Whether it’s the sunny weather outside or the latest download of your favourite television programme, we’re all guilty of losing our focus and being pulled away from a serious, more important task from time to time. However, all is not lost because although we might not personally possess the power to discipline ourselves and better organise our time, there are a number of specially devised apps that can.
Indeed, from personal reminders and to-do lists, to calendars and storage, it seems our phones, computers and tablets can now be transformed into our own powerful personal assistants. So, to help keep the stress and strife out of your life we’ve rounded up the top five apps that will help to make your life a little more organised, efficient and productive.
Best for: The digital junkie
A constant need to stay connected, contactable and digitally ‘social’ has turned us into a world of technology slaves. In fact, so consumed with mobile phones are we now, that it’s often hard to imagine how civilisations ever managed without them. However, they did and probably maintained much more focus and better mealtime conversations than we do now. If you fall into this group of ‘the digitally addicted’, then you need help, and Moment is it.
Monitoring exactly how long you’ve been on your phone each day this app works to discourage over usage and can even be set up to involve the whole family. If the staggering results of what a full day's usage looks like in real time doesn’t put you off then the screeching alarm that goes off every time you pick up your phone certainly will. Revealing and ever-so-slightly embarrassing, the effects of this app will have you exchanging texting for tasks in no time.
Moment, free, available on iTunes
Best for: For the dilly-dallier
When a task that should take 15 minutes turns into an hour and 15 minutes, you know you have some time keeping issues. Whether this is due to a lack of concentration, an inability to work quickly or just pure laziness, it’s clear that some personal discipline is definitely in order - enter 30/30, your new task timer.
Simple, elegant and incredibly easy to use, 30/30 gets you to set up a list of tasks (such as answer emails or pay bills) and a length of time to complete each of them. Then all you have to do is start the timer and it will tell you when to move on to the next task. The result? A much more efficient pace of work and you get a lot of sh*t done.
30/30, free, available on iTunes
Best for: The permanent procrastinator
We’ve all been there - you’re trying so hard to focus on the task at hand but celebrity stories, cat videos and pointless quizzes are constantly pulling your attention away. Normally when this occurs the only answer is to simply deprive ourselves of the many gems and interesting finds the internet has to offer. But now we have a better solution - just put them in your Pocket for later.
The rebranded version of the venerable Read It Later service, is a great offline reading tool that allows you to select and save articles, pictures, recipes and videos for later viewing. This way you can finish the job you’re doing in the safe knowledge that a delicious recipe and hilarious video of a fainting baby goat is waiting for you at the finish line - if that isn’t an incentive we don’t know what is.
Pocket, free, available on iTunes
Best for: The forever forgetful
If, like us, logging onto a computer or device other than your own means falling into a time consuming torrent of unknown passwords, usernames and emails, then LastPass will be your absolute godsend.
A multi-award award-winning personal manager, this super handy app allows you to save all your passwords in one place and gives you secure access to them from any computer and mobile device. The best part? You only ever have to remember one password from now on, your LastPass master password - and hey presto, you can pitch up your office from whatever spot you fancy.
LastPass, free, available on iTunes
Best for: The constantly chaotic
There’s nothing more frustrating that jotting down notes on a phone or laptop, and being unable to retrieve them at a later date because you don’t have the specific device with you. Luckily however, there’s a solution and it comes in the form of the ever-so-handy Evernote app.
Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote can be used to record everything from lengthy research to shopping lists as well as photos and web articles, that can all be accessed from any device. Essentially it’s your online filing system / personal assistant who works hard to keep your life and work admin easily accessible and in tip top shape - what could be more productive than that?
Evernote, free, available on iTunes