May 30, 2023
Digital and technological advancements are helping professionals to maximize their job performance and be more productive. Email facilitates seamless and instant communication, mobile marketing can significantly enhance website conversions, and social media has established itself as a powerful customer service channel.
Yet, while digital tools can help you excel in a role, they can also be a hindrance. Digital distractions are omnipresent – from the overwhelming desire to check your mobile during the day, to an overpowering need to monitor personal emails. If you want to procrastinate, there are lots of online distractions!
Thankfully, help is at hand. We’ve compiled a list of the top 8 apps you can use to avoid distractions and boost your productivity in the process!
If you haven’t heard of it, the Pomodoro Technique is an approach to time management developed in the late 1980s. The method is centred upon the concept of ‘chunking’ your working day into short focus periods, traditionally 25 minutes. These intervals, or Pomodoros, are followed by short, scheduled breaks, which eliminate the likelihood of stress or burnout.
Focus Booster is a time-tracking app that you can use to adhere to the Pomodoro Technique, maintain your focus and work smarter.
The app allows you to customize the length of both your Pomodoros and break times. Sessions are automatically recorded so you don’t have to manually track your time, and can quickly see how long you’ve worked and on which tasks your time has been spent.
The simple dashboard also lets you quickly produce reports for analysis and invoicing, helping you to work even more efficiently. A mini timer widget is always visible, yet unobtrusive, so you can see when your next break is.
Compatibility: Web, Windows, iOS
Cost: The starter package is free, while the professional package is $4.99 a month
When conceiving creative digital marketing approaches and planning campaigns, inspiration can strike at any time, and you may not always be prepared. A sure-fire method to ensure that your productivity is improved is to always be prepared, and that doesn’t necessarily have to involve paper and a pen!
Evernote was relaunched in 2020 and allows you to brainstorm ideas, both written and visual. You can type out a reminder, or take a picture and save it to the app. Capture a note, and it’s instantly available and easy to find on all your devices, so you never have to worry about where you saved something. With the premium version of Evernote, you can even search for text within images and PDFs, access your notebooks offline and see relevant notes and content.
You can also share your notes with colleagues in a group notebook to maximize productivity across an entire team and foster a stronger sense of collaboration.
Compatibility: Web, iOS, Windows, Android.
Cost: The basic version is free, the Personal version is £79.99 per year, and the Professional version is £104.99 per year.
Whether it’s to keep on top of your daily tasks, or effectively executive a specific campaign, effective digital marketers recognize the importance of project management. Project management software is becoming increasingly popular, as it enables professionals to easily outline tasks, timelines and major milestones for their work.
Asana is one of the best apps for tracking work and managing projects, with its clean, user-friendly interface and an extensive list of features and functions.
You can easily view your progress for any project or working day. Invite team members to a project and you can leverage Asana as a streamlined communications tool, which will ensure you receive only the most essential updates and enable you to share files and attachments.
Create individual tasks within projects, set deadlines and assign them to either yourself or two colleagues. You can even break up tasks into smaller sub-tasks if you want to take a more granular approach. Asana also lets you add new workflows as quickly as possible with pre-made templates, and when you realize that a single task has become a more fundamental undertaking, you can easily turn it into a project of its own.
App integrations mean you can automatically create Asana tasks from new notes or reminders in Evernote, or create projects from Evernote notebooks. You can also sync tasks with your Google calendar and cloud storage such as Dropbox and Google Drive.
Compatibility: Web, iOS, Android.
Cost: The basic version is free, Asana Premium costs £11.59 per month and Business costs £25.69 a month.
Considering a third of GoodFirms survey respondents have experienced security breaches due to weak passwords and 45 percent reuse a password for multiple sites, it’s not a good idea to save passwords to devices that aren’t your own, particularly in a professional context. Often, roles can require us to work remotely and from multiple devices, and a key issue that can arise from this situation is a lost or forgotten password.
Keeper is a secure password management app and digital vault that can provide you with a consistently safe working environment and help you to maintain your productivity. You can log into websites and apps using a fingerprint scanner on your mobile device. Keeper also creates high-strength passwords at random that will best protect you, your work and your organization from hackers. If you prefer to create your own passwords, Keeper will measure their strength for you.
