The key to working smarter lies in the art of time management. While it may seem counter-intuitive to spend time learning about time management, it is imperative for the future as it holds the key to working smarter.
The highest achievers and efficient multi-taskers manage their time exceptionally well. Good time management is the result of focus and dedication. To help you better manage your time and work smarter, we’ve compiled a list of top time management apps.
Format: Online, mobile-friendly, Chrome extension
Let's make one thing clear: Friday is not a time-tracking tool. Or even a habit tracker. So why is it a time management tool? Because it helps you plan your time.
Here's how the Friday planner works:
Your task list and schedule are placed together. You can then add your most important tasks to a slot in your day--around your meetings or other appointments. You can schedule how long those tasks will take, and even in add in focus time (muting notifications) and breaks.
Friday has loads of additional features, too--such as a Chrome Extension with your task list in each new tab, work routines to help you cut your meetings in half, and tools for goal-setting, icebreakers, kudos, and more.
It's a comprehensive time management tool and productivity app that glues your work together, helping you stay productive.
Use Friday for free. No credit card required.
Format: Web, iOS, Android.
Todoist is a great checklist app that will help you prioritize your tasks and manage time. Todoist is an easy-to-use app with rich features that have helped millions of people manage their time better and in turn, work smarter.
“Todoist is really snappy and has great shortcuts with a plethora of clients available across all platforms (android, web, PC, MAC).” - Capterra
Format: iOS and Mac Desktop, Android, Chrome Extension
A major chunk of managing time means not wasting it on unnecessary browsing. RescueTime is a productivity reporting tool that you can use to see how much time you’re spending on certain apps and websites. The reporting features make RescueTime a great tool to monitor how much time you are spending on unnecessary browsing and where you can cut down. RescueTime is great to use as a productivity tool and makes it one of the best apps to work smarter and save time.
"It helped me in managing my time and properly allocating the hours in my day. Rescue time is just so amazing that it showed me where i was spending much of my time on." - Capterra
Format: Web, iOS, Android
Toggl Plan is a great checklist app to manage your tasks and optimize your time management tactics. Trusted by over 4,000 global companies like Spotify, Netflix, Airbnb, Stripe, among others, Toggl is known for it’s straightforward user interface. Toggl helps you to set up new tasks assign deadlines, daily estimated time, notes, and a checklist for each step. This helps to save time and work smarter.
"Excellent time tracking (our most important resource!) and overview of project management. Toggle helps us drive insights about how to better allocate time and energy to make the business grow." - Capterra
Format: Online, iOS & Android mobile apps
Google Calendar is perfect to manage your tasks and projects on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Google Calendar gives an overview of meetings, work, and more which helps to plan your tasks smartly and save time. Friday.app allows you to connect with your Google Calendar to give you a much clearer picture of your day.
"This is by far the best software for calendars out there. I have been using it extensively for many different tasks and it is great for collaboration." - Software Advice
Format: Mac App Store
Staying on track and completing tasks on time is a real challenge for our screen-bound generation. Be Focused is a great time management app that breaks up individual tasks among discrete intervals and separates them into short breaks. Be Focussed is an effective app to retain motivation and focus so as to work smarter and save time.
“I love using this app. This app helps remind me to take a break. I set it to do 20-minute blocks with five-minute breaks after each block and a long 15-minute break after four blocks. I get up and move around during each break. It’s easy to lose track of time but this app fixes that issue. I also love that it tracks everything so I’m able to see how productive I’ve been at the end of the day.” - Just Use App
Format: Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and Chrome
Freedom helps users stay away from the Internet for up to eight hours at a time. The app is perfect for those looking to be free you from distractions. Freedom is used by over 1,000,000 people to maintain focus and productivity. Freedom helps users better manage their time and block what you want, when you want to.
“I love almost everything about the app. I really like that they provide support almost all the major browsers and have covered all the edge cases related to network problems in different browsers. Also, I really like that all the major OS/devices are covered.” - G2
Format: iOS, Android, Web, BlackBerry
If managing tasks is not your strong suit, then you should try Remember The Milk. Created in 2004, Remember The Milk is a web-based application for time management. It allows users to manage tasks from a computer or smartphone, both online and offline. Based in San Francisco, more than 6 million people use Remember The Milk to stay organized and be more productive.
"My experience has been good because the app does what I need it to do. It helps me keep reminders and mark things off my list." - Capterra
Unlike most other project management and productivity apps, ZenDay improves Time Management by dynamically combining calendars and tasks from multiple sources into one centralized timeline. ZenDay serves as an all-encompassing planning tool for prioritizing, planning, and updating tasks, projects, and workflows. With ZenDay, you can replace all your other productivity apps on your phone.
Format: Online, iOS & Android mobile apps
Over 4 million people use Habitica to improve their life by better managing tasks. Habitica is an an online task management, productivity, and habit-building app that uses a form of a role-playing game and offers rewards and punishments to inspire you to complete your tasks.
“Incredible app, I love the feature of being able to talk to others and complete actually fun quests! It's really fun and creative, the community is also really great!” - Play Store
Format: Web-based, Chrome for Android, and Safari for iOS (iPhone/iPad).
As the name indicates, Focusmate involves building your focus along with a mate. With Focusmate’s community of doers, you can work with an accountability partner to get important work done. Focusmate is a great platform to hone your time management skills and stay more productive.
“I like that it gives you a way to have accountability without needing to find someone you know to work or study with you. While it isn't a social hour it does all a little bit of connecting with people from all walks of life.” - G2.com.
Format: iOS, Google Play, and desktop
The lack of time management can be attributed to surrounding noises. If annoying noises form a major chunk of distractions for you, then you should try Noisli. The app helps to mask distractive noises with ambient background sounds to help you improve your focus. Noisli works like your companion to overcome annoying sounds and boost productivity.
“Been using this for a long time. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out there was a mobile version of noisli. I like that I can be creative with what sounds play. The timer allows me the comfort of knowing my phone won't be out or battery because I didn't turn off sounds playing.” - Play Store
Format: Web-based (Chrome Extension)
Built by Steven Skoczen, Mindful Browsing helps users from mindless browsing. Mindful Browsing seamlessly interrupts random mindless browsing to help you get back to work and stay focused. Mindful Browsing is perfect for everyone who finds themselves aimlessly browsing websites and wasting time.
“This is an excellent extension. It gently makes you question yourself if what you're doing is the best use of your time before getting sucked into your old habits. Highly recommended.” - Chrome Store
Here are some of the criteria to follow when choosing a time management app to help you work smarter:
Be sure to try out all the options, especially the free versions, so you know which time management app is best for you.