Life is sometimes messy. Staying organized and on track with an endless to-do-list can be a daily struggle. It’s easy to feel like you’re not getting anything done if all of your information is scattered across different email addresses, notebooks, and online tools.
Luckily, there are more options for getting things done and staying on track than the popularized Microsoft Office Suite of yesteryear. There are thousands (millions?) of productivity apps for iphones and Androids designed to help you increase your productivity. Productivity expert and CreativeLive instructor Ari Meisel has an incredible system of productivity apps that he uses to streamline just about every aspect of his life.
Ari, a huge fan of using IFTTT (If This, Then That), which allows you to build custom workflows and let your apps communicate with each other, shares, “the best apps allow you to automate so much of your life, that you can simply set it and forget it.”
Now, finding the best app or management tool to help organize your life can be just as stressful and time-consuming as the actual organization part.
Our goal is to help you be as successful and productive as possible, so we’ve put together this handy list of the best productivity apps to help with all forms of project management and time-tracking in your life.
EverNote is a note-taking app that is also the reigning king of productivity. Its potential runs deep, no matter if it’s just you or an entire team who’s using it. Keep track of to do lists, note-taking, lengthy research, web clippings, photos and drawings, and pretty much anything else. EverNote integrates with all of your devices (like Google Calendar, Google Drive or Dropbox), allows collaboration both in app and web browser form, and presents all of your data in one easy-to-navigate digital workspace so is easy for task management. (Other good option: Slack).
Do you need to pick up groceries on your way home from work? Use Wunderlist to remind you when you’re leaving work, to stop at the store and pick up what you need. The app has a task and subtask feature, with due dates, reminder alerts, and ability to assign and categorize; meaning collaboration with other users is allowed here as well. You can use Wunderlist for everything from random little tasks to big work projects. It’s an all-around great task management app to add to your ios roladex. (Other good option: Todoist).
Trello stands out from the rest with its uniquely useful interface. This productivity app is built around the concept of “boards” and “cards.” Think of it like multiple bulletin boards with sticky notes, except you can assign due dates, color codes, archive and set reminders. You can invite teams to work with, use the calendar feature, and be sure you’ll never miss a deadline because Trello automatically reminds you about anything coming up in the next three days. It’s a great way to make sure you’re getting things done.
Found a great article you don’t have time to read? Pocket it. Pocket is a browser extension that syncs with the app on your phone (Android device or iPhone). When an article (or picture, video, web page) is “pocketed,” it becomes available to view offline in the app, which is very useful. You can also tag anything you pocket, making it easy to categorize everything on your to-check-out-later list.
Is your Gmail or Outlook inbox getting out of hand? Unroll.me is an email app that makes it super easy to unsubscribe to all the junk in your inbox (with one click!) and simultaneously streamline everything you want to keep. With their awesome “round up” feature, you’ll receive all your subscriptions in one daily email- making your morning a little more enjoyable and making sure you don’t miss out on those important emails. (Other good option: Newton).
Are you a social media pro? If so, Hootsuite is here to help you out. You can schedule all of your social media posts and they’ll be posted for you at a specified time in this to-do list app (with the exception of Instagram, their API doesn’t allow third-party apps to post but you can still schedule and have a notification sent to you). A cool feature: Hootsuite analyzes your follower data and suggests the best times to post for highest engagement.
Traveling is great in theory, but the actual process can quickly become pretty stressful with boarding passes, itineraries, and hotel bookings all over the place. TripIt takes everything you need to travel and streamlines it into one spot. You can name your trips, import all of your travel data, set reminders, and have everything ready at the touch of a button. Fret not, wanderluster!
Podcasts are taking the world by storm… because they’re great ways to listen and learn while you’re on the go. They’re also available in a bunch of different formats. PocketCast has one of the widest selections of podcast shows and also the capability to download, subscribe, delete automatically, and save to collection. The app is simple with a clean design and works beautifully.
If you’re trying to lose weight or just pay closer attention to what you put in your body, My Fitness Pal has you covered. They have an absolutely massive database of foods complete with nutrition information that you can enter in meals throughout your day. You can also create your own recipes, foods, enter exercise, set goals and see your macros. It’s okay if you “forget” to log the day you eat a whole sleeve of Oreos.
Do you pick things up and put them down? It can be hard to remember how many squats you did last week and at what weight, so Fit Notes makes it easy to track and remember. You can track your progress, see frequent workouts, the last set you did and create custom routines. It’s a no-frills app that pairs well as the exercise partner to My Fitness Pal.
The best news is that all these apps are available to use on any kind of device you use most readily — be that an Apple watch, ipad, iphone or Android device (or alternatively, if you’re using a Mac or Windows).