Along with fingerprint sign-in, the app also supports two-step verification and Keeper DNA, which uses personal devices such as a smartwatch to confirm your identity. File sharing is also made much safer as you can do so securely with fellow Keeper users via the app. As with many of the apps listed, Keeper works across all devices, automatically syncing your records so they’re accessible both online and offline.
Compatibility: Web, iOS, Android.
Cost: For individuals, it costs £2.50 a month, for the family account, it costs £6 per month.
A sense of stress or feeling overworked can have a negative impact on your productivity levels. A Perkbox study found that 79 percent of UK employers commonly experience work-related stress while over half experience anxiety as a result and 43 percent lose sleep.
Self-care is essential to avoiding stress and improving your productivity as a direct result. Headspace, a guided meditation platform, encourages you to stay calm and focused with just 10 minutes of meditation a day. You can listen to Headspace on the go using your mobile or tablet, or download meditation sessions that can be used offline.
Sessions are curated into different collections from which you can pick to best suit your preferences. You can choose from different session lengths, making it easy to work this simple pursuit of mindfulness into your daily routine. There's also a 'Reflect' section, which provides a detailed monthly check-in of your current mental health.
Compatibility: Web, iOS, Android.
Cost: A yearly subscription will cost £49.99 per year, while a monthly subscription will cost £9.99 per month. There's a free trial if you want to give it a go for a week or fortnight (depending on the plan you pick).
If you're having trouble sleeping or want to understand more about your sleep cycle, this could be the app for you.
Sleep Cycle has a built-in tracker to monitor your sleep cycles and records data based on sounds you make to see if you're in a light, deep, or rapid eye movement (REM) stage of slumber. The app provides daily reports to see how much time you spend in each cycle, and the tracker evolves to ensure accurate data.
There's also a library of relaxing music and sleep stories along with guided meditation and breathing tutorials. It also has a smart alarm engineered to wake you during your lightest sleep stage so you can avoid being groggy and cranky in the morning!
Compatibility: iOS and Apple Watch
Cost: The basic version is free with in-play ads.
Wunderlist was bought by Microsoft a number of years ago and Microsoft To Do is the result. The focus of this app is on your to-do lists and the ability to check them off!
Creating to-do lists is one of the simplest but most effective actions you can take to instantly improve your productivity. This will help you to prioritize your workload and enable you to break down your day into more manageable, bite-sized segments.
The app has a smart daily planner, an easy interface to add and check off tasks, you can set due dates and reminders and it syncs with Microsoft, so if you're an Outlook user it can flag any email to appear as a task.
You can also customize background images for your lists making it easy to find specific ones at a glance. Windows users can also add tasks using Cortana or by typing in the 'Start' menu.
Compatibility: Web, Android & iOS
If you're a fan of writing things down to decompress or vent, Reflecty is a 'journal for happiness' and claims to be the world's first intelligent journal as it uses AI to evolve and learn. The app's aim is to "enable users to “deal with negative thoughts and make positivity louder” as it teaches them about the science of wellbeing".
On Reflectly, you can track your thoughts and feelings by asking questions like how your day was, why it was good, and how you felt. These answers are then saved as “stories”, which made up the wider journal.
You get daily journaling prompts and inspirational quotes to keep you motivated to check-in.
Compatibility: Android & iOS
Cost: Free for basic and $19.99 annually for Android and $59.99 for iOS.
This list of apps can be used to make your life easier and help reduce stress so you can be more productive but more importantly, happier.
Figure out where you need help, is it sleep or getting a break from the hectic pace of life? Or is it simply switching off when work finishes? Give one of these apps a try to see if it makes a difference.
Becoming a successful digital marketer takes time and patience. Plus there's a lot to learn and jeep on top of. The Digital Marketing Institute's Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing will teach you the fundamentals and also dive into key areas such as social media, SEO, analytics, email and digital strategy. Enroll today to kickstart or advance your career.