Meet the tools that can save you time and make you more efficient. This productivity tools list is a carefully selected collection of apps that will help you get organized, keep track of things, plan ahead, capture your thoughts and ideas, focus and build productivity habits.
I am a big fan of the quick capture systems as they help me to get things out of my head and put them into reliable external storage as quickly and conveniently as possible. After all, I believe my brain is for generating ideas, not trying to remember everything. That’s why I use a set of apps and tools where I put the tasks, events, and other pieces of information my brain generates so I can check them later or get notified about them on time. Here is a pick of tools that can help you create your quick capture system:
ToDoist –Task tracking – A simple task-tracking app which is free (with paid premium features) and can sync across all platforms and devices. It has recurring tasks, multiple lists, and a beautify design.
Google Calendar – Online Calendar – The place to put your meetings, events, and tasks.
Bujo Journal – Offline Journal – For those who prefer the good old pen on a paper method. Get started with BuJo.
Toggl – Time Tracker – If you don’t track the time you spend on certain tasks, you may end up overestimating how long you actually work. Toggl is a simple and free time-tracking tool that can help you track your time and realize how much you actually work. And that, in turn, can help you make targeted improvements in your productivity and the actual time you spend on a given task.
Freedom – Distraction Blocker – If you are surrounded by distracting apps, websites and different notifications, it can get difficult to focus and get the things done. Freedom removes distractions by blocking them when you are working and solves your problem with online temptations and procrastination. And the best is the app works on ALL devices.
TomatoTimer – (Pomodoro Timer) – TomatoTimer is a free browser-based app which follows the so-called Pomodoro Technique. This is a great time-scheduling technique that sets a timer for 25 minutes, to commit to one task only until the timer dings.
Habitica – Habit Tracker – This is a habit-tracking app that does wonders for reminding you to follow small habits such as remembering to drink more water, taking vitamins, doing a quick exercise, juicing, reading half an hour a day, writing your journal, etc. With it, you can become a small-habit superhero and don’t let work or laziness take over you.
Trello – Project Management – This is a free tool for managing group projects. Its task management method is based on something called kanban, which essentially is a “card” that you can create for each task and then move it from list to list based on its status. Ideal for big and complicated projects that you need to tackle.
KanbanFlow – Project Management – Another great project management tool that offers a powerful free version. The Kanban board is divided into columns and it doesn’t take more than a quick look on the board to get an excellent overview of your current work situation. You can customize the columns the way you want and whenever you feel like you need more features, you can take your productivity to the next level with the Premium version.
Beeminder – Goal Accountability – If you want to make yourself productive and really stay productive, you can use this tool to keep yourself on track. Once you set a goal in Beeminder, (it can be anything from weight loss to writing regularly, eating healthy, etc.) there are consequences if you fail. If you go off track, you will have to pledge real money to stay on the road the next time. If you go off track again, the app will charge you. So, you really can use it to keep you motivated about being serious with your goals.
Dashlane – Password Manager – Online security is extremely important but using the same passwords everywhere is a terrible practice. At the same time, remembering tens of passwords for every site is nearly impossible, which is why a password manager can come to rescue. Dashlane is a free tool that can help you prevent hacks and protect your identity by managing important account passwords intelligently and automatically. The premium version comes also with Dark Web Monitoring and VPN.
Google Drive – File Syncing and Backup Storage – Backing up information and accessing it on multiple devices is probably the most essential thing for anyone who uses a computer. Google Drive keeps your files backed up and synced across all your devices, as well as on the web.
Evernote – Note Manager – This app is described as a second brain by many. You can use it to write notes, ideas, posts, research papers, important scraps of information, not so important scraps of information, half-finished files, story drafts, and everything that you need to get out of your head. It is just a perfect tool for general note-taking and information capture and works across all devices. One very cool option Evernote has is the optical character recognition which means you can scan paper notes and their text becomes searchable.
WebClipper – Web Info Capture – An Evernote tool for capturing web pages, articles and PDF’s which saves them as notes in Evernote so you can quickly find them later.
Pocket – Web Info Capture – This is a tool I love because it helps you save interesting articles, videos, stories and more from any publication, page or app on the web and read it later, even offline!
