WorkShift

8 Apps You Need To Help Boost Productivity

Getting work done isn’t always a linear trajectory. With remote working in the midst of the future of work, productivity is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. It’s easy to let distractions overcome us when we’re working from home. A knock at the door, whizzing sounds of motorcycles going past, a notification ding alerting you that it’s your friend’s birthday–getting distracted is often a snowball effect. Here are some apps to help you manage productivity:

  1. Raycast

Consider Raycast a customizable way to maintain your productivity. With Raycast, you can write script commands, run macOS shortcuts, search for files, and configure your Mac with system commands.

You can also search through your clipboard history, jot to-dos with the floating notes feature, or launch apps with just a few keystrokes. While Raycast is for everyone, its customizations will be most appealing for engineers.

Pricing:

Personal-$0/month

Teams-$0/month 

  1. Forest App

Looking to do good while getting work done? Forest is an app that incentivizes you to get work done by allowing you to ‘grow a tree’. Your tree will continue to blossom as long as the app is open, but once you leave the app, the tree will die. 


Forest partners with “a real tree-planting organization, Trees for the Future”, to plant real trees on Earth. When our [their] users spend virtual coins they earn on Forest on planting real trees, Forest team donates to our partner and creates planting orders.” Get work done while making an impact–it’s a win-win. 

  1. Selfcontrol.app

Find yourself endlessly browsing websites? If you’re looking for a more extreme way to stay off of distracting websites, Selfcontrol is the website for you. Simply add websites you’d like to block and the amount of time you’d like to block access. 

Note that you won’t be able to undo this, even if you restart your computer or delete the application. 

  1. Sanebox

Feeling overwhelmed by the constant flow of emails entering your inbox? Working with distributed teams may mean emails coming in at all times of the day. Sanebox makes this manageable by sorting your emails. Its AI technology will study your email history and learn what is deemed important. You can also help teach it by moving emails into the right folder. Let its AI work with you–the more you use it, the more it’ll be tailored to you. After all, a clean inbox means a clear head. 

Pricing:

Snack- 1 email account, 2 features ($7/monthly)

Lunch- 2 email accounts, 6 features each ($12/monthly)

Dinner- 4 email accounts, all features ($36/monthly)

  1. Beeminder

Feeling like you need some tough love? Beeminder is the perfect app for you. Start by setting a tangible, data-focused goal with Beeminder. You’ll be prompted to reply with data when Beeminder reminds you. If you fail to achieve these goals, Beeminder will charge you.

Easily integrate with fitness goals like Fitbit, language learning apps like Duolingo, or everyday work apps like Slack.

  1. https://www.brain.fm/

Find it difficult to work in dead silence? If you’re looking for a backdrop that’ll fuel your creative juices, Brain might be your jam. Brain “draws on neuroscience and psychology to develop hypotheses on how to make the best music…Then, we create and test these sounds on a massive scale, to find out what works.” Tune into Brain and feel inspired, all with the help of functional music.

Pricing:

$6.99/monthly

$49.99/yearly

  1. Switch Extension

We’ve all been there–one tab leads to another link leads to another tab and all of a sudden you’re inundated with tabs. Switch Extension helps you manage your tabs with its ‘Switch’ sidebar, so you can easily keep tabs organized. Use its Advanced Search function to quickly find tabs. You can also log into multiple accounts within the same browser, making for truly seamless browsing.

Pricing: 

Free

Switch Pro: $2.49/annually, $2.99 monthly

  1. Stretchly

In order to stay productive, you have to stop and take a break every once in awhile. Stretchly is an app that reminds you to take breaks. The default break starts with a 20 second break every 10 minutes and a 5 minute break after every 30 minutes. Don’t worry–you have the option of postponing your break for 2 minutes or skipping it altogether if necessary. 

Determining what will make you most productive is a matter of knowing what works best for you. It also starts with determining the blockers for you and what aspect of your work life needs organizing. Is it your email inbox? Your chat messages? Finding documents? Whether you’re someone who needs a tough love approach or someone who just needs some music to get their creative juices flowing, hone in and optimize what works best for you.

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