With family, work, traffic, phone calls, emails, texts and social media, we're all faced with hundreds of distractions each day. It's surprising, really, that we get anything done at all.
Luckily, though, there are apps to help. If you're always racing to get tasks done, completing projects at the last minute, or forgetting meetings and anniversaries, check out these 10 free apps. They'll help you manage your time more effectively, boost your productivity, and make you feel more in control of your life. All of which might just give you more time to do the things you actually want to do.
RescueTime, which has a free lite version, runs in the background on your mobile device, tracking apps you use and sites you visit. Every week, it gives you a detailed report about how exactly you've spent your time. It also lets you use the data it gathers to set goals for your future activities.
Focus Booster is a timer-based app that uses the Pomodoro Technique to improve concentration and productivity. The technique involves timing activities, measuring accomplishments, and taking breaks in order to break up daunting tasks into manageable chunks.
Remember the Milk
Remember the Milk lets you make electronic to-do lists so you remember to buy the milk and do everything else you need to do. You can manage your tasks both online and offline from your mobile devices, get email and text reminders, sync your lists with Google Calendar, and share your lists with others.
The Evernote app and service allows you to take notes, save information, make lists, create voice reminders, and accomplish other tasks to make your life more organized. It even offers special apps like Evernote Food for managing recipes, restaurant information and meal ideas.
Mynd Calendar is both a mobile calendar and a virtual assistant, intelligently helping guide you through your day. It syncs with your other calendars, prioritizes tasks, finds people in your contacts, tracks your daily commute, and essentially builds up a knowledge base about you and your activities so it can make you more productive.
Zendone is a task-management app that integrates with Evernote and Google Calendar to help you accomplish what you want and need to do. It's a simple, easy-to-use, "zen-like" app.
CalenMob syncs with Google Calendar, making sure that all your tasks, events and activities are constantly updated and retrievable. It's a clean, simple, free app that brings Google Calendar to your iOS devices.
MyLifeOrganized generates to-do lists, calendar entries and tasks and helps you to organize and make sense of them.
Toggl is a simple and free time-tracking app. By tracking your time spent doing various activities, you'll be able to better understand what you do, how long it takes, and how you can more effectively organize your time.
Mind42 is an innovate browser-based app that lets you create a map of your mind—what you think and worry about, what you value, and what you desire. By mapping your mind, you're able to better understand yourself, your time and your goals.
To discover which time management techniques and apps are best for you, it's a good idea to try several of them for a week or two. Give yourself a chance to see if they work, and if they do, keep them. If they don't, move on. After all, the idea is to save time, not create more distractions. But once you do find ones that work for you, use them diligently. You might be surprised just how much time you can save.
Vivian Wagner is a freelance writer in New Concord, Ohio.
Read more articles on productivity.