10 Apps to Control the Chaos and Get Focused

10 Apps for Maximizing the Work Day

In the age of technology, distractions at work can come in a myriad of forms: emails, social media, smart phones. Add in a noisy work environment, and many become overwhelmed by attempting to balance work in a busy atmosphere. From office noise to computer distractions, working amongst technology, as well as other people, can make even the most average assignment take five times as long to do. Ironically, the technology that’s often supposed to simplify our lives has made it more hectic. Here’s a list of 10 apps to help maximize your work day from start to finish.

For an Ambient Atmosphere

Rainy Mood is a widespread favorite, offering the relaxing sound of rain, and the occasional thunder bolt, as an alternative to a possibly chaotic office environment. With no timeout function, it’s the perfect amount of background noise.

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Soundrown functions much like Rainy Mood, but offers a simple interface with minimal distractions and 10 sound options, including coffee shop to imitate the light chatter of the common Starbucks, as well as natural sounds such as birds and waves.

Blocking Internet Distractions

Anti-Social is the Facebook addict’s best friend. From as little as 15-minutes up to 8 hours, Anti-Social allows users to choose what sites to block. Users are still allowed to access the internet, but unable to access blocked pages. The only way to cheat the system: a computer reboot.

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Self-Control — Anti-Social’s stricter cousin. Operating on Mac OS X and newer systems, Self-Control functions exactly the same as other blocking apps, with one alteration: even restarting the computer won’t shut off the program. Once started, users just have to ride out the timer on the block.

How to Write: Improving Efficency

Whimsical and motivating for the animal lover, Written Kitten offers a new photo of a kitten, bunny or puppy for every 100-1000 words users write. To increase utility, users can make the screen full page to avoid possible distractions.

Users looking to derive statistics on their writing habits should download 750words.com. Created initially as a platform alternative to free writing spots such as Tumblr and Medium, 750words aims for users to write 750 words a day, approximately 3 pages, and churns out statistics, such as number of distractions, typing speed, as well as total time spent actually typing. For those looking to free write, the app takes into account the tone of writing and presents a pie chart denoting common themes throughout the work, such as emotions and topics.

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For the To-Do List Enthusiast

Evernote offers three packages — the basic version is free — and syncs the app between smartphones and  a computer so users are able to access anything from web pages to saved tweets, emails and presentations on one application. While not for everyone, the app works on a cross-platform and is merely a storage feature for any online creation of your choice. The plus option gives users 16GB of space each month for maximum storage.

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Wunderlist is an uber organized dream: it serves as a platform for to-do lists, allows users to set alarms and reminders, and is accessible from any device. With the Pro version, users can share lists, and work collaboratively on projects.

Additional Apps to Streamline Work

Office groups seeking a calm environment, but thorough communication, may look to apps like Slack. Slack is essentially an instant messaging system, with the ability for private or public groups within a community; the app allows users to direct message one person, or a group. Perfect for working communities looking to be constantly in the loop without the noisy chatter.

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 Anyone balancing a multitude of passwords could benefit from using RoboForm. An encrypted app, it allows users to store all of their passwords, from email accounts to social media profiles. Besides storing passwords, the app logs user information to automatically fill out long internet forms, and can be used to generate strong passwords for maximum protection. Safer than a spreadsheet of passwords, RoboForm secures and encrypts all data users enter. The one catch: users have to remember their RoboForm password to gain access to all their other passwords.