6 Apps That Will Help You Achieve Things in 2020

Apps to Help you Achieve Things in 2020
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Shall we looks at some amazing Apps that can Help You Achieve Things this Year? OK! For the last few years, I periodically struggled to stay motivated and consistent in all of my ventures. This led to a lot of experimentation with various apps and tools. This year was another unexpected curveball, with world events shuttering economies everywhere and drastically changing all of our lives.

But I realized I had taken my experimentation for granted — these applications I’ve been using these last few years have actually helped keep me productive and on-track even despite current conditions.

I wanted to spread the wealth for others who haven’t yet heard of them in hopes it might help them too.

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6 Apps to Help You Achieve Things in 2020

Habitica

I’ve long struggled with forming good habits. With Habitica, I was able to somehow pull through with difficult commitments because they’ve done a stellar job of gamifying it.

Apps That Will Help You Achieve Things

Pros:

  • Fun, RPG-like habit tracking. Lose health when you break habits, gain levels and EXP when you keep them. Buy equipment and items for your character.
  • Immersive features and add-ons. Join GuildsPartiesTaverns, etc., which are social groups/chats of people with common interests, and build habits together! Oh, and fight world bosses together too.
  • Fantastic UI/UX. The interface looks great, the controls all work and are intuitive. Never had any questions or doubts about what was happening.
  • Track daily to-dos, on top of long-term habits. The app has flexible inputs and allows you to input long-term habits as well as one-off daily tasks. You can also create recurring to-dos as well — this was huge for me.

Apps That Will Help You Achieve Things

Phone widgets to directly access on my phone’s home screen.

Cons:

  • Punishment for breaking habits is too light. You lose maybe 2–3 HP when you break a habit, and even that doesn’t seem consistent. I actually had a period where I didn’t update or mark any habits for over 2 weeks, and when I came back, I was still at 3/4 HP. By all accounts my character should’ve died several times.
  • Phone widgets sometimes don’t update correctly. A minor gripe, but nonetheless it can be annoying when you have to open the entire application.

Overall, I highly recommend Habitica for people who want a fresh way to build and track new habits and actually meet people as well. It’s also effective for millennials like myself and potentially Gen X’ers who miss those retro RPG games.

RescueTime  | Apps That Will Help You Achieve Things

RescueTime is a time tracker that logs and visualizes the amount of time you spend on applications or websites.

I’ve been surprised multiple times with how much time I’ve wasted, and on what. The feature set and visualization capabilities of RescueTime are phenomenal. See my 2019 Year in Review report:

As you can see, I was pretty distracted in December 2019. Username is redacted because it’s my private email address.

Pros:

  • Accurate tracking on all major operating systems, phone OSes, and Chrome/Firefox. All of this data you’re seeing above is tracking my activity across all of my computers, all browsers, and cell phone.
  • Powerful, flexible timelines and scopes. The daily dashboard is the default, but you can zoom out to Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly reports. This allows you to see the big picture and track trends over time.
  • Website blocking and built-in “Focus Time” clock. RescueTime can block specific websites as well as turn on Do Not Disturb for a chunk of time as well.

Cons:

  • Can’t block native apps. The one missing feature — the biggest one — is its inability to block native apps. You can’t block apps on your phone, and you can’t block programs on your computer. I so, so, so wish they had this.
  • Can’t create new categories. You can create new sub-categories, but they have to fit under one of the pre-existing top-level categories.
  • The iOS App sucks. For a brief time while I borrowed an iPhone, I tried out the RescueTime app on there. It leaves a lot to be desired, lacking a lot of basic functionalities that are present in the web application, computer apps, and Android apps.

Despite the cons, it’s still a phenomenal app that I would highly recommend to anyone who would like to visualize and track their behaviors over time. It really caters well to people who want to be more strategic.

The app is phenomenal and highly useful if you’re more of a computer / browser user than a mobile user like me. It might be less worth it if you’re predominantly a power user on your Apple mobile devices.

It’s been a ritual of mine the last few years to see my year in review reports and strategize how I can cut down my most-offending time suckers and meet my goals.

Todoist  | Apps That Will Help You Achieve Things

For a long time, I was using Wunderlist before they announced it would be sunsetted in favor of Microsoft To-do. Nothing against Microsoft specifically, but after comparing its feature set with those of competitors like Todoist, it was a no-brainer for me.

