As a busy woman in her mid-twenties, I’m always looking for ways to manage my time better and boost my productivity. Sometimes I feel like I have thirty tasks that need to get done in one singular day. And if I’m not organized and using the best possible tools, I get overwhelmed. Then I thought to myself, why take twenty steps when I can jump and get there faster?
Because I like being as productive as possible, I’m always on the hunt for new ways to keep me on track. Between working full time, finding time to write, and trying to lead a social life, any help goes a long way. In the last few weeks, I started thinking about the apps I can’t live without. The ones that I use on a weekly or even daily basis. The ones that make my life as a writer one hundred percent easier. These are the apps I couldn’t live without.
Now bear with me while I gush about my favorite productivity app of all time. Excuse me while I sound like a commercial for a second. *clears throat* Ever wish you could keep your to-do lists, shopping lists, and projects all in one place? Something you can access not only at home but on the go? Well then, Wunderlist is the app for you. Wunderlist is the ultimate to-do list. You can make a list of anything. From packing lists to chore reminders. Grocery lists to wish lists. I even set reminders for bills that are due. And on a set time and date, Wunderlist will remind you that you have something…well, to-do.
This app is my holy grail. I couldn’t live my life without Wunderlist. I discovered it well over four years ago and use it almost every day. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a forgetful person. If I don’t write it down or put it on my phone, it will be lost. When I need to buy nourishment for my empty fridge, I add everything I’m craving to my Grocery List. Then when act like the store is a theme park, I can keep myself from buying twenty cartons of ice cream all for myself.
Almost nothing feels better than checking something off your to-do list. It gives you a sense of accomplishment. Even better, it makes you feel like you’ve done something productive with your day. Wunderlist makes this easy and painless. And it’s got a nice chime when you check complete. This app does have an “upgraded” version, but I’ve never found it necessary. The free version is perfect for my needs, and I’m sure it’ll be perfect for yours.
Another app I’m going to boast about like I’m being paid to is Grammarly. Are you in need of an in-browser spelling and grammar app that makes you feel like a writing pro? Grammarly’s got your back. It’s the perfect proofreader. It checks for simple spelling mistakes or fixable grammar errors. It’s like having your best friend reading over your shoulder. Except you don’t have to worry about the judgmental commentary when you spell words wrong. It’s all in good fun, but Grammarly doesn’t poke fun. It only helps.
The best part about Grammarly is you don’t need to leave Facebook or WordPress to get proofread. Add Grammarly as a browser plugin, and it acts almost the same as any other spellcheck application. When something isn’t quite right, Grammarly will underline it in red for you. Simply hover over the error and Grammarly suggests the best fix for the problem. Best part? They offer a phone app that acts as a keyboard. So you can get spelling and grammar corrections on the go.
Now, it’s not perfect. It will miss things. The best editor for your writing is a human eye. This app does have an upgraded version, but I take advantage of the free one. I will be honest and say the upgraded version looks pretty interesting. That version claims more advanced corrections, better results, and helps you better your writing skills. For someone with simple and personal writing needs like me, the free version is all I need.
Another app I’ve been using for years is Hemingway Editor. There is no better name for an editing app than Hemingway. He was one of the greatest writers in recorded history. While I can’t stand Hemingway’s prose, I can admit the man had serious talent. Anyway, the Hemingway Editor is an amazing resource for writers to keep their writing on par. Unlike Grammarly, Hemingway Editor checks for adverb usage, passive voice, and how easy a sentence is to read. It will even rate your writing by grade level. Different errors are highlighted in different colors. As a visual person, it helps to see the issues.
The best thing this app does for me is keeping my adverbs in check. I like adverbs. They are little bonuses that make your sentences look longer and feel fuller. But they also scream amateur. Every writing professor in college told me to cut out adverbs. Hemingway Editor forces me to do that. It limits my adverb use based on word count, highlighting them all in blue. Combined with Grammarly, Hemingway Editor cuts my editing time in half. As a result, I’m more confident in the finished product. Of course, I still have to read through my final post before I hit publish. But I’m not as nervous knowing they have my back.
The Hemingway App available for free here. They do offer a desktop version for a flat price with a few extra perks. The bonus to buying it? You don’t need an internet connection to use it. Unlike the free version. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to buy it but stopped myself. I will do it one day. But for now, free for me.
We all know that there are about a hundred different online storage applications. There’s iCloud, OneDrive, Google Drive, and the list could go on. When it comes to the best backup and storage app that I’ve tried, Google Drive takes the cake. It is the perfect system for backing up your computer. What makes it better? It can also keep your files accessible between several different platforms. For me, that’s my cellphone and my laptop.
Google Drive is a simple to use app that you can upload your important files. Then they’re accessible twenty-four seven, no matter where you are. As long as your connected to the internet, you can access your files. For me, this is photos and documents. My posting schedule is synced to my drive along with all my novel and blog documents. If I want to work on the go, I can.
The best thing about Google Drive is it gives you 15 GB for free right off the bat. That includes everything from your Gmail account and your PC backup. If you do need more space, they have affordable options. As of right now, I’m still on the free plan. But I’ve considered upgrading several times in the last few months because I have so much junk to save. If you haven’t checked out Google Drive, you’re missing out.
Google Docs and Sheets
Last but certainly not least, I must gush about Google Sheets. For most of my life, I had access to Microsoft Office for free. Word and Excel were my best friends. They kept me in check. Unfortunately, when I received a new laptop, it didn’t come with Microsoft Office like my last one. That meant I’d have to either pay through the nose for Office or find an alternative. That’s when I discovered Google Docs and Sheets. Not only is Google Docs and Sheets offered for free to all users, it’s accessible on the go.
I hate change, guys. I was so used to Microsoft Office, I didn’t want to learn a new software. After a lot of grumbling, I finally embraced Google Sheets. I’m so glad I did. It’s so easy to maneuver and learn. It’s easier than Microsoft Excel if I’m honest. Anyway, Sheets is where I keep my posting schedule and without that, I’d be lost!
Now I could keep going, but that’s it for now. Have you tried any of these apps? What did you think of them? Which productivity apps can you not live without? Let me know in the comments! Until next time.
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