Regardless of what you do for a living, the endless stream of emails, social media notifications, and everyday errands, plans, and to-do’s can feel completely overwhelming and unmanageable. Not only can this information overload be frustrating, but it’s also time-consuming and cuts into time doing things we actually enjoy, disrupting our sense of work/life balance.
If you happen to be a part of the growing number of professionals in a variety of industries who are working remotely, you probably feel this more acutely than anyone. If you’re feeling weighed down by the mental gymnastics it takes to keep track of all the details of your day, there are tons of productivity apps designed to simplify and streamline all the things you’re currently trying to juggle by yourself.
Here are the best productivity apps available to help you finally feel as though you’ve got your life together.
- Trello. It’s no surprise that Trello is one of the most popular productivity apps on the market, since its appealing format makes it easy to manage a large number of very different projects using different boards, which you can customize to share with only certain individuals. Within these boards, you can create cards with bulleted checklists, comments, and attached files—including photos and videos. These can be moved across different lists within the boards, too. Trello also has options to help you prioritize and track the progress of tasks, so it’s easy to get a big picture view of what is on your itinerary.
- FocusList. This daily planner and focus app is designed to help you plan your day, stay focused on tasks, and track your time spent. Getting your life together means being brutally honest about how you spend your time, and this app is here to help you track the data that can tell you where your inefficiencies lie. Based on the Pomodoro technique, which is a time-management and productivity strategy in which you work in 25-minute intervals with 5-minute breaks until tasks are complete, FocusList will help you crush your to-do list without frying your brain.
- Hours. Another fantastic app for tracking the hours you spend on any given activity is Hours, which allows you to set a running list of timers that can be switched off and on with the touch of a button. At the end of the day, you can check out how much of your day is dedicated to work and to play and adjust accordingly. It even has options for team time tracking, and with an intuitive timeline format and data visualizations, it has never been easier to keep track of how you’re spending your days and better estimate future projects and productivity.
- Newton Mail. One of the most powerful email organization apps on the market, Newton Mail merges all your different email accounts into one place and helps you sort through the endless barrage of emails you get across your accounts every day. Newton Mail supports virtually every email provider available, and it can integrate with other apps like Trello to further streamline your life and maximize your efficiency. The one downside is that you’ll need to pay to gain access to some of Newton Mail’s best features, but the good news is that it’s only $49.99 annually to end the email chaos for good.
- Slack. The ultimate communication app, Slack is perfect for keeping in touch with coworkers and colleagues without adding to the number of emails you have to attend to every day. Slack is somewhere between instant message and email, merging the best of both worlds into one super-intuitive platform. You can easily organize messages into various channels and threads and attach files to messages, but you can also react to comments with emojis and GIF comments and the app “feels” more like texting, especially on mobile.
- Headspace. This highly popular mindfulness and guided meditation app helps you conquer the basics of meditation in a 10-day beginner’s course that can help you reduce stress, focus more, and sleep better. Best of all, this course only requires about ten minutes of your day, and it’s easy to start over if you miss a day or just want to repeat the course—because it’s awesome. Addie Paddicombe, the English accent behind perhaps the best audio interface of any guided meditation app, will walk you through your daily dose of calm, with audio recordings to direct your zen.
- Google Drive. If you’re not already using Google Drive as your primary means of word processing and creating spreadsheets, it’s time to make the switch. There’s just no comparison to Google’s performance across multiple operating systems, let alone its autosave features and easily customizable privacy and sharing options.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to take back control of your schedule, you can start making significant improvements to your productivity using these organizational apps. Say goodbye to the mentally exhausting work of trying to remember everything you’ve got going on and start feeling like you finally have your life together! Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.