Five Apps to Up Your Productivity


If the countless work hours you spent surfing the internet this summer won't fly in the fall, now is the time to set up an information aggregator like Feedly, so you can still do all your digital reading but get work done at the same time.

If the countless work hours you spent surfing the internet this summer won’t fly in the fall, now is the time to set up an information aggregator like Feedly, so you can still do all your digital reading but get work done at the same time.

Labor Day was only yesterday, but we can already feel the lazy days of summer giving way to the more frenetic energy of fall. With everyone heading back to school, getting their heads back into work, or just trying to return to to a routine that doesn’t involve day drinking, we could all use a boost in the productivity department. Whether it’s your cloud or your closet that’s in need of organizing, here are a handful of apps and online services to help you get your digital (or physical) house in order this autumn.

Take your list-making to the next level with this free app, which lets you create, share, sync and send to-do lists to family, friends or co-workers. What’s particularly helpful about Wunderlist from a productivity standpoint is that you can carry on conversations with anyone you share lists with through a comments feature in the app to see what’s getting done and what you still need to do. If the act of physically crossing things off your lists is the key to keeping you on track, you’re in luck—Wunderlist lets you print off your to-dos, too.
Wunderlist is free and works with Windows and iOS operating systems, Android, Chromebook, Kindle Fire and online.

Forget spring cleaning–fall is an excellent time to go through your closets and drawers and get rid of anything you haven’t worn in awhile. What do you do with your discard pile though? For ratty tees and other things you know no one will ever wear, GrowNYC has textile recycling drop-offs at many Greenmarkets, including Fort Greene Park, Grand Army Plaza and McCarren Park. For stuff that’s like new, look to ThredUP. You just order a bag and then fill it with your gently worn clothing, accessories and shoes (they take items for women, men, kids, and maternity), and pop it back in the post. They go through your collection and make you a cash or trade offer, and then either deal with the rest for you, or mail it back. That is well worth not schlepping your stuff to Beacon’s Closet–and not having to watch the buyer judge your duds.
There’s a free ThredUP app for iOS and Android devices, but you probably don’t need it unless you’re planning on doing as much shopping as selling. Ordering a bag is free, return shipping for items they don’t want is $12.99.

The concept of working smarter not harder should apply to your fitness routine, and RunKeeper is one of the best apps we’ve found for optimizing workouts. It uses GPS to keep track of your activities, map your routes and provide new courses to walk, run and cycle based on your personal preferences. It also keeps track of physical statistics like pace, heart rate, distance traveled and time. Plug in headphones to receive audio instructions and coaching, if you need additional encouragement, or to control your music. Unlike other exercise apps like Nike+, you don’t have to own a smartphone or special shoes to use RunKeeper—it integrates with other devices like Google Glass and Pebble smart watches as well.
RunKeeper is free and works with iOS and Android devices.

If you’ve ever found yourself on an email thread or group text message that required more back and forth than a tennis match just to figure out a time when everyone could meet, do yourself a favor and download Doodle. This scheduling app lets you create events and poll the people you invite about their availability so you can figure out when everyone is free. Whether you’re trying to plan a party or work out a time for your next staff meeting, Doodle makes cross-referencing calendars simpler. It’s also a good place to keep track of appointments, work schedules or the weekly routines of family members, and Doodle syncs with your calendar to do away with the dreaded hassle of double booking.
Doodle costs $2.99 and works with iOS and Android devices.

Surfing the internet is quite possibly the least productive option when it comes to consuming digital content on a regular basis. Rather than visiting individual websites to gather your news, subscribe to a service that aggregates all your digital media in one place. One of our favorite options for doing this is Feedly, which lets you organize the blogs, news, magazines, YouTube channels and Tumblr pages you frequent the most into one app, which you can read online or on a digital device. You can breakdown digital media by category, like food, design, technology, fashion or travel. You can also search for sites or topics within the app, to see what people are saying about your particular areas of interest. Feedly will also automatically update your application with the latest stories from all the sites you save to it, so you can stay up-to-the-minute without endless clicks of the refresh button.
Feedly is free and works with iOS and Android devices, as well as online.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)