Two Productivity Apps That Have Serious Potential to Change Your Life
A sure sign that you have a procrastination problem is switching productivity apps every week. Believe me, I know. I’ve spent countless hours weeding through various to-do, calendar, email, and note-taking apps — to the point where I have easily spent more time researching them and learning their features than doing actual work.
However, rather than discussing the cure for this disease, I’m going to indulge a bit in this article. What’s the point in having all this unnecessary app knowledge if I can’t share my findings?
I could rant for days about the various pros and cons of the apps I’ve tried, but for simplicity sake this article will simply cover the two that stand out above the rest as potential life-changers…provided you’re willing to put in the work.
Yes, I know — You’ve heard this before. And I’m also aware it is the sellout’s choice. But alas, here we are. Things 3 is on top for a damn good reason. It combines ease of use with a few handy power-user features that keep me coming back to it no matter how many apps try to take its place.
At the top of that feature list is its “magic” plus button. This dragable button allows you to quickly place a new to-do anywhere on the page. Being able to stay efficient and fast in adding new tasks is a key for me. At my job I’m always running around. If I’m on the way to complete one task, I will more than likely be stopped at least once by someone else who’s got a new task for me. Rather than telling them to piss off, I can use Things to quickly put their problem in my digital inbox, to be dealt with when I have a spare moment.
On top of its beautiful and simple design are features like deadlines, which allow you to — wait for it — set a deadline for each task you enter. Combine this with start dates and you’ve got a nice little package to help you keep the most important task visible and marked. Looks like I’ve got some uncomfortable reflecting due today…
Things 3 also allows you to create projects. I won’t go into too much detail here, as I’m sure you know what a project is in the digital app sphere. What’s special about Things, though, is the ability to create project headings for each section of your project.
For example, if I wanted to create a project titled *Write Article about Killer Mike*, it could look something like this:
Isn’t that fancy?
Things 3 encourages you to keep it quick and simple. Once you learn your way around, it can become a powerful, but not overwhelmingly complicated to-do list app. Now that I’ve sufficiently stroked it, let’s move on to number 2.
Sure, Success Coach may have the most ridiculously blatant name on the App Store, but we mustn’t judge an app by its stupid name — especially when we can far more accurately judge it by its icon.
I stumbled upon Success Coach in one of my many procrastination episodes. Rather than doing the actual work that meant something to me, I surfed the App Store for the best possible app to “help” me get through it.
Success Coach is quite a bit more complex than Things 3. But to be fair, it’s a pretty different animal. Where the Things 3 approach is simple, yet powerful task management, Success Coach is aimed at helping you achieve a better life overall by making you an active participant in your goals and aspirations.
Success Coach handles to-dos, goals, time-tracking, habits, notes, and journaling. There’s definitely a lot to learn here, but where the magic comes in is the developer’s way of presenting it. For how much it’s got going on, it never feels too difficult. to navigate or learn (a characteristic I cannot say for many other apps — sorry Omnifocus).
Perhaps the best quality Success Coach has going for it is keeping you focused on the big picture. There are two very important buttons located on the home screen: Start My Day and End My Day. Every morning when I get up, I tap on the former and am presented with a template to enter some info.
- What’s important for me today?
- What are my intentions for today?
It may seem bland upon first glance, but once you get into the habit of filling this out, you’ll begin to notice the laser-focus it gives you throughout the day. It keeps you intentional.
And this is just a piece. You can customize your morning template to include questions that you write yourself, add any ideas that pop into your head, and even spend some time writing what you’re thankful for (a habit that has proven to elevate moods).
I could go on, but since you can download the app for free, I’ll let you do your own experimenting to see if it works for you. For me, it’s helped me develop a better writing practice and focus on the things that matter to me rather than waste time.
I’m still trying to find a balance between the two, since Things 3 is way faster at inputting new tasks, but Success Coach is way better at making sure I actually do them. As of now, it’s just been a process of capturing my tasks in Things, and moving the important ones to Success Coach.
Whatever you choose, I hope this has been helpful in narrowing your focus a bit in terms of productivity apps. You can spend far too much time looking for the right one. Truthfully, you can do your work without any at all. But for us tech and productivity nerds, having an overview of our tasks and goals right on our phone can be quite helpful.