Apps for a Productivity Boost

Software for planning and productivity - Caleb LimWriter: Chris A.

Editor: James Y.

Visual: Caleb L.

One of the most difficult challenges of being a high school student is time management. Gone are the carefree days of middle school, now replaced by hours spent completing homework or preparing for daunting assessments. Many can find this new rhythm both exhausting and even overwhelming, leading them to offset these feelings through diverting their attention to distractions such as YouTube or Instagram. Fortunately, a number of apps have been developed to help overcome this current procrastination epidemic, including Todoist, Calendar and Timer. But just how effective are they? 

A good indicator of a high quality time management app is a versatile range of features. Apps like Todoist in particular have very diverse features, for example, allowing its users to set reminders for activities with precise due dates (i.e. 12:00 PM on Wednesday, the 27th of November) or even recurring due dates (i.e. once every 3 days). The app also allows you to place your tasks into different folders such as “Personal” or “Work,” giving users the freedom to prioritize tasks to their own accord. When asked about the app’s effect on his productivity, Yosuke M. stated, “I feel like being reminded to stay on task was very effective, especially as I am very prone to derailing from studying and having something to remind me on time was really effective in putting me back on track.”

If apps like Todoist sound too complex for your preferences, then some slightly more user-friendly  but useful time management apps like Timer and Calendar are what you should look out for. With these apps, students can set alarms for when or how long they should work for and also set reminders for when certain tasks are due. When asked about his own experiences with such apps, Seung-Jae B. said, “So I use my Calendar to track time I guess, to note down some homework that’s due and some of the major tests. Sometimes I use a Timer to set my goals for about 20 minutes then I play for a while and then I continue to work again.” In regards to their benefit, Seung-Jae stated that, “I used to not use Timer and I used to procrastinate until around 3:00 AM and after I started to use Timer I think it reduced significantly.” 

When asked what improvements could be made to these apps, both students agreed that they could be “more organized” and make certain features easier to use. They also suggested that the apps “give a timer for the students specifically and not just a general one” to aid in tasks such as essay writing.

In general, these time management apps proved to be quite handy, so if you’re someone who’s been struggling with that procrastination itch lately, give them a try today and take the first step in your journey to becoming a productivity master.