The Best Productivity Apps For Slackers

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neat desk image

Image courtesy of Tommaso Nervegna on Flickr

The plight of the Slacker isn’t usually met with much sympathy.

Some of us just can’t seem to get motivated, pushing tasks off into the elusive space of a “someday” that never seems to arrive. Others fall prey to distractibility when working thanks to the web, where a simple search while fact-checking for your report can easily turn into an hour-long trip down the Wikipedia rabbit hole.

Fortunately, there seem to be no shortage of developers who understand that, for slackers, the struggle is real. Here are some of the cruel-to-be-kind solutions they’ve come up with.

Carrot

Meet Carrot Image

If you have a tough time getting motivated to complete tasks, Carrot might be the perfect To-Do list app for you. Billed as “the A.I. construct with a heart of weapons-grade plutonium,” Carrot uses unconventional methods to help with incentive. With six moods ranging from “joyful to wrathful” based on your completion (or avoidance) of tasks, features that evolve as your use increases and tasks are completed, and a points system that delivers fun and useful rewards. Carrot gamifies even dull task-completion. They even have a new Carrot Fit app (“your judgmental fitness overlord”) to help exercise slackers, too!

Devices Supported:

iPhone.

Pros:

Gamifies tasks; Highly engaging; Puts your guilt and shame to good use.

Cons:

Only available for iPhone.

Cost:

$2.99 (with optional in-app purchases like the Hipster Cat Costume for $0.99)

Any.do

any do image

With over 10 Million users, the winner of Apple’s 2012 ‘Intuitive Touch’ and Android Best App 2012, Any.do offers a clean task management interface and simple operation perfect for easily distracted slackers. Their cloud sync keeps your tasks organized between devices, while allowing you to create action items via email forwarding, or integration with Gmail Tasks. The playful “Moment” feature facilitates daily task management by encouraging and empowering users to rapidly assess their daily overview and easily shuffle tasks. Other perks include missed call management, and a fun task-clearing feature that is activated by shaking the phone.

Devices Supported:

Chrome and Web, Android, iPhone.

Pros:

Easy task review; Voice recognition; Uncluttered interface.

Cons:

When mobile, sound profiles are automatically set to match your phone’s current settings–so unless your device is set to silent, reminders cannot be silenced (although you can adjust the sound notification option itself and volume).

Cost:

Free.

Productivity Owl

The Productivity Owl Image

While there are a number of plugins that simply block entire time-sucking sites, such a solution isn’t practical for those who need to conduct frequent research throughout the day (and would like to enjoy all the kitten Vines they want in their downtime without switching settings). The Google Chrome add-on, Productivity Owl, offers a compromise. Set your work and free-time schedule and assign a fixed amount of time for any sites with the potential to distract, and the Productivity Owl will swoop in anytime you’ve reached your max–conveniently snatching away your Twitter tab before sailing back into the night (or 3pm slump, as the case may be). Added guilt-driven bonus: a “Respect” score that increases with more demanding schedules and decreases with looser implementation of the Owl.

Devices Supported:

Chrome.

Pros:

No room for excuses or dilly-dallying thanks to this heartless little avian.

Cons:

No room for excuses or dilly-dallying thanks to this heartless little avian.

Cost:

Free.

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