15 Time Management Apps to Organise Work and Life


Ross Boguslavski

15 June 2021

1 min read

15 Time Management Apps to Organise Work and Life


Are you struggling to be productive? Or maybe you’re struggling to get organised? Then be sure to read until the end of this article because I’m going to introduce you to 15 apps that can help make you drastically more productive.

So as you probably already know, there are countless productivity apps, calendars, to-do list apps and habit trackers out there. It can be really mind-boggling finding out which ones are actually effective and beneficial. So I went ahead and did the research for you; I downloaded all of the most highly recommended apps to my computer and phone so that you don’t have to. Here’s the list of the best productivity apps you can use completely free.

I’ve only included ones that are:

  • Beneficial
  • Effective
  • Easy to use

So there are no excuses not to use them!

The best productivity apps

  • Tick Tick

My first recommendation will be Tick Tick; I’ve been using this one for nearly two years now. Tick Tick is probably one of the most accessible apps on the market. It is definitely straightforward, and when I say it’s straightforward, I mean you only need about five minutes to understand the whole app.

When I first started using Tick Tick, my main goal was to write down my daily tasks so that I didn’t forget anything. After a couple of upgrades, they added habit trackers, too, so now, Tick Tick is a complete workspace that you can use to set yourself goals, daily tasks, and even create inboxes where you can create even more goals and tasks. At the same time, you can set new projects, lists and track everything easily.

Suppose you are the type of person who doesn’t want to use ten different apps to track something, and you just want one app to stay organised. In that case, my best recommendation is probably going to be Tick Tick because it is an easy to use, effective tool that’s very well built.

  • Forest

My second recommendation is Forest. The main goal of Forest is to encourage you to be more productive and focused whilst studying or working. Every time you jump into a work or study session, you set a timer on Forest and plant a tree. Thus, every successful study session you have rewards you with a tree, and every time you try to, for example, check your emails or check social media whilst you are studying, it gives you a warning that if you continue, your tree will die.

So it’s definitely an excellent app to check out. It doesn’t allow you to get distracted from your task because your main goal should be getting your task done. Forest is probably one of the best apps out there for productivity. I would recommend it to anyone who has problems regulating their social media time or checking emails throughout the day.

I use it on a pretty regular basis whenever I’m doing chores that I’m not feeling in the mood for. When you know for a fact that you’re going to get a tree at the end of your task and if you work well throughout the day, you’re going to have a small forest, it makes it that much easier to complete. So check out Forest.

  • Habitica

This recommendation is going to be for all of the gaming fans out there. This is a habit tracker called Habitica, and the possibilities are endless with this one. It looks like a retro video game, and you can create habits, set up daily tasks, manage your projects and all sorts of different things. It’s beneficial for building good habits and breaking bad ones, which makes it a terrific app.

The more things you accomplish, the more money you make in the app so you can buy items and equipment for your character.

There’s also a lot of people using Habitica regularly. So there’s a vast community of people out there who set up challenges every week or month to get themselves to a better position. For example, suppose you have a lot of colleagues, family or friends who are into productivity. In that case, you could also build a team and create a challenge for each other for a daily task or daily habit, and if one of the team members skip a day, it will impact all of the other people in the team.

It is a perfect place to foster accountability because you don’t want to let your team down. However, if you’re not really into the gaming genre and you’re a person who just needs a simple, classic app that allows you to track your habits, my next recommendation will definitely be for you.

  • Habitify

Habitify is a very easy to use, helpful app in which you can track your habits, and when I say it’s easy, it is easy! Because the only function this app has is being able to keep track of your habits. So if you just want an app to do that, that is well made and easy to use, this one is for you because Habitify does just that.

However, suppose you are looking for an app in which you can create tasks and set up daily goals. In that case, the app you should go for is probably Tick Tick because Tick Tick does both, but Habitify only does the habit tracking part, so if you are just looking for an effort tracker, Habitify is one of the best recommendations out there.

  • Todoist

My next recommendation, Todoist, is an app that I have used for around a year and that I recommend to many of my friends. In 2019 and 2020, Todoist was one of the most popular productivity apps out there, and it certainly seemed like everybody was using it. It was favoured because it is really well designed, and at the same time, it’s effortless to use.

Todoist is not actually a habit tracker. Instead, with the help of a to-do list, you set up daily tasks and manage your projects. For example, every time I have a big project I’m working on, I always use Todoist because I don’t want to forget anything. So if you are looking for an app in which you can track your to-do lists, track your goals and everything you have going on in your life, then Todoist will be my recommendation for you.

