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My Top 5 Free Productivity Apps

how to become more productive using apps

Today I want to show you some of the apps that have been instrumental in my staying productive and achieving my goals. Productivity is extremely important to me and these 5 apps I'm about to show you make up my faithful entourage in the battle toward a completed to-do list. I'm sad to say that one of the apps is no longer available. Somehow it hasn't disappeared from my phone. I'd cry like a baby if one day it's not there anymore.

Finding the right productivity setup was difficult for me. I kept crushing on various physical and digital management tools, methods and techniques, minimalistic designs, and colorful abundant journals and ideas of what my future setup should be so I'd be able to achieve streamlined productivity. I made lists, set up notebooks and bullet journals, started looking for a planner to buy, downloaded dozens of apps both on computer and mobile. All of that took up too much time and I kept focusing on trying out all of those things instead of doing my best to settle on one thing at a time and see how far I could go with it. Creating a productivity setup was more of a focus for me than being productive and finding tools that worked for me for the long haul. I never improved or got things done, I just wasted a lot of time.

Through it all, however, I realized that I needed simplicity and ease of use. I needed only a few tools, synching them together wasn't necessary for me, and I wanted to create a separation between various projects. Once I realized that much, figuring out which apps would work for me was easy. Here are my favorite five:

1. Trello

I've been using this project manager for over two years. I use it mainly for content creation for my blog and social media. It's for both mobile and desktop. It allows the creation of board and lists, great for teams and individuals alike. The app is ready to use right off the bat. With most managers, I had to look around first but Trello gets the ball rolling immediately. At the same time, it's a powerful tool and the UI is smooth and comfortable. Trello also works with Unspalsh to provide a vast library of images to customize boards.

2. OneNote

This is what I use for creative writing. I write my novel and short stories on there and organize all my creative writing solely on OneNote. I also compile HTML codes and random tidbits in a separate notebook. Before Trello, I used One Note for my old blog but found I needed more separation between my editorial calendar and my creative writing. The layout and structure also didn't work for blogging.
a productivity app based on Pomodoro

3. Focus in Flow

This next app is sadly no longer available. I still have it on my phone and I pray it never disappears. This is my work tracker. It's a Pomodoro-based timer app that allows me to set up daily, weekly, and monthly loops. There are countless Pomodoro-based apps out there but I haven't been able to find anything similar to this in functionality and design. This is the cutest app and I love it when design and function meet in a productive synchrony. It's also motivating for me to see the count of sessions rise daily, getting closer to my goal. The color scheme and the cartoon characters also motivate me to keep using the app.

4. Wunderlist

There are so many apps out there for listmaking that offer plethoras of functions. I only need one thing, however, and that is to jot down reminders and tasks without fiddling around. Wunderlist provides me with that and if I want more I can get more from it and organize as well as set intervals for tasks and so on. While the app is on its way out of the scene, there're plenty of similar ones. Look for the functions you need whatever those are and do your best t to download an app just because it offers many functions if you're not going to be using them. I used to make that mistake with every app and it distracted me from using it because I kept trying to adjust myself to the app instead of vice versa.

5. Speechnotes

Everything I do requires writing but sometimes I can't type on my phone or I just don't want to. This is where Speechnotes comes in. From the speech-to-text apps I've tried, this one is by far the most accurate one. At least I can edit the text with this one instead of staring dumbfounded at a jumbled useless mess. I use Speechnotes when I'm washing the dishes, doing chores, commuting, or feel like my thoughts flow better while talking instead of typing. It's a handy tool to have. I can also save several documents on the app and share it with other apps such as Trello in text form. You might prefer transcribing a voice recording instead, it's up to you and what helps you work better.

How is your quest for the perfect tool going? Have you found any loves or are you still struggling with the pull of a dozen directions? Tell me about you productivity setup in the comments so I and other readers can help you out on this little adventure. Also, if you think there is an app I need to try, please share that as well! 
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