Apps for Productivity

TomatoTimer

Cost: Free

The TomatoTimer is an easy to use, flexible Pomodoro Technique timer. It was inspired by Tomatoi.st and it can be used in your web browser (Chrome, Firefox and Safari).

This productivity timer will help individuals boost their focus and manage their time more efficiently. Users can customize work/break sets.

Pros:

  • Simple and easy to use.

Cons:

  • Does not visually represent the passage of time (only digital count down).

Visit the TomatoTimer website now.

Voice Dream Apps

Voice Dream Writer

By: Voice Dream LLC

Cost: $14.00 (check their website for sales)

Voice Dream Writer reads out loud using text-to-speech. It can read words and sentences as they’re typed or voice dictated so that errors can be corrected right away. Writer helps finding the right words through phonetic search and meaning search. Word Finder also shows the dictionary definition of a word without having to select anything or open another program. Writer automatically keeps an outline of headings, paragraphs and sentences.

Voice Dream Reader

By: Voice Dream LLC

Cost: $6.00 (check their website for sales)

This app makes written text accessible to everyone. Voice Dream is able to read PDF and Word documents as well as eBooks, Bookshare, articles, and webpages. Users can connect the app to Dropbox, Evernote, and other applications to provide text-to-speech almost anywhere.

Pros:

  • Adjustable reading speed and voices.
  • Compatible with a wide range of other apps and file types.
  • Designed for people with reading disabilities, but can be used by anyone.

Cons:

  • None we are aware of.

Visit the Voice Dream Reader website.

 

Website Blockers

These software products and applications can help parents block certain websites to help their child stay on task when completing homework on the computer. These products can also be very helpful for adults with ADHD.

Our Suggestions:

Surfblocker – With Surfblocker you can easily restrict internet access at specified times or on demand. It allows you to block websites and to limit which programs and features have access to the internet. For example, you can set Surfblocker to allow access to your email and work or study related websites only. You can also password protect the internet connection and set it to unblock after a specificed amount of time. Worth checking out.

Visit Surfblocker website now.

StayFocused – this app is for Google Chrome users only. StayFocused is a productivity extension for Google Chrome that helps you to stay focused on work or school. It restricts the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. Once your allotted time has been used up, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible for the rest of the day. It is very configurable, and allows you to block or allow entire sites, specific subdomains, specific paths, specific pages, even specific in-page content (videos, games, images, forms, etc).

Visit StayFocused site now.

LeechBlock – this extension is for Firefox users. This extension is designed to block websites and allows you to specify when you want them blocked. LeechBlock has noted that it is not designed for parental control or for blocking offensive content.

Visit LeechBlock site now.

 

iFocus App

Created by: Rareş Pamfil

This computer program allows users to self-monitor their computer use (e.g., email, web browsing, social networking).

This tool can be useful for teenagers and adults who want to change their computer use habits by keeping track of usage data and providing immediate alerts (audible and visual) about usage.

Pros:

  • Tracks computer use
  • Sets limits on what applications you can use
  • Protect yourself from distractions
  • This software is free to download and use.

Visit the iFocus website now.

Freedom App

By: Freedom.to
Cost: Monthy, Yearly, or One-Time Cost

The Freedom app blocks distracting websites and apps on iOS, Windows, and Android devices.

You can set up a weekly schedule and highlight the times and the days you want the app to work. Freedom will then block you from the internet during those times.

Pros:

  • Simple to set up and use

Cons:

  • There is a cost involved
  • You can sidestep Freedom, however, it is difficult to do so, and it will require that you stay on your schedule

Available to download from the Freedom site for Mac and Windows devices.

Visit the Freedom website now.

Focus@Will

By: Focus @ Will Labs, Inc.
Cost: Free for a limited time

The idea behind Focus @ Will is based on human neuroscience. It helps you focus, reduce distractions, maintain your productivity and retain information when working, studying, writing and reading.

Focus @ Will uses specially engineered audio in which frequencies similar to the human voice are removed. It does this because we are wired to pay attention to voices and they can be distracting.

Pros:

  • They offer over 50 channels of music to choose from.

Cons:

  • Membership required
  • Available for iOS, Android, and on the web.

Visit the Focus@Will website.

Dragon Dictation App

By: Nuance
Cost: Free

Dragon Dictation is a voice recognition application powered by Dragon NaturallySpeaking that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. You can also dictate status updates to your social networking applications (Facebook, Twitter) or send notes and reminders to yourself all using your voice.

Pros:

  • Up to 5 times faster than a keyboard
  • Voice-to-text texts, emails, and notes
  • Compatible with social media
  • Supports a multitude of global languages
  • In app save feature

Cons:

  • Some users report slow dictation and spelling and grammar mistakes
  • Punctuation is not automatic (ex: have to say “John comma” to get “John,”)
  • Lose unsaved text if answering a phone call
  • Lack of shortcuts
  • Need to be familiar with iCloud or have an email account to print
  • Does not work well in a noisy environment, must speak directly into microphone for best results.

Available for iOS only according to the Nuance website.

Visit the Dragon Dictation website now.

Evernote App

By: Evernote

Cost: Free to $24.99/year for Premium

This app helps individuals stay organized, save ideas, and improve productivity.

Evernote allows the user to take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, and record voice reminders. All of the notes are organized and are searchable on any device to allow for easy access.

Evernote can start out being a challenge to use, however, spend some time with it and you will find you will use it ALL the time! Tagging can be challenging, so here are some tips: Tag with the top three or four labels that you can think of, and then when you need it, you will easily find it.

Evernote also gives you an email account which you can use to forward items. If you have an email that you want to save, send it to your Evernote email address and in the Subject line, use ‘@’ to direct into an existing folder. Use ‘#’ in the subject line to tag the email as well.

Pros:

  • Provides an organizational structure for an individual’s electronic files

Cons:

  • Premium version requires a subscription

This app is “Available on everything you use every day”.

Visit website now.

Unroll.me

By: Unroll.Me Inc.

Cost: Free

Here’s an app that could also be included the Time Management section. Unroll.me is a free service that can clean up your e-mail inbox. Sound good? It works by unsubscribing you from everything you don’t want to receive and will then get all the newsletters, emails, etc. that you do want rolled into one daily digest. If you subscribe to as many newsletters as I do, then you will want to look into this app.

Pros:

  • Clean up the clutter in your inbox

Cons:

  • None that we are currently aware of.

Available for: Gmail, Google Apps, Yahoo! Mail, Outlook.com, AOL Mail, iCloud

Visit website now.

30/30 App

By: Binary Hammer

Cost: Free

This app allows users to set up a list of tasks and a length of time for each of them.

During the task, a circular visual time is displayed at the top of the screen. When the time limit for a task has expired, it will tell you to move on to the next task. The app can tell you what time it will be at the end of each task as well as what time it will be when you complete your list. On busy days, it can also help you to figure out if you have the time to complete your task list.

Pros:

  • Allows users to create several tasks lists, with varying amounts of time for each task
  • Will sync across iOS devices.

Cons:

  • Users need to remember to add “tasks” in for breaks, travel time, and down time, otherwise the app just moves from task to task.

Also available from the iTunes App Store.

Visit 30/30 website now.