10 More Apps to Boost Your Productivity

10 More Apps to Boost Your Productivity

10 More Apps to Boost Your Productivity


December 1, 2020

10 More Apps to Boost Your Productivity So last week, I created a video that listed the best productivity app in my opinion in each of 10 different categories. And my original cut of that video actually had a second feature. In each of those categories, I was gonna give you asecondary recommendation to kind of compliment that first one, but there was a problem.

With those secondary recommendations, that video ended up being 26 minutes long, which we thought was just a bittoo long for an app roundup. So what I’m gonna do in this video is give you thosesecondary recommendations. A lot of people were askingfor them in the comments and I think a lot of themdo deserve to be mentioned. Now, these secondaryrecommendations

aren’t all the same. Some of them I think are legitimately the second best overallapp in that category, only kind of coming up shortto my main recommendation. Some of them are apps that Idon’t think are for everyone, but that I use personally and I just wanna mention those as well. And then, finally, some of theapps I’m gonna mention here are just apps that are cool. I think they deserve a mention. So let’s get into it, starting, of course, with the to do list category.

Now in my original video, I recommended an app called Todoist, which I personally use every single day, and the app that Iwanna share with you now is called TickTick, whichis very, very similar. In fact, for some people, TickTick is gonna be alot more full-featured and is gonna be the one they wanna go for. TickTick includes abuilt-in calendar view, which Todoist does not have, and it also builds in a Pomodorotimer and a pretty basic, but still nicelyfunctional, habit tracker.

So if you’re someone whowants to have your calendar, your habit tracker, your Pomodoro timer, and all of your to dos in one place, then TickTick is probablygonna be the app for you. That brings us to the calendar category and this one’s gonna bea little bit different because my overallrecommendation,

Google Calendar, is definitely gonna be theplay for most people here, but I want to give a shout out to a relatively new app called Woven. And Woven actually integrateswith Google Calendar and kind of lives on top of it and it would be a nice upgrade for people who find themselvesgoing to a lot of meetings and, hence, scheduling a lot of meetings. Google Calendar itself doesn’thave a whole lot of

features for easily scheduling meetings and a lot of people who use it find themselves buildingthese crazy long email chains, going back and forth, trying to find times andplaces that work for them and the other people whothey have to meet with. Now Woven tries toessentially solve this problem by offering a few

different features. Number one, there is a polling feature, which allows people to pick the times and dates that work for them and it will kind of match everyone up and show the best possible time. There’s also the abilityto have open calendar slots on your calendar, where people can just pencilthemselves into your schedule.

And lastly, there are meeting templates, or I guess event templates, where if you have a lotof lunch meetings, say, you can have a template set up that has an already-set location, maybe an already-settime, maybe some details. That way you don’t haveto spend a bunch of time putting information into an event. You can just create it automatically. All right, let’s talkabout project management. Now in my last video,

I kindacheated on this category and did mention two different apps because I really like ClickUpbut I had to mention Notion, since it is the project management app that I use every single day. So in this one, you’re getting kind ofa third recommendation for project management andthat is going to be Trello. Now Trello is the project management app that I used before I learned about Notion and I used it for a really long time, ever since college actually. And with Trello,

I was able to work with mybusiness partner, Martin, to build the last twomajor design iterations of the College Info Geek website. And that’s because Trello uses a project management philosophy in its design called Kanban. And in Kanban, you essentiallyhave a bunch of lists that indicate differentstatuses of your project, like to do, doing, on hold, and done, and then you create cardsfor every individual task or facet of a project and you can move them between the

lists to show at a glance what their status is. And using this Kanban structuremade it really easy for us to keep track of every littlepiece of these projects, which were huge and had, at some times, hundreds of different pieces. Now one thing that I dowant to note about Trello is that, at least for my purposes, I have found that Notionessentially replaces all of Trello’s functionality, with the exception of being able to easily assign people to cards, assign multiple people to

singular cards, and then give people acentralized dashboard where they can see all thecards they are assigned to across multiple different boards and to let them sortthose cards by due date. Notion cannot do that so ifyou need that functionality, Trello’s definitely abetter solution than Notion. All right, that brings us toapps that let you take notes and in my original video,I talked about Evernote, which is the app I’ve been using for nearly a decade at thispoint because

