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apps for productivity

Time Saving Apps for the Gent

We’ve reviewed apps before and shared some productivity techniques (like the Pomodoro), so in this article we thought we would combine the two and look at some time saving and productivity apps that are helping Gents save more time and perform at their best.

Time Savers

Despite being surrounded by “labor saving” devices that are supposed to make life easier for us, for many it seems as though they’ve never had less time. Here are three apps to help you reclaim some of that time.

Calendly 

We’ve all gone through that email exchange in order to figure out a good time to meet in person or by telephone. When it’s just a couple people this might be accomplished in 2-4 emails, but when it’s for three or more, look out! Calendly provides a single-click solution: a landing page that is synced with the online calendar of your choice. The free version allows you to test drive for one type of event (e.g. “in person coffee meeting”), the paid version starts at $8/month and allows you to create an unlimited number of event types built around availability that you customize. 

Doodle

A free tool that allows you to find the best day and time for a meeting when you’re dealing with groups of people is Doodle.  It’s a simple interface that presents options to your various recipients in their individual time zones.  No more head-scratching trying to figure which times work best for everyone involved.  Put in all the times that are possible for everyone and allow people to vote for what works for them: you pick the one(s) that make the most sense/get the most votes.

Unroll.me

We all get newsletters that we rarely read, yet for some reason we can’t bring ourselves to unsubscribe.  Unroll.me does a bit of both.  While it encourages you to unsubscribe from newsletters that you don’t read, it rolls all your newsletters into one bundle for you to read when you want.  It’s a totally free service powered by a big data firm that extracts purchase information from commercial emails.

Productivity

It's not enough to save time; we want to make the best of the time we do have.  Here are five apps to help you do precisely that.

Rescue Time

This app will tell you what programs and websites you spend the most time on, using a scale which goes from “very productive” to “very distracting.”  You can also use it to block certain websites when you need to focus.  Apple users can use “Screen Time” for some of this data, which can be found in Settings, though that program doesn’t have the functionality that Rescue Time offers.  The most robust version of Rescue Time costs $9/month.  

In this same category is a free chrome extension called Stayfocusd partnered with an app called Freedom which can block websites during set days and times or after a limit that you set up (e.g. no more than 30 minutes of Instagram per day).

Boomerang

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and some of the favorite functionalities of Boomerang have been emulated by various email providers, like Gmail, though not in as intuitively and simply as Boomerang does.

Among many other features, Boomerang allows you to track your emails by setting “boomerangs” to come back to you, i.e. if an email you sent doesn’t get a response within a set amount of time, or if you want it to boomerang back to you regardless, it will show up in your inbox again after a set amount of time.  For those who never want to lose track of emails again, Boomerang gives you 10 free a month to try, then various pricing plans from $5 to $15/month beyond those 10.

Evernote

One of the older apps in the productivity space, Evernote was founded in 2000 as a way to keep track of just about everything:

  • Audio and video notes
  • Photos
  • Reminders
  • Attachments you want to upload
  • Sketches

Evernote syncs all of these across all of your devices and provides search functionality that doesn’t just work for your written notes, but can search your sketches and photos too.  For example, if you took a picture of a “for sale” sign, a search for “sale” would bring up that photo.

The paid version is $7.99/month and works across different software platforms and devices, though Apple-only fans might prefer using the Notes app (which works well with Apple Pencil) and Microsoft fans might opt for OneNote.  Both of those apps are free, but are tilted to work best with those already using those ecosystems.

What’s a favorite of yours that you would have added to this list? Let us know in the comments below.

Ben Davis

About Ben Davis

A serial entrepreneur, Ben Davis is founder of The Gents Place and a leading investor in gentlemen's refinement and confidence.

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