Working from home can be so hard. It’s nice to not have to go into the office, but there are so many more distractions at home.
This is doubly true when you can’t go work in a park or coffee shop.
Why do work when you can do chores, or browse social media? Who has time for important projects when you could be playing a game or emailing your uncle who you haven’t spoken to since 2012? Suddenly everything but work seems like the best idea ever.
How can you stay focused while you’re trying to get work done?
Productivity apps might be the answer for you. None of them can force you to work, but they can help to act as “blinders” or even incentives when you just can’t get your head in the game.
Keep reading for some of the best productivity apps that we’ve found for your Macbook.
1. StayFocusd : For Staying On Task Online
This is a browser extension instead of an app, but it’s so helpful that it deserves a mention.
This extension for Google Chrome can be a lifesaver if you’re the type to lose hours just scrolling on the internet. One minute it’s 9 am and you’re getting to work and the next it’s dark outside and you’ll swear that you’ve time traveled.
StayFocusd aims to help.
With this app, you can block certain websites from yourself. You can even block all of the websites, or keep only the ones that you need up and usable.
You set an amount of time that this can continue and you get to work. The best part? You won’t be able to cancel the timer once you’ve set it. This means that you won’t be able to go sneak a peek at Facebook or Youtube when you’re trying to write an article or make a spreadsheet.
This extension will frustrate you, but it should also help you get any necessary work done on time.
2. Focus: No Apps? No Problem
Focus is an actual app available for Macbooks that can stop you from opening the other apps that might distract you.
Sure, you’ve blocked yourself from your favorite websites, but what about emails? What about your Discord chat or WhatsApp for Mac? Sometimes talking to other people is important during the workday, but if it’s stopping you from reaching your work goals they have got to go.
Focus allows you to block the apps like an adult child lock. You are your own babysitter.
All you have to do is drag and drop the app into the Focus blocker and it will be blocked until you’re ready to take it out. Unfortunately, this action can be undone whenever you like so you do need to have a modicum of self-control.
It’s a great way to stop you from impulse-clicking or reacting to notifications, though.
3. Grammarly: Be Your Own Editor
Grammarly is great for the person that needs to work quickly but isn’t always the best at spelling and grammar.
The free version will mark problems that it sees with your writing in real-time, similar to a spell-checker on any word processor. The difference here is that it’s going to show up no matter what website you’re using.
It will give you suggestions on how to change your writing. Maybe you use too many commas. Maybe you keep spelling “restaurant” wrong (guilty).
The word of Grammarly shouldn’t be taken as gospel. It does make mistakes, but it’s great when you just need a little bit of extra help when you’re writing. Think of it as a second opinion app.
4. Otter: Transcribe With Ease
Do you hate typing? Do you sometimes have carpal tunnel syndrome that acts up and prevents you from doing your work?
Otter might be able to help you.
This app uses voice recognition technology to turn your spoken words into written words. This is great for notetaking in meetings (even Zoom meetings), transcribing interviews, or just getting some writing done while you don’t feel up to typing.
It’s a free app with paid features but starting for free allows you to see if it’s right for you.
Otter makes typing and transcribing a breeze. You’ll always have to check for errors, but it gets the bulk of the work done in a flash.
5. 1Password: Stop Forgetting How to Log In
We’ve all done this before. We’ve thought of an amazing and complex password that no cybercriminal would ever be able to crack. It’s perfect.
Except…now you’ve forgotten it. It was too hard for you to crack which completely defeats the purpose.
Well, now you make a new password but then you download 1Password. This app stores all of your passwords in one place so that you don’t have to sit there staring at a login screen wondering why “I’mawesome007” didn’t get you logged into your account.
You’ll have all of your passwords at your fingertips. This also allows you to make more difficult passwords as you’ll have no worries about finding them again.
The only real concern here is that if someone were to break through your complex passwords, they might have access to everything if they find the app. Follow password best practices to protect yourself.
Are These Productivity Apps Right for You?
We love these productivity apps when we’re trying to do our own work at home. It can be so hard to focus when there are so many distractions available! With these, your work can be streamlined, you can avoid sites that will draw your attention away, and you can get things done more quickly.
Don’t be embarrassed about using an app to help you stay focused. You’re just being a better worker!
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