By now you’ve probably heard the statistic: the number of telecommuters in the U.S. will reach 63 million people in 2016, according to Forrester Research. There are many reasons why telecommuting is growing: the global workforce telecommutes more easily than ever before with digital tools and employee’s satisfaction levels are high when allowed to work from home.
Understandably so, because working from home can be heavenly. You can lounge in your pajamas, take a walk when you need to, and work at whatever hour you choose with no commute. The downside is, there are many distractions. You may think that you’re getting a lot done, but at the end of the day, it’s possible you wasted a lot of time.
Some people have a difficult time being productive with no immediate accountability, and need a little push. Here are some of the best apps for productivity on the market, so you can maximize your productivity without compromising your happiness.
1. Clear Focus for Android.
Clear Focus is a productivity timer that uses the Pomodoro Technique, which breaks tasks down into 25-minute increments, alternating working sessions with small breaks. This technique lets you concentrate more easily and boosts your productivity, which the app tracks over time. For an iOS alternative, try the Pomodoro Time app, which utilizes the same technique.
2. Productivity Challenge Timer for Android.
This app is an effective -- and often hilarious -- choice for productivity, especially for those who like to compete. The Productivity Challenge Timer allows you to earn and lose ranks and unlock achievements depending on your performance, and promotes hard work with occasional taunts and remarks on your productivity. This isn’t an organizer, but it will make staying on task a little more fun.
2. Wunderlist for Android and iOS.
Wunderlist is one of the most seamless, beautiful to-do list apps on the market. Beyond just making lists, the app lets you make reminders for yourself, set due dates and times for your tasks, share your lists with others, and attach photos, documents and more. It effortlessly syncs between your phone, tablet and computer making your tasks easier to manage.
3. My Effectiveness for Android.
Planning your to-do list is one thing, but planning your life goals is another. My Effectiveness goes far beyond just planning out your day. It helps you to define your mission statement, set your priorities, identify your goals, set an action plan and then break that action plan down into weekly tasks! It’s the perfect app for the work-from-home entrepreneur.
4. Tasker for Android.
When you’re trying to stay on task, every minute counts. Tasker automates your personalized smartphone functions, such as opening your music app when you plug your headphones in, texting your significant other when you are five minutes away from home, or more complex tasks such as downloading all of the pictures from a website and saving them in your Dropbox. Tasker can do almost anything you can dream up. For iOS, try the similar app Workflow.
5. Quip for all platforms.
Quip allows teams to share, edit, comment on, and discuss “living documents.” The platform allows direct messages, task lists, shared spreadsheets and much more, centralizing work flow in a way that Google docs has yet to achieve. It all happens in real time: no more uploading to the cloud, updating the wiki and then sending an email about the next meeting to discuss the changes you just made. If you’re telecommuting and have a decentralized team, Quip will make your productivity skyrocket.
6. Pocket for Android and iOS.
I love to read, and often come across interesting articles on Twitter and Facebook that distract me from important tasks. Pocket lets you take those articles and videos from your browser or from apps like Flipboard or Pulse and save them offline for later. You don’t have to worry about losing them and can read them when you have time, after you finish that last item on your list.
7. Freedom for iOS.
One of a host of internet-blocking productivity apps, Freedom allows you just that: Freedom from the inevitable distraction of the endless sea of online information. Freedom locks you out of your chosen websites for up to eight hours. Working from home can be tricky when there isn’t anyone to stop you from surfing the Web, so use this app to stop your self and get back to work.
Telecommuting is a huge step toward fulfillment for many people. You can stay at home with your family, spend less time in the car and work in a quiet environment with all the comforts of home. Staying productive can be a challenge, but it’s a new skill that must be learned to make the most of telecommuting. Let these apps be helpful in keeping you productive and fulfilled.