Working from home comes with many benefits – no commute, the opportunity to get things done around the house between meetings, an incentive to upgrade home WiFi or create a new office space.
However, working from home is also a challenge. There are numerous distractions – family, pets, household chores, TV, video games – and the lines between work and home blur.
In addition, working from home during COVID-19 has actually led to longer work days for the average American. A recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the average workday has increased by 8.2%.
Thankfully, there are software applications that can boost productivity for those working from home. The solutions below help individuals save time, produce higher quality work, and improve work-life balance.
5 productivity apps to try
There are several types of applications that can help you boost productivity. Productivity apps typically all into one of the following categories:
- Project management
- To-do lists
- Time tracking
- Calendar managers
- Focus apps
- Password management
Hundreds of productivity apps exist. Different apps work better for different individuals. It’s always best to read reviews and test a few similar apps before making a final decision for yourself.
Trello, built by Atlassian, is a Kanban-style project management application that can be used to keep track of task lists and basic projects. The application interface is similar to a whiteboard covered in sticky notes. You can organize the digital sticky notes into to-do lists, or move them from column to column as each item progresses to another step in your project. The entry plan of Trello is offered for free.
Todoist is one of the world’s most popular to-do list apps. It is used by over 25 million people. It comes with several useful features including the ability to add priority levels to individual tasks, deadline reminders, and the ability to collaborate on projects and assign tasks to others. Todoist offers a free plan, as well as premium plans for $3 and $5 per month.
Be Focused is a simple application that helps you stay focused and manage your time. You enter tasks into the application along with the amount of time that you will need to complete each step and the work breaks in between. The application’s timer will begin running when you start the task, and sound an alarm when time has expired. Be Focused also lets track your progress each day and week. Be Focused is available for free in the Apple App Store.
Calendly is a free online appointment scheduling software. Calendly enables others to view your real-time calendar and sign up for appointments themselves. This eliminates a significant amount of time typically wasted in back-and-forth communication. Over 5 million people use Calendly. You can sign up for a free plan on Calendly’s website.
LastPass is a password management application. It securely stores your passwords for applications and websites. When you hit a log-in form, LassPass automatically enters your saved password and logs you into the application. This saves a tremendous amount of time and headaches from forgotten passwords. You’ll never have to click ‘forgot password’ again! You can download LastPass from its website for free.