I hope that eventually this site is replete with articles telling you how to become a more productive, more successful, higher performing you.
But that is going to take some time.
On top of that, reading about tips and tricks for becoming more productive doesn’t always translate into returns on your end – you might find the article interesting, but the chances that you’ll go out and put what you read into practice are slim.
But with an app you are much more likely to start changing your behavior today.
I know that no article about language learning could give me the same motivation that my daily reminder from Duolingo gives me for practicing my French.
Sure, I’ve read a lot about learning languages and I do implement a lot of it. But it took an awful lot of time to sink in, and 90% of what I read went straight out the window. That’s not because I thought it wasn’t good advice. It was. I just didn’t take it on board.
But apps don’t need you to really UNDERSTAND why it is that you’re doing this 20 minute exercise every day.
They don’t need you to BELIEVE in the method.
They don’t need you to FEEL like doing it.
They just tell you to do it and, if you’re smart, you do it.
And apps today do a lot more than just set reminders.
From condensing eBooks into bite-size chunks to shutting off internet access until you hit a certain word count, computer software today has a usability factor that it never has done before. Apps can be woven into the very fabric of your life to the point where you will wonder how you lived without them.
The trick these days is figuring out just what apps can do for you!
I can’t be alone in regularly finding out about an app and saying, “that’s amazing, that would be absolutely perfect for me!” Well, there are thousands of apps out there, and I guarantee there are a handful which can significantly enhance your life in numerous ways.
Here are my top 3!
This is one for all the smartphone addicts out there – so pretty much everyone reading this article.
Forest is brilliant in large part because of its simplicity.
Basically, it works a little bit like the Pomodoro technique, but the idea is that you leave your smartphone alone for a set amount of time – I usually set it to 40 minutes because I think nobody needs to check their phone more regularly than that.
Once you set the timer running, a tree begins to grow.
Check your phone, and your tree dies.
Leave it alone until the timer finishes, and your tree will live. When you DO open your phone, you’ll see the new tree has been added to forest you have been busy cultivating (or rather leaving unattended).
This is great because it lets you look back on how successful you’ve been in leaving your smartphone alone over the previous weeks.
As I’ve said before on this site, building habits is key to everything. It’s how our minds work, and it’s through habits that we achieve greatness.
You will quickly find yourself leaving your smartphone alone for periods well in excess of the timer purely because you don’t want to kill your new tree!
“Big Ideas In Small Packages”.
That’s how this incredible little project describes itself – although ‘little project’ is probably a poor choice of wording.
If you are an avid-reader of non-fiction but you often find yourself short on time, then this might be the best tool you've never heard of.
Basically, Blinkist takes bestselling books and condenses them into their key, core points. The end product is a pack which you can either read or listen to in 15 minutes or less.
Pretty incredible, right?
You might think that 15 minutes for a book that might otherwise take you 4 weeks to get through is a little bit of a stretch. It must leave out a lot of the best, most interesting material, right?
Well yes, of course is does.
But Blinkist isn't designed to give you everything that you can get from reading a book in full in just 15 minutes.
The idea is more that you will hear or read the main ideas presented in the book, the central arguments or the primary facts, and you can then decide if you want to buy the book to delve deeper into the minutia.
This one is my personal favorite - or it's the one I use most often at least.
Pushbullet is extremely simple; so much so that you might find it surprising to see it listed here. Yet there is an immense power behind what it achieves.
Pushbullet quite simply sychronizes your laptop with your phone. It allows you to view all of the apps from your smartphone on your laptop screen: WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter; you name it. This completely removes the need for you to have your phone next to you while you work, which will in turn prevent you from stopping work to check the damn thing every 20 minutes.
In my opinion, anything that stops you picking up the smartphone will ultimately lead to greater productivity, more work getting done, and a generally happier you!
Check them out here.