Wednesday 30, May 2018 by Matthew Amlôt

Appified productivity


I use a lot of apps to manage my productivity, here are some of them

There has been considerable internet ink spilled about the how we carry too many apps on our smartphones leading to clutter and lost productivity. I must admit, however, that there are a number of apps on my phone that I use to help increase my own personal productivity. Here are a few of them below:

I probably use this app the most to stay on top of everything I have to do – both in and out of the office. The rich feature set of Todoist in comparison to many other To Do apps have kept me with it. Chiefly I use Gmail for sorting out all of my work and personal email which works fantastically in tandem with Todoist as it allows me to save emails as tasks and syncs between the two.

In addition, Todoist also allows a variety of sorting, labelling, projecting and timelining functions. The mobile app syncs with my desktop and sends me push notifications reminding me of particular tasks when I want them, or a list at the start of my work day. If you’re looking for a way of keeping on top of all of your tasks and moving away from a sea of post-it notes, I can’t recommend Todoist enough.

The many virtues of Dropbox have been oft extolled elsewhere. It’s automatic syncing and cross-platform availability makes it immediately useful to me. The one tip I would give is that for my work computer I have found it advantageous to not set up my full Dropbox account and have instead come up with a workaround. By making a second account and setting that up on my work computer and then sharing the contents with my main account I maintain a great separation between the two whilst also keeping any privacy concerns in check.

I almost feel like it is old-hat at this point to mention Evernote. I have continued to stick to the venerable note-taking app for the past few years, despite trying the competition, such as Google Keep. Making different notebooks and using the tag functionatlity have both improved my experience with the app, so if you haven’t already I recommend giving that a go.

For anyone who has delved into different productivity techniques you will be well versed in the Pomodoro Technique. For those that haven’t, it is a relatively simply way in which to improve your productivity. Through the use of a timer you break down your work into several chunks, normally about 25 minutes long, with a short break in between. The idea is that since it is only 25 minutes you can concentrate and work hard throughout the time before giving yourself a short break and going again. This also means that you can become better at estimating how long a specific task will take by estimating how many ‘Pomodorians’ (25 minutes chunks) it will take.

The PomoDoneApp simply creates a digital version of this timer and, crucially for me, syncs with my Todoist meaning that I can select a specific task in Todoist to begin working on and the timer will begin and then complete the task once I have finished.

I find this app more useful in keeping me productive by keeping my phone out of my hands when I’m at work. Simply put Pushbullet allows you to receive your phones notifications on your computer. On a day-to-day basis I find this keeps me more focused on my work, except for those times when I need to totally disconnect – and for that there’s a snooze function too.

If you haven’t heard of CamScanner before, you should have. Ever been in a meeting where you need to quickly take a document as a PDF? Or do you want to digitally upload all of your business cards? The CamScanner app does all of this and more. Really once I downloaded this I realised that I had no real earthly use for a traditional scanner anymore.

I’m sure there are more that I’ve forgotten, so maybe that will be the topic of another post. But for now, what apps do you use?