The 8 Best Apps for Working from Home
Working or studying from home can take a bit of adjustment if you’re coming at it for the first time.
With the COVID-19 pandemic having fundamentally changed the ways we think about work, it’s clear that widespread remote working is probably set to stay long after the pandemic eventually fades away.
So that means we should be looking for ways to make remote working as productive and efficient as possible – we’re in this situation for the long-term, after all – and using apps can be one way to do that.
With that in mind, here are 8 of the best apps for working from home that we’ve come across to help you supercharge your productivity.
Best for: Managing and organising your workload
Remember the days when if you wanted to organise a project, you usually had to resort to sticking pieces of paper on a wall planner and rearranging them? Or cracking out the whiteboard and pens?
Sometimes the old ways of doing things are the best and Trello brings this tried-and-tested technique into the 21st century with a digital revamp.
It’s basically a digital project management board, made up of a collection of digital lists. Projects are organised into sections according to their constituent parts and then each section is made up of individual tasks, in the form of cards. You can add tonnes of details to each individual cards, including assigning people to complete them, setting deadlines and labels, and attaching files.
The fact that multiple people can collaborate on one Trello board is really useful when you’re working remotely and need to organise the completion of a complex project.
Review on Google Play store: “I have been using Trello now for probably 5+ years, and it's hard for me to imagine getting by without it now… With Trello I can almost always find ways to track things quickly and painlessly.”
Best for: Planning your to-do list for the day
Nothing beats making a good to-do list when it comes to trying to improve your productivity.
With a really simple, user-friendly layout, Todoist lets you set deadlines and tick off tasks as and when you complete them. You can even make tasks recurring so that you don’t need to enter the same task in the app endlessly.
Although it’s similar to Trello, we think Todoist’s strength lies in its ability to be used as a daily to-do list – helping you focus your priorities for the day.
Review on Google Play store: “I use this app everyday for work and home. It really helps keep me organized and keeps me working to priorities. Todoist continues to make usability improvements that add icing to the cake.”
Best for: Keeping you focused through personalised music
Although we’ve mentioned the need to cut distractions out when you’re working from home, not everything that isn’t complete silence is a distraction – music, for instance, can be a powerful tool for helping you focus.
And there are several studies that prove just that.
Focus@Will taps into some of the neuroscience behind this. It provides a personalised soundtrack for you to listen to whilst you work that is made up of some of the sounds proven to help you focus.
Review on Google Play store: “Wonderful app. Definitely worth at least the trial.. but the results are instant I suggest to anyone who has difficulties staying focused while performing task!”
Best for: Helping you remember passwords
There are fewer things more frustrating than locking yourself out of your work or study accounts because you can’t remember that all-important password.
Last Pass, luckily, is designed to solve that!
Keeping all of your passwords in one place, Last Pass ensures that you never forget how to get into an account again. It’s fully encrypted (using military standard security) and with multiple levels of security to keep all of your data safe, Last Pass is probably one of the most secure password manager apps available.
Review on Google Play store: “LastPass is a reliable password manager that makes online life so much easier. Only remember one long complex password and the app remembers the rest as well as syncs between my phone, laptop, and browsers. Generating new passwords is also one of the features I use the most.”
Best for: Stopping you looking at your phone
How much time do you think you waste at work or when you’re studying by checking your phone? Research has found that most people waste around eight hours a week at work on their phones.
Forest is basically a timer app. When you need to stay focused for a specific period of time, you’ll plant a tree in the app. If you manage to not look at your phone for the whole of the time that you specified your tree will grow! If you succumb to the temptation, your tree will die. Eventually, if you use the app enough, you’ll grow an entire forest (hence the name of the app!)
Review on Google Play store: “I didn't expect this app to work; it takes a lot for me to focus on studying. I downloaded it anyway since it can't hurt to try. It worked. I no longer find my hand reaching out for my phone every five minutes for frivolous internet surfing or gaming while I am studying.”
Best for: Keeping yourself hydrated at work!
When we’re working in an office, or we’re studying at a library or classroom, most of us usually break up the day by going to talk, use the toilet or get a drink every so often.
Making sure you get enough to drink is particularly important – our brains are 73% water, after all. Studies have shown that staying hydrated can boost your productivity by 14% on average so it makes sense to ensure you’re getting enough H20 throughout the day.
Similar to Forest, and continuing the nature theme, Plant Nanny gives you virtual care of a plant to encourage you to stay hydrated. The general gist of the app is that you record every drink of water you have and your plant will grow or die depending on how hydrated you are.
Review from Google Play store: “I love this app. I have a dandelion named Juni and keeping her alive has hella motivated me to keep drinking water and taking care of me and my dandelion. The warning for drinking too fast is also helpful because it keeps me steadily hydrating all day.”
Best for: Getting rid of background noise in calls
Like looking at your phone during a dinner, or leaving your bag on the seat next to you on the bus, background noise in remote calls is one of those pet peeves that can drive a lot of people to literal distraction. Luckily, there’s a solution for that!
Krisp is an AI-powered app that removes all background noise and static from a call, leaving just the human voice.
Best for: Providing feedback on your writing
Taking its name from the novelist Ernest Hemingway and his famously minimalist approach to writing, this app aims to make your writing clearer and more powerful.
In pre-Covid times, if you were working on a piece of writing and wanted help on how to make it clearer, you’d just ask a friend who was sitting next to you in the office or library for advice.
Now that most forms of work and study are taking place remotely, it’s likely you don’t have that option (unless you can rope your partner or flatmate in to help). That’s where Hemingway can help.
It analyses your writing and tells when you’re using the passive rather than active voice, giving you an overall reading difficulty level for your work.
Admittedly, if you’re writing a highbrow thesis, this app might not be useful, but if you’re writing anything for consumption by the general public – like social media posts or newsletters – this app is great!
We hope you’ve found this guide to the best apps for working from home useful and that it helps you to continue to power through your tasks whilst you’re working remotely.
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