Time management and focus don’t come naturally to many people. It can be hard to dedicate all your attention to a task when your phone is pinging every few minutes, or you just can’t resist checking social media while you’re busy. Fortunately there are apps that can help you stay on task and improve your productivity.
This app is a simple tool aimed at sustaining your focus throughout the day by breaking it down into 30-minute chunks. This is based on the Pomodoro Technique, which allows you to work for 25 minutes and take a breather for 5 (prompted by an alarm). Strict Workflow is a modern upgrade that has a visible browser and can block sites that take you off task. It’s a free browser plugin, but unfortunately only available for Chrome.
Rescuetime is a more comprehensive app that not only tracks what apps you use and sites you visit, but also keeps a record of how much time you spend on each of them. On top of that, it categorises the apps and websites into different levels of productivity, so you have hard data showing you exactly how much time you waste on distractions. It is compatible with Chrome, Android, Windows, Mac and Linux and the basic version is free – an upgrade to Premium costs $9 per month or $72 a year.
This app uses a virtual tree to reward you for staying on track with a task; adding to the gratification you feel when you’ve finished a project, just like the feeling you get when you win big playing at an online casino NZ. When you start working you can set a timer and plant a virtual seed – if you stay on task until time runs out, your tree matures. Not only that, but each tree grown in Forest goes towards planting real trees in Africa. Forest is available for iOS, Android and Google Chrome.
For business: Rev
It’s time-consuming and laborious transcribing recorded meetings, and Rev is an excellent way to outsource this task. Upload a video or audio file to Rev.com and it will be transcribed by experienced transcribers for only $1 per audio minute. Completed work can be checked and tweaked using Rev’s web editor – accuracy is important to Rev and turnaround times are fast. It can be accessed on the web and has mobile apps for Android and iOS.
For business: ABBYY FineReader
ABBYY FineReader is designed to turn pictures of text into typed text. There is little more frustrating than not being able to edit writing that in PDF form and this app is the perfect solution. It uses optical-character-reading to convert PDFs into editable text, and is capable of working with hundreds of pages at a time. The finished document can be exported to a variety of formats. Prices start from a once-off payment of $199 for the basic version; the Corporate version costs $299 and includes a document comparison feature.
Work with focus
These are just three of the many apps that can increase productivity and boost efficiency for individuals and businesses – there is something for everyone.