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5 Productivity Apps You Definitely Want To Try

Refinery29 Editors

These days, it's increasingly challenging to stay focused. With near-constant notifications on our phones and countless tabs and windows crowding our computer screens, staying on task can sometimes feel impossible.

Though technology is often to blame for our fragmented attention spans, it can also be a life-saver when it comes to productivity. Today there are countless productivity apps available that take all of the guesswork out of staying on task. From note-archiving software to project-management apps to messaging systems, there is no shortage of tools that can help take you from scatterbrained to on the ball.

Life can get pretty stressful, and while it's completely possible to stay organized and on track with little more than some Post-its or a good old-fashioned to-do list, sometimes turning to technology can give you just that much more of an edge.

Whether you're struggling with time management (in other words, figuring out how to stay off Instagram or Twitter when you're supposed to be working), keeping track of all of your notes (so they're easily accessible and not scattered all over the place), or better communication with a team or partner, work-productivity apps have got you covered.

We put together a list of five great time-saving and sanity-keeping apps that can take you to the next level with your work. Whether you're a student pushing toward the end of the semester, are working at a startup and trying to add more hours to the day, or are starting a new creative project and need to get organized, there's an app for you.

If you're ready to get on your 'A' game, keep reading to find out what these apps offer, how much they cost, and how to get started.


Cost: $0 to $9 a month depending on plan

If you've ever had trouble staying on task, or often find yourself wondering where all the hours of the day go, then you may want to try RescueTime. The time-management software helps you stay on track, figure out how and where you spend your hours, and ultimately become more productive.

The app provides detailed reports that show which applications and websites you spend your time on, and allows you to set productivity goals and see whether or not you meet them. With the premium version, you're able to block distracting sites, track offline activity, and create tailored notifications. In short, RescueTime is the ultimate tool for workplace efficiency.


Cost: $0 to $14.99 a month depending on plan (50% student discount available)

For anyone who is a compulsive list-maker, Evernote might be for you. The app is created for note-taking, organizing, task lists, and archiving information. Best of all, memos are synched and available across platforms, so you can access them anywhere and anytime you need them.

Evernote helps you manage anything, from personal to-do lists to big projects. You can archive information, voice recordings, and pictures and make sure that nothing falls through the cracks.


Cost: $0 to $11.99 a month depending on plan

Asana is an app designed to help teams organize, track, and manage their workflow. Best for collaborative work, Asana allows teams to track and manage everything without having to juggle a million spreadsheets, email threads, and other tools to stay on course.

With in-app messaging, the ability to assign and follow tasks, create deadlines, access at-a-glance calendars, and more, Asana is one of the most streamlined project-management tools out there.


Cost: $0 to $9.99 a month depending on plan

Trello is a mobile project-management app that helps simplify your workflow, whether you're working on a project alone or on a team.

Trello’s simple and flexible design allows you to organize pretty much whatever you need to, from daily operations to team collaborations. Users break down projects into small bits by making a "card" for each task. From there, they can arrange cards into different columns, which could represent another phase, level, or person in charge. Once a task is completed, cards can be moved from one column to a "completed" column or simply archived.


Cost: $0 to $12.50 a month depending on plan

Loved by many teams around the world, Slack is a communication app that makes it easy to effortlessly stay in touch with a group of people. Using Slack, you can create different channels within one team for better workflows and to facilitate more targeted conversations.

Slack communication is instant and, in many cases, a much better alternative to email for teams and companies. It also helps you avoid the group-chat effect where you are constantly pinged about things that don't concern you.

Slack also offers a number of other features, including polls, document sharing, video chat, and GIFs. If you want to take your productivity to new heights, you can also integrate Google Drive, Salesforce, and Dropbox accounts into the app.

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