The world of tech is amazing when you know how to tackle it. Whatever you need to accomplish (within legal boundaries), there’s probably an app for that. Apps make our every interaction faster, simpler, and plain better. In the nearest future there will definitely appear one all-encompassing mega-app that does everything, but meanwhile, let’s take a look at life aspects that can be improved with the apps we have now.
To-do List Apps
Forget about groceries and cat feedings, we’re talking business here. To-do apps are no longer simple columns with “in progress” and “done”, they are robust and complex add-ons to your life. To-do apps can cover anything, from paying bills and doing taxes to detailed and multi-layered projects like building a whole house. It’s an excellent way to feel that you’ve got everything under control.
How to-do apps are better than built-in lists: in the same way that a chainsaw is better at cutting trees than a pocket knife. A decent task manager app is much more efficient and has specific features (like payment accounts and calculators) to take plenty of work off your shoulders.
Here are several cross-platform productivity apps worth your attention which I use:
- Todoist. This is my favorite task manager which helps to organize all my tasks and projects into a smooth and clean process in line with David Allen’s GTD. Here is a comprehensive tutorial on how you can do precisely that.
- Trello. Another great app which can be used for tons of different activities which uses Kanban methodology under its hood. I love using it to track multi-stage projects such as article writing. It feels incredibly good to move your tasks from one stage to another and with each new step, you get motivated to work even harder to get your card to the next stage and eventually to the “Done” list. And when you there, you get a sweet feeling of accomplishment like after completing a difficult quest.
Whether you’re a blogger or a stay-at-home dad (or a stay-at-home-dad-blogger), you need a way to keep track of thoughts and notes. Everyone who writes knows the glorious feeling of taking thoughts out of your head and onto the screen in the right form. So developers around the world have designed a whole plethora of beautiful apps to give you a clean, uninterrupted space for writing and editing.
How writing apps are better than office-like solutions: specific apps have a much richer selection of editing and text-organizing tools, plus they are usually customizable, with themes and color schemes to create the mood.
My favorite writing apps include this one:
- Evernote. A hugely popular note-taking app which can be organized in a powerful Personal Knowledge System. Check out Tiago Forte’s posts on the Evernote blog to find out how you can use Evernote not only like a streamlined writing environment but more like an organized system which will boost your creativity and send your productivity through the roof.
Call it an organizer app or a reminder app, scheduling software is still vital if you’re trying to perform a combo of work-life balance and keep your nervous system out of this gang fight. The only tricky part is to develop a persistent habit of putting items on the list. It’s possible when you train yourself to reach for the app whenever you hear a specific date-time statement. Like “Let’s meet on Tuesday to discuss this, around noon” should prompt you to immediately put it on your scheduler.
How organizers are better than native calendar apps: there isn’t anything special about most organizers, but they are usually better at disciplining you than the calendar (read — more intrusive). Also, they come in all shapes and sizes, unlike the rigid native app, and it’s important to like your organizer’s interface because you’ll be seeing a lot of it.
Computer Cleaning Apps
These ones can be called productivity apps because they allow your computer to keep up with you and not drag you down with its rainbow wheel of death. The more you work on your PC or Mac the more it accumulates all kinds of system junk, and even the new optimizing features of the latest operating systems won’t solve it.
How cleaning apps are better than…not cleaning: all kinds of cleaning apps, including duplicate removers and system cleaners, are not just there to give you extra space on your drive. They restore order on your computer. After a good cleanup, you can finally find something among your photos and documents. Plus, a clean PC or Mac is usually much faster even at simple tasks.
Where to Find the Best Productivity Apps
There are a few ways. The easiest one would be to get a pre-installed pack of apps, so you won’t have to look for each of them separately. For instance, Setapp offers most of the apps on the list above for a monthly subscription.
The second way would be to research each app separately. It’s possible but keep in mind that the Mac App Store is not always objective in terms of ratings and also you’ll have to decide between 10-15 apps that do basically the same.
Get apps, get productive!
James Dorian is a technical copywriter and a blogger. He is great at solving modern business issues and applying tech innovations. James knows how to be extremely productive at work. Read his article about essential productivity apps for Mac. Follow him on Twitter.