Working from home might be a little exhausting right now, especially if you’re like me – I need to be in the office, bouncing off my coworkers’ energy. Over the last seven months, I find it hard stay on task when my mom’s asking me questions and my siblings are chattering with each other or over Zoom. And you’re probably balancing school and remote freelance work, while also trying to maintain a semblance of a social life. With that in mind, I took to testing out some productivity tools to keep me on schedule.
Bear with me…
1. Spark - Categorize to organize
It could be really hard to remember what’s important when you have a million different things going on in your life. Sometimes you’re having a conversation, answering an email, and getting a news notification at the same time. It’s hard to remember everything when you are literally doing everything.
I love Spark because it lets you organize your emails. Why would you need this? Well, sometimes I’ll get really important emails on a Thursday night – but it’s night time! Who wants to do work? So, I can send the important stuff from important people to the top.
And the best feature? I HATE when I’m looking for an email but can’t remember the subject line or who sent it. How are you expected to remember when you work with so many different companies and professors? I can type what I remember from the body of the email into the search bar and it shows up!
2. Remember the Milk - Minimize to prioritize
I’ve tried the reminder app on my iPhone – but it’s just not the same. Most times I write a physical to-do list, because I absolutely love the feeling I get when I put a thick line through my task. But sometimes we need something on our desktop to let us know our next destination.
No, I’m not telling you to run to the store and get milk – that’s the name of the app. I love that it’s right on my desktop and it sends you reminders. Have a meeting for Pangea.app and need to hop on a video chat with your group project right after? Have no fear! Remember the Milk is here (and in sync with all your other devices).
3. Rescue Time - Know where you spend your time
This might seem obvious, but a lot of people don’t know where they spend their time online. And time is money when you’re balancing projects on Pangea.app with school. Understanding where your distractions come from could be helpful to keep in mind while you work.
I like Rescue Time because it shows how I spend my day on the computer. Users could be working on a freelance project and chatting with friends on their desktop and the data will break down where you spent your time. Rescue Time is cool too, because it offers you membership plans– one of them being free!
4.Freedom - Block out distractions
We are human – we get distracted from time to time – and that’s totally okay! But sometimes, we need to shut it all out and put the pedal to the metal.
Now, the name of this app is a twister since users have the ability to set the time they’re free of distractions. Yet, once this feature is in full force you need to be sure, because you won’t have access to any cute animal videos or funny cartoons. I find Freedom really helpful because setting a time frame allows me to block out distractions and finish a project all in one run.
5. Noizio - Tune out your surroundings
Circle back to our introduction this article when I told you so many people live in my house and I just can’t seem to tune them out. Well, I’ve tried a lot of programs promising the same things, some had basic plans and some were just downloadable apps. But, I found one that I really like.
This app is really cool because users can choose the mix of their sounds. Not in the mood for wind chimes today? Cool, neither am I – so let’s do winter wind and some October rain. With Noizio, users get to choose the levels and what you want to hear.
One last thing…
Honestly, this last one isn’t a productivity tool. Sometimes, we just need some motivation to start the day and get the ball rolling – or keep the ball rolling. Its especially hard for me to stay motivated when it’s cloudy out and there’s barely any natural light.
So, when you’re not sure what the day is going to bring, download Motivation. One quote a day could keep the negativity away.