Electronics are notorious for being distracting. I’m guilty of using Facebook as a way to avoid work and responsibilities—I’d rather stare at some distant cousin’s vacation photos for three hours than clean my room, apparently. With the accessibility of Angry Birds (or whatever game the kids are playing nowadays), a quick break can turn into way more procrastination than intended. Luckily, the technology we depend on every day can be used for good! The following are a collection of apps and extensions that will make you feel more productive, whether you’re a busy CEO or someone who just needs to stop watching Netflix for two seconds.
Okay, so most people store Apple’s preset apps in a cluttered folder titled something like “IDGAF About Stocks” (anyone else?). Reminders is the one Apple application I’m glad I can’t get rid of. Forgetful people everywhere will agree that it’s a lifesaver. Simply type the task or event you don’t trust yourself to remember and set a convenient time for an alarm to nag you—you’ll never forget another assignment or important birthday!
If you’ve ever looked through a study inspiration blog (instead of studying, perhaps?) you’ve seen Momentum. The extension, available for Chrome and Safari, sets you up with everything you need on your homepage: a welcome message, beautiful background photo, quick links, time, weather, and an inspirational quote. To top it all off, you can fill in your focus for the day and a to-do list, so you’re reminded of your duties after opening a new tab for online shopping. The extension is super handy when it comes to keeping track of tasks, and the personable greeting message will make you feel like a superhero.
Developing healthy habits can be hard. Productive gives users a push to complete tasks in every sort of category, from the work-related to the mindful. The app only shows which habits need to be done at a certain time of day, so you aren’t overwhelmed by a day’s worth of tasks. You choose whether a habit should be completed daily, weekly, or monthly, and the app shows a satisfying streak to each task you’ve completed consecutively. Productivity’s layout is aesthetically and organizationally pleasing; the only drawback is that its free version is limited to five habits daily.
Evernote is, in its most basic form, a note-taking app. Once you get in the swing of things, however, it transforms into a magical tool for life organization. The app itself allows you to save, search, and share notes. Its web-clipper extension is a praised feature, enabling users to save items they stumble across on the Internet. The extension works with Google, so if you’ve saved a certain keyword in Evernote, it will come up with a Google search. I was most impressed with Evernote’s ability to scan handwritten notes (with an iPhone camera!) and make them searchable. For those who prefer pen and paper, Evernote is a great way to archive your mess of handwritten scribbles.
This free software isn’t productive in the sense that it organizes notes and reminds you to complete assignments. However, it would be impossible to be productive in one’s day-to-day life without sleep! We’ve all heard the damaging effects of our favorite electronics’ screen light: potential blindness, messing with your brain, and lack of sleep. You might stay up even later after watching YouTube videos before bed because of your MacBook’s harsh light. That’s where f.lux comes in: the software softens your screen’s light during a chosen period of time. The warming effect is barely noticeable, except that your eyes won’t be burning after working in the dark. Finally, f.lux nags you to get a good nights’ sleep by showing a wake-up reminder every hour.
In conclusion, the easiest way to feel less lazy is to download the latter to your devices—right from the comfort of your own couch!