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12 Apps to Work Smarter (Or For World Domination)

Posted by The Editors of TOP DRAWER on

12 Apps to Work Smarter

 

At Tailor & Spruce, we're obsessed with working smarter, not harder.

Now, don’t get it wrong…we hustle really hard.  But, the idea of working hard AND getting more done = major turn on.  

One of the things you’re really going to enjoy about TOP DRAWER BLOG is actionable content.  In the coming weeks, we’ll be analyzing the best apps, products and tools for beast productivity. This is part one of our world domination series.

Maybe you’ve already started to notice...you don’t need to be the most intelligent person to get what you want in life. What you need is to find the levers - the habits and resources - that yield exponential returns on your effort.

For example, by optimizing and leveraging your first impression to others, you can experience a lasting return in influence and charisma.  More on that here.

In this post, we’ll discuss how technology (specifically mobile and web apps) can be another game changing lever. 

We’re on a jet - headed to the pantheon of app productivity. You locked-in?

1. Yesware

Imagine if you could program each email for a higher open rate. Studies show that emails are most likely to be read either on Sunday afternoons or weekdays between 6 -7 A.MWith Yesware, you can optimize engagement through automated delivery. Simply compose your email, hit the send later button, and schedule the departure date and time.

2. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock

Wake-up to the intelligent alarm clock that sounds in your lightest phase of sleep. The app monitors your shut-eye using sound and vibrational analysis. It’s as easy as turning your phone to airplane mode, setting an alarm time window, and placing it near your bed. You’ll wake up more refreshed, feeling renewed and ready to conquer the day.   

3. RescueTime

RescueTime is a powerful time management tool; it tracks and categorizes the time you’ve spent on your computer. You’ll be able to analyze a custom report to discover where and how you can become more efficient. Even better, the software allows you to block distracting sites.

4. Momentum Desktop Image 

This tip (among a few others) comes courtesy of best-selling author, and podcast rockstar, Tim Ferriss. Momentum is a Chrome plugin that allows users to set their “new tab page” to a stunning image and dashboard; featuring a to-do option, weather console and an inspirational quote. Even more, the app encourages users to write specific one goal/focus for their day. Momentum: opening tabs responsibly since 2013.

5. Flux 

Are you a productive powerhouse whose eye fatigue is holding you back? Then you’ve got to check out Flux. The app adapts the color of your computer’s display to match the time of day, thereby reducing eye strain.  Through dynamically lighting your monitor, eye strain is significantly reduced.

Flux will also help you to sleep better by regulating emittance of blue light in the evening. You see, blue-light emitted by electronic devices mimics attributes of the sun. And at night, exposure to this type of light goes against our evolutionary wiring - throwing off the circadian rhythm.

6. Sunrise

Sunrise is a calendar app with a sleek design and easy interface. Our favorite feature, Meet, avoids the back-and-forth of scheduling meetings. Simply designate times in which you’re available, allowing your recipient to choose and confirm.

7. Evernote 

Evernote lets you “compose, collect and discuss your life’s work.”  Yeah we know. Seriously though, good ideas are abundant, but the execution of ideas is what separates the men from the boys. And it’s hard to execute an idea if you simply can’t remember it.

8. Wunderlist 

Wunderlist is a to-do list icon.  The app is a perfect digital complement to David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) system. Allen’s philosophy: “your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” Wunderlist will help you to clear your head, save mental energy, and live in the moment.

9. Focus@will 

Focus@will is a music app fine-tuned for productivity. You’ll hear scientifically optimizing playlists that are free from distracting vocals and notes. Their tests typically show a 12- 15% positive increase in focus bio-marker and up to 400% extended working time.

10. E.gg Timer 

Parkinson’s law stipulates that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. As a result, by introducing time pressure, people often discover they can complete tasks more quickly AND have better results.

Pro tip (another Tim Ferriss golden nugget): Experiment with the Pomodoros setting. The Pomodoros technique guides concentration sprints with short intervals of rest.  Discover how much you can get done with 25 minutes on and 5 mins off. 

11. Audible  

Anthony Robbins teaches the potent time management technique N.E.T., an acronym for No Extra Time.

The goal: reclaim daily time that’s often disregarded (think morning commute or folding laundry). Because in these scenarios, it literally takes "No Extra Time” to better yourself!

Enter Audible: a premier audiobook library (aka information trove). It is especially great if you’re an auditory learner, as the narrator’s performance can feel like an intimate 1-1 lesson. Here’s a few of our favorite books that carry equally great narration.

12. TextExpander

Do you find yourself typing the same phrases and paragraphs repeatedly? TextExpander allows users to create “snippets” of custom keyboard shortcuts that expand with a few key-strokes. Try it out for boilerplate language, recurring email replies, or exciting news you want to share. For example, our snippet "L15" (with no quotes) populates the following:

Use promo code: launch15 to take 15% off your first order at tailorandspruce.com.

See, it’s that easy. ;)

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Stay tuned for Part 2 of our series. Next up: the best MIND HACKS to work smarter (or for world domination).  Be the first to know when it goes live - join our newsletter at the bottom of the page.

We hope you enjoyed this list! Share your picks in the comments or tweet @tailorandspruce.

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