Want to boost productivity? Try these five apps

There are plenty of bogus life hacks in the world. But these five tools will actually help get stuff done

The Frictionless Office

Man sitting inside a ring of desks covered with computers

(Peter Cade/Getty)

An entrepreneur’s productivity levels has a big effect on a company’s bottom line. There’s no shortage of dubious productivity tools and questionable life hacks out there, but here’s a shortlist of some actually useful ones:

Businesses are more reliant on apps and cloud-based services than ever. Having a different password for each account can quickly get unwieldy.  1Password is a tool not only remembers all your passwords for you, it creates secure new ones—you no longer have to cut corners by using the same medium-safe password for every account you have.

Keeping a time sheets gives you an objective sense of how long it takes you to complete tasks. It  can also reveal when you’re the most (and the least) productive.  TimeTracker, developed by Openhour, is a time sheet tool that runs discreetly in the background while you work. It monitors time spent on various software programs, including Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, Outlook and Google apps. Toggl is another great web app that works along the same lines.

The 1-3-5 method requires users to divide tasks into one big, three medium, and five small goals to accomplish each day. 135list is a web app that works based on that principle. Unlike many productivity apps, this one doesn’t require a subscription.

Successful entrepreneurs read—a lot. Pocket is a popular tool to bank all of those articles you come across during the day.

The Smart Writing Set
List-making apps abound, but there’s still something oddly satisfying about jotting down notes using pen and paper. Popular notebook maker Moleskine now offers a line of notebooks and pens that automatically digitizes notes and imports them to a mobile device. It isn’t the first of its kind, but it’s arguably the most convenient to use: a competitor’s version requires you to send in your notebook for scanning.