back to top
DIY

15 Apps That'll Make You Insanely Productive

FINISH your to-do list for once.

Posted on

Constantly feel like you're buried under a pile of crap you need to do?

Constant deadlines, emails that pile up, chores that *never* get done...

If this sounds all too familiar, whip out your phone or computer and start downloading these apps that'll help you actually get stuff done and let you LIVE YOUR LIFE.

Advertisement

1. Freedom (free, iOS, Android, Mac) blocks distractions on your phone or computer.

Freedom

The app is incredibly simple to use. Create a list of your app and website weaknesses (Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, the whole internet, etc.). Using Freedom, you can schedule sessions where you're not allowed to access those sites or start a distraction-free session on demand.

2. Forest ($2, iOS and Android) is an app that forces you to put down your phone.

Curb your phone addiction by planting a seed in Forest and watching it grow into a tree over the next 30 minutes. If you relapse, you'll kill the tree. Sad.

As you spend time away from your phone, you'll watch your forest become bigger and bigger! There's also a free Chrome and Firefox extension, through which you can blacklist certain time-sucking websites and watch your tree grow while you stay away from them.

3. Create your own recipe of ambient noises at Noisli (free, web) or listen on their pre-made productivity and relax mixes.

Noisli

It's a great source of background noise for those who can't work if it's *too* quiet.

Advertisement

5. Coffitivity (free, iOS and Android) includes a variety of coffee shop noises to help you stay ~creative~.

You can create your ideal work environment by adding coffee shop sounds to your favorite playlists.

6. Plan (free, web) forces you to MAKE TIME for the things you need to do.

getplan.co

On the left, you can jot down your tasks and on the right, you'll see your meetings and events on Google calendar. Just drag your tasks onto the calendar, so you can block off a time to work.

7. If your life runs on to do lists, use Todoist (free, iOS, Android), a powerful task management tool.

It's an app that's clean and simple, which is exactly what you need when your to do list is a mile long. You can create subtasks, share projects, delegate items (amazing for co-grocery shopping with roommates), set notifications, and, most importantly, access the list from essentially anywhere.

Todoist is available on mobile (iOS and Android), as a browser extension (Safari, Firefox and Chrome), and on desktop (Mac and Windows).

Most of my favorite features are unlocked by Premium. You can upgrade ($29/year or ~$2.40/month) to get search capabilities, labels, location reminders, and more. It's a steep price for an app, but if you really rely on your to-do list to get things done, it's worth it.

8. Pomotodo (free, iOS and Android) encourages you to take breaks every 25 minutes, which will boost your productivity.

The technique is a time management method that uses a timer to break down your working session into 25 minute intervals (called "pomodoros") with short breaks in between. Every four pomodoros, take a longer 20- or 30-minute break.

With this app, you can create a to-do list while running the timer. It'll record how long it took you to do each task and remind you when it's time to take a break. To unlock more timer sounds and advanced to-do functionality (like sub to-dos and repeats), you'll need Pro, which costs $3 a month or $30 a year.

It's also available as a free Chrome extension, as well as Mac and Windows app.

Advertisement

9. Doo ($5, iOS) turns your tasks into a stack of cards, so you can focus on just one thing at a time.

Doo

I absolutely love this app. It's beautiful and uses a lot of gestures that I find *incredibly* satisfying (like swiping up to complete something). I like that you can snooze tasks for later, too.

One feature that's unique to Doo is that, if it detects a to do that's too ambitious, it'll encourage you to break the item into smaller tasks.

10. If email is your Everest, try Sortd for Gmail (free, web) which transforms your inbox into a drag-and-drop workspace.

Sortd

This web-based tool offers an interesting alternative to inbox organization. You can drop your emails into different lists, rename the subject to an action item, read/reply to email from the list, and add non-email tasks into your email workflow.

Sortd is still in private beta, so you'll need to enter your email for an invite.

11. Speaking of email, Gorgias (free, Chrome) allows you to send email faster with templates and keyboard shortcuts for Gmail.

Gorgias

If there are certain items you always share (your personal website, phone number, etc.), this Chrome extension allows you to create templates that are accessible with keyboard shortcuts.

The templates can also include variables so, for example, you can type "h"+TAB to get "Hello [Insert recipient's name here]."

This app is a great tool for people who write the same types of emails every day: people who run Etsy shops, have Airbnb listings, or are constantly reaching out to companies for job opportunities.

Advertisement

13. Hello Alfred ($32/week, web and iOS) is a subscription service where other people take care of your chores.

Alfred

It starts at $32 for one weekly visit. Your "Alfred" can help with tasks like dog walking, home cleaning, laundry drop off, groceries, watering plants, gift shopping, returns, dish washing... you name it. At the end of every month, you pay for the items bought through Alfred, which promises no markups, only retail prices or better.

The service is available in NYC, Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles for now.

WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE.

14. TaskRabbit (free to download, iOS and Android) has a team of "Taskers" on hand to help you with any one-off chores: from waiting in line at a restaurant to helping with spring cleaning.

Basic tasks cost about $30 an hour. Services are currently available in 19 cities including L.A., San Francisco, New York City, Austin, Chicago, and London.

15. Magic (free, all platforms) is a text-based concierge service that can fulfill almost any request.

Magic

This app, available anywhere in the US, is the hands down easiest way to get things done. Here's how it works: you text "magic" to 83489 to get started, and enter in credit card and address information.

Once the company has that on file, you can start texting Magic things like, "I need to fly to Los Angeles next Friday and I want the cheapest flight." An operator standing by will search for the most affordable flight, ask you if it looks good, then book it.

Promoted

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss