12 Apps to Bring You Closer to Work-Life Balance


Struggling to stay sane?

There’s a lot going on in your life, we know. If you’re on the verge of full-blown overwhelm, then take a few steps to correct your overcrowded plate. We’ve compiled a list of standout apps that bring your attention back to the now, block meaningless notifications at specified times of day, and help you rewrite productivity so you actually get the vital stuff done. Good luck!

1. Pause

Simply set a time, smack in some earbuds and do what you’re told by this audiovisual app that hopes to bring mindfulness to your day. We like the ‘mindful touch’ function, which involves gently gliding your finger around your phone screen. If you need to keep your eyes on the road, its sister app, Sway, has variations for ‘mindful walking’.

2. Antisocial

On average, people touch their smartphones 2617 times a day; that’s why this app tracks exactly how much time you spend on your device. Be more mindful about your usage or use the app to block life-wasting social media and apps.

3. Buddhify

Buddhify boasts 11 hours of meditations designed to squeeze some peace into every part of your day, from commuting, all the way through work, to when you hit the sack.

4. Focus Booster

Harnessing the power of the Pomodoro Technique – an approach designed to increase productivity by tackling tasks in short bursts, with breaks in between – this app combats the ‘cycle of distractions’ by timing your work sessions and automatically creating a timesheet. Hello, freelancers!

5. Habitbull

Habits can both enhance and damage your life – and with this little number you can make and break a few more. Habitbull deploys an army of strategies to keep you across up to 100 habits (five for free), including generating graphs to display your progress and encouraging you to set specific goals.

6. Silo

Selectively mute distractions, notifications and alerts on your phone with Silo. You can customise all the settings so you still won’t miss that all-important phone call while you work.

7. Cozi

Free and easy Cozi is a godsend for families, offering both a web-based and downloadable app calendar system with space for lists, journals, meal planners and recipes – even better, once you select what you’re cooking, it auto-populates your shopping list with the necessary ingredients.

8. Strides

Goal-setters, on your mark! This goal-tracking app encourages you to set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely) targets, and keeps you motivated by asking you to report your progress, which it presents to you in very pretty charts.

9. Bloom*

Bloom* is designed to keep your workaholic tendencies in check by turning your most-loved pics and music into mini-movies that you can schedule to appear during your day. It comes loaded with some helpful pre-made reminders, such as ‘drink a glass of water’.

10. Thrive Away

Care of Thrive Global, Arianna Huffington’s new organisation, comes an app that allows you to take a proper vacation from your inbox. Thrive Away lets email senders know you’re not at your desk and automatically deletes all new emails while you’re relaxing poolside.

11. Pocket

For those prone to falling down internet rabbit holes, Pocket puts articles, videos, tweets – pretty much anything – aside for viewing when you’re not on the job. You can save links straight from your browser for the commute home, and this beauty even works offline.

12. OffTime

OffTime makes space for uninterrupted creativity at work by blocking apps, filtering out notifications and setting up auto-replies to stop your smartphone gatecrashing your concentration, or special moments with loved ones.

We would love to hear your thoughts