Personal productivity apps and techniques

5 min read
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There are thousands of apps available, all designed to help you and your business achieve more. We've rounded up the most highly rated and useful ones, to save you from researching the area yourself. See? We're already improving your productivity! Download the latest versions of these apps, to help you accomplish more with less.


If you’re ready to branch out from Microsoft Word, Bear is a slick alternative for iOS. With its minimalist interface, the Advanced Markup Editor supports and highlights more than 20 programming languages and also features handy import and export tools, letting you link between notes.


Are overly complex task managers making you less productive? If so, check out Blink – an alternative that strips out everything but the essentials. Tasks appear in a single stream of words that you can rearrange and highlight, with the option to set repeating reminders instead of due dates.


While using the Pomodoro technique to promote focus, try reinforcing your willpower with Forest, which grows a virtual tree on your phone when it’s not being used for other things. Switch away from the app while a tree is growing, and it’ll wither.


Add-on email app Newton has powerful features, such as read receipts, scheduling, cross-platform snoozing, rich sender profiles, and connections to third-party apps, plus a Tidy Inbox feature that can delete and unsubscribe junk emails in bulk.

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There are times when you need to juggle physical notes with online to-do lists. Notability is a great app for taking notes with Apple Pencil, because it can synchronize recorded audio with handwritten notes.


A much-loved tool for long-form writing, Scrivener lets you compose your text in any order, shuffle ideas around on a virtual corkboard, and create extensive outlines that help you play with the structure of your work.

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Which item on the to-do list should you tackle first – the easiest or the hardest? For tasks that can’t be completed with a single check mark, Taskful has it covered. Define how many times you must perform an action to complete the task, then tap on that task to keep a running tally.


For those who take their to-do lists seriously, the latest version of Things can slice and dice tasks into multiple views – such as ‘today’, ‘this evening’, and ‘upcoming’ – break tasks into smaller parts with headings, and manage tasks in bulk.