  • Microsoft Outlook

There’s a good chance that you have already used this popular cross-platform app. Still, I had to mention it because, in my opinion, it is one of the best calendar apps out there. It has easy to use tools for creating tasks, appointments and reminders. It’s also an uncomplicated system to implement and stay on top of your day. Outlook 365 is available for all devices.

  • Due

If you’re the type of person who constantly forgets things, you should check out Due. Due in its most basic form works as a reminders app for your schedule. It then provides you with such insistent notifications that you won’t dare forget anything ever again! Unfortunately, due is currently only available for iOS.

  • Do

Any.Do is another excellent task management app that’s great for organising your entire life, from work to home. This app includes a to-do list, calendar, planner and reminders app all in one. Any.Do is available for both Android and iOS devices.

  • Things 3

This popular app offers everything from an engaging calendar to a useful to-do list, complete with an easy to use interface that makes managing your tasks simple and enjoyable. Unfortunately, Things 3 is currently only available for iOS.

  • Toggl

Toggl is a time tracking app that helps you track how much time you’re actually spending and what you’re spending it on throughout your day. It indeed allows you to become more aware of how you spend your time and offers detailed reports and a customised schedule for you to increase your productivity. What more could you ask for? Toggl is available for both Android and iOS.

  • Trello

I use Trello every day to organise my to-do list, projects and notes. I love how straightforward it is to use. Whether you use it for work, school or even the next family holiday. Once you start using Trello, it’s impressive how quickly it slots into your life and the uses you can find for it. Trello helps both you and your team to stay organised, plus it is available for all devices.

  • Freedom

Do you often get distracted by Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook or other apps? Then this app is perfect for you! Freedom lets you block websites and apps for a set time period. In addition, you can customise a list of sites to block or even restrict your access to the internet entirely—an essential for when project deadlines are looming. Freedom is available for both Android and iOS.

Pomodoro technique

  • Be Focused

Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro technique? The Pomodoro technique is a super popular time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. It’s effortless; all you do is set a timer for 20 to 25 minutes every time you’re working on something without interruptions. You then take a short break and repeat this process four times; after that, you then take an extended break.

This is because around 20 to 25 minutes after you focus on one thing. Your mind gets easily distracted, you lose focus, and your brain can stop collecting information. Meaning you won’t retain as much information after the first 25 minutes. Be focused is currently only available for iOS.

  • Day One Journal

Have you ever wanted to write a daily journal but ended up not doing it after a few days? This app is the perfect solution for your problem; they’ve also recently added a widget for iOS 14 that helps you easily remember to write every day to keep the streak going. Day One Journal is available for iOS.

  • HabitBull

This is my favourite app for building new habits and eliminating bad ones. It’s effortless to use and very user friendly. HabitBull is available for both Android and iOS devices.

Now I wanted to get even more specific and share with you the things I actually use to get the most out of my time.

Time management is so essential if you want to achieve your goals. Now, everybody’s different, so you’re going to have to find the programs you feel the most comfortable with, but my goal here is to share with you what I do to give you some ideas of things you could try out.

First, I want to start with an important concept. Keep your personal and work information separate; this means separate calendars, separate computers, separate emails and separate phones. Now, this might seem like an extra hassle, but there are a lot of reasons to keep your work life and your personal life as independent as possible. It keeps you from mixing your business and personal information, and it helps create space between your business and your personal life.

Here are the four systems I use to get the most out of my time:

  • Daily journal
  • To-Do list
  • Timecard
  • Annual strategic plan

The goal here is to have a regular system that you use every day to manage your time and to keep you on track towards your goals. If you use these tools regularly, you’ll ultimately gain more discipline and flexibility in your life. The aim is not to jam every minute of the day with work. Instead, the goal is to schedule your day so that you’re moving towards living your dream life.

Working towards your goals

If you are new to time management, this might seem excessive to you; I’m sure that it might seem like a lot. When you first start doing this, it’s going to take you time to implement, but once you get used to making this part of your daily routine, keeping up with all of these things does not take very much time at all. I’m going to go through each item briefly and explain the programs that I use:

Daily Journal

This is something I do every morning. I use a pen and a notebook, and I will write for 15 to 30 minutes in the morning; usually, while I’m having a cup of coffee. Of course, you could do this on your computer, but I feel like writing by hand just makes it more effective and free-flowing. Of course, I don’t have to write every morning; sometimes, I’ll just read the journal, or I might read an article about something I’ve been focussing on lately.

If you do this every morning, it energises you for the rest of your day because it makes you realise that you are working towards your goals.

