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Using Apps to Get Things Done

Aug 14, 2023

This post is by Janine Muniz.


With all the different roles we play, it can be very easy to become distracted or lose track of tasks. However thanks to the genius of app developers, we have some unique ways to stay focused and get things done.  

Here are suggestions for some apps that get your productivity in gear. While these apps are free, you can be limited to what you can do in the app. However, it’s also a good way to see if it is worth investing in.  And don’t worry, all the apps featured are for both Apple and Android. 

If you’re thinking of Pomodoro, have I got a Youtube channel for you! While this isn’t an app,  Pomodoro Cat  uses the Pomodoro method with varied blocks of time as pixelated cats cause mischief, even attending Zoom meetings in place of their human.In addition to that, the videos are set to some low-fi music or rain storms, creating an atmosphere to work or study in. There are a variety of videos to choose from, giving the kitties plenty of places to get into. 

If you love the outdoors, then step outside into your own Forest. This productivity app puts a twist on focusing. When you set a timer, a tree is planted. The longer you remain focused, the more your tree will grow. However, to keep your little tree going, staying on task is essential. If you leave the app halfway through your session, your little tree will die. Although it seems a tad morbid, getting through a task becomes fun, anticipating the appearance of your tree when the timer is done.  Another bonus is the planting of real trees. Just spend virtual coins earned by growing virtual trees and repopulate the earth with real ones. 

Any gardeners out there? Flora is a productivity app similar to Forest, but includes more features. Like Forest, Flora plants a tree when you begin a timer. If you leave the app for social media or games, your tree will die. You can even involve your friends! If everyone stays off their phones during a group session, each of you will earn an additional tree. How’s that for motivation? Flora also incorporates to-do lists, goals, and even plants real trees for each virtual tree you plant (requires a fee)! 

Coming indoors, these next apps are more like a day at the office. 

IFTTT is based on “if this, then that,” something some of the parents out there may have used on their kids (I know I have). This app, however, integrates apps, devices, and services by having one trigger the other, automating tasks. For example, by linking a social media app to a storage service, opening the app automates the backup of media. Through automation, you have one less thing to worry about, saving precious time that can be put towards something else. 

Our old friends at Microsoft have thrown their own to-do list app into the mix. Simply called “Microsoft To Do,” this app works across all your devices, keeping all your to-do’s at your fingertips. Need to involve others? Microsoft To Do gives you the option to share to-do lists with family and friends and it syncs in real time as changes are made. No more miscommunication there!

The recommendations here only scratch the surface of what is out there in app land. With enough searching, you will come across that app that will help you get things done . 

Did any of the apps listed catch your eye? Use an app you love? Share your thoughts with us!  


Janine Muniz earned her MFA in creative writing at Southern New Hampshire University and is in the beginning stages of her first novel. She has written anecdotal stories and opinion pieces on different topics when she was a writer for SNHU Odyssey, a student-run writer’s platform, and featured on Sweatpants & Coffee. When she’s not setting her newest idea to paper, Janine is a planner enthusiast, loving all things kawaii. She shares her home with Charlee and Mama, her two dogs, in Elmont, NY.

Photo by William Hook on Unsplash


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