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Want to Boost Your Productivity? There’s an App For That.

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productivity appsMost of us tend to spend our time downloading what we might call “anti-productivity” apps. Do Trivia Crack, Candy Crush, and Instagram ring a bell? But there are productivity apps out there that will actually help you stay focused.

As part of our ongoing New Year’s Productivity Series (check out our posts on the Pomodore Technique and Don’t Break the Chain) we’re going to explore some apps that will help boost your productivity and get homework done faster and more efficiently. Ready? On your mark, get set…study!

  • RescueTime: You only spend 15 minutes on Instagram…right? Thanks to RescueTime, the jig is up. This program runs in the background of your computer and mobile devices to track what you’re spending your time on and will give you a detailed weekly report. It also has options to let you block websites that might prove to be overly distracting.
  • 30/30: The name denotes a timer that gives you 30 minutes of working time, then a 30-minute break. The ratio is a bit too generous, but the settings are designed to allow you to set up a task list and assign a time frame that suits your needs. The visual reminder and audio notifier will let you know when it’s time to move tasks and help keep you on track.
  • Focus@Will: Can music help you study? In some cases, yes. The Focus@Will app claims to offer music and soundscapes that are designed to drown out distractions and help you focus. The app also includes a timer function and a productivity tracker. It is $5 a month, but it’s trying out their 30-day free trial to see how well it works for you.
  • One List: Most of us have far more than “one list,” as we juggle homework, college apps, tests and more. This app lets you color code items and put a due date on them. But it also helps you keep up with those tasks that are perennially on your “to do” list but don’t really have a concrete due date.
  • Pocket: Most of us find ourselves going down the black hole of web surfing. Oh, this article is interesting! So is this! This one might help! Before you know it, you’ve been surfing so long, you forget what you were looking for. Pocket allows you to take those enticing articles and set them aside for later so you can focus on the task at hand. Talk about a time saver.
  • Evernote: Sometimes one of the biggest issues in getting organized is the sheer quantity of detail you have in every conceivable format – notes, files, websites, lists, ideas. Evernote lets you keep them all in one spot and is easily searchable in case you accidentally put an email about your chem exam with your math This is a great way to keep track of different kinds of media that you might be assembling for your history project, or as a way to capture notes for your college essay, whether you think of them while you’re at home or on the bus.

With this wide variety of productivity apps and their different functions, there’s sure to be one that will help you with an ongoing productivity problem.  We’d love to hear what you think about these six apps and their ability to help you get more done in the New Year!

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