Most of the time, the apps we fill our lives with either serve to make us do something new, or distract us from work. Lookin at you, Trivia Crack. But it occurred to me the other day as I was saving an article to my Pocket while at work, that some apps serve to keep us focused, if used right.
- Pocket – the best thing ever. Simultaneously ruined and saved my life. As an app and a chrome extension, it allows me to save articles I come across online for later. It saves my focus because it eliminates the compulsion to read an article when I see it. I no longer have to sacrifice work time to read it, or sacrifice reading the article at all so I can keep working. Pocketed articles serve as the perfect subway reading on my way home.
- Warning: I say it ruined my life because sometimes I start pocketing everything and then I am drowning in articles if I don’t make time to read them. So read the darn articles. I had to spring clean my Pocket the other day, no lie.
- Note taking apps like Evernote, Trello, and Google Keep – I am actually writing this in Evernote right now to copy to my blog later. I use all these programs for different parts of my life/brain. They are great because they capture all those open loops in my head so I don’t have to use the brain space trying to remember a new idea I just had. I am constantly thinking up new things I want to do, and with these programs, I don’t have to worry I am going to lose the thought. I just write it down and then get back to work.
- Any.do – This is my personal task list of choice. (I use different ones for work.) It comes with a great feature – the Plan Your Day “moment.” Every morning (or whenever you set it to), it pops up on your phone and has you go through each task you had scheduled for the day. You get the option to keep, postpone, or delete each one. It’s great because it sets the tone for your day so you know what you need to get done. Any.do also comes with encouraging messages and rewards (coupons, etc) every once in a while when you plan your day or complete a task. Plus the simple interface design is lovely.