In many of my articles, I’ve talked about how technology is a significant source of distraction for many of us. And, distractions are the biggest enemy of your focus and productivity.
That being said, technology can also be used to your advantage — to boost your productivity instead of damaging it.
That’s why, in this article, I’ll share 13 specific apps & tools that help you get more done in less time by working smarter.
Important Note: I personally use (or have tested) all of these tools & apps and I can guarantee their quality & usefulness. This is also why I’m an affiliate for some of these tools. When you purchase one of the tools through an affiliate link in this article, I receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
With Audible, you can listen to audiobooks right from your smartphone — which is one of the most efficient ways learning new skills and investing in your personal development.
What I love about Audible is that you can easily transform ‘lost’ time into productive time. Time that would typically be wasted (daily commute, showering, waiting) can now be used to learn new skills — an essential component of success.
Through Audible, I’ve been able to read an extra 20+ books per year without having to ‘find the time’ for it. This is precisely why I highly recommend you check it out!
Ps. You can get 2 audiobooks completely for FREE when you sign up for the free Audible trial. Want to learn more? Click on the link underneath:
How often do you get distracted by quickly checking social media, instant messages, and news apps?
Research by RescueTime suggests this happens way too often. It turns out that the average knowledge worker gets distracted by instant messages 77 times per day — which equals to every 6 minutes in an 8-hour workday.
Forest is the perfect antidote to these focus-hijacking distractions. With the Forest app, you block yourself from using your smartphone for as long as you pre-determined. After the time is up, a tree will have grown in your digital forest — visually showing your success and gamefying the focus-process.
‘I don’t have the time to workout/write/read’ is probably the most common excuse for not doing what you know you should do. But how true is that statement? How much time do you actually have? RescueTime shows you the truth.
RescueTime measures exactly how much time you spend on which websites and apps (as it synchronizes between desktop and smartphone), showing you the truth about how much time you waste and how much you spent productively.
And if you discover that you spend too much time on distractions such as news websites, social media, and email, you can use RescueTime to block these distractions to protect your focus.
#4: Google Calendar
Scheduling your days and weeks is one of the most effective productivity habits, which is precisely why Google Calendar is one of my most used productivity apps.
By scheduling the day, you create the clarity you need to work frictionless and time-efficient. This is exactly why I schedule my days either during my morning routine or as part of my nighttime routine.
If you want to learn how to schedule your day for optimal productivity, check out ‘How To Schedule Your Day For Optimal Productivity’
You’ve probably heard it before: leaders are readers. A study by Pew Research has shown that the average person only reads about 4 books per year, while the average Fortune 500 CEO reads about 48 books per year!
The more you read, the more knowledge you acquire — a crucial part of achievement. But unfortunately, most people struggle with reading consistently. This is where Blinkist comes in.
With Blinkist, you can get the most important insights of more than 3,000 business and personal development books in under 15 minutes. This way, you’ll be able to read A LOT more than usual and use ‘dead’ time productively.
Personally, I use Blinkist not as a replacement for my ‘normal’ reading, but as an addition to my reading habit. I use it to check out books that are outside of my normal scope of interest or books that I doubt about buying.
Aside from that, I use it to review the most important lessons from the best books I’ve read in the past. This way, I easily gain the most valuable lessons from an additional 30+ books per year.
If any of this sounds like it could benefit you, check out their free 7-day trial right here: ==> Learn More About The Free 7-Day Blinkist Trial
ToDoIst is my favorite app for creating a daily to-do list. Well, if you’ve been reading my articles for longer, you know that I make a ‘success list’ with the ABCDE method instead of a to-do list — but that’s a different story.
Every single morning, I use ToDoIst to prepare myself for a focused and productive day by creating a clear overview of the tasks I want to accomplish that day — including their priority.
Creating a daily ‘success list’ by using ToDoIst is one of the simplest but most effective habits to instantly upgrade your productivity.
In my opinion, Evernote is a must-use productivity app. Personally, I use Evernote to quickly capture any ideas I have for future blogposts, book chapters, products, and improvements to the business strategy.
Capturing ideas and lessons you’ve learned is essential for peak productivity and accelerated personal growth. If you don’t capture them, you’ll lose them.
Capturing notes is such a simple habit, but many people completely neglect it. You could literally forget your million-dollar idea by failing to take notes.
Besides, trying to remember business ideas or newly gained lessons occupies valuable working memory in the brain, which limits your ability to focus, solve problems, and think deeply.
Remember, your brain should never be a storage space for ideas, thoughts, and to-dos. Instead, it should serve as a generator of new creative ideas, breakthroughs, and clear thoughts.
The cool thing about Evernote is that you can use it both on your smartphone and your desktop, so you can capture and access your notes from any device.
SkillShare is one of my favorite platforms to learn new skills. Self-education is essential if you want to be more productive and achieve ambitious goals — and SkillShare is one of the best platforms to invest in your personal growth.