WorkFlowy – Notes & Files Keeping – This is a single document that can contain infinite documents inside it. I find this tool perfect for keeping all your notes and files on a single topic together without the need to save tens of separate documents. It provides a more powerful and easier way to organize all the information in your work or life and the best is there is a basic WorkFlowy version which is free.
Scanbot – Document Scanning App – With Scanbot you don’t need to buy a scanner for scanning documents. This app will do it for free both on your iPhone or Android. It can auto-find documents, scan them, and send them to Evernote, Google Drive, Dropbox, Todoist or wherever you want.
Notion – All-in-One Workspace – Notion is a flexible and powerful app that can be used as a note-taking app, but it also has a database feature with multiple views. That includes Trello-style kanban boards and calendars as well as the ability to make anything into a template. It also has great collaboration features. Can be used for team documentation and more.
Grammarly – Proofread everything you write – This online-based grammar checker helps you polish your writing and capture grammatical mistakes, punctuation, style, and other writing issues and gives you suggestions about their correction. It has both a free and a premium version and is a great tool for anyone who wants to write error-free.
Audible – Listen Audiobooks – a great app that helps you listen to books on-the-go. If you spend a lot of time doing tasks that don’t require much mental effort such as commuting, running, etc. but you are seeking ways to learn new things and make the most of that time, audiobooks are your thing. I am a huge fan of audiobooks and I think Audible is the best place to get so many of them. When you join, they give you a free trial and free audiobooks to start with.
Blinkist – Book Summaries – This site creates short 15-minute read summaries of various books. I love it because it helps me go through certain books quickly and learn things from otherwise long reads, as well as decide on which books I should buy and invest my time in reading.
Spreeder – Speed Reading – This tool helps you to learn how to quickly read through piles of documents and books in search of specific information. If you have a lot of books you want to read, training you need to complete, and news you need to “stay on top of”.
this app can help you make reading faster, easier, and more enjoyable. For me, developing speed reading skills is invaluable when it comes to taking control of information overload, saving time, and being more productive.
Brain.fm – Music for Focus and Productivity –Unlike other music which is primarily made to sound good and evoke feelings, Brain.fm is an app that works with teams of scientists and composers to develop music specifically designed to help you achieve and sustain deep focus. Every beat and tone has solid research and engineering behind it so it can help you get in the zone (and stay in the zone) and crush your to-do list. If you have trouble to concentrate and usually have 100 tabs open, this app will help you focus on your work.
Coffitivity – White Noise Background – In case you work better when there’s white noise in the background, then an app like Coffitivity may come in handy. It generates the buzziness of a cafe in the background while you’re working.
GetFlashNotes – Self-Help & Business Book Summaries – Reading a 400-page book can take weeks. GetFlashNotes offers Self-Help & Business Book Summaries you can read or listen to in under 20 minutes. Its perfect tool for digesting the core concepts of the books you don’t have time to read.
Iris – Software For Eye Protection – This is a tool for eye protection from the monitor’s harmful rays. Iris optimizes the screen pulsation by controlling the brightness. This way you can use your computer for longer without headaches and eye pain.
Do Nothing For 2 Minutes – Relaxation Tool – This simple and free tool gives you 120 seconds of bliss and relax because it is equally important to take periods of short rest during your hours of work.
Doodle – Schedule Tool – This tool makes scheduling things easy. Use it to identify a few potential windows of time that work best for you and then ask everyone else to fill in what works for them within those time windows.
Feedly – Feed Reader – A tool that helps you organize, read, search and share everything – from blogs to news, to websites and more. This is an all in one place for all of your posts and collections.
SelfControl – Online Distraction Blocker – This tool helps you block yourself from constantly checking your social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. SelfControl has settings that can limit your access to distracting websites, your mail servers and pretty much anything else on the web. You can pre-set a period of time to block for, add your blacklist of sites and click “Start”.
A Little Note & Thanks!
This is a growing list of Tools and Apps on productivity and self-improvement. I suggest you bookmark this page so you can easily come back to it and try different tools until you figure out which work best for your capture system. Beware of awesome-app overload, though! 😉