My favourite apps 2023

It’s a new year, and considering we all strive to be more productive and organized, it can be helpful to have a toolkit of apps at our fingertips. As someone always looking for ways to increase productivity and get more done in less time, I am constantly looking for the best tools. That’s why tools are designed – to make our lives easier. These days, there is a tool for anything you can think of. After trying out numerous apps, I have come up with a list of my top picks that have helped me stay organized, manage my time, and get things done.

Whether you are a student, professional, stay-home parent, or needing extra help from feeling overwhelmed by work and life, I wrote this piece for you. All apps are downloadable for free on Android, iPhone, Windows and/or Mac devices. But, to unlock more advanced features, paid options are also available for most of these apps.

  • YouVersion Bible App: I have used the YouVersion Bible app for several years, and it is one that I absolutely love. It provides a Bible platform that can be accessed both online and offline, and it is so much more. It contains various Bible devotionals on virtually any topic. A recent addition to the app provides resources to guide you during your daily quiet time. These include daily verses, devotionals in written and video form relating to the theme of the day, and prayer guides. It also allows friends to read devotionals together and pray for each other. You can bookmark your favourite scripture verses, leave notes as God ministers to your heart, compare Bible verses across different versions of the bible and even create shareable bible verse graphics you can share on your social media platforms.

  • Period Tracker Period Calendar: It is a period tracking app that is highly recommended for ladies. This app is very handy for tracking my monthly menstrual and ovulation cycles. I also set up reminders for my daily water intake, multivitamins, and Kegel exercises – the list is endless. It can also be used for guided meditation (hormonal mood swings can be a thing among women) and to keep track of one’s mood. The premium version includes meal plans and exercise plans.

  • Trello: This project management and collaboration tool allow you to create visual boards for different projects and tasks. I use Trello for a variety of tasks: from mundane ones (like keeping up with my weekly/monthly grocery shopping and planning my cleaning schedule for my home) to more serious tasks (like planning lab experiments, documenting ideas for writeups, planning social media content, and the likes). It allows you to add notes, attachments, and labels to keep everything organized. It is also great for team projects, as many users can access and edit the boards in real-time.

  • Evernote: This note-taking app allows you to create text, audio, and visual notes. Your notes can be organized into notebooks for easy reference and quick retrieval. It has a powerful search feature, so you can easily find what you’re looking for. This app comes in handy in organizing my notes and notebooks on various topics in one place. I used this app for keeping my daily prayer and gratitude journals, blog drafts, wishlists, and very random thoughts that never see the light of day 😜. It allows me to include links, pictures, audios and videos to my notes.

  • Focus to do: This task management app lets you create to-do lists and recurring reminders, sort tasks, assign tasks to different projects and keep track of deadlines. It allows you to focus on work for a pre-set period, using the Pomodoro technique, while taking intermittent breaks between focus sessions. You can also set due dates and reminders and even use the app to track your progress. For each task you focus on without interruption and each day you consistently visit the app, you gain sunlight points that help nurture your virtual tree. The more points you earn, the more your tree grows. It also ranks your focus time alongside other app users, which makes for a fun and unique way to stay on track. I use this tool to help me focus on one task at a time. Also, do you know those types of tasks you must do and keep procrastinating about? I use it to curate a list of such tasks and estimate how much time (number of focus sessions) I need to devote to each of such tasks.

  • Duolingo: I am not a game freak, but this app is probably the only gaming app you would find on my phone. It offers a very engaging, interactive and fun way of learning different languages. You can invite family and friends to join you in learning a new language and even make friends on the app. If you ever want to learn a new language for free, this app is for you. I use a “snack learning” approach. I’d typically take advantage of waiting times in queues to learn a bit of French – even 2 to 5 minutes of practice each day goes a long way.

  • Momentum: This chrome extension transforms your welcome page into an inspiring dashboard with a calming nature photo and an inspirational quote that gives you the kick you need to get things done. It is refreshed every day and helps you streamline your focus for the day. If you are the kind of person that spends unlimited hours browsing the web with little to show for each browsing session, then you need this extension because also allows you to key in your to-do list for a session of browsing, and reminds you of your priorities each time you open a new tab.

  • Grammarly: This app is a cloud-based typing assistant that provides feedback on mistakes in punctuation, writing style, clarity, delivery and engagement. In addition to editing, it serves as a plagiarism checker. I like to see Grammarly as my ‘extra eye’. I use it to proofread my writeups, and it often makes decent recommendations that improve readability. I like that you can customize its settings to reflect your tone and the purpose of each document edit with it.

  • Mendeley: This app is a referencing manager. Mendeley serves multiple functions for me. I use it to save online scholarly articles I find interesting and would like to read later using its web importer. I also use it to organize these articles into folders depending on their topics. Many times, I read and annotate articles using the Mendeley desktop app. For some time, I used it to collaborate with group members and host virtual journal clubs, but those functions are defunct now.

  • Spotify: Music is such an important part of my life. I love listening to it during my quiet time while cooking and doing chores around the house, leisurely reading a book, or even while doing serious work. Spotify allows me to freely stream my favourite songs and playlists without downloading them to my phone. It also allows me to listen to some of my favourite podcasts, which is great.

  • Zoom: In this post-pandemic era, remote work and virtual meetings have come to stay. This cloud-based video conferencing app is my go-to app for online chat, webinars, and videoconferencing. It is my preferred alternative to the other options because of its user-friendly interface and functionalities. However, it has the obvious limitation of 40-minute meetings involving more than two people.

  • Pocket: The days of having a hundred tabs open on your PC (some of which you never get to visit anyway) are long gone. The pocket chrome extension is a bookmarking tool that allows you to save articles, videos, and other web content to view later. It is a great tool for curating and organizing information. You can even use it to save things for offline viewing.

These apps can help you streamline your workflow and get more done in less time. By incorporating these tools into your daily routine, you’ll be well on your way to increased productivity and organization. These apps are the most helpful in my personal and professional life, and I hope you try them.

Have you used any of these tools? If yes, how do you use these tools to boost your productivity? If not, what tools do you use? Are there other tools you use that should make this list? I’d like to hear from you!

PS: This is not affiliate marketing. I do not derive any financial benefit from sharing these apps. This list is simply a compilation of apps that I use and love.

Categories: Free Resources

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