People with a productivity-oriented mindset continuously aspire to better ways of conducting business and accomplishing tasks. It is all about working smarter, not harder – using less to create more.

Balancing work, family, studies and socialising can be challenging. But in today’s digital age, there are a multitude of apps available to assist us in being more productive and managing our workload.

Some useful productivity apps include:

Google Docs
If you have a Google account, Google Docs is free. If you have Google Chrome, you can run Google Docs offline in your browser, which means that you can take notes during lectures without having to be online. When you are back online, the notes will be synced with your Google account. It is also easy to share documents when collaborating on a project – you can easily suggest changes, edit and comment on any shared documents.

Google Drive
This is Google’s cloud storage service that easily integrates with the rest of Google’s services. It is easy to upload or download files, and it is easy to work on shared projects with Google Drive’s efficient file sharing and collaboration features that works with Google Docs. Google gives you 15 GB of free storage to use with Google Drive, Gmail and Google Photos. It is freely available on Android and iOS.

You are able to create ‘notes’ through any medium, be it text, videos, voice notes, messages, videos, pictures or PDFs in Evernote. Evernote allows you to create to-do lists, sort notes into notebooks, create notebooks that fit a certain theme and tag notes to organise them into categories. Evernote has a powerful search capability that allows you to search through all your saved notes and notebooks.

This app from Microsoft Office is very similar to Evernote, also allowing one to easily take notes. It even changes handwriting to text, and captures information from photos of whiteboards or slides.

If you find yourself wondering where all the hours in your day go, the RescueTime app will help you figure it out. The app tracks your phone, computer and internet usage, and uses a dashboard to show you where your time is going. The app also has a blocking feature that you can turn on if you don’t want to visit certain websites during certain times or for a specified amount of time.
This is a very practical app that shows you what you need to do today, tomorrow, later and someday. At the beginning of every day the app shows you a daily review of what is listed, and you decide what you want to take on that day, and what you want to defer to the next day or later. The app integrates with Google Apps, picking up tasks from your Gmail and asking you for any action items from a meeting that is listed in your Google Calendar.

This is a simple browser and desktop app that allows you to manage your time using a simple countdown clock, and is based on the ‘Pomodoro’ productivity method . The technique consists of two steps – you work for 25 minutes, then you take a five-minute break.