By Lisa Tanner, freelance writer and contributor to this blog
When you’re busy building the business of your dreams, while raising a family, productivity is key. You need to be intentional with your time, and with the apps you install on your phone. If you’re looking for apps to increase your productivity, you’re in the right place.
I’m going to show you eight of my favorite apps for increasing my productivity. These are my power apps, the ones I use regularly to grow my business while managing my household. I have an iPhone, so these are all iOS based.
But, before diving into the apps, I wanted to share three steps you can take to make your phone work for you. If you feel compelled to be on your phone all day long, or struggle with technology addiction, these tips can help you get back in control.
- Delete Apps
- Turn off Notifications (Especially Badges)
- Prime Your Main Page
Are you ready to turn your phone into a powerful productivity tool? Let’s go!
1. Delete Apps
What apps constantly cause you to lose track of time? Are there any games that call your name?
For me it was Two Dots. I’d play that game so much. It was relaxing, and fun. And very addicting for me. So, I deleted it for over a year.
I have it back on my phone now, but I no longer feel the need to play it.
That game may bore you to tears. Or not be a problem for you. After all, we are all different. So, what apps cause you to break self-appointed boundaries?
If you can identify any, delete them. It may sting for a while. But, try leaving it off for one month. If after that time you are still longing for it, you can always reinstall it.
However, you may be surprised to find that you’ve completely forgotten about it by then.
2. Turn Off Notifications
Notifications are noises, badges, or banners that your phone uses to tell you what to do. They are constant reminders that you haven’t yet checked this or that. And, depending on your personality, they can completely derail your plans.
- That you got a new Like on Facebook
- That you have unread emails
- Someone commented on your latest post
Makes you want to check those things RIGHT NOW, you may need to reconsider your relationship with your phone.
Your phone is supposed to be a tool to help you do more, not a task master telling you what to do. To help put your phone in its rightful place, consider shutting off all notifications.
Well, maybe not all of them. I still have phone and text message notifications on. That’s because people I know in real life use those methods of communication to get in touch with me. But I shut off my others.
Since taking the plunge over the winter, I’ve noticed that I:
- No longer check all my social feeds daily. In fact, I rarely head to LinkedIn.
- Don’t feel the need to constantly check my email. I can tackle it all in the time I dedicate to emails each day.
- Am much more comfortable putting down my phone. I don’t feel like I’m missing something by walking away.
In short, this one step made me so much more intentional and productive. Give it a try!
If you don’t know how to do this, check out the tutorial from How-to Geek.
3. Prime Your Main Page
How much time do you waste each day looking for apps on your phone? Or scrolling from one page to another?
Seconds saved really do add up. So, prime your main page so it’s ready for action. What are your heavy-hitting apps? Which ones do you need to use each day?
Put those on your main page.
And move the rest of them. Take them off the first page so you don’t see them immediately upon turning on your phone.
The apps to increase your productivity are great candidates for your main page. Just make sure you organize things in a way that makes sense to your brain. You want these easy to access and use.
Those three steps can really make a difference in how you interact with your phone. They help turn it into a tool you can use to skyrocket your productivity. And putting your phone down more helps you establish better boundaries for your business.
If you’re looking to start a five- or six-figure business that doesn’t take over your life and allows you to have some good work and life balance, check out Sally’s Home Business School.
Are you ready to load your phone with apps that can help you do more with your time? Let’s go!
8 Productivity Apps to Use
To maximize your potential to do more as a busy mom with a business, consider installing the following productivity apps. As a bonus, they all have free plans available so you won’t break your budget trying them out.
If you are creating images for a blog, website, or social media, Canva is a great tool to use. The app is user-friendly, and it syncs with the desktop version. That means you can start something on your computer and then finish it on your phone.
You don’t want to manually post all your social media content. Instead, streamline this process with a scheduler.
Buffer is my scheduler of choice for Twitter and Facebook. It’s intuitive and provides some important analytics.
By having the app installed, I can easily add article links or custom messages or photos to my social feeds.
3. Asana or Trello
If you use project management software on your computer, look and see if they have an app. My husband and I use Asana to track tasks for our ministry. One of my clients uses Asana to track tasks for each team member. Having the Asana app really helps me keep on top of deadlines.
I’ve also used Trello in the past with other clients. Both have their pros and cons. But they do both provide a visual reminder of what you need to do. They help you keep tabs on what you need to add to your daily to-do list.
4. Notes App
I use my notes app frequently. It’s the perfect place for jotting down ideas, creating a list of quick tasks you can get done, or outlining a blog post.
For me, the notes app represents Post-It notes. I use them liberally to record all the random snippets that I want to remember.
But, unlike those yellow squares of paper, I can’t misplace the notes I create. Unless of course I lose my phone…
Are you a blogger? The WordPress app can help you manage your blog without dragging out your computer. You can’t quite do everything from it that you can from the PC, but it is very useful.
I find myself using it most to correct small errors in posts. If a reader catches a typo, or I realize I forgot an important point, I can quickly deal with small changes from the app.
I also use it add images from my phone to posts. This way I don’t have to email it myself. It’s a time saver if you have a WordPress site.
6. Facebook Pages
I do not typically check my personal social profiles when the kids are awake. But I do want to be able to respond to comments on my business pages.
The Facebook Pages app helps me stay focused on the task at hand. Since I can’t see my personal feed, I’m not getting distracted by cute pictures of my friends’ kids or fun stories.
It’s just my three business pages. That means I can quickly do what I wanted to do and move on. It’s simple to move between them and publish new content. You can even schedule the content to publish later if you want.
If you have a Facebook page for your business, this app can help you streamline your social media.
7. Google Calendar
Being able to link your calendar with the other people in your family or on your team is essential. It’s how you avoid double booking and make sure you don’t miss dentist appointments.
Find a calendar app that works for your needs and go with it. I use and recommend Google Calendar, but that’s because I’m used to it and I use it frequently. If you prefer something else, don’t be afraid to try a different one.
This little gem of an app is a recent discovery on my phone. I used to think I didn’t have time to listen to podcasts. But I was wrong. I know enjoy them while I’m:
- Cooking dinner
- Taking a walk
- Folding laundry
With so many great podcasts available that target business and personal growth, you can really expand your knowledge by regularly tuning in. And since you’re listening while doing other things, it’s a good way to increase your productivity.
Along these lines, I also love my Audible app. If you have a subscription to Audible, their app is an easy way to listen to all the great books in your library.
Do More in Less Time
These eight apps can help you get more done in less time, which is helpful when you’re trying to juggle a business and a family.
If you’re looking for more ways to grow your business efficiently so it doesn’t take all your time, check out Home Business School. There’s so much information inside to help you build your five- or six-figure income business from the ground up.