Productivity can be defined as the efficiency of working efforts of an individual.  The definition of productivity is arbitrary. It means something different to everyone depending on how much they have to do in a certain time. Is it time management or completion of tasks? These are only two examples of what productivity can mean for an individual. But how can someone increase productivity? There are various applications on smartphones and laptops that can be used and here are only a few examples:

  1. Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a time-management web and mobile application that can be synced between the laptop and smartphone. The format of the website and mobile application allows for users to easily access a developed schedule on any chosen day, week, or month.

Google Calendar highlights different features of the mobile application on Google Play.

  1. Different ways to view your calendar – Quickly switch between month, week and day view.
  2. Events from Gmail – Flight, hotel, concert, restaurant reservations and more are added to your calendar automatically.
  3. To-dos – Use Reminders to create and view to-dos alongside your events.
  4. Goals – Add personal goals—like “run 3 times a week”—and Calendar will schedule time for them automatically.
  5. Quick event creation – Smart suggestions for event titles, places and people save you time when creating events.
  6. All your calendars in one place – “Google Calendar works with all calendars on your phone, including Exchange.”

2. Todoist

Users that prefer the simple task list will prefer Todoist. Todoist is a task management application that can be used on Android, Chrome, Windows, iOS, and Mac. It is an application that can integrate with Gmail and Outlook.  Tasks can be managed offline and planned ahead to maximize the work rate. Users can add all desired tasks onto Todoist and even organize the tasks into projects. If the task is not completed by the end of the day, the app will notify the user and suggest to reschedule the task. Users can even place a priority on some of the tasks so Todoist will make sure to notify the user of the important task at hand. The application also has a group feature that will include different users in order to complete the same project. But this premium feature requires users to buy the app in order for users to work together.

  1. Forest

In the 21st century where technological advances serve as distractions, mobile applications have been developed to help users focus on the task at hand. As stated from the website, “Forest is an app helping you stay away from your smartphone and stay focused on your work.” Once the user opens the mobile application or opens the chrome extension, the application prompts users to input a certain amount of time that will be used to focus on the task at hand. Once the “plant” button is clicked, users are not allowed to open any application on the smartphone. For the chrome extension, only specified websites are forbidden. Once the user opens another mobile application or the specific website, the growing tree will die but if the user is successful, the user will earn coins. Users that earn enough coins can plant a real tree on Earth.


  1. Brain Focus Productivity Timer

Another great alternative for Forest is Brain Focus Productivity Timer. This mobile applications uses the Pomodoro Technique to help users with time management. The Pomodoro Technique uses a timer to break down work sessions into intervals with small breaks in between. The user of the mobile app will start the timer and work until the timer goes off. Once the timer rings, there are two options the app will display. Users can either take a break until the timer goes off again and continue to start working or the user can continue the task at hand. Once the user works for a certain amount of sessions, the app will recommend the user to take a longer break as a form of reward. Users can customize the work duration and break duration for each session to maximize productivity.

Smartphones and productivity are of great significance to college students, so why not use some of these mobile applications to optimize productivity through the use of devices you already have?


Picture Credits: Google Chrome & Windows Central 


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