Apps That Will Help You Achieve Things

Apps That Will Help You Achieve Things

A browse of my Todoist library. macOS app left, Android app right.

Pros:

  • Recurring Tasks and Other Complex Scheduling. You can have tasks that recur every day, every few weeks, on specific days of the week, etc. It’s really flexible and powerful.
  • Tasks automatically move to “Today” on due date. You can set due dates on tasks, and they will automatically move into the “Today” list, making it useful for autopilot task doers like myself.
  • Next 7 Days Section. Items that are due in the next week show up in an aggregate Next 7 Days category, allowing you to plan ahead and even complete items ahead of time. Truly a game-changer for my productivity.
  • Fast search, extensible sections, subtasks, and more. Truly, you could almost use Todoist as a simple project management app (though there are better choices for that). You could even use labels and filters to categorize items.

Cons:

  • Subtasks disappear when you mark them as complete. This was one thing I loved about Wunderlist and absolutely hate about Todoist. If there are many subtasks under a main task, you have no way of remembering what tasks were there before if you already marked them as completed. You could browse the archive, but then they’re out of order.
  • Its auto-detection of time cadence can be annoying. Todoist has a feature where it will detect certain words and automatically set schedules (e.g. “Finish newsletter every month” turns into → “Finish newsletter” with a recurring monthly date). It can be convenient, but it’s disruptive when you’re coincidentally using those keywords, and it sets a schedule you didn’t want.

If you’re using standard to-do list apps like built-in Samsung, Apple, Google ones, etc., then you would hugely benefit from upgrading to a full-fledged to-do app like Todoist.

I use Todoist for everything from tracking tasks, to wishlists, my bucket list, archiving links or other things I should eventually look at but not yet, my shopping and grocery lists, etc…

YourHour (Android) & Moment (iOS) | Apps That Will Help You Achieve Things in 2020

Do you have a phone addiction? Or maybe just a bad habit of picking it up and browsing? Perhaps you’re trying to reduce your usage of certain apps.

YourHour for Android and Moment for iOS are two fantastic phone usage tracking apps that, unlike RescueTime, can block your phone’s native apps.

Apps That Will Help You Achieve Things
My times have gotten worse during quarantine. I originally only touched my phone for 20 mins/day…

Apps That Will Help You Achieve Things

Image sourced from MacStories.

Pros:

  • Actually block apps. I can’t stress how important this feature is. You can easily ignore notifications, but actually have the app blocked? That works wonders.
  • Granular trend tracking. Unlike RescueTime, these two applications can show your usage down to the hour. For example, you can see patterns about what time of day you’re most prone to phone addiction and usage.
  • Simple, easy-to-understand UI/UX. The usage of these apps is intuitive and doesn’t really require any instructions or guides.

Cons:

  • Long-term, strategic visualization weak. Where RescueTime excels, these two mobile apps are slightly weaker. Monthly and yearly usage can be visualized via pie / circle charts, but those aren’t really actionable.
  • Level of granularity seems unnecessary. Both apps feature a highly-detailed usage timeline showing the exact time you picked up your phone and started fiddling with it. I’ve personally not really found a use case for this level of detail — it makes no difference to me whether I picked up my phone at 6:55am or 7:15am. Perhaps other people feel differently.
  • YourHour has no iOS app, and Moment’s Android app sucks. These are pretty self-explanatory.

If you’re a power mobile user and looking to reduce bad phone habits, these apps are a great choice. They’re also a great choice if you’re looking to block specific applications for any reason.

Clockwise | Apps That Will Help You Achieve Things in 2020

Clockwise is an intelligent calendar assistant for GSuite that can optimize your daily schedule. It moves meetings around to create more focus time for you (blocks of uninterrupted time for quality work).

Apps That Will Help You Achieve Things

Apps That Will Help You Achieve Things

Fantastic calendar / schedule optimization. It’s like having a secretary with a background in engineering.

You can set automatic Focus Time scheduling so that it blocks off your calendar for focused work. I’m constantly in meetings and dealing with other obligations, so this is a welcome tool for helping me maximize my own dedicated work time.

