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My Top 5 Productivity Apps

My Top 5 Productivity Apps

Life is always busy, and there always seems to be more to do. No matter how hard you try, you can't create more time. You can only do less—or be more productive.

These are five productivity apps that I couldn't do without. I use most of them every day!

  1. Focus@Will. This is my new favorite productivity tool, and the first on this list I upgraded to the pro version. It's a unique neuroscience-based web service that helps increase your focus by “zoning out” distractions and playing music specifically designed to keep you focused. I use this whenever I write, and often when I'm working on a specific project. I'm even using it right now!
    Apps available for Android & iOS.
  2. Buffer. This is the easiest way for me to manage posting to social media accounts, especially Twitter. When I run across an article or quote I want to share, adding it to my queue in buffer (which posts at prescheduled times I've already set up) keeps me from getting distracted by going directly to any social media site. I can also use buffer to space out my posts, rather than flood my followers' news feeds when I run across multiple articles at once that I want to share.
    Apps available for Google ChromeAndroid, & iOS.
  3. Wunderlist. I've experimented with a number of to-do apps, and this is by far the best I've found. I have different lists for general tasks, blog to-dos, and even groceries! My favorite part is how easy it is to share lists with other users (like my wife). You can also add deadlines, comments, and subtasks. We recently started using this for all our task management needs at OCF.
    Apps available for Android & iOS.
  4. StayFocusd. This Chrome extension is a lifesaver. You can add distracting sites to a “blocked sites” list and give yourself an allotted total time each day (e.g. 60 minutes) to spend on them. The extension monitors your activity and blocks them for the day once you've exceeded that preset time. You can set the timer to run during certain times of day (like 8 am-4 pm) and even turn on a “nuclear option” that temporarily blocks all websites but those on your “allowed sites” list, when you really need to focus.
    App available for Google Chrome.
  5. LastPass. I use the Chrome extension to generate different passwords for each online account I have and store them all there. I only have to remember the one password for the app, and the rest is stored securely online. I'll be honest, I used to always waste time with the “forgot password” process on most sites that I don't visit regularly before I started using this. The autofill process that LastPass provides is easy and painless.
    Apps available for: Most internet browsers, Android*, & iOS*.
    *Available for Premium users only

All of these apps, with the exception of StayFocusd, have “freemium” business models, meaning that you don't need to pay anything for the basic service, but there are extra features available for those willing to pay for them.

Question: What productivity apps do you use on a regular basis?