Personal productivity is a vital part of finding meaning in your life. As a student, I know firsthand that getting things done feels good and promotes a healthy state of mind. In the age of technology, there are thousands of useful software programs that promote more efficient productivity. I find that the most accessible, easy-to-use programs are apps downloadable to my smartphone. Here are three of my favorite types of personal productivity apps that might help you get things done.
1. File Storage Apps
The days of manual file sharing through flash drives are nearing an end. We’ve seen a tremendous increase in “cloud” software that allow easy access to various types of computer files. Filing storage apps, such as Dropbox, allows users to save and transfer files onto a seamless cloud-based system. Doing this allows access to your files across multiple devices immediately. Say you download a PDF to your desktop, but you want to access it on your phone or tablet. You can easily sync your account among all of your devices and open the same file from your smartphone! Further, you can upload documents and easily share them among co-workers or project collaborators. File sharing platforms make life easier and help avoid wasting time downloading, transferring and uploading files manually. Knowing your important files are safely backed-up also provides peace of mind. Besides Dropbox, many people enjoy using Google Drive and Microsoft OneNote for their electronic filing needs.
2. To-Do App
There are many options for solid to-do apps that help you organize your life into tasks. I know from experience that people forget easily, especially when life throws hundreds of daily tasks at you. A to-do app helps you keep your responsibilities in one place. Additionally, you can send push notifications to your phone to remind you of a task before deadlines. I personally enjoy the feeling of checking things off a to-do list as it provides a sense of accomplishment. Checking off simple tasks like going to the gym, responding to an email or even a reminder to get groceries can all help you keep your life feeling organized and productive. I find this extremely useful in staying ahead in my classes and work by always seeing what needs done next and knowing that I’m not forgetting anything. Once you check all the to-do boxes, you can put up your feet and relax knowing that you had a productive day. Some of my personal favorite to-do apps include: ToDoist, Any.do and Google Tasks.
3. Personal News Aggregator
Staying informed with accurate information on current events is important today more than ever. Personal news aggregators help you organize your news feed to see the type of news you want to read from the sources you trust. You can create a variety of feeds for different news genres. For instance, you could have a feed for Politics, one for Entertainment or one for Business. Keeping your news focused prevents you from falling victim to reading through irrelevant clickbait from non-trustworthy sources on social media. Reading news important to you from your trusted sources keeps you informed on current events that affect your life. My favorite news aggregator is Feedly, but some others include Flipboard, SmartNews and Google News.
I encourage you to try out different apps and see which ones help you stay focused and organized. Saving time and staying on top of tasks promotes a good feeling about your everyday accomplishments while also leaving you with personal time for family, activities, hobbies or relaxation. Take advantage of technology and get productive!