Apps That Will Help You Achieve Things

Pros:

  • Recurring Tasks and Other Complex Scheduling. You can have tasks that recur every day, every few weeks, on specific days of the week, etc. It’s really flexible and powerful.
  • Slack integration. In addition to syncing with your calendar, Clockwise can actually integrate with Slack and sync various things. My favorite features include setting your status according to your calendar as well as toggling Do Not Disturb if you’re in a meeting automatically.

Cons:

  • Only for GSuite and Chrome. Clockwise could be a pretty powerful application if it offered more flexibility for different email providers and different browsers.
  • Few additional integrations. As far as I know, Slack is the only chat app Clockwise can integrate with. To be fair, Slack does dominate the business chat app market, but a bit more flexibility is desirable.

Especially if your calendar is busy, I highly recommend Clockwise for optimizing your schedule and moving things around to better allocate time for your best quality work.

Feedly | Apps That Will Help You Achieve Things in 2020

Feedly is an RSS feed dashboard and aggregator. Find, subscribe to, and organize all of your favorite news and information sources.

Apps That Will Help You Achieve Things

My dashboard on Feedly

Its powerful categorization abilities and clean, uncluttered UI/UX helps you cut through all of the B.S. and noise of the Internet and get the information you care about most, from the sources you care about most.

On top of the typical Feeds, which consist of the latest updates from your subscribed sources or keywords, you also have the concept of Boards which allow you to save and share articles with team members.

Pros:

  • Powerful collaboration and sharing features. Not only can you catch up on your own individual reading, but you can pin articles and aggregate feeds to Boards to share with teammates. Additional features on Pro and Business plans include notes, highlighting, Slack & Microsoft Teams integrations, and SSO/SAML, making it a phenomenal business application.
  • Powerful feeds and dashboard. Not only can you aggregate updates from your favorite sources — your feed can also subscribe to keywords and topics, and they have a built-in “Discovery” tab where you can discover more blogs and information sources. It’s like Facebook for blogs and news sources
  • Multiple, high-impact integrations. Feedly offers integrations and capability to integrate with tons of major apps and providers. For example, articles can automatically be shared to LinkedIn, Buffer, IFTTT, Zapier, and HootSuite, which is powerful for content curators and social media influencers looking to consistently share and synchronize high-quality content across many platforms. Pro+ plan includes aggregating Twitter feeds and Google News feeds.
Apps That Will Help You Achieve Things
Robust, high-impact integrations with major providers and apps

Cons:

  • No tagging or labeling capabilities. You have individual Feeds, which are direct lines to your RSS sources. You also have Boards, which you can pin articles to. But there’s no way to label articles — right now if you want to gather articles under common banners, you’ll have to use boards, which can get unmanageable pretty quickly.
  • Not much automation built-in yet. All of the above features are utilized pretty manually. I’d love to see powerful, robust automation of filtering. For example, “If title contains these keywords, put in this board” and other conditions like that. After all, Feedly is helping us cut through the noise… but the final result is still quite noisy.

If you’re looking for a great tool to aggregate your most important information sources into one location, Feedly is it. And they do it extremely well.

It’s useful for such a huge variety of people and use cases as well:

  • Content curators looking to share and promote the best content
  • Businesses looking to keep an eye on their competitors and industry trends
  • Government leaders looking to keep an eye on the state of the world
  • Bloggers, news reporters looking to keep an eye on other sources of information

…and many more. I could actually see Feedly entirely replacing blogs — why go to 100 individual blogs when you can go to one single blog with content from 100 different sources/individuals?

Conclusion

These applications have immensely helped me improve my life at the start of 2020. Times are currently tough, but I’ve been able to keep myself productive by leveraging the fantastic tools other people have built.

Best of luck to you on your journey to success.

SEE ALSO: 

Android Specifications and their Meaning | Andriod Phone Buying Guide

10 Crazy Features of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra We Love

10 Reasons Why You Should Consider Online Entrepreneurship

5 Things You Should Know Before You Start Coding | No. 5 is the ULTIMATE


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Author: Erommonsele Emmanuel

My name is Emmanuel, I am a graduate Mechanical Engineer, Technology Enthusiast and Lover of God. Welcome to your number one Tech Plug.

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