I am ancient. But the other app that I wantto recommend in this video is one that is, I would say, nearly neck and neck with Evernote when it comes to featuresand overall capability and that is Microsoft’s OneNote. Just like with Evernote, you can get all kinds ofinformation into OneNote, audio files, pictures. You can actually embed videos into OneNote and that’s somethingthat Evernote can’t do. So hey, Evernote team, ifyou’re watching this video,

can we get a video embedfeature at some point? That’d be great. But one thing that I personallydon’t like about OneNote is the way that it organizes information. You can’t automaticallysort different notebooks, or I guess tabs ofnotebooks, by date modified, date created, alphabetically. You can only drag themand sort them manually, so I kind of like the way that Evernote gives me these sorting tools. That being said, OneNote is free so if Evernote’s not your cupof tea, then

OneNote might be. Okay, so let’s talk for a bitabout serious writing apps. For those of you whoneed to do book writing or really, really longform articles, what app should you use? Well, when it comes to comparisons online, everyone who seems tobe into serious writing or book writing lovesto compare Scrivener, which was my top recommendationin the last video, to an app called Ulysses. The only problem with Ulysses, which I happen to love, by the way, is that it is

Mac and iOS-exclusive and because of that, I’mnot gonna feature it here. Instead, I’m gonna featureanother app that’s a lot simpler but still really, reallygood called Typora. Now I’ve talked in mynote taking apps video about apps that have a, what Icall, hybrid markdown system, where instead of writing in plain text and then seeing a previewwindow of all your formatting, instead

your text getsautomatically formatted as you write when using markdown syntax, such as putting two asteriskson either side of a word to bold it. I love the fact that I can just easily putin these formatting commands and have my text beformatted and allow me to see how it’s actually goingto look as I write. Now there are a lot of apps that do this, including iA Writer and Byword, but why

I love Typora over those apps is that you get this nice sidebar with all of your different documents. So you get a little bitof the functionality you get in an app like Evernote, not quite as much, but some of it, but you also get that beautiful hybrid markdown system as well. All right, so we are nowover to habit trackers and like I said in my original video, my favorite habit tracker is Habitica, but a lot of people find Habitica to be a little bit too much. They’re not super 10 More Apps to Boost Your Productivity

into thevideo game-y elements of it and, well, I really can’t blame them. It’s not for everyone. And, luckily, there are alot of other apps out there that can fit the bill ifHabitica isn’t your cup of tea. The one that I want to featurehere is called Habitify. Out of all the habit trackersthat I’ve tested in the past, and I have tested a lot, I found Habitify to have the most pleasingvisual design and UI.

And in addition, it hassome really cool features, such as the ability to see your streaks and to see the time of day that you typicallycheck in for each habit. And being able to see that datacan actually be very useful because you might be able to make tweaks to your daily routines or thetimes at which you do things based on when you find yourselfdoing things in the past. Now, time tracking is

another category where I kind of, sort ofcheated in my original video because I did have twodifferent recommendations, so those are recommendationsfor active time tracking and passive time tracking. So my next recommendationfor time tracking is going to sit squarelyin that active category and it’s kind of an odd one. It’s called Timeular and itactually has a physical device that goes along with the app. So this is something thatI’ve been meaning to test and

I’m gonna do a fullreview on it at some point. But I gave it to my friendMartin to use for a few weeks and he said that heactually liked this better than other time tracking solutions and I’ve seen the same opinions from other people online that I follow. So, essentially, Timeular is an app that pairs with this little diamond-shaped plastic device here and on the diamond, you can actually writedifferent tasks on each face. And then when you havethe diamond

on the desk with a flat side on the desk, whatever face is facing up is going to be trackedactively in the app. And then when you want to stop tracking, you can either switch to something else or you could put it in its holder and it’ll just stand up like this. This gives you an actual physical device for tracking your time and a lot of peopleseem to like that better than having to remember togo into a specific

window or website to start andstop their time tracking. So if that’s something thatseems interesting to you, you might want to check this out. And that brings us to email. Like I said in the last video, Gmail is my mainrecommendation for most people but I actually do not use Gmail, so I’m gonna tell you what the app that I use for email these days. It’s called Front and themain benefit of this app is that it allows you to workwith a team on your emails. In Front, you can create shared inboxes. You can have multipleemail addresses come in to these shared inboxes. You can actually have other sources, like social mediaaccounts, come in as well, but I mainly just use email. And then you

