Have you ever asked yourself the question of how you can be more productive? Well. We cannot change the number of hours in a day, but what we can do is to optimize our task execution so that we can get more done. We cannot restore our nerve cells, but we can reduce the level of stress we experience on a daily basis.

To become a more productive person and still enjoy life, we can read hundreds of books or hire a self-help coach. But there is also a time- and budget-saving option — productivity apps. In this article, we’ll help you choose the one that meets your goals and expectations.

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What are productivity apps?

Before getting to the question of how to stay productive, let’s clarify our terms. Productivity apps are a term used to describe a category of mobile and web applications that help us achieve more. You may find tons of diverse apps in this category. The reason is — each of them is focused on a certain productivity aspect (like planning, sleeping cycle, or time distribution).

Generally speaking, productivity apps are any applications that can benefit us.

This can be your smartphone inbuilt features such as ‘do not disturb’ mode, as well as tools for optimizing business communication (including messengers and calendars), reading and shopping apps, and apps for yoga and meditation at home.

Social media and some games also can be defined as productivity apps. We can use Facebook or Instagram to communicate with colleagues or clients in the most efficient way. In other words, productivity apps are everywhere. At the same time, gamification is a feature of many modern apps (including those in the ‘productivity’ category), since virtual rewards and competitiveness motivate us to do more.

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How many types of productivity apps are there?  

There is no official classification for productivity apps. However, we would like to provide a general understanding of what exactly you can do with the help of productivity apps. Consider that there are millions of apps on Google Play Market on the App Store that fall into the ‘productivity’ category and there are also thousands of apps that can be used to raise productivity. Use our categorization to understand what to search for!

Raising performance 

To better manage your life, you need to set a goal and make sure you do not have any habits that steal your energy and time. Applications of this type help you monitor your daily performance by providing you with charts and statistics. Once you have armed yourself with insights about your lifestyle and online activity, you can start transforming your life. These tools will allow you to assign goals, divide them into realistic daily tasks, track your progress, and avoid destruction.

Popular apps: Todoist, Boosted, Dewo, Taskful, Stay Focusd (Google Chrome extension), HabitHub, Loop

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Better discipline 

Sometimes we don’t need to deeply examine ourselves to answer the question about the reasons why we fail to achieve ambitious goals, work beyond the daily norm, and never complete tasks on time. Instead, we are interested in how to get rid of the bad habit of spending time on silly YouTube videos and procrastinating on challenging tasks. Apps for better focus and discipline turn self-improvement into a game. They also provide us with tools to boost your focus such as meditations or digital ‘Pomodoro’.

Popular apps: Freedom, Pomodoro Tracker, Focus, Forest, Brain Focus 

Outsourcing repetitive tasks 

Tasks such as filling out your work calendar, checking your mailbox, account management, setting tasks for your teammates, and many more may seem simple and short-term to you, but as soon as you add up the time you spent on them during one month, you will realize that you have lost days of your life! This type of application automates your life and professional workflow, simplifies scheduling, and allows you to focus on your creative tasks.

Popular apps: X.ai, Timely, SaneBox, Google Calendar, Slack, Things

Striving for a better life 

Deep sleep, high-stress resistance, keeping your emotions under control, feeling calm and satisfied whatever happens, are skills that also make you a highly productive (and happy!) person. You can develop them using mobile apps for meditation, yoga, healthy breathing, learning affirmations, and mindfulness.

Popular apps: Mindfulness, Kiwake, Calm, Favulous, Simple Habit 

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Do-not-forget apps 

These apps are much simpler than everything we described above. To-do list apps are the digital version of the traditional task whiteboard or personal notebook where you can put down your goals, tasks, and small reminders. However, unlike your paper notebook, such apps can also remind you that a certain task needs to be done soon (for example, you have to take medications or water flowers), and also provide you with access to your lists from any device. Some apps allow you to create shared lists and calendars as well.

Popular apps: Evernote, Blink, Google Keep, Bear, TickTick, Trello, Any.do


Best productivity apps for marketers 

At Depositphotos, we strive to make your work on marketing projects non-stressful and save your time by automating your search for visuals with AI. For instance, the Depositphotos app allows you to select and download files wherever you are and Crello is a tool to create template-based designs for any marketing purpose. Both of them make you productive if you work with content and want to save time. And here we want to talk about 5 useful and time-tested apps that help you with a puzzling question on how to be productive.


Type: fighting mobile addiction

Platforms: iOS, Android

Price: free (with paid PRO version)


It’s one of the cutest anti-procrastination tools we’ve ever come across. The mechanics of the app are very simple. As soon as you need to concentrate on something, you turn on the timer and ‘plant a tree’. If you can do without your device for the right amount of time, the tree grows. If you fail the mission, your tree dies. And if you do everything right, over time you will grow a whole virtual forest using the Forest application. And not only virtual! You can plant a real tree if you are diligent enough. Forest has partnered with Trees for Future to plant 800,000 real trees so far!

How to Be More Productive Let Your Gadget Help You


Type: getting things done

Platforms: iOS, Android

Price: free (with paid Premium version)


If you’re looking for a handy app that tackles multiple challenges at once, including strategic and short-term planning, team planning and collaboration, and motivation to meet deadlines, then Todoist is perfect for you. It’s a simple and lightweight application that reduces your task-organizing time, makes habit-building much easier and even fun and, yes, it tracks your productivity, and provides you with precious insights. A great all-in-one tool for entrepreneurs, marketers, and other people who enjoy keeping everything under control!


Type: motivation to live a better life

Platforms: iOS, Android

Price: paid (with free 7-days trial period)


Fabulous is a beautifully-designed mobile app that serves as a virtual motivational trainer, spiritual mentor, friend, fitness trainer, psychologist, and more. With this app, you can achieve goals such as improving your sleep cycle, achieving high awareness and relieving anxiety, becoming a healthier and stronger person, turning your home into a place of inspiration and developing healthy habits that can keep you cheerful throughout each day. The main benefit of Fabulous is that it is a scientific-built tool (it was incubated in Duke University’s Behavioral Economics Lab) that allows you to be more productive without compromising your quality of life.


Type: organize your team and personal workflow

Platforms: iOS, Android

Price: free (with paid Business Class and Enterprise versions)


Trello is a time-tested app that helps you organize literally anything, including team tasks, shopping lists, and personal plans for the day. This tool works well for those who like to work with boards, cards, and sticky notes. In Trello, you can create group task boards and assign tasks to each other, as well as attach files, links, and calendars to them. In general, it is a simplified, flexible, and versatile version of a classic board-based task planner with a user-friendly interface. Some task automation tools are also available.


Type: keep all of your notes together

Platforms: iOS, Android

Price: free (with paid Premium and Business versions)


Evernote is truly an old and time-tested tool that has gone through several evolutionary stages from a regular virtual notebook to one that is integrated with literally everything you can imagine! However, the idea remains the same: Evernote is designed to structure your plans, thoughts, reflections, notes, lists, and schedules. Minimalist design, intuitive interface, and access from any device… What else should a reliable notebook include?


Wrapping up 

Most likely, you’ve already tried to find the answer to the question of how to be more productive and perhaps had a great self-improvement experience. However, 2020 appears to be challenging for productivity and motivation levels for many, since teams massively shifted to work from home and the number of possible entertainments decreased.

As a result, we think about how to be productive at home living in a world where it is hard to plan anything and stay motivated. And that is a point when productivity apps and other tools that can optimize our work come in handy.

No matter how difficult the current period is, we hope you find the time and energy to continue improving yourself and aim to achieve ambitious goals with the help of these apps!

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