6 Awesome Productivity Apps I Swear By
It’s The Little Things That Make a Difference!
Apart from my interest in technology, I consider myself to be a productivity nerd, I love trying out new apps and techniques which make my personal life, working life and side-hustle life more productive.
I mean you have to, especially if you’re growing a side hustle alongside a full-time 9 to 5 job.
With that in mind, I tend to do a lot of planning and in some cases, even content creation from my phone or my iPad, especially during those boring train commutes to work.
The way I look at it is the journey roughly takes an hour each way, which gives me two hours to be productive instead of looking out of the Window, which at times can be difficult as the British countryside is stunning!
I know that there will be many of you in the same boat as me, that’s why I decided to share the productivity apps that never leave my phone and help me be more productive, especially when it comes to content creation.
On a side note, the phone I’m daily driving at present it the Google Pixel 7 Pro, but I also do a lot of work from my iPad Pro, so the apps that I will mention in this post will be compatible on both platforms.
So without any further ado, here are the productive apps I swear by…
1. Google Keep
I wanted to start the post with Google Keep as it’s the app at the centre of my productivity workflow. For those of you who have not used the app before, it’s basically a simple notebook app that is compatible with multiple platforms.
I use Google Keep as my main notebook for quick notes and for noting down content ideas.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes ideas come to my mind during the most inconvenient times, such as during a cycle ride, shopping or even at the pub. To make things worse, those ideas then usually get replaced by another idea.
That’s why you need a way of remembering them and Google Keep happens to be a brilliant app for that. I mean I can capture ideas throughout the day, I can even use my Google Pixel Watch to dictate my ideas and save them in Google Keep.
Google Keep has saved me on numerous occasions and I think it’s fair to say that it’s one of my favourite all-time apps by Google.
Over the last few years, I’ve tried out many To-Do list apps, I even thought I found a suitable one, instead the one I keep going back to is Any.do, which is an excellent app for managing your daily life, and that’s exactly what I use it for.
In the past, I’ve used Notion as well as many other To-Do list apps, but something just didn’t feel quite right about them. But Any.do seems to do many things incredibly well and strangely enough, not many productivity content creators seem to be talking about this app!
For starters, I love the motivational side of the app. From the very beginning of opening the app, it greats you and says a motivational quote. I know it’s a small thing, but sometimes it’s the small things that really make the difference!
One of my favourite features of the app is Any.do Moment, which allows you to go through your tasks at a certain time during the day and choose whether you will do them today or not.
It comes up as a notification which reminds you to go through your tasks on a daily basis. I’ve set it to appear at 8.50 in the morning as that’s usually the time I plan out my day.
My only complaint about the app is the fact that the WearOS app is very basic and doesn’t allow me to go through my tasks, just add them. I seriously think it needs to be updated. I mean it’s the only thing that is spoiling the experience for me.
3. Google Calendar
My main calendar app happens to be Google Calendar, I’ve been using it with other apps for years and even became a huge fan of Fantastical. But sadly, Fantastical is not available for Android or Windows, which for someone that isn’t tied to a specific ecosystem, just doesn’t work.
I’ve tried many calendar apps on my phone, but I keep going back to Google’s main product Google Calendar. I think that it’s a pretty well-built app that does what it says on the tin.
But, I do think that the iPad version needs more work, I’m not really a fan of the interface of the app on the iPad and I’m actually considering switching to the default Apple Calendar app on the iPad as it looks cleaner.
But when it comes to Android and the web interface, Google Calendar tends to be my favourite. It’s basic but also provides some pretty cool features such as when you put the location it the event, it will put a photo from that place in the calendar event – it’s the little things!
Moving on to an app I’ve recently started using again after I purchased Thomas Frank’s Creator Companion, which revolutionised content creation for me. If you are serious about creating content, then it’s seriously worth checking out!
In the past, I actually ended up moving away from Notion as I was spending more time customising my workspace and playing around with the features. This made me less productive and at the end of it all, I just stopped enjoying the app.
At the end of the day, a productivity app should work for you, not the other way around!
I use Notion exclusively for content creation and planning out my content. The Creators Companion allows me to organise all of my content into channels under the same template and at the same time plan content out.
I use it to plan and write blog posts, I use it for YouTube videos and I even use it for planning out my weekly newsletter, which if you haven’t checked out yet, I highly recommend checking it out here!
As someone who works in IT, I am serious when it comes to setting strong and unique passwords. But strong and unique passwords can be difficult to remember, that’s why you need a secure method of storing your passwords and generating unique ones for new accounts.
Having recently moved away from Dashlane (Which by the way is an excellent product), I moved to NordPass as they had a pretty good deal on and I really like some of their features.
In fact, at the time of writing this blog post, NordPass is offering an incredible deal of the two-year subscription being available for only £30.96 or one year for only £20.28! Which I think is an amazing bargain, it’s also one of the main reasons I decided to move to NordPass. You can check the offer out here or any offers that are live after this offer ends.
NordPass supports Passkeys which can eliminate the need for passwords. This is a huge step forward in security as not only does it make it quicker to log in to your online accounts, but it also makes the whole logging-in process more secure.
NordPass also uses the XChaCha20 encryption algorithm which is considered to be one of the most secure algorithms out there and they operate on a zero-knowledge architecture, which makes your accounts even more secure!
The one area where I think NordPass went the extra mile is that the password for your vault and your account is separate. On top of that, they support multiple methods of authentication including the use of Ubikeys, which I think is amazing!
Once again, it’s the little things!
The final app I wanted to talk about in this blog post is Spark, which is my default email app on my phone and iPad.
It really has made a difference to my life and to checking my emails, in the past, it used to take me ages to go through all of my emails resulting in me procrastinating and missing out on many important emails.
Spark changed all of that for me because it now takes minutes for me to go through all of my emails and on top of that it really helps me get the most out of the Inbox Zero technique, which I highly recommend trying out! Jeff Su has some incredible videos on Inbox Zero which are highly worth checking out.
I use the standard Smart Inbox because it works better for my needs, but now you have Smart 2.0, which I haven’t really had a chance to play with yet, but I hear good things!
My only complaints regarding Spark are that the premium version which contains some extremely useful features such as GateKeeper cost a lot. At the time of writing this blog post, the premium version costs $59.99 manually, with there not being a monthly payment option.
My second complaint is that there isn’t a WearOS app, but they do have an app available for the Apple Watch. I think that with the rise of the Pixel Watch as well as Samsung moving to the WearOS platform (not forgetting the other manufacturers), vendors seriously need to think about creating or updating apps to have support for WearOS. It will make a difference for so many people!
As I mentioned throughout the entire blog post, it’s the small things, that can really make a difference in how friendly an app is to the user.
Look at it this way, sometimes the smallest cut can hurt or annoy the most, the same can be said for software. One thing not working correctly, a missing feature or something that just doesn’t work for you can destroy your overall user experience.
The apps I always use are always changing and this list is correct as of May 2023, but if there is a change, I will be sure to keep you updated, so if you haven’t already, please follow me on Medium and subscribe to my weekly newsletter to get exclusive and behind the scenes content.
Now it’s your turn, what are your favourite productivity apps that you use on your phone? Let us know in the comments!
Disclaimer: This post contains Any.do and NordPass affiliate links