There are distractions everywhere in today’s society. We have phones, game consoles, computers and TVs demanding our attention 24/7. Staying focused is a herculean task, but fortunately, some clever people out there have decided to turn some of these distraction devices into weapons in aid of productivity. Here are some of the best apps for iPhone (and other mobile devices) to help you stay on-point with work.
Away Find sets out to ease that most 21st century of problems – annoying emails. It is essentially a customizable filter, that you set up to block out all but the most important emails from reaching your phone. Non-important emails aren’t deleted, but are merely prevented from reaching you while you’re away from your computer. It also comes with the options to create auto-responses and alternative modes of contact if your phone isn’t accepting emails.
A good practice when trying to be productive is to time things out. Scheduling in “work” blocks alongside “procrastination” blocks helps to focus your mind, knowing that your day isn’t just going to be work work work. That’s where 30/30 comes in. It allows you to set a timer for a certain task (“Writing”, “Watching YouTube” etc.), and pause it if you switch to another one. All it requires is that you are honest with it!
While fairly robust in itself, Apple’s Calendar app isn’t the most user-friendly. It requires a fair amount of menu navigation, and occasionally over-complicates simple tasks. QuickCal, on the other hand, works with plain English input. If you type in “Meeting tomorrow at 1pm”, it will create an event called “Meeting” for 1pm the next day.
At the end of the day, a phone or tablet can only hold so much data. Sometimes, you need your computer with you, but in the same vein, that isn’t always practical or possible. LogMeIn bridges the gap between your mobile device and your home computer. If you have two Apple products, like an iPhone and a Mac computer, you can access the computer remotely, gaining access to your files and programs.
Most days, you’ll be making lots of small purchases that might not even register in your memory the next day. This usually means the fee was quite small, so it doesn’t matter if you don’t keep track of it. But some people want to keep a lock on all of their comings and goings, and thankfully now they can thanks to Captio. By taking a picture of a receipt, the app will automatically recognize the key parts, and after you’ve inserted some details of your own, Captio will store it in a database. You can then look back on any day in the past and see what you spent.
One of the originators in the mobile cloud storage game, Dropbox works in a similar way to the iCloud, but is available on Android and other devices too. It allows for safe, secure storage of text, photos and videos, and allows you access to them from anywhere in the world. Even if you already have a cloud storage provider, it never hurts to have a backup.
Updating Apple’s standard Calendar app with QuickCal is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to improving upon your phones defaults. Due is an upgraded version of the Reminder app, that while not greatly expanding on the default service, allows for more options. For example, you can utilize the app to set reminders that are set to timers as opposed to certain dates and times.
The big name in 3rd party productivity apps, Evernote is one of the most powerful mobile offices around. It offers a ton of features that revolve around noting down everything you need to over the course of a day (with text, photos or videos), before allowing you to access these notes from any other device with Evernote installed.
Finally, this last app tackles yet another tedious aspect of modern life – remembering which passwords go with which website. 1Password allows you to store all of your password data in a safe and secure environment. The passwords are locked behind a password wall themselves, and if you have a fingerprint enabled phone, you can link that to your account as well, further protecting the info held within the app.
So while these apps won’t guarantee you’ll be a lean, mean working machine by utilizing all of them, if you use them correctly, they can almost certainly aid you in your working life!