10 Apps Essential to my Productivity

January 20th 2017

I often get asked what apps I use on a daily basis. So, here’s a list of the best apps that I use that accommodates how I work with insights into how I stay productive.

Evernote
I’ve used Evernote for a couple of years, but I discovered a couple of new features that changed my entire workflow. The camera functionality allows you to take a photo of any text (e.g. notes you jotted down in your notebook). The best part of the feature is that any text is searchable.

The second is the web clipper, which allows you to save any webpage and highlight/annotate them. I’ve used this feature many times to save articles for research. (Tip: Create a folder called _Inbox to capture all your saves).

Wunderlist
I used to write down all my action steps for the quarter, month, and week into Evernote, or sometimes on a piece of paper. No more! I’ve started to use Wunderlist to track my action steps and create lists for everything. Here’s a screenshot of how I organize my action steps in a simple Kanban format:

  • Projects: Where I keep the higher-level projects
  • Doing: Action steps I’m currently working on
  • To Do: Upcoming action steps

I also create Lists around Accomplishments, Ideas, Recommendations, and Article Ideas. I found it helpful to keep track of Accomplishments that I can share with my Elephants group.

Way too many action steps that are over-due!

Habitbull
Over the holidays, I tried a couple of different habit apps and discovered HabitBull. It allows you to create new positive habits or break bad habits. Key features include customizing habits, tracking habits, and ease-of-use around inputting. Some of the habits I’m tracking right now:

Pocket
I use Pocket to save and read articles from the web. They have a nifty chrome extension that I used on both my computer and phone. They also have a feature called “Explore” which allows you to see the most-saved articles. They organize them into categories such as Tech, Finance, Health, Travel, and Parenting. You can also follow my recommendations here.

Blinkist
Do you ever fall behind on reading books? Blinkist is the “cliff notes for business books.” They have over 1,500 best-selling books, transformed into bite-sized shorts. You can read “blinks” in less than 15 minutes.

I’ll read a “blink, ” and if I find the content compelling, I’ll order the book on Amazon. For me, Blinkist is not a substitute to reading but as a way to discover new interesting content.

Inbox by Gmail
While I use Gmail for my work email address, I use Inbox by Gmail for my personal email. You can organize emails into bundles. Here’s an example around “home”:

Some other features I use often include reminders and snoozing to clear out my inbox so that it’s always at zero. (Pro-tip: login to multiple inboxes here.)

Motif Investing
This is my favorite finance app! I wanted a personal finance app where I could diversify and have more control.

This is where Motif Investing comes into play. It allows you to build your own portfolio, or follow other portfolios. There is flat rate of $9.95 to invest into as many as 30 stocks at once.

Here’s an example of a portfolio around SaaS:

Classpass
Classpass is a subscription membership that connects me to gyms and classes in the NYC area. I’ll rotate between running, cycling, yoga, and hitting the gym. I’ve been a long-life runner and my favorite studio in Mile Run Club.

Google Home
While not an app, it’s what I use in the morning to stay off my phone. It’ll give me weather, calendar and news updates. It also plays music from Spotify and I can even order an Uber without ever touching my phone.

Bonus: Insight Timer
This is my favorite meditation app. It’s free and has close to 1,000 of the best meditation teachers.

I hope that these apps will help increase your productivity and free up time for you to focus on what you’d like to do most.

Hacker Noon is how hackers start their afternoons. We’re a part of the @AMI family. We are now accepting submissions and happy to discuss advertising & sponsorship opportunities.
If you enjoyed this story, we recommend reading our latest tech stories and trending tech stories. Until next time, don’t take the realities of the world for granted!

More by Michael Karnjanaprakorn

More Related Stories