Technology has long been accused of being the biggest productivity killer. Most people lose countless hours in a day glued to their mobile devices in a constant state of looking down, unless of course they’re taking a selfie. However, the advances in technology and growth of mobile app development has given rise to some incredible apps that can actually help people create balance in their lives by promoting positive physical and mental health, tracking and managing money to avoid financial stress, and protecting the most valuable resource: time.
I’ve highlighted some free and paid apps that can help you achieve work-life balance and a better quality of life.
If you’re looking to regain control of your work-life balance, you have to know where your time is going. ATracker allows you to define your daily tasks, and with a simple tap will track how long you spend on each item. It gives clear data to determine if you’re spending too much or too little time on certain tasks. Using this insight can allow you to recalibrate your schedule to support your ideal work-life balance.
If you’re looking to get a clear picture of how you’re spending time on your phone, BreakFreewill give you a deeper understanding of how much time you’re spending engaging with specific apps on your phone. It will even let you know if you’re spending too much time with any of them. It gives you an added tool of reclaiming your time by blocking access to incoming messages or other apps during a certain time frame you’ve defined. This is a fantastic solution if you’re looking to unplug and actually spend time with loved ones on the weekend or after work hours. Available on iOS and Android.
Ever stop to think about all of the mundane tasks you do on a daily basis, and how much of a time suck they can be? That’s where Zapier steps in to help you save those precious minutes, that quickly become hours of work each week. Zapier connects your favorite apps, like Gmail, Slack, MailChimp, and over 750 other to help automate repetitive tasks in the background. Thereby giving you more time to focus on other projects or passions.
HelloAlfred is “your on demand butler” that will take care of any and all tasks you need done in a given day or week. Balancing work, family, hobbies, a social life, etc., while making sure you take care of your household responsibilities can be daunting, if not darn near impossible. HelloAlfred will make your bed, pick up your dry cleaning, do your laundry. They’ll take care of pretty much anything you need to get done; Saving you your most valuable resource, time. Available for a fee depending on the service on iOS, Android and Web.
InstaCart provides another valuable on demand service for the busy person: grocery shopping. Instacart allows you to order your groceries online and someone from the Instacart team will deliver them to your door. Whether it’s a last minute need or something you’ve planned for in advance, they’ll be there to relieve you of the stress and burden of having to stop at the grocery store, when you just want to get home from work. Available for a fee on iOS, Android and Web.
Pocket and Instapaper are paid apps for iOS and Android and have integrated bookmarkers for every web browser. These apps allow you to save anything you find online, whether it’s an article or video, and access it later for easy reading online or offline. They strip the content to text-only format making it easier to read on smartphones and tablets. However, Pocket is more colorful and probably better suited to multi-media whereas Instapaper feels more like pure text formatting. Now you won’t have to break up your productivity during the day when you come across an interesting article, instead you can save it and read while waiting in line for your morning cup of coffee.