Nine apps that will improve your productivity at work

When you have a day off at the office, when you can not concentrate or do anything, your phone distracts you even more. But technology can also have the opposite effect.

Specialized applications help reduce stress, stay focused and productive. We have collected nine to help you track your time, plan breaks, collaborate more harmoniously and perhaps even have fun at work.

Networking, routine tasks such as billing and general entertainment can nibble your day's work. To know exactly where time goes, you have to follow it. That's where Toggl intervenes.

This application is intuitive and easy to configure. First, define the categories of your different types of work: help for clients, perform tasks, and so on. Then, as you move from one task to another during the day, start and stop the appropriate Toggl timer. Once you have collected enough data, you can explore graphs and reports showing your schedule.

For more analysis, add a premium subscription, which costs $ 9 to $ 18 a month on the annual billing template. Depending on the plan you choose, you can get reminders, Toggle team support, profitability information, and more.

Toggl for Android and iOS, free with extra features for $ 9 to $ 18 a month

The office can be a hectic and high-pressure environment. To avoid brain overload, pause with a meditation app such as Calm.

This program offers guided meditations and anti-stress. The clips last from three to 25 minutes, making them easy to incorporate into your day. In addition to these one-off exercises, Calm offers longer courses of one week or more.

Although you get a limited number of free meditations, you can unlock more than 100 with a paid subscription. It costs $ 13 per month, $ 60 per year (or $ 5 per month) or $ 300 per lifetime subscription.

Calm for Android and iOS, free with additional content for $ 5 to $ 13 per month (or $ 300 per lifetime)

It is not always easy to get ideas in an understandable way. Visualizations such as flow charts, decision trees, or spider diagrams can help you connect and organize your thoughts, but when you draw them by hand, they often turn into squiggles on a screen. Whiteboard. To create cleaner digital versions of these tools, try an application like MindMeister.

Your diagrams, called "mind maps" in the application, can describe ongoing projects, future product ideas, strategies, business strategies or any other ideas to share with your colleagues. The beauty of MindMeister lies in its flexibility: you can customize the appearance and presentation of a map with all kinds of fonts, colors and shapes, for a personalized result. Or you can opt for a simpler format and use the application to take simple written notes.

The application allows you to manage three mind maps for free. To unlock unlimited projects, as well as additional features such as adding attachments, a live chat feature, sharing with multiple team members and backing up data, you must subscribe to one of Mindmeister's subscription packages. Depending on the combination of features you select, it will cost you between $ 5 and $ 13 a month, paid annually.

MindMeister for Android and iOS, free with additional features for $ 5 to $ 13 per month

Of course, paper task lists allow you to track your tasks. But for a real gain in productivity, you should use Trello. This deceptively simple app lets you keep each task on a map.

Since Trello's maps are digital, you can share them with other members of the team, attach images and files, set due dates and reminders, and add detailed descriptions and descriptions. ties. To organize them, give the cards colored labels and sort them into individual columns. This map and column approach is an advanced task list that keeps you up to date on tasks, meetings, emails, and more. to come up.

These features are all free. However, if your employer wants to integrate third-party applications such as Google Drive and Slack into your Trello cards, you will need to upgrade to a team management plan for between $ 10 and $ 21 per month (annual payment).

Trello for Android and iOS, Free with Team Management Versions $ 10 to $ 21 per month

If you work from home, you will need to access your files wherever you are. To sync your data between multiple devices (phone, tablet, home notebook, desktop), use a cloud storage service such as Dropbox, which is easy to install and configure.

This third-party program, not affiliated with Google, Apple or Microsoft, works as well as an exclusive service. It effortlessly synchronizes files between your physical devices and the cloud, and can cache data so you can access it offline. Dropbox also comes with Paper, a well-integrated tool for document editing and collaboration, which can prove useful when working on projects with your colleagues.

The free version of Dropbox provides 2GB of storage space. For more space, upgrade to a subscription model: $ 8 per month for 1 TB or $ 17 per month for 2 TB. That's if you opt for annual billing; both plans will cost a bit more if you pay on a monthly basis.

Dropbox for Android and iOS, free with extra storage for $ 8 to $ 17 a month

In addition to overloading your task lists, apps can improve your ability to take notes. You'll find several strong candidates in this category, but we love Google Keep: it runs on multiple platforms (iOS, Android and the Web), has a simple color coding system to organize your notes, and lets you to attach reminders and pictures to your notes.

In addition to following your thoughts, Google Keep lets you share your notes and collaborate easily with other users: family members can edit a to-do list together and colleagues can add their ideas to the list. agenda of your next meeting. In addition to this, Keep is a Google product. So it comes with a powerful and fast set of built-in search tools, and it's totally free.

Google Keep for Android and iOS, free

The offices are full of audio content, discussions from your office neighbor to the roar of the mail basket. Background noise can dissipate some of these distractions. To drown the room with soundtracks ranging from the whisper of a coffee to the whistling of the wind in the trees, try Noisli.

With this application, a simple slider system allows you to completely control the sounds you hear and their volume. The app also includes a timer feature allowing you to use background noise to manage your productivity sessions. If you do not have a strong Internet connection, this is not a problem: Noisli works offline and can even save combinations of your favorite sounds to recharge them later. The application costs a $ 2 package.

Noisli for Android and iOS, $ 2

Finding a meeting time that suits everyone can involve hours of emails and calls. Doodle makes this process so simple that it feels cheating.

To create a doodle, you do not need an account. Simply enter a description of your meeting, along with potential dates and times, and invite your guests to respond. They will receive a link that they can follow to the application (if any) or to the website, where they will quickly check the options that suit them. This tells you at a glance what date and what time will be best for everyone. For an even faster process, import the calendar information to see the suggested times during which people are free. The application also incorporates discussions so that you can view the agenda of a specific meeting.

The free version of Doodle works perfectly well alone. However, if you have a yen for custom designs or if you prefer an ad-free experience, you can buy a premium account for $ 4 to $ 6 per month, billed annually.

Doodle for Android and iOS, free with premium plans for $ 49 to $ 69 a year

In each profession, networking is of paramount importance. Connecting with like-minded people can help you move faster in the company, create new job opportunities or advance your career. And Shapr helps you meet new people from your couch.

This application gives business relations the twist of Tinder style slip. As in the dating app, you slide left or right across different profiles, but in this case you are looking for useful business relationships. If you team up with someone, you have the option to join him for a coffee, lunch or other type of work meeting.

The Tinder type technique will not work well for everyone – but the basic version of Shapr is free if you want to try it. If you like the application, you can consider creating a paying account, which costs between $ 8 and $ 20 per month (depending on whether you buy one, three or six months at a time). A subscription allows you to search for places other than your current area, see if someone is interested before sweeping, canceling your last choice, and so on.

shapr for Android and iOS, free with additional features for $ 8 to $ 20 per month