The Best Personal Productivity Apps

The software and services that our technicians have compiled in this article have the particularity of being especially practical for anyone: from office workers to students. And yes, it’s a current list of our team’s favorite productivity apps. It could be more complete, however, our intention is that it provides useful suggestions for your daily tasks and introduces you to some hidden gems. Let’s get started!

Best Personal Productivity Apps
Best Personal Productivity Apps

Apple Shortcuts

Apple allows you to create automations, that is, series of events that occur automatically when you activate your Apple Shortcut. For example, you can make a Shortcut that says: When I get to work (based on GPS), automatically put my phone on silent.” Another might be: When I turn off my phone’s wake-up alarm, I then play a morning news podcast.” Even if you know nothing about programming at all, you can create some time-saving shortcuts with this tool.

Dragon Naturally Speaking

If you have realized that dictation can increase your productivity, then you should give Dragon NaturallySpeaking a try. It is the best and most accurate dictation software we have ever used. The program comes in different editions, which are designed for specific terminology and formats, such as Dragon Legal Individual and Dragon Law Enforcement. The Home edition is a good choice for general use. We recommend that you spend a few days learning how to handle Dragon and you will recover them in no time.

Evernote

Evernote is an application designed to take notes with a wide variety of uses. You can store important ideas in it: from a list of recommended books to a personal catalog of recipes. With Evernote you can capture notes by writing, recording audio, taking photos, uploading PDFs, digitally drawing, and more.

One of the features of Evernote is that when you search for a word or phrase, the app searches not only your text, but also images of the words in images. That means that if you take a photo of a “for sale” sign and then search for “for sale,” Evernote will find it. Paid users can also search for PDF files and other uploaded documents from instances of words. Although we’ve listed Evernote as a “personal productivity” app rather than a collaboration tool, you can use it with a group to collectively share, create, and edit notes.

IFTTT

IFTTT stands for If This, Then That. It’s a website and mobile app that you can use to create custom automations between online services and devices. It’s similar to Apple Shortcuts, but it’s been around longer and works for a lot more apps than there are on your iPhone. For example, you can create this sequence: “If there’s an upcoming event on my Google Calendar, send me a reminder with the name, time, and address of the event.” Or, “If someone tags a photo of me on Facebook, save a copy of that photo to Dropbox.” When you let IFTTT do small tasks like this for you, then you gain time and energy to be productive on other tasks.

Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote is an application created to take notes that can be synchronized with other Microsoft products. While similar to Evernote in its core concept, OneNote has a totally different design. Each page of notes is more like an artboard than a word processing document. You can place text, images, and other resources on the page and move them around as you please. If you use Microsoft OneDrive for storage or Outlook for email and calendar, then OneNote is a natural choice because it has close ties to both programs. For students, OneNote has some special math-related features. It also has some cool features if you use it to record an audio conference while taking notes. When you play the conference, your notes reappear as if they were in sync with the audio.

RescueTime

RescueTime does for your productivity what counting calories does for weight loss: it puts the focus on your real habits. RescueTime is a time tracking tool that logs the apps you use, the websites you visit, and the breaks you take while you work. RescueTime also classifies every app and website you use into five productivity categories, which you can customize:

  • Very productive
  • Productive
  • Neutral
  • that distracts
  • which is very distracting

It also classifies them by type, such as communication and programming, social networks, entertainment, design and composition, etc. RescueTime¬† also help you set goals for what you want to do. It’s one of our favorite productivity tools.

SaneBox

SaneBox is the best service you will find to improve your email account. SaneBox puts messages that are probably not important in folders other than your inbox. How is it possible? You realize the difference between a “cold call” email and one from an acquaintance or business associate. To do this, check if they are in your address book and other details. You can also teach SaneBox to learn over time so that it can decide who and what is important to you. With this app you’ll spend less time sorting through your inbox, which means you can focus on more important work.

Stayfocused

Stayfocusd is a browser extension that blocks distracting websites while you’re trying to work. You can block out distractions at set times and dates (such as 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday). Although also after having reached a limit (for example, no more than 30 minutes of Twitter per day). It’s simple, free, and can help you keep your productivity high.

Strict Workflow

Are you a Pomodoro fan? In the 1990s, a new work method called the Pomodoro Technique caused many people to buy tomato-shaped kitchen timers (hence the name) to time 25 minutes of work followed by a short break. With modern technology, it’s easier to just install a free browser plugin, like Strict Workflow that is based on this technique. It can also block distracting websites while you’re deep in a work phase.

SwiftKey

Microsoft-owned SwiftKey is a custom keyboard for Android and iOS that lets you type by sliding your finger across the keyboard instead of tapping each letter one at a time. It can predict what you’re trying to say, even with careless swipes. The keyboard supports more than 500 languages. It is a great help to answer emails, text messages and write documents from a mobile phone.

Todoist

The free version of the app will hook you with its native language input, priority ratings, the ability to assign tasks to other people (“It’s your turn to take out the trash, flatmate”), and other top features. With a free account, you can collaborate with up to five people per project and can manage up to 80 projects. With a paid plan, you’ll be able to receive reminders, labels, filters, and the ability to add comments to tasks. Todoist also has an enterprise-grade service level, in case you like it so much that you want to share it at work too.

X1 Search

Some people don’t see the need for a desktop search tool like X1 Search. They prefer to rely on a carefully maintained hierarchical folder structure, a zealously organized email account, and perfect adherence to all these housekeeping rules. These types of people never lose their passwords. For everyone else, X1 Search saves you time by finding anything on your PC or email. X1 can search everything on your desktop, your email accounts and files, Microsoft Sharepoint, your calendars, remotely hosted files, etc. Why waste time looking for that file you can’t remember where you put, when X1 can find it in a second?

How Many Productivity Apps Should You Use?

Surely now you are a bit overwhelmed with so many applications and services. Our recommendation is that you first do a brief self-analysis and ask yourself: what would I like to improve or be more agile? From there, set priorities to install and learn to use the application that best meets your goal.

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