can have team members answer your emails foryou or assign them to you. So the way that I use Front is essentially I have a shared email inbox for my thomas@collegeinfogeek.comemail address and my assistant goes through and answers most of those emails. Now if she has a question, there’s actually acomment area at the bottom of every email thread where she can tag me and ask how she shouldprocess it or get some details or ask any other questionsthat she might have. And then I can respond and over time, she gets better and better at 10 More Apps to Boost Your Productivity

answering different types of emails. And if there’s somethingthat I do have to answer, then she can simply assign it to me and I see it in my own personal inbox. There’re also lots ofrules and integrations and automations thatyou can do with Front. But I do have to say, Front is not cheap, I think we pay $60 a month for it, so you really have to getto a point in your business where it really makes sense for team members to be answering

emails, instead of just one person. But if that’s you, Frontcan be really, really nice. Speaking of teams, weare now over to team chat and in the last video,I talked about Slack. Today I’m going to feature an app that is sort of the antithesis to Slack, or an answer to some ofthe problems with Slack, and that’s an app called Twist. And Twist was actually madeby the people who make Todoist and they developed this app as kind of a response toSlack’s realtime chat nature. They felt, as many people do, that the whole realtimechat nature of Slack makes people kind of feellike they’re missing out and it can also make 10 More Apps to Boost Your Productivity

reallyimportant information get buried in threads of kindof just inane conversation. So instead of just having channels with a realtime chathappening within each channel, Twist has threads. And I will say, Slackdoes have threads as well, but, again, those threads get buried. It’s not very easy to find them. With Twist, it’s a lot calmer. There are channels but then the default mode of communication within every channel is a thread. And that brings us to ourfinal category on this list, which is cloud sync, that category of apps that keeps your

filessynced and up-to-date across all of your devices, which I think is a really,really useful thing to have. Now, I could recommend one of the mainstreamcompetitors to Google Drive, which was my main recommendationin that previous video, like Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, iCloud, but I want to feature different instead. I want to point your attention to something called Syncthing. 10 More Apps to Boost Your Productivity

Now Syncthing is unique in this space because it doesn’tactually sync your files to a third-party server. It’s simply an app that runs on each ofyour different computers and keeps your filessynced on those computers and those computers alone. So if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to beuploading your files to a third-party company’s server, you just want to keepyour stuff on your devices and your devices alone, then Syncthing might besomething to look into.

And to boot, it is open source. Now there is one final appthat I do want to mention here, even though it is notstrictly a productivity app, but it is an app thatI’ve been using for years and it has definitely helpedme to expand my horizons and to keep learning on a dailybasis and that is Audible. Audible is the best place in the world to get your hands on audiobooks, which I listen to almost every single day. And Audible, again, isthe best place to get them because they have an unmatched library with all the best sellers,tons of obscure titles, and basically anything you’re gonna want. If you want biographies, they’ve got it. If you want sci-fi titles, they’ve got it.

And if you want myrecommendation for this month, which is Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies In A Silicon Valley Startup,they have that as well. And I’m recommending this audiobook because it’s just probably the audiobook that I enjoyed listening tothe most in recent months. This is the story of 10 More Apps to Boost Your Productivity Theranos, which was a startup in Silicon Valley that had a lot of controversy and fraud and tons of allegationsbrought up against it. And I just found the

audiobook absolutely riveting. And it also spawned a bunch of other ones that I wanted to listen to as well. And the best part is thatyou can start listening to this audiobook, or any otheraudiobook of your choosing, by going over to audible.com/thomas or by texting Thomas to500-500 on your phone. Doing that is gonna getyou a free 30-day trial of Audible service that comes with onefree audiobook download from their entire library, you can

choose whatever you want, and it also gets you two Audible originals that you cannot get anywhere else. Then once you’re a member,you get a credit each month for one new audiobook from that library, plus two more Audibleoriginals each and every month and access to a huge library of workout and meditation programs. Plus if you decide to quit at any time, you get to keep your libraryof audiobooks forever. They never go away. So once again, to get thatfree 30-day trial of Audible, one free 10 More Apps to Boost Your Productivity

audiobookdownload of your choosing and two Audible originals thatyou can’t get anywhere else, go over to audible.com/thomas or text Thomas to 500-500 on your phone. Big thanks, as always, toAudible for sponsoring this video and being a big supporter of my channel and thank you as well for watching. If you enjoyed this

to get a free copy of my bookon how to earn better grades, if you haven’t done so already. Last but not least, you can find a couple morevideos on this channel right here and right here and I will 10 More Apps to Boost Your Productivity

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