Ally Buchanan
Ally Buchanan
Ally is in her second year at Renaissance College, pursuing minors in Political Science and English. She is originally from Hampton, New Brunswick
November 9, 2018

5 apps that boost productivity

Photo by Rawpixel on Unsplash

Everyone is guilty of procrastination. It can be incredibly difficult to focus uninterrupted for the length of time required to finish assignments, essays, or study periods. With our phones constantly in our pockets or on the bed beside us, it’s too tempting to pick it up and scroll through Instagram or Twitter, sometimes wasting hours at a time. Ironically, the following is a list of just a few apps for your phone that can help you be more productive, focused and organized. All apps included are free and available for both Android and iOS.

1.     Flashcards + By Chegg

This app does exactly what it says in the title. It allows you to build virtual decks of flashcards, using words, pictures, video, or audio. Through the app, you can also access decks made by other students or your classmates on seemingly every topic. This app is useful during memorization or cramming before tests.

2.     Flipd

Flipd is an app designed to keep you off your phone. It is divided into two main settings. The first is a complete shut off of your phone, for a time limit you determine. This setting cannot be turned off during the session, forcing you away from distracting social media. The second function is less aggressive in its approach, in that it monitors and records the time you spend off your phone. In this setting you can set periods of time, depending on the situation, and you can schedule in short breaks at intervals. Flipd will send you notifications if you access apps outside of the scheduled breaks. This setting keeps you honest and gently reminds you to focus.

3.     Evernote

For anyone passionate about organization, Evernote is either an old favourite or will become your go-to. It is viewed as one of the best note-taking and data-managing apps, providing more extensive organizational features than comparable systems like Microsoft OneNote and Google Drive/Docs. You can record all of your notes in this app, using text, pictures, video, website links and files, graphics, tables and audio clips. Notes can be divided into pages and notebooks, making it easy to manage and find specific information. It can also be accessed through any device, in any browser or operating system. The only issue with Evernote is that it requires internet to access all notes.

4.     Pomotodo

This app combines the pomodoro method of concentration with basic to-do lists. The pomodoro method, created to maximize efficiency, involves 25 minutes of active study followed by a 5-minute break, repeated for four cycles before a 20-minute break. This app provides a simple 25-minute timer with built-in reminders for 5-minute breaks. The user can create task lists, within which the app tracks the number of pomodoro sessions the user completes and the number of days a task is worked on. Pomotodo can be accessed on your phone without wifi or data and also through an online browser.

5.     SimpleMind

SimpleMind works off the concept of “mind maps”, or spider web diagrams as your middle school English teacher might have called them. These diagrams can be helpful in organizing thoughts or brainstorming ideas. The app allows you to use text, images, file links, and colour coding to visually represent your thoughts. Mind maps created through SimpleMind can also be shared with classmates, or saved as documents in Dropbox or Google Drive.

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