Internet Productivity

5 New Productivity Apps to Stop Procrastinating and Get Back to Work

Mihir Patkar 06-05-2017

The secret to productivity is that it’s subjective. No productivity system is perfect, and that’s why different techniques work for different people. It’s why there are so many apps to get things done, chase your goals, and ensure you are making progress.


The trick to staying productive is to always keep changing your system. It’s why I recommend the three-strike system to find what works The 3-Strike System: How To Prioritize Your To-Do List Are you not getting through your to-do list? The problem might not be your productivity, it might just be your priorities. Let's learn how to prioritise the to-do list, and get things done. Read More for you. It’s also why you should check new apps or techniques every once in a while.

From Microsoft to small developers who started with an Excel sheet, here are some productivity apps worth trying out.

1. BaTo.Life (Web)

We’ve all been there. “I’ll take a five-minute break and check out Facebook,” we tell ourselves. Before you know it, you have wasted half an hour on the social network and the links people shared on it. Next time you need a break, open BaTo.Life first.

productivity procrastination apps batolife

When you go to BaTo.Life, it first asks how many minutes you want to take a break for. Key that in, and only then do you get to visit websites. As the minutes wind down, the app will tell you that you need to hurry up and finish your break. And at your self-imposed deadline, it will shut the tabs you opened and send out an alarm.


BaTo.Life isn’t a new concept. It’s the same thing as Take A Five, one of the best ways to make Facebook productive 5 Ways to Make Facebook Productive and Stop Distractions Is Facebook hurting your productivity? Through a few apps and extensions, you can start fighting Facebook's time sink. Read More . Try both, see which one you like more.

2. Microsoft To-Do (Web, Android, iOS, Windows)

Given Microsoft’s new focus on office productivity, it’s no surprise that the company launched a new To-Do app.

The Microsoft To-Do app is unimaginatively named, but it still has a few nice features.  Everything starts with “My Day”, where you make a list of the day’s major tasks. Check “Suggestions” for tasks leftover from yesterday, overdue tasks, and so on. And you can split all of this into different categories or master lists, like “Home”, “Work”, and others.

If all of this seems a little familiar to Wunderlist, it’s not a coincidence. Microsoft bought Wunderlist and is now working to bring all its features to this new app. But you can export Wunderlist to other to-do apps Damn it, Microsoft! Here's How to Export Your Wunderlist to Todoist, Trello, or Other Task Managers Wunderlist's acquisition by Microsoft does lead to a big question. Will you stay with it or switch? If you choose the latter, follow this easy guide. Read More .

Download — Microsoft To-Do for Android (Free) | for iOS (Free) | for Windows (Free)

3. Go F***ing Work (Chrome)

Much like the foul-mouthed boss who yells at you, Go F***ing Work (GFW) is ready to shame you into working. It’s a whole new take on “motivational messages”, but it has a lot of fans.

productivity procrastination apps go f---ing work

It’s a website blocker, but jazzes it up with foul-mouthed and snarky humor, much like the snarky Carrot Weather app CARROT is Your Snarky Personal Weather Robot for Mac & iPhone A sarcastic robot, with little regard for humanity, working as your personal weather forecaster? That's interesting. Read More . Add distracting sites to the app, like Facebook or Reddit (but not MakeUseOf). When you try to visit it, the site will be blocked and a large screen will impolitely remind you to get back to work.

Like BaTo.Life, GFW also doubles up as a break timer. Pause the extension (five mins, 20 mins, or more) to use it as a limited-time window. GFW is the best blocking tool for browsers that I have seen, because of its various settings and advanced settings, which even control small aspects like refreshing a tab.

DownloadGo F***ing Work for Chrome (Free)

4. Pops (iOS)

Of all your gadgets, the smartphone is the most distracting tool. All those beeps and notifications, switching from device to device… and in case you didn’t know, even a three-second distraction can double work errors.

productivity procrastination apps pops

Pops is a genial character on your iPhone, who wants only the best for you. Tell Pops how much time you want to concentrate on work for, and then place your phone face-down on the table. If you lift it up to look at the screen, Pops will be very disappointed. You don’t want to disappoint Pops, do you?

To be helpful, Pops will use the Pomodoro productivity technique How a Simple Pomodoro Timer Made My Life Better The Pomodoro Technique is one of the simpler time management life hacks. Break through distractions with the help of 25-minute chunks and a timer. It could be a life-changing routine change if it suits you. Read More to remind you to take a break every 25 minutes. And if he isn’t strict enough for you, switch to Hard Mode to get Chad the annoying fratboy who only gives you a break every 55 minutes, and makes you work on your fitness in the break.

Pops hasn’t yet travelled to Android, but there are a few similar apps like it on the Play Store. Check out Forest, for example, where checking your phone will kill a plant. Don’t kill plants, you guys!

Download — Pops for iOS (Free)

5. Annum (iOS) [No Longer Available]

If you make (and then break) New Year’s resolutions, then you need Annum. And hey, you don’t need to wait for January 1 to set new goals.

productivity procrastination apps annum

Annum asks you to set three goals that you will finish within one year. Every day, it will ask you to do one step towards achieving those goals. The app is smart enough to know the importance of making a task list based on verbs. It only has two word slots for your daily task, and the first should be a verb. It ensures action from you, so you aren’t faffing about.

Annum has a gorgeous interface to show your progress, in form of three planets. And like Jerry Seinfeld’s “don’t break the chain”, it tracks your streak of actions 3 Science-Backed Steps to Finally Achieve Your Goals You have already started thinking of New Year resolutions. Maybe, you didn't achieve all of them this year. Here are three specific steps you need to take if you're serious about your goals. Read More for each goal.

Download — Annum for iOS ($1.99) [No Longer Available]

What’s Your Productivity System?

Everybody’s productivity system is different, so let’s talk about yours. What do you use right now? Which of these apps seems most appealing to you based on how you work?

Image Credit: Olivier Le Moal via Shutterstock

Related topics: Cool Web Apps, Productivity.

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  1. Christina
    March 8, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    It is so true that different things work for different people and you have to find a system that works for you. It takes a lot of experimentation. And even if you have found something that works for you, it might not work well forever. I noticed too that always staying vigilant, observing what is working and what isn't and then tweaking my system based on that is crucial for staying productive. That is why I built a tool for myself that let's me easily switch up how I work (it's called Amazing Marvin).

  2. reinkefj
    May 13, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    I think Microsoft has abandoned Wanderlust already.

  3. Reilly Owens
    May 7, 2017 at 12:03 am

    There's an Android app called (Offtime) that I think would be a perfect addition to this list!

  4. Samu
    May 6, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Yeah love that kind of productivity tools!