Working Hard, or Hardly Working?
7 Applications for Productivity
By Emi Yasuda
What gets your assignments done can also be your number one distraction. In a world full of tempting devices, where your Twitter page is just one click away from your research paper, it can be difficult to stay on track. Research shows that working while distracted, or even while expecting a message, can lead to a 25% decrease in the quality of your work! Luckily, with the right amount of focus and these handy free apps, you can reduce the noise of the net and save hours of time.
1. StayFocusd | Google Chrome Plugin
Have you ever found yourself immersed in Internet chaos, clicking on everything in that whirlwind of notifications, news stories, and bookmarks? If so, StayFocusd is for you. This Google Chrome plugin limits the amount of time you can stay on distracting websites. Facebook, YouTube, you name it- just choose your websites, the amount of time you can stay on, and voila! Cramming? You can also choose the “Nuclear” option, which will block all sites except those you specify! How’s that for an increase in productivity?
2. CloudOn | The App Store and Google Play
It’s the weekend and your parents have brought you on yet another family road trip. Luckily, the car ride doesn’t have to be spent listening to a younger sibling’s rendition of “The Wheels on the Bus” or the radio playing “Counting Stars” for the fifth time in a row. With CloudOn, you can work on your assignments on the go, anytime, anyplace. Using this app, you can view all Microsoft documents and seamlessly connect to Google Drive. With high functionality, you can easily edit all your documents (font size, margins and all) entirely on your phone. Unlike the Google Drive iPhone app, you can even edit PowerPoints, and you have greater control over formatting.
3. Evernote | Windows, Mac, The App Store and Google Play
Need a better way to stay organized? With Evernote you can take and record notes, photos, to-do lists and even voice reminders to make sure you get the job done right. Evernote also features the ability to save webpages, recipes, and tweets. Plus, everything you make will be accessible from your desktop and across any of your devices.
4. Clockwork Tomato | Google Play
Have you ever found that instead of working hard, you’re hardly working? Clockwork Tomato utilizes the statistically proven Pomodoro Technique to make sure you make the most of your time. Pomodoro means “Tomato” in Italian, and this name comes from the tomato-shaped timer originally used by the technique’s creator, Francesco Cirillo. This method calls for working 25 minutes, taking a 3-5 minute break, and then after the cycle repeats 4 times, taking a 15-minute break. Using this method, you can beat procrastination by staying on track.
Don’t have an Android device? You can always buy a real Pomodoro timer! This handy tomato shaped timer can also double as a kitchen timer. With all the time you save by staying on track, you’ll be able to prepare yourself a meal!
5. CamScanner | The App Store and Google Play
With CamScanner, you can turn your phone or tablet into a quality-scanning machine. This innovative document management software lets you take a picture of handwritten notes, typed documents, posters, and more to organize the content in one place. In just the click of a button, CamScanner digitizes and enhances your document, automatically sharpening and enhancing them for ultimate readability. With this app, you can also search quickly through all your notes and fax documents, edit and annotate your work, and share with your friends.
6. Hootsuite | Google Chrome, Firefox, The App Store and Google Play
Do you have so much social media that you can’t keep track of it all? If so, this is the app for you. Hootsuite combines popular media websites including Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, allowing you to view all the latest posts in one place. With this handy app, you can view all your Facebook groups at once, see status updates, and organize what you see on Twitter. Hootsuite estimates that regular usage will be able to save you 3 days worth of time every year!
7. My Contacts Backup | The App Store and Google Play
How many people do you know who have updated their phones and then lost everything? With My Contacts Backup, you can be certain that this will never happen to you. In case you break your phone or accidentally clear it, My Contacts Backup will email you a file containing all your contact info, so you don’t have to be the next person on Facebook begging all your friends to send you their contact information!