Here we are. September is approaching, and with it comes new projects and goals. After taking a few weeks of well-deserved rest this summer, you are now setting new targets in your life.
How can you ensure that you’ll stay on track? Here are 6 mobile and/or browser apps to set goals, check habits and stay productive in 2018.
1. The best one: Trello
I have been using Trello for more than 3 years. At work, I created a board with my colleagues to ensure that we were all aware of what each of us was doing. I also added a private board for myself where I kept everything: personal notes, to-do lists, important documents, meeting reports, etc. Trello is my favorite tool because it’s extremely easy to use (just drag and drop, really), and quite flexible. You can see it as a simple task management software, or you can go all in and manage an entire project with a full team using the app.
2. To track progress and goals: Today Habit tracker
Today is a mobile app used to develop habits and track your goals every day. I had three habits that I wanted to implement in my life: gym, meditation, and healthy eating. Each day, I would record my progress. After a while, you have a good overview of your efforts. I love this app because it’s profoundly simple and uncluttered. It does what it promises, and nothing more. It’s great if you can discipline yourself to tick off your habits every day, but it was quite difficult for me. In the evenings, I would often forget to tick off my progress.
3. To keep your focus: Forest
It’s just so easy to be distracted today. Before starting a task, I open my e-mails, check Twitter, read blog posts, write a message to someone, etc. An hour passed and nothing got done! Now, I use Forest. Whenever I need to focus on something, I open the app, set a time and plant a tree. If I close the app before the end of my session, the tree will die. If I stay, a beautiful forest can grow. It’s a silly, visual and gamified way to stay productive.
4. To learn something new: Anki
Without any doubt, Anki is the reason why I graduated from university. The app is amazing if you are trying to learn a new language, prepare for medical or law exams, memorize dates or people’s names, etc. It’s basically flashcards: you add them, open them and try to remember the answer. If you forgot, you select “again” and the card will come back in the deck. If you had the answer, you select “good” and if it was easy, you select “easy” – the card will come back in a few days. Since a memory gets stronger each time you successfully recall it, the time between reviews gets bigger and bigger – so you may see a question for the first time, then 3 days later, 15 days later, 45 days later, and so on. That is why Anki is excellent for building long-term memory. Be careful – the desktop app is free, but the mobile version is quite expensive.
5. To pick priorities: Momentum
Momentum is a chrome extension that pops up when you open a new tab. It has a beautiful layout with a daily background picture and random quote to spark inspiration and creativity. Each day, Momentum asks “what is your main focus for today?”. Your answer will show up every time you open a new tab. With a long to-do list, it is often difficult to know where I should be focusing my attention. I love this add-on because it allows me to set a priority every day.
6. To gamify your life: Habitica
When I first heard of Habitica, the nerd in me got incredibly excited. The game/tool allows you to track habits, to-do lists, and daily tasks while fighting monsters, completing quests and joining guilds. How fun is that? Each item checked off will give you points, which you can use to buy swords and armors. If you forget to accomplish your daily tasks (for instance, flossing or doing the laundry), you will be attacked during the night and lose points! I have just installed the app a couple of weeks ago, but I have the feeling that it will be my favorite this year. I love the idea of self-improvement gamification.
Do you use any productivity apps? Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!