One of my favorite SkillShare classes is Thomas Frank’s Productivity Masterclass, which is filled with valuable productivity tips.
If you want to try out his Productivity Masterclass (or learn hundreds of other skills), try out SkillShare completely for FREE for 2 months by using the link below:
WinTheDay is a free extension for Google Chrome, which helps you stay focused on your #1 long-term goal and 1–3 daily priorities.
This page opens automatically when I start my browser, visually confronting me with my #1 yearly goal and daily priorities multiple times per day. Subconsciously, this primes my mind and focuses my thoughts on my goals.
#10: BluBlox Blue-Light Blocking Glasses
Getting a good night’s sleep is critical for your ability to do deep, focused work. Research shows that when you don’t get enough high-quality sleep, you have lower willpower and more difficulty concentrating for longer periods.
(If you want to get a better night sleep, check out this article: 8 Scientifically Proven Steps To Get A Better Night’s Sleep)
According to research, the blue light emitted from devices — smartphones, laptops, and TVs — is the most harmful to the quality of our sleep.
In fact, A study by the Dutch Institute for Neuroscience showed that, on average, frequent screen users took 30 minutes longer to fall asleep and reported more disturbances during the night compared to non-frequent screen users.
Unfortunately, most of us are glued to our devices even to the point where we’re already lying in bed. This continuous exposure to blue light is what causes so many people to have trouble getting a good night’s sleep.
A study by the University of Toronto found that those who wore blue-light-blocking glasses produced more melatonin (an essential sleep hormone) and slept on average 40 minutes longer than those who didn’t wear them in the evening.
#11: The BestSelf Journal
In my opinion, the BestSelf Journal is the best journal optimized for goal-setting and productivity that I’ve used so far. Precisely for this reason, I’ve been using this tool almost on a daily basis in my morning and nighttime routine for more than a year now.
The BestSelf Journal has built-in components for prioritizing, goal-setting, self-reflection, gratitude, note-taking, and jotting down your wins of the day. This makes journaling much less intimidating and much more effective.
(Click here to read ‘5 Morning Journaling Practices For High Productivity & Success’)
Without a doubt, this journal helped me gain thousands of dollars in extra income because it supported me in improving my productivity, keeping me focused on my priorities, and teaching me valuable lessons from the daily self-reflection.
As I love this product so much, I became an official ambassador for the company. That’s why I can offer you an exclusive 15% discount on the BestSelf Journal and other BestSelf products when you use code ‘PGLJari’ at checkout.
So, if you want to grab the same productivity tool that I use daily, go over to https://bestself.co/, check out the BestSelf Journal and apply code ‘PGLJari’ for your 15% discount.
#12: The Muse Meditation Headband
Meditation is one of the keystone habits contributing to better focus, less stress, and clarity of thought. In contrary to what some still believe, meditation isn’t some woo-woo stuff. In fact, hundreds of studies have scientifically proven the benefits of meditation.
Whenever I don’t meditate for a few days, I notice I’m more easily annoyed, stressed, and distracted. That’s why meditation has been one of my fixed morning routine habits for a few years now.
(Want to learn how to start meditating? Check out ‘How To Start Meditating For Beginners — And The Scientifically Proven Benefits’)
To get the most out of my meditation, I use the Muse Meditation Headband. It looks like something from the future — and it kinda is. Muse gives you real-time feedback on your brain activity as you meditate to help make meditation easier and more effective.
The Muse headband is a research-grade EEG device that passively senses your brain activity and translates it into the guiding sounds of weather to help you stay calm & focused.
Through Muse, I’m able to reach deeper states much more frequently during my meditation, making my meditation practice more effective.
Meditation can be quite abstract and hard to grasp, in contrary to exercising, for example. While working out, you physically feel the effects of your effort. With meditation, however, there are no real-time tangible effects or signs that you’re doing it effectively. That’s where Muse comes in.
With the Muse app, you can analyze your brainwave activity, giving you a tangible result from your meditation. Through the Muse app, you can see your brainwave activity change during your meditation, visually showing you the results.
I still geek out every time I see the chart of my brainwave activity — it motivates me to meditate more often than I did prior to using Muse. With Muse, meditation feels more like a game that I want to play instead of a habit that I ‘should be’ doing.
If there’s one tool that I’d recommend anyone who regularly writes articles, books, captions for social media, important reports, or other texts, it’s Grammarly.
Grammarly automatically scans your writing for mistakes and provides suggestions for improvement. This way, you lift your writing to the next level and avoid making unnecessary errors that could damage your credibility.
As I’m writing more than a thousand words per day, Grammarly has saved me more times than I can count.
Now Do It
Reading about these tools and apps is one, but actually trying them out is two! I highly encourage you to check out at least one of these tools and apps to upgrade your productivity and achieve higher levels of success.
To Your Personal Growth,
Founder Personal Growth Lab