Improving Personal Productivity with your Smartphone

They say today’s smartphones are the bane of productivity giving you an endless stream of distracting notifications. Next thing you know, after checking that email, you’re on Facebook, you’re on Twitter and lastly checking out a video on YouTube. The thing is, you can actually use your smartphone for just the opposite if you’re willing. A couple of apps and some tweaks, your phone can land you to new heights in productivity. Here are some apps that might help.

Forest – staying in focus is key to get many jobs done. You can use your smartphone to actually keep yourself in focus instead of distracting you all the time. There’s an app for that and it’s called Forest. If you like the environment, this app is for you. It won’t directly save the environment but you’ll like the concept anyway. For every task you finish, you’re rewarded by a planted tree. The more tasks you finish, the more trees you’ll get until you get yourself a forest. In a philosophical way, you see yourself growing better and better in your work and professional life. If you get distracted or allow yourself to and exit the app, a tree dies. Now you wouldn’t want that. You can take breaks of course, as the app uses the Pomodoro technique allowing you a short break every 25 minutes.

Noisli – whether you believe it or not, some sounds actually help people focus more on their work. The simplest way without having to download any app is listening to your favorite set of songs. It works well for me when having to do a long routine no-brainer. That doesn’t work for everyone though as they need some sounds to be more soothing, relaxing or therapeutic when having to get creative. Noisli is an app to do just that. Noisli provides its users with a set of white noise to get them ‘in the zone’. These sounds include relaxing waves on the beach, the sound of rain on the roof, crackling fire or even coffee shop chatter which work for people who chill out at Starbucks.

Pocket – since distraction remains the enemy of productivity, you can simply put it at bay. Know those nice juicy articles you can’t resist reading popping up one after another, you can put them all in your pocket to read later after clocking out. Pocket allows you to move those links in a reading list for later. That way, you won’t forget them and miss them because that’s what you’re really afraid of right? Pocket used to be called Read It Later.

ToDoist Karma – Even the meekest or laziest person has a competitive streak. To take advantage of that, turn something into a game like a to do list. Getting rewarded points to get a job done is a good motivator. Players win Karma points after completing their specified objectives and lose those points if they fail or postpone a task, and gamers hate that. Todoist shows players some great charts to view their progress and players get motivated to improve on those charts.

Note Taking – It’s not shameful to take down notes if you want to remember points of discussions and meetings, in fact it’s a necessity. Your neurons aren’t what they used to be especially when you grow older. Note taking apps such as OneNote and EverNote will help you remember important points of your meetings or discussions. You’ll be thankful later on that you haven’t forgotten that one crucial tidbit. Note-taking apps are also useful whenever a great idea comes up. Don’t let it die, that idea could make you rich.

All apps mentioned in the post can be found on Google Play or the ITunes stores.