Do you often wish there were more hours in the day? Time is a precious resource, and if you run your own business, all the obligations that involves can eat away at your schedule until there's not much time left to concentrate on what matters – growing your business and enjoying your personal life.
If you need some help managing your time more effectively, app developers have it covered. Time management apps are popular with entrepreneurs and anyone who wants to improve their productivity and avoid wasting time on unnecessary distractions.
Since trying out the many different apps available could be a recipe for wasting more time, we've narrowed it down to a list of the 10 most effective time-saving apps for busy professionals that could help you achieve your business goals.
All apps are available from the developers' websites, Google Play and the Apple App Store for Android and iOS devices, with many also having desktop or cloud-based equivalents.
Standard app: Free
Business Class: $9.99/user/month
This highly visual project management app uses cards to represent various tasks, so you can see your workflow at a glance. The digital bulletin board is organized in columns of tasks in progress, completed and still to do.
Trello is a collaborative app that can be shared with your team who can add their own tasks and comments, making sure everyone's on the same page.
Upgrading from the standard app to a Business Class or Enterprise account unlocks more features, including calendar and map views.
Standard app: Free
Todoist helps you manage one-off and regular tasks. Color coding makes it easy to see which tasks have priority, along with motivational progress bars and point rewards when tasks are completed on time.
If there are tasks you need to set every day or every week, you can set these automatically in the calendar to save you from inputting them manually every time.
Todoist can be used collaboratively to delegate tasks and sync with your other apps to pull data automatically, saving you even more time in your busy schedule.
Enterprise: Custom pricing
If you want to get an idea of how much time you or your team spend doing certain tasks, Toggl's live time sheets will give you the numbers you need, organized by project, client, team or other criteria.
When you've gathered data from days, weeks or months, you can identify areas where productivity improvements are needed or where time could be better spent.
Upgrading to a paid tier will give you more insights into how your time could be optimized.
4. Remember The Milk
This easy-to-use task manager can by synced with Gmail, Outlook and other apps you use every day to create to-do lists and get reminders by email, text, direct message or tweet.
Tasks can be color-coded according to type or priority and shared with other users.
As well as the mobile and desktop apps, Remember The Milk is available as a browser extension so you'll never miss a reminder. Alerts are even sent when devices are offline.
Standard app: Free
Subscription: Up to $59.95/year
This daily planner app uses an intuitive interface and drag and drop function to make organizing tasks as simple as possible.
Large projects can be broken down into their component tasks to make them easier to manage, and new tasks can be added automatically by emailing them to the app.
Upgrading from the free app to a paid tier, you'll benefit from cloud access and 'smart lists' that automatically determine which tasks may have the highest priority at different times.
Do you wonder where all the time goes? This app will provide the answers, giving you detailed reports on how often you spend using websites and apps each week.
As well as identifying time-wasting habits, the app can also help you break these habits with alerts if you spend longer than you should on certain activities.
Upgrading to Premium, you can even block access temporarily to your favorite sources of procrastination.
Individual account: $9.95/month
Team accounts: Variable price according to number of users
A different approach to boosting productivity, this app contains a wide selection of proprietary music and sounds designed to improve concentration. According to the developers, it's been scientifically proven to extend attention spans by up to 400%, helping to maintain focus and cut down on distractions.
The app generates a custom playlist for users based on their preferred genre, current activity and desired energy level.
Teams can sign up to the same plan, with a reduced monthly cost per user the more people sign up – from $9.95 for individuals and small teams down to $4.95 for 151-250 users.
8. Focus Booster
If you sometimes find yourself overwhelmed by projects and seeking an escape, this app could help you to stay on track.
It follows the Pomodoro Technique that recommends taking regular breaks after working for a prescribed amount of time, depending on the user's preference.
You'll be alerted when it's time for a break and rewarded with longer breaks after completing several assigned tasks.
Standard app: Free
Subscription: $5.00/month or $45.00/year
If you're naturally curious or like to stay informed about the latest industry news, stumbling across an interesting article or website could eat into your valuable work time.
Pocket lets you save these finds offline to read later. Compatible with over 1,500 apps, Pocket is available as a browser extension for quick bookmarking.
Upgrading to a subscription plan unlocks more features and removes the ads.
10. Forest App
Standard app: $1.99
Want visual proof of your productivity? Use this app to plant a virtual seed each time you start a new project and watch it grow into a strong tree as you complete each task on schedule.
Before you know it, a whole forest will stand as a reminder to your improved work ethic. (On the flipside, falling behind schedule will see the tree wither and eventually die).
Since the app partners with planting organization Trees for the Future, you could even make a real world difference.
For more digital marketing tips and advice for growing your business, follow the Limecube blog.