Not everyone has found the perfect software to boost their productivity. One of these new desktop apps might be just what you have been looking for.
The good part is that they are based on sound productivity principles, whether it’s techniques like Pomodoro or the need for a single dashboard of all pending tasks. If there is some way you like to get things done, chances are that one of these apps will fit those needs.
1. Sunsama (Web): Daily Kanban To-Do List
Sunsama tries to sell itself as a calendar for teams, but it’s actually a fantastic to-do list app for individuals. If you like Trello-like kanban boards, you’ll immediately fall in love with Sunsama.
Here’s how it works. You see the entire calendar as a series of columns for each day. Add a task to any day, move it up and down, and mark it as done when you finish. If you don’t finish a task today, it will automatically be taken forward to the next day. It’s basically a rolling to-do list.
For tasks that you want to complete “some day”, move them to the backlog. And if you finish your tasks for a day, you can tackle something from the backlog by dragging and dropping it into today’s task list.
Sunsama works magnificently well as this to-do list. Its other features, like tagging tasks to group them, inviting teammates, and Slack integration, are simply bonuses.
2. Pomotroid (Windows, Mac, Linux): The Best New Desktop Pomodoro
The Pomodoro timer technique is a classic productivity hack, where you work for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. It’s mean to keep your attention at its peak, and used by a lot of successful people.
Pomotroid is the best desktop Pomodoro app I have ever seen. It’s completely free with no hidden costs and has a gorgeous, minimalistic design. Press the play/pause button to start and stop the timer. Red indicates work time, green indicates a short break, and blue indicates a long break. The length of time is customizable, so if you don’t want a 25-5 schedule, you can change it to whatever works for you.
If Pomotroid isn’t the right fit for you, check out our list of the other top Pomodoro timers to rocket your productivity.
3. Pomocado (Web): Pomodoro With Time-Tracking
Pomocado employs the same Pomodoro technique as Pomotroid, but adds a new layer: time-tracking. Productivity experts swear by time-tracking as an essential part of boosting your work. After all, if you don’t know what you’re spending time on and how much of it, how do you expect to get better?
Sign up for an account and then start using the Pomodoro timer on the web app. Every time you use it, Pomocado automatically adds it to your dashboard. And that dashboard is the cool part here. The more you use it, the more it fills up, giving you the same satisfaction as an accomplished “done list” of tasks.
There are better dedicated time-tracking tools out there for all platforms. Pomocado’s appeal is in being web-based, free, and combining the Pomodoro technique with time-tracking.
4. Orrange New Tab (Chrome): What’s Pending in Your To-Dos?
Google Chrome is famous for its productive new tab extensions, and you can add one more name to the list. Orrange is excellent at being the single dashboard for pending tasks, emails, and other items.
When you install it, Orrange will ask to hook up with a bunch of your services, namely Gmail, Google Calendar, Todoist, Wunderlist, Trello, Asana, GitHub, and Pocket. These are some of the best web services, especially for to-do lists and project management. Orrange will get data from them and integrate it into the dashboard.
The dashboard also lets you create a to-do list with a calendar to mark deadlines. You can set Orrange to automatically sync any to-dos you add here to your preferred calendar or task app. And the breath-taking, auto-updating backgrounds are a nice freebie.
Download: Orrange New Tab for Google Chrome (Free)
5. FocusMusic.FM (Web): The Free Radio Station for Productivity
What you hear (or don’t hear) can play a big part in how productive you are today. For some people, it’s ambient sounds, while others need complete quiet. If music is how you stay productive, FocusMusic.FM has your back.
This is a free online radio station that has only one purpose to its musical selection: to help you focus on the task at hand. It’s mostly instrumental stuff or vocals without any lyrics. Choose from three channels (electronic, downtempo, classical) or switch to the ambient sound of rainfall. Click “Track Info” to find out the name of the currently playing artist and the song.
The best part about this app is it relieves you of the burden of choosing the best music to stay productive at work. All you have to do is focus and get on with the task.
Apps That Use Classic Productivity Techniques
It’s always nice to see developers make new apps that aren’t reinventing the wheel. Sure, productivity methods aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. But there is no reason to ignore the many established techniques.
If the apps in this list aren’t what you’re looking for, try some other productivity apps based on classic principles.