about our experiences, thoughts, and feelings is one of the most therapeutic things we can do, but who has the time? Day One prompts you with the ability to add video or photos to your entries and includes a detailed calendar that acts as a heat map showing how many days you’ve written over the past two months.
  • Sync.Me – Our current favorite, it syncs your contact lists from the likes of Facebook, Google+, and Twitter to identify who is calling you. If it’s an unknown quantity or a known scam or spam call, you’ll get a forewarning, so you don’t waste time answering.
  • Soulver – A calculator app? Soulver goes well beyond addition and subtraction to include templates for common math functions we use every day, such as how much money you’re earning for a specific project, what the current currency exchange rate is between two countries, and how to figure changes in percentages.

Productivity doesn’t have to be a struggle. These apps and more can turn your daily routine into a stress-free, efficient day of profit and positive thoughts.

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