There’s no need to leave work every day feeling like you only accomplished half of what you set out to do. By maximising productivity at work, your evenings and weekends can be all yours, without a dark cloud of lists and reminders to deal with on Monday hanging over your head.
There are countless free and affordable apps designed to help you increase productivity in the office. We’ve curated a selection of eight outstanding apps, and grouped them under four categories: co-ordination, collaboration, concentration and calming. Have a read, download a few and experiment with new ways to structure your work flow, and squeeze more productivity out of your work day.
This little bunch of apps all work to help you stay on top of things - whether that be remembering the face of that CEO you met a few months back, juggling a handful of social media accounts or, for all you freelancers, recording how many hours you’ve spent on a project so that you can invoice accordingly.
Any.do (Android, iOS, Desktop: Free)
There’s nothing better than a good old fashioned to-do list. Any.do boasts a clean and simple interface, without sacrificing your ability to use the app to its full capability. You can share lists with your co-workers, which is a great asset for group work. Any.do syncs across multiple platforms, and the voice-entry feature enables you to dictate tasks handsfree. There is a free and premium version available.
Buffer (Android, iOS: Free)
Are you in social media and marketing? Juggling several accounts can get overwhelming, even for a social media expert. There’s a lot of notifications, passwords and analytics to keep track of. That’s where Buffer comes in. Buffer is a social media management tool, that allows you to schedule posts, switch between multiple accounts, and survey a range of detailed analytics. The app is compatible with Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and more. The free version allows you to manage up to three accounts, and queue 10 posts per account. If you choose to upgrade to premium you get access to even more features and there are no restrictions on usage.
Hours (iOS, Free)
Hours is an awesome utility for freelancers, or people who work remotely. It allows you to keep track of the work you’ve been doing, and how long it took you. This can be really useful for any office, if you want to get a clear idea of what your productivity looks like and how it could be improved. With a tonne of features, detailed reports and visual timelines of your work week Hours takes the stress out of time management. The app has a free version or premium option, which allows you to create teams and sync across platforms and devices.
Accompany (iPhone: Free)
It’s not uncommon to be bad with names. In a corporate or business environment there’s a host of names and faces to remember, along with details of their career, instances you’ve met before and notes on what kind of contact you’ve had professionally. Like a digital assistant, or a mini chief of staff, Accompany fuses your calendar and contacts to let you know who’s who before meetings and conferences. The app alerts you to their social media, news articles about them, and can even send you an Executive Briefing the night before you have a scheduled appointment with them. Pretty cool! Never be caught out again.
Trello (Android, iOS: Free)
Trello (Android, iOS) is like a bulletin board. You can work individually or create group boards, where you may post all sorts of lists. The digital board is easily customisable, you can drag and drop images, words and other items all over the place. This is particularly good for visual and kinesthetic learners, who feel they need to be able to see and touch information in order to grasp it.
This one is a real winner. It streamlines team communication, to make work easier and faster. It’s a cloud-based network compatible with over 1,000 apps including Google Drive and Dropbox so that you can share files and talk about them all in one place. Messages are sent in real time, and are categorised by channels. For instance, if you were running a restaurant and wanted a place for all your employees to be able to share important updates with one another, you’d create separate channels for front of house, kitchen, management, bar staff and baristas, as well as a general channel for all employees.
Forest (iOs, Android, Chrome, Firefox: Free)
This is a nifty little app that everyone could benefit from. Have you noticed screen time is affecting your productivity? As soon as you open your device you’re bombarded with notifications, messages and the temptations of social media. If you need to get stuff done and you find it hard to put your phone down, give Forest a try.
Upon opening the app, you can plant a virtual seed. The seed begins to grow, and eventually becomes a tree. Leave the app for any reason, however - and your tree begins to perish. The aim is to have a beautiful forest full of trees. You can use it individually, or set it up as a group.
This is also a great way to track your daily phone usage and screen time.
Headspace (iOS, Android: Free)
We’re more productive when we have a clear head. Headspace say, “Happier and healthier employees have been shown to be more productive, resilient and creative.”
Daily meditation is a great exercise in clearing your mind, focusing your breath, finding a moment of peace and carrying it with you through the day. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed by your to-do list, struggling to focus and feeling generally foggy, Headspace can guide you through some lovely meanyditations which can improve your cognition and your sleep. Learn more about meditation for work here.
We hope this collection of apps will boost your productivity, making work easier and better organised.
For those of you considering trying to squeeze in some study atop of full-time work - firstly, good on you, and secondly, there’s an app for that. Check out our article 6 More Apps To Help You Study And Be More Productive and 10 of the Best Study Apps for Online Students.