Free Productivity Apps That Will Help You Save 10+ Hours/Week in 2022: Todoist, Engross, Clockify, Spark, Pocket

Fareeha Arshad
Photo by Tomas Yates on Unsplash

Though working online is convenient, it’s so easy to get side-tracked. Once you make the mistake of switching the tab, you keep spiralling from one to the next and the next. The worst happens when you promise yourself not to get distracted, or perhaps today will be ‘the day’; and instead, you make the mistake of opening the email or checking the stats and falling into one of ‘those’ traps of questioning yourself.

Living in a highly competitive world, nothing comes easy — especially productivity. I have been guilty of not being productive enough in 2020 owing to the pandemic and shifting to the ‘work-from-home’ mode. So, from the start of this year, I started incorporating a few apps to keep me focussed that helped me manage my time effectively and increase my overall productivity.

Among the many tools I tried, the following five apps have helped me achieve a lot more this year — to tick off more boxes each day, stay at the top of all my activities, and be more productive than ever before — without being energetically drained. And the best part about these apps is that they are completely FREE of cost!

1. Todoist

Todoist app has been like a personal assistant to me throughout the year. It is a fantastic, seamless app that helps in providing an over-simplified to-do list without overwhelming you. With this app, you can:
  • Manage your daily schedule: You can organize your daily tasks and track your progress for each work without missing out on any one of them.
  • Manage deadlines: You get to prioritize tasks depending upon the deadline. You can also change the deadlines to set up tangible goals.
  • Reach your goals: Because of the vigorously sorted and easy interface of the app, you will find no trouble in completing your daily, weekly, and monthly goals. The app also has a progress measurement and reporting feature that keeps track of your progress at each task and keeps you updated.

If you are a habitual procrastinator and have difficulty completing your daily tasks and reaching your goals, then this app is for you.

2. Engross

If you have trouble completing the task at hand because you get easily distracted, then this app is for you. Engross manages time for you and provides you with a distraction-free zone to work on. With this app, you can:
  • Engage in a hassle-free work zone using the Pomodoro technique timer: This technique will break down your work time into smaller chunks of 25–30 minutes, followed by a small break for a few minutes. This way, you will find yourself more focused on the work.
  • Customize your work and break times: Depending upon your comfort level and how much you can focus at a stretch, you can allot a specific set of time for work followed by a short break and so on.
  • Manage your distraction frequency: This app has a small button on the screen that regulates your distraction intervals. Every time you get distracted, you can press the bell icon. This way, the app will give you a track record of which time in the day you get distracted the most and plan your daily schedule accordingly.

3. Clockify

Once you have sorted your timetable and have allotted yourself specific times to work, next, you will need something to guide you about the amount of time you have actually spent working on the task. This is where Clockify comes into the picture. This app helps you:

  • Track the time spent doing a task: You tend to enhance your overall productivity when you know how much time you have spent working on the project. This software also helps you share your activity with your clients to have a clear picture of the exact number of hours you spent completing their task.
  • Keep a record of your work progress: The best thing I like about this app is that it helps me review the overall time I spent completing a task throughout the week. It adds up the total number of hours I invested in each activity throughout the day. This way, I have an idea about the total time I spent on a task per day and throughout the week.
  • Compare with your past self: Every time you feel you aren’t working enough or wonder how you accomplished the work the last time, you can always review all your activities from the previous month or year. This is always good for self-affirmation — you get to understand where you once stood and how far you have come.
  • Sync your activities across all your devices: You install Clockify as an application on your mobile phone and a browser extension. This way, all your data will get synced in one account.

4. Spark

I had an obsessive tendency to check my all e-mail accounts every hour. Every hour or so, I would be hit with an urge to refresh the inbox and check my e-mails. Because of this, I would waste a considerable amount of time in a day.

Unless your job description demands you to work with e-mails during working hours, frequently opening e-mails is a productivity killer. This is where Spark comes in handy. This application automatically sorts your e-mail from all your accounts according to your preference. With Spark, you can:

  • Prioritize e-mails: You can snooze unimportant mails, mark the important ones, set up follow-up reminders, and even share draft mails.
  • Receive only important notifications: Once you mark your e-mails, you’ll be notified only about the e-mails that you would want to see. This way, you wouldn’t have to worry about sorting through the spam.
  • Effectively work with your team members: One annoying aspect about writing an e-mail on your team’s behalf is that you have to CC each other in them constantly. This platform allows the team members to share the e-mail drafts amongst themselves so that all the essential details are included in the e-mails without any possible confusion.

5. Pocket

Pocket may appear useless to you, but honestly, it’s a life-saver. Though book-marking the tabs is easy, you may often forget where you saved it. The worst happens when you have to search the internet for that webpage again.

Pocket is an intelligent application that saves the URL for you into an assigned category. This way, every time you come across an exciting webpage, and you want to keep it for later, you can simply ‘pocket it’.

Parting words:

Being productive throughout the day, week after week, does not come easy. Yet, you do not have to necessarily overburden yourself with the thought of being cautious of time because such thoughts are usually counteractive.

In case you have been guilt trapping yourself with the thoughts of slacking in work lately, then I would suggest you gradually incorporate the five applications I mentioned above. These will surely help you sort your work life and save a lot of time.

What are some of the other applications that have helped you save a considerable amount of time? Do let us know in the comments section.

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I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I write about current affairs, history, science, and lifestyle.

Texas State

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