Getting yourself into the habit of planning your day can work wonders. Once you start following a pre-planned schedule, you might actually end up with extra time on your hands by the end of the day. Planning your day before heading out is one of the traits that will definitely boost your productivity. There are several habits that you can condition yourself to follow with the help of apps on your smartphone. Using these apps regularly will ensure that you can accomplish more in a single day. This can only be done by cutting down on distractions and introducing new techniques of multitasking with the smartphone in your pocket. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a working professional or a student. You will surely find some apps from the list below that you can incorporate into your daily lives. The following apps aren’t listed in any order of usefulness. We won’t be including the regular productivity apps such as calendars, file managers, note taking apps, password managers, or probably the most popular productivity app IFTTT.
7 Minute Workout
One of the best habits that you should introduce into your daily routine is working out. Some people don’t find it feasible to hit the gym for several reasons. If you’re among those then there are several apps out there that present you a list of exercises you can follow at home. Still wondering whether you can invest time in working out even at home? The 7 Minute Workout app requires you to spend only seven minutes every day and nothing more.
Workouts are divided into five basic routines including Classic, Abs, Butt, Leg and Arm. Apart from these, you will also find a 30-day challenge routine for a full body workout and a set of stretching exercises before going to sleep. All of these routines have a set of exercises assigned with strict timings, all adding up to seven minutes.
7 Minute Workout
Are you the kind of person who spends a lot of time texting friends across different apps? Switching between them can be quite a pain. Well, all of this can be done right from your home screen using DirectChat. The app reads notifications from social media and IM apps and throws them in chat bubbles individually for every app. This allows you to read and reply to those messages right from those chat bubbles without opening every other app.
Most of the supported and installed apps are automatically detected. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, Hangouts, Instagram, WhatsApp and Twitter were automatically listed in our case. You can add more apps such as LinkedIn or your SMS app.
The Fast Finder app lets you search for apps that are installed on your phone without needing to open your file manager. Apart from apps, you can even search through images and documents as well. The app stays true to its name because as soon as you start typing, a drop-down menu appears listing down all the matching files.
Advanced file search is also supported – you can search using file types or extensions such as ‘gif’ or ‘jpg’. Another interesting feature is the ability to search within an app. So, if you type ‘oscars’, then the app gives you options of Google Search, your web browser, Play Store, YouTube, etc.
Scrolling through social media, you probably read a lot of web articles. However, there’s a gap between tapping on the link and the webpage finally loading on your web browser. If you don’t want to lose those precious seconds, you should be using Flynx. This web browser app opens up links in floating bubbles that load in the background while you continue scrolling through your feed.
Setting it as your default web browser will enable you to save articles in the app by double-tapping on links. Your saved articles can also be synced with your Google account. But if you don’t want to use the save for later feature, you can always opt for Pocket.
Forest: Stay Focused
Although using a smartphone allows you to multitask and be productive, it’s also responsible for a lot of distractions. The only way to avoid them is to restrict yourself from using your phone. You will find several apps that lock you out for a limited time, denying access to your apps. Forest is one app that gamifies and rewards you in exchange for the time you spend not using your phone.
The main idea is to grow a plant in your “productive” time when you aren’t using your phone and if you’re successful, the plant grows into a tree. Do this every day, and you’ll be able to grow a forest eventually. You can set different time periods and if you leave the app mid-way, well, your plant dies.
Forest: Stay Focused
There must have been times where you came across a new word while using an app. Naturally, you would open up a dictionary app or do a quick Google search for its meaning. Wouldn’t it have been easier if you didn’t have to leave the app? Look Up is a pop-up dictionary that lets you search for the definition, pronunciation and synonyms of the selected word.
The only shortcoming of the app is that the text has to be selectable, so you can’t use this app for Facebook, Twitter or Instagram unless you’re accessing them from a web browser. This app is really useful if you read a lot of online stories. It can also be used in messaging apps. Look Up didn’t work with other floating window apps when we used it.
While working, some people prefer to listen to music, while some prefer ambient noise. Ambient noise helps them concentrate better on their work. However, ambient noises are harder to come by than you think. Sleepo is a great alternative that contains all the ambient noise samples that you might need. Whether it’s rain and water, nature and forest, city and household, or just samples to relax and meditate.
You can play them on loop simultaneously to up to eight samples. And if you like any of the combinations, you can create a mix and save it. The next time, you can play them directly instead of picking them again.
A productivity app compilation isn’t complete without a to-do list app and we recommend Todoist. Lists are created under individual projects and in the free version, you can create up to 80 projects – more than enough for one user. For example, if you create a project called Personal, then you can add all your personal tasks such as cleaning your PC, reading a book, watching a movie, etc.
In the free version, you can also include up to five people per project. But if you want to get access to more features such as task labels, reminders, comments, file uploads, etc, you will have to pay for the annual subscription. The app also gamifies task completion by rewarding you with points or ‘Karma’, giving you a score.