This post is about my Top 8 Apps That Will Help You Become More Productive.
For me, productivity is all about time. The more I can free up my time by automating or delegating tasks throughout my day means I have more time to focus on my career / workday. I work full-time and I am also going to school for my MBA, so time optimization and tips for being more productive are what i’m all about.
NOTE: This list isn’t your usual repetitive list of apps to help you become more productive, these are apps that I genuinely use on a daily or weekly basis that help me in different areas of my life so that I can focus on my work more. These are a bit non-conventional in the way of what we would typically think of helping productivity and workday optimization, so if you’re stuck in a rut of ideas, try these apps out & let me know what you think!
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I am a project manager at an agency, so taking notes is part of my daily role. BUT, anyone who note-takes during a meeting (or even class!) knows that while you’re writing things down or typing them out, you’re missing valuable content from the conversation. Enter Otter.ai. Otter is an AI-powered assistant that transcribes your meeting notes for you & seamlessly connects with softwares like Zoom and Dropbox. This has saved me so much time in documenting everything- it leaves you with meeting minutes, notes, and ensures you never miss any part of the conversation.
Now, here’s one of the non-conventional apps that help you become more productive that I mentioned earlier. instacart. I first picked up using instacart during the beginning of the pandemic and have been a loyal user ever since. Remember when I said increasing productivity for me is all about increasing my time? Well instacart saves me hours on a weekly basis. I find the exact foods I want, add it to my cart, and set my delivery window! Easy as that. No more long grocery trips that keep me from tasks that I need to get done. Perfect for busy professionals, moms, or really anyone who just needs that extra 45 minutes.
The list of things I need to do for both my professional and personal life feels like a mile long each day, so to-do lists are my saving grace. If i’m not writing it down, I will never get it done because, well…I will literally forget that I need to do it. I used to use the Notes app on my iPhone, but Todoist takes organizing for to-do list to the next level. You can quick add tasks or set them as recurring tasks and prioritize what’s most important. You can also have different sections for different areas of your life- I have one for work, my personal list of things I need to do, and school. Todoist is also integrated with Google Calendar, Dropbox, and Amazon Alexa so you can keep everything centralized and organized.
While Todoist is more of a to-do list, Asana is a task tracker that I utilize with my coworkers that help us become more productive. As a project manager, staying on top of our projects and deadlines is central to my success, so streamlining processes and tracking goals is critical to my productivity. If your organization doesn’t use Asana or a task tracker workflow, Asana is great for your own use to stay on top of your work projects. Your boss will be blown away by your newfound organization & ability to meet deadlines! Asana integrates with so many softwares to keep everything working together & is free for individual users.
Out of all of the different calendar apps I have used, I found that Google Calendar is the most functional and efficient calendar due to the ability to manage multiple calendars, the simple & easy mobile app interface, and integration with email to create meetings and tasks quickly. I also love the ability to have Google auto-email me my daily agenda from my calendar so I can know whats going on in my day at a glance. Productivity tip: I calendar block my time around meetings with items from my to-do list so I can ensure i’m staying on track for the day. I also color-code my different activities. For example, meetings are purple, deep work is pink, school is blue, personal items are orange, etc.
Now, here’s a really cool, non-conventionally productivity app. Pocket lets you save articles into your Pocket library for the ability to read later. Whenever I am browsing and come across something that I don’t necessarily have the time to read at that moment, I am able to still get the content that I find interesting and want to know more about without getting into a big time-suck if I am working on something else. Plus, one of my favorite features of Pocket is that when you save the articles you can listen to them rather than reading them. I tend to do this while i’m making breakfast or taking my dog on a walk, and I kill two birds with one stone.
TaskRabbit is a great app that lets you contact out work to others, which in turns saves you time! The array of task options are so broad too, like tasks for assembling furniture or mounting TVs, to home repairs, or cleaning help. I just moved recently, so I used a Tasker to help move my hundreds of cardboard boxes. If I can delegate out things I need to get done at an affordable price, i’m going to do it. Having the Tasker take my cardboard boxes for me saved me a minimum of 30 minutes and in that time I was able to get a short workout in, improving my health.
So here’s the background on Mint: I used to spend 15-30 minutes per week working on my budget in an Excel spreadsheet when I started looking for ways to automate my budget. This is how I found Mint, which tracks spending across all of your credit cards, debit cards, bank account, etc. and brings it together in one app. Mint automatically categorizes my transactions and allocates the spend to the amount that i’ve allotted for that category. For example, spending money at a gas station is categorized as my ‘Fuel’ expense. This has got me so much time back on a monthly basis by automating this process.
So that’s my list of my favorite apps that help make me become more productive! These apps may save 15-30 minutes here and there, but compounded with each other, you will have so much more free time in your week to focus on being the best you can be at your job, school, family, etc. I hope these apps help you as much as they help my type-A self. More productivity & career content to come, so make sure you subscribe! In the meantime, check out these 5 Habits for a Productive (& Less Stressful) Work Week.
Do you have any apps you love that save you time? Drop them in the comments.