The Best Productivity Apps to Help You Stay Focused This Year

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Tune out whatever's irrelevant.

If your big resolution, as you move into 2018, is to get that tad bit more organised, you’re in luck. Thanks to the digital world, there are productivity apps and tools to burn. Ahead, check out eight of the best apps to get you started – from to-do lists to digital notebooks to AI-powered music.

1. Todoist

If you’re an avid list-maker, you need to know about Todoist. Todoist isn’t your average productivity app; it’s versatile, nifty, and it looks so good. Firstly, Todoist opts for a clean, basic aesthetic, so the focus is all on your to-do lists. There are no distractions, such as pretty backgrounds. Users can create projects (and sub-projects) full of to-do items. If you want to take your organisation to the next level, you can then add tags to these projects. For example, you could tag any item that will take five minutes or less with the tag “quick.” Then, you can create filters that go through all your projects and grab all five-minute items. You can also set recurring tasks, priority flags, and more. See? Versatile. en.todoist.com

2. Feedly

You could move from website to website, checking each homepage to discover the latest articles. Or you could use Feedly, which uses RSS technology to download a list of unread articles from almost any blog or website you choose. That way, you’ll always be up-to-date, and you’ll never have to wonder if you’ve missed something. Better yet, you can read the articles in Feedly, save them for later, or open them in their original locations. feedly.com

3. Brain FM

Maybe you’re someone who can’t concentrate if there are little noises all around you. Or maybe you’re someone who needs music to help zone everything out. Either way, you might want to check out Brain FM. The team at Brain FM have paired the wonders of artificial intelligence with the genius of a collective of scientists to come up with music that helps you be more productive. You can choose from three modes: focus, relax or sleep. Then, just throw on your headphones and get to work. Soon, you’ll find yourself powering through your work faster than ever before. And it’s all thanks to science. brain.fm

4. Pocket

Picture this. You’re just wrapping up your morning commute to work. You’ve been scrolling through your favourite blogs and news sites (using Feedly, of course!) when you come across an article you need to read. But you don’t have time. Luckily, just as your train pulls into its stop, you hit the “Save to Pocket” button and rest easy, knowing the article will be there when you need it. That’s what Pocket is for. It’s a virtual binder of all your favourite, must-read articles – and it works on desktop and mobile. getpocket.com

5. Simple Habit

Plenty of research has been done on the benefits of meditation, so it probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you to learn that meditation can make you more productive. If you’re not already incorporating daily meditation into your schedule, the Simple Habit app is a great way to start. You can sign up for a premium subscription and gain access to meditations for every aspect of daily life: commuting, working, sleeping. But if you don’t want to cough up the cash, non-paying users can access meditation timers and a seven-day beginner course. In other words, there is something in Simple Habit for everyone. simplehabit.com

6. Unroll.Me

Maybe it’s the sound your smartphone makes when an email arrives. Or maybe it’s the little number in the red circle sitting on top of your mail app, reporting how many unread emails you have. Both can make us turn our attention from what we’re doing and have a quick glance at our emails. It might feel like just a few seconds of distraction, but it can cause you to lose focus completely. That’s where Unroll.Me comes in. Unroll.Me goes through your inbox, collates your subscription emails, helps you unsubscribe from the emails you no longer need, then rolls up the emails you like into one easy daily digest email. Prepare for Inbox Zero. unroll.me

7 + 8. Evernote + Scannable

Here’s a little two-in-one for you. Evernote and Scannable (by Evernote) can be downloaded separately or together. But they are both must-have apps for anyone serious about getting and staying organised. Evernote works as a digital notebook. In fact, you can have multiple notebooks, each filled with pages of notes. You can tag the pages, also, which helps you keep tabs if you’re an avid note-taker. As for Scannable, this app is a scanner that you can take on-the-go. You simply hover your mobile or tablet over a piece of paper, and it will “scan” the paper and turn it into a PDF or image. Then, you can share it, save it, or send it. It’s that easy. evernote.com and evernote.com/products/scannable

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