To-Do List

It is beneficial to have a place to keep a running list of things to do. Something I find constructive is to do a full review of my to-do list. Every Sunday night, I set aside 30 minutes to review what I have accomplished the previous week, what I want to achieve the next week and any worries or items to celebrate. If there is something that has been stressing me out, I always write it down, and it reminds me to tackle it during the next week and remove that stress from my life.

Time Card

This might sound a little unusual but one of my favourite methods to increase productivity is the time card technique. I track my time on a time card from the minute I wake up to the time I go to bed. I use a free program called Clockify, you just click the time clock every time you start a new activity, and it keeps track of it. So you can clearly see where all of your time has been spent at the end of the day.

Annual strategic plan

Annual Strategic Plan

Now, this is what makes the magic happen. At the start of every year, I write down my strategic goals for the year ahead. Then, I use PowerPoint and put them into a slide presentation, and then everything you’re choosing to spend your time on throughout the next year should be moving you towards those goals.

The appointments on your calendar, your to-do list and your timesheet should all tell a story about you reaching towards your goals. That is my system for time management, and I realise this is a lot for some people. With my personality, this is easy for me because I like to be super organised. I enjoy doing all of this stuff. It might be more difficult for people with different personality types, you just need to find a method of managing your time that works for you, and it will all click into place.


Now let’s talk about communication; for communication, I use Skype. This is my work messenger, and everyone who I work with is generally in that messenger. I also use iMessage and Facebook messenger sometimes because, for some reason, a lot of my international friends and relatives prefer those messengers.

With email, I have a strict rule that I stick to. I check it in the morning and the evening because I primarily receive messages that I need to pay close attention to, so it takes a while, and I want to be entirely focused on that task. I realised that I don’t want to split my day to check emails, so it’s only in the morning and the evening.

When I used to do a lot of email communication, initially, I thought it would be best to create folders for everybody I communicated with. So I would put everything into its corresponding folder, and then I realised that I spent a lot more time arranging my emails than actually looking for them because it’s so much easier to find them by just typing things in search.

So if you’re still organising your inbox this way, stop and ask yourself whether you want to continue to spend your time like that. I know that some people just love order, but in my case, I quickly realised that it was not an effective use of my time.


Now let’s talk about phone calls; I prepare for every single call because otherwise if I don’t have a plan, it just means wasting everyone’s time. So if you feel that you have too many calls with your team and there are calls solely for the sake of calls, stop doing them because this is a common time-wasting mistake. On the other hand, you can have many calls planned with lots of different people and then realise that you are just chatting about nothing during those calls.

So try minimising the number of calls to a couple per week, and they have to be meaningful, like discussing strategy or discussing a current problem. Calling for the sake of calling really can make you unproductive during the day. If every minute of your day is filled with something, you don’t have time for creativity; you don’t have time to get excited about what you do because you’re just following a schedule.

Social networks and time management

Social Networks

Social networks have a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to productivity. Some people love them, and some people hate them. It very much depends on what you do for work and your personality as to whether you’re sucked in or not. With Instagram or any other social network, if you can’t stay away from them, the problem usually is that you keep coming back and refreshing because more content keeps coming in, so you need to stop that influx of content.

A popular method you could use would be to unfollow almost everyone and mute what’s left. This way, whenever you go to Instagram, nothing’s happening. You can have another profile where you follow all of your friends and keep that one unmuted, but only go there when you actually have free time, for example, at the weekend; this way, you will be able to reduce your time on social networks drastically.

You can do this with any other social network too. One of my favourite social networks these days is Reddit because it’s a fantastic news aggregator. They don’t call it the front page of the internet for nothing. I like that it sorts news for me, and it isn’t particularly social for a social network. I just follow the subreddits that I’m interested in, and they talk about things that matter to me. Likeminded people and commentators talk about business, politics, and ultimately I then consume more valuable content.

As you’ve probably noticed, this is not a typical productivity article, and that’s because there are so many people out there, and we all have our own personalities. So you can try different things, you can listen to all sorts of people, but it’s ultimately up to you what stays in your routine and what doesn’t.

If you feel that somebody you admire has every minute of their day planned out, that doesn’t necessarily mean their methods will work for you. It just means that it works for that type of personality. So try things out, but don’t try to copy someone else. Instead, be sure to listen to yourself when you feel the most productive and feel the best.

These were my recommendations for the best productivity apps in 2021, and I hope you’ll try out at least one of them to help you be as productive as possible and achieve all of your goals.

Ross Boguslavski

Written by

Ross Boguslavski

Extremely executive managing director running the best multichannel eCommerce agency in the world!

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