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11 Tips for Using Your Smartphone to Maximize Productivity

Did you know that your most powerful productivity tool is in your pocket? Although many bemoan the distractions and frustrations that come from smartphones, they are a valuable asset for your productivity.

The following are eleven tips to help you use your smartphone to maximize your productivity.

1. Download a mindfulness or meditation app to maximize your day’s productivity.

Contrary to popular opinion, your smartphone can help you increase your mindfulness. There are plenty of mindfulness and meditation apps that can help you dive into these great productivity-boosting practices.

The Mindfulness App and Calm are two great examples of meditation apps that will help you add meditation to your schedule. Whether you choose a three minute or thirty minute meditation, these apps are great for helping you get into the right mindset for the day ahead.

2. Use an app to implement the Pomodoro Method.

The Pomodoro Method is a common timekeeping and productivity tool. When you use this method, you break your work into 25-minute periods of focused productivity, followed by 5-minute breaks. After four work sessions, take a 15-minute break instead.

Although this method is quite simple, there are plenty of apps that make it even easier. Whether you use your built-in timer app or download a Pomodoro specific one, your phone is a powerful asset for implementing the Pomodoro Method.

3. Use Pocket to save important web pages.

Sometimes you find an online article on your phone that you want to pull up on your computer. If you’ve been using email to send those links to yourself, there’s an easier way to save those sites. Pocket is an app that lets you tap and save web pages to your Pocket account.

Pocket has a plug-in for your laptop web browser, which allows you to quickly pull up the links when you return to your desktop device.

4. Use a book app to read productivity-related books.

There are lots of great productivity books out there. With digital book reading apps, it’s easier than ever to read books in your spare time. While Kindle is one of the most popular choices, Scribd offers a subscription service that allows you access to their library for a small fee each month.

Whether you read books about your industry or about productivity, digital reading apps allow you to leverage the power of your smartphone. Cal Newport’s books are a favorite for many people who want to improve their productivity.

5. Use your phone to manage tasks.

Keep all your to-do lists in one place with a smartphone app of your choice. Open the app store on your phone and search for “to-do list.” Hundreds of to-do list apps will appear. Although many people recommend apps like Todoist or The Milk, it’s important to find a to-do list app that works best for you.

Consistently enter your tasks into your to-do list app. When you check the app for tasks on a daily basis, it’ll be a lot harder to forget important things.

6. Use Google Drive to edit and share documents.

Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are often used for collaborative projects. They are also great for getting work done on-the-go. Even if you don’t have an internet connection, you can use Google Drive to do work while waiting at the doctor’s office, while taking public transportation, or any other time you’re away from your computer.

7. Use a white noise app to block out distractions.

Many people struggle to concentrate in noisy environments. If you need to block out noise, use your headphones and a white noise app on your phone to create a distraction-free work space. MyNoise is a great app that allows you to choose from a variety of white noise sounds to play as a backdrop to your deep work.

Atmosphere is another app that has over 100 different sounds to choose from. Their extensive library allows you to pick the best background noise for you.

8. Enable “Do Not Disturb” when you’re working.

Phones can be distracting, especially if you’re constantly getting calls, texts, or other app notifications. Most phones have a “Do Not Disturb” mode. You can use this mode to block out all distractions on your phone, which is particularly useful if you need your phone for work-related tasks.

9. Turn off unnecessary notifications.

Experts have differing opinions about what notifications you should and should not have active on your phone. Make sure that the only notifications on your phone are those that need an urgent response. When you receive unnecessary notifications, you break your concentration and risk follow down a rabbit-hole of distraction.

10. Use an app to keep track of how you spend your time.

If you need to find more time in your day, spend a week tracking how you spend your time. There are lots of apps available to help you keep track of how you spend your working hours. This process allows you to acknowledge and address unnecessary activities that are draining your working hours.

Whether you use a time-keeping app or just take notes on your phone’s notepad app, your phone can help you gain meaningful insight into your habits. If you have an iOS device, you can use their analytic tools to find out how you’re spending your screen time each week.

11. Use smartphone tools for effective team communication.

This last tip only works if you spend a lot of time working as part of a team. Team communication can take up a significant amount of time. If you find yourself in endless (and often unproductive) meetings, it may be time to update your team communication.

There are plenty of smartphone apps that allow you to communicate details and track progress on team projects. These tools allow you and your team to give instant updates, maximizing your effectiveness with collaborative work.

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