Apps to assist WFH
Written by: Anna Dugdale. Picture by: Ken Tomita for Pexels.
Three lockdown’s in, being productive at home has never been harder. Keeping yourself on task and focused is one of the hardest tasks we have been facing, whether you’re doing online learning or working from home. One of our biggest distractions can be our phones. Knowing they contain all our social media, they are our primary communication with those we’d usually be seeing outside, in clubs, restaurants, pubs.
However, our phones can also be our gateway to being productive. The wonderful thing about phones and laptops is that there is an abundance of apps designed to get you off your phone, to stop being distracted and to make you productive. That being said, here are my recommendations on the best apps for working and studying from home.
Headspace functions as a meditation app. It has guided meditations, animations, articles and videos. This app is so beneficial when working from home as it gives you time off your phone and allows you to become centred and relieve some stress. It is so easy to get lost in the need to be productive and the fast pace of modern life. Headspace gives you a bit of time to yourself. Personally, I had never tried meditation before Headspace and thought it was a great beginner guide to meditation. It’s definitely worth a go if you’re finding it hard to unwind after a hard day of working or studying from home.
This app is one of the best apps I discovered, and I have used it religiously since discovering it years ago, during my GCSE period. How it works is, it sets a timer on your phone within the app and you set it for a period of time depending how long you want to go without going on your phone. The app has categories within it so you can categorise the different pieces of work you’re doing to see how long you’ve spent on certain tasks. Furthermore, you can also decide if you simply want to stay off your phone but if you lack willpower, there is a setting that temporarily will delete the apps of your phone.
Serene is an app that is perfect for those of you using a Mac or MacBook. This app is a chrome extension that you can use as a website blocker and productivity timer. It is so easy to get distracted on your laptop as well as your phone, maybe it’s your online shopping tabs you have open, your Twitter feed or Netflix, something on your laptop can stop you being productive. By installing an app like Serene, you can increase your productivity tenfold.
If you were ever a watcher of study-tubers, you’ll probably be familiar with the app Forest. Forest is available on the App store or the Google Play store. The premise of the app is you spend time away from your phone and while doing so, you grow virtual trees. If you return to the app before time is up, then your tree dies. If you let it grow, you can earn coins which can be saved and used to help plant real trees in five African countries: Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal, Uganda and Tanzania. Whilst Forest is an app you have to purchase, at the price of £1.99, it is ranked as the top app for productivity which goes to show how highly the users of the app rate it.
Momentum is a Chrome extension and is well-known from the days of studyblr. It gives you an aesthetic background that rotates, as well as displaying the current time. It allows you to write your main goal for the day and has a do-list that you can tick off your tasks throughout the day. For added inspiration, it gives you a quote at the bottom of your screen. I find Momentum really helpful for keeping track of my tasks and setting a daily goal helps me break down my tasks.