Productivity refers to how much work you are able to produce or accomplish within a given period of time. It has to do with how efficient tasks are completed as they build up into achieving a particular goal.
If you can deliver quality work within the least possible time without compromising your physical and mental well-being, you are productive.
Talking about boosting your productivity, there are four apps you will find here that can help you to do that. They are based on the Pomodoro Technique which was proposed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s. The Pomodoro Technique is all about taking 25 minutes to work and having a 5-minute break after.
Within the 25 minutes of work, you are to avoid all forms of distraction. After breaking large tasks into small chunks, you pick a task and focus on it for 25 minutes. You also use a timer to notify you whenever the time elapses.
You then take a 5-minute break to do all the things you prevented yourself from doing during the 25 minutes of work. This is like a reward for you. You can stretch, catch some fresh air or check your phone but this is only for 5 minutes. By doing this, you have completed one Pomodoro.
After four Pomodoros which is a total of 100 minutes of work and 20 minutes of break time (broken down into 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes break for one Pomodoro), it is advisable to take a longer break – anything between 15 minutes and 30 minutes is fine. Depending on how you are feeling, you can choose to make it longer.
Now, let’s talk about the four apps that can help you boost your productivity.
1. Focus To-Do
You can easily set your tasks, set the time for work, and allocate break times on this app. You can break big goals into small chunks of tasks and take them task by task in a way that you don’t get overwhelmed.
As you continue on your tasks, you can track progress to see how far you have gone in accomplishing your goal.
The Focus To-Do app is different from a regular to-do application because you are not just listing your tasks as you do on a normal to-do app. Instead, you set time for each task, set breaks, and you can skip or pause work times for your set tasks.
The app gives you historical statistics where you can track how much time you have spent on a task every day, every week, and every month. This is because there is a Repeat feature that allows you to set tasks that you do repeatedly just once. That’s a time-saving feature!
Never miss a deadline because the app allows you to set due dates for tasks with deadlines.
Just like its name, it motivates you to stay focused on your work as you get things done and get productive.
You can download it as a Chrome extension, or use it on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices.
2. Emphasis App
The Emphasis App is designed to help you stay focused in a world full of distractions.
You can take notes, and make checklists, while still fulfilling the Pomodoro technique on the app. It comes with a minimalistic design, a customizable time tracker, and beautiful color themes for those who are big on aesthetics.
The app uses a graphic timer that is not common with other productivity apps that use a numerical countdown timer. The graphic timer is visually appealing and it allows you to keep working without feeling that you are using up your time.
With its simple progress tracker, you can get more value with your productivity.
It is only available on iOS. It has a free version and a premium that goes for an annual subscription fee of $24.99.
3. Forest App
The Forest App is highly customizable and gives you a gamified experience. Its gamified timer is designed to help you boost productivity and eliminate procrastination.
The concept of trees and forests is wired into the entirety of the app. There is a planting reminder that reminds you to put your phone down and get focused on the work you have to do.
You can customize tags for each task you set and use these tags to track how your time is being distributed along with some insightful statistics.
Its Timer mode allows you to use the Pomodoro technique to focus and work.
With its Stopwatch mode, you have the flexibility of managing your time the way you want it. That is, you can start and stop your time at your own free will.
If you love getting doses of inspiration, the Forest App comes with custom phrases you can use to motivate yourself with your favourite quotes and inspiring words.
This app comes in three tiers: free, paid, and professional versions. Its pro plan starts from $3.90 a month that gives you access to some advanced features.
Part of these features is integration with iCalendar or Google Calendar. Your tasks can be seen on your calendar and you can share them with your team to get updated on what you are working on.
Its report feature allows you to get weekly reports in your email. This report indicates areas where you are most productive and what tasks you finished.
You also get access to a variety of sounds and music on the pro version.
You can pin tasks, set priority, and even use hashtags to distinguish between different tasks. It comes with full workflow management. You can collect ideas, schedule tasks, finish tasks, and review history, all in the app.
It is available on Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and on Chrome as an extension. It also works on Chromebooks.
Whether you choose to use any of these apps to boost your productivity or find others that are not in this list, you have the Pomodoro technique to your advantage. With an alarm clock or timer, and lots of discipline, you can also boost your productivity.
Do share other apps or ways you currently use to boost your productivity. We would like to know.