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9 productivity apps to help you stay on top this school year

Image via Unsplash/DomenicoLoia.

Life is packed full of meetings, emails and deadlines, and sometimes even the best of us fall victim to a slow, unproductive day. That’s why just ahead of back-to-school season, we’ve rounded up some apps and websites that will nudge both busy parents and students in the right direction to becoming (and actually keeping) organised this school year.


Spruce up your browser with Momentum, a simple Google Chrome app that let’s you set a new goal each day and create to-do lists while curating inspirational quotes and images to keep you motivated. To keep you on track, Momentum reminds you of your daily goal each time you open a new browser tab. 

Free, find it at


For those of us that work better with background chatter, Coffitivity provides coffee shop soundscapes with a pleasing blend of cash registers, conversations and clinking mugs, all without having to pay for a single trip to the nearest café. 

Free, find it at


Todoist takes organization to another level by helping users create to-do lists and share them with peers – ideal for those inevitable group projects. The apps allows for lists to be colour coded, split into sub-categories, and prioritised. The app also supports natural language inputs (so typing in ‘Monday at 2pm’ automatically adds that deadline to your list). 

Free, find it at


Forest sets a time limit for strict, distraction-free work. As long as you don’t use your phone as the clock ticks down, a tree will sprout up on-screen. Sounds simple, but it sure is gratifying to watch an empty patch of ground fill out into a forest, marking all your achievements for the day. 

6RMB, find it at


Bear walks a fine line between being a minimalistic note-taking app to one packed full of more features than you know what to do with. It supports photos and images, code, multiple themes, export options, and perhaps coolest of all, categorisation of notes through hashtags.

Free, find it at


PomoDoneApp uses the Pomodoro Technique to help you be your most productive – essentially that means working on tasks in bursts by taking frequent short breaks in between, keeping you constantly energised. This intuitive interface is made even handier by easy syncing with existing to-do apps like Evernote and Todoist. 

Free, find it at


It’s so much easier to get caught up in video games than in homework or chores. Habitica puts a fun spin on completing these tasks and creating good habits by making them into a game. Start by creating a customisable character, and as you tick off those mundane tasks your character will be rewarded with level ups, points, coins and other fun stuff. 

Free, find it at


Lanes is loaded with functional and user-oriented features including a Pomodoro timer, overviews of tasks and deadlines, visual representations of productivity, and a digital moodboard to track long-term goals. The clean, customisable layout is nice, as well. 

Free, find it at

Cold Turkey Writer

As soon as you set a word or time limit in Cold Turkey Writer, all of your computer’s functions besides the word processor are blocked and there’s absolutely no escape from it. It’s merciless for those who tend to procrastinate, but sometimes we all need a little tough love.

Free, find it at

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