No matter who you are, you probably wish there were more hours in a day.
Time is a precious resource—you can’t stop using it and you can’t find more of it, but you need it to do absolutely everything. From scheduling meetings to fulfilling orders, time is behind every aspect of running a business and you can’t afford to manage it poorly.
Ineffective time management can take many forms. Whether it’s procrastination, personal distractions, or projects that take more time than they should, there are tons of things that waste our time every day. Wasted time means rushed deadlines, a work-life imbalance, and more stress and anxiety.
When it comes down to it, you just need to use the time that you have more effectively.
Thankfully, opportunities to manage your time better are everywhere. Here are 12 time management apps to help you free up your schedule, find time for your personal life, and focus on getting your work done.
Best time management apps for 2019
- Remember The Milk
Toggl is an app you can use to track time spent on tasks, as well as manually add entries. Keep your entries organized by team, client, project, or tag. Add notes to the description so you can recall what you were doing at a later date.
If you’re managing a team, you can invite them to your project and keep everyone’s time in one place. Detailed reports will show you where you’re spending the most time. Paid users also get detailed insights from Toggl about how to better optimize their time based on their log.
Toggl is available on iOS and Android, as well as Mac. There is a free version, or you can upgrade to a Starter ($9/user/month), Premium ($18/user/month), or an Enterprise account (custom pricing).
- See who’s spending time doing what and find ways to optimize time spent on those tasks.
- Review your week, month, or even year to see what’s been dragging you down for extended periods of time.
- Track everything, everywhere. With mobile apps, desktop apps, and browser add-on extensions, you can sync Toggl across devices and never miss a minute.
Workflow is a highly customizable app that shaves time off of the complicated things you do every day. With Workflow, you can create unique home screen shortcuts on your phone that perform batches of tasks with one tap.
Whether you want Google Maps to automatically pull up directions for your next meeting or you need to back all your photos up on Dropbox, you’ll be able to create custom apps to do it for you. Workflow boasts actions and integrations with apps like Facebook, Uber, and YouTube.
Workflow is one of the free time management apps, and it’s only available on iOS devices.
- Workflow cuts down on wasted time by automating complex tasks you do on your phone.
- Workflow is quick and easy, letting you create new apps and shortcuts with simple drag-and-drop commands.
- Workflow is versatile and can operate from inside other apps like Safari and Evernote.
Shift is a desktop tool with a main focus to help you organize your email, especially if you have multiple accounts. But it also integrates with apps like Trello, Calendly, and even Airbnb.
The idea is that you can quickly shift from one account to another, with a single click. This will switch you over to your other account entirely, rather than logging out and logging back in for each platform individually. If you pivot from project to project multiple times a day, Shift can help you maintain your sanity.
Shift Basic is available for free on Mac computers, or you can upgrade to Pro for $29.99/year or Advanced for $99.99/year.
- Shift is a reliable way to free up your inbox and help you spend less time going through email.
- Shift helps you focus on the task at hand instead of jumping from project to project.
- Shift will keep your team organized and streamline access to different tools and apps across your business.
RescueTime is a time-tracking app that records how and where you spend your time online. The app analyzes everything you do in a day—from which other apps you use to how much time you spend on your favourite websites.
If you want to eliminate the distractions in your life and get your work done quicker, RescueTime is a fantastic way to discover exactly which behaviours have been holding you back. To help you focus on hitting your goals, RescueTime Premium can even temporarily block your go-to procrastination websites.
RescueTime is available for iOS and Android; OS X, Windows, and Linux. RescueTime Lite is free, or you can pay $9/month (or $72 for the year upfront) to access Premium features.
- RescueTime stops you from wasting time with reminders that alert you when you’re spending too much time on a specific task.
- RescueTime helps you understand how you spent your day by providing you with in-depth reports and daily highlights.
- RescueTime helps you get stuff done quicker by finding new ways for you to organize your day and spend your time properly.
Timely is an innovative time-tracking and schedule app that not only keeps tabs on how long projects take, but also helps you organize your workweek more efficiently.
The app lays out your workweek in advance and lets you estimate how much time you’ll need to set aside to tackle your daily tasks. As you track your time, you’ll be able to compare your predictions with how long it actually took you and plan your schedule better in the future.
This top-down approach to time-tracking lets you manage your time more effectively and put an end to projects that run wild and out-of-scope.
Timely is available for iOS and Android, Mac and Windows, and as a browser application. Solo plans for individual users start at $7/month.
- Timely keeps your team on track and gives you a more realistic idea of how much time projects eat up.
- Timely holds you accountable to the amount of time that you set aside for work.
- Timely helps you understand how your workweek plays out and helps you plan your next one.
Trello is a flexible project management web application that lets you easily sort through your tasks and collaborate with your teammates. Instead of getting lost in a mess of emails or a confusing spreadsheet, Trello visualizes your projects as lists pinned to digital bulletin boards.
Each list is made of individual posts called cards, which can represent anything from tasks to ideas to goals. Team members can add comments, attachments, checklists, and custom labels to cards, keeping everyone on the same page.
Whether you’re looking for a way to track the progress of big projects or organize your latest brainstorming session, Trello can be customized to fit your team.
Trello is available on iOS and Android, as well as Mac and Windows. There’s a free version, or you can upgrade for more features with a Business Class or Enterprise account.
- Trello is fully customizable. Every business is different and Trello adapts to your needs, whatever they may be.
- Trello keeps you organized by consolidating all of your projects and team communication into a single environment.
- Trello makes every project easy to follow and lets your digest entire workflows at a glance.
MyLifeOrganized is more than just a to-do list. Use the daily planner app to easily drag and drop, star, flag, and organize tasks in a simple, elegant interface. If one of your tasks is so big it’s daunting, use the app to create subtasks to help motivate yourself to make progress.
Some of MyLifeOrganized’s paid features include automated “smart lists”—essentially, the app uses the deadlines, tasks, and prioritizations you’ve put in to determine which items need your immediate attention. You can also use it to set geo-based reminders, so the app will ping you whenever you’re near one of your indicated locations.
MyLifeOrganized is available for both iOS, Android, and Windows. There are several pricing options available, ranging from free to $59.95.
- Let MyLifeOrganized keep you on task. Instead of tracking your own progress, the app will break down big projects into more digestible steps and let you know when you need to do something right away.
- Quickly add new tasks without entering the app. Send MyLifeOrganized an email, and the app will take care of the rest.
- Stay on task across devices. Paid subscribers also get cloud-based access.
Focus@will is a unique time management app in that it helps you maximize your time better. The app plays music and soothing sounds which are scientifically proven to boost productivity and focus.
Choose playlists based on what you do (entrepreneur vs. student) or the type of learner and worker you are (creative vs. logical). According to the company, there’s a specific type of music for each individual that will put them into their “flow state.” By entering a bit of information about yourself, focus@will will play music optimized for you. Then hit play and get to work!
Focus@will is currently available for Android and Mac, and the iOS app will be released soon. You can sign up for an individual account at $8.33/month if you pay for the whole year, or $9.95/month if billed monthly. There are also team accounts available.
- It’s completely customized to your unique productivity style. Find the music and sounds that make you do your best.
- Science has confirmed it. focus@will has read up on studies and conducted a few of their own, like this one. The common consensus is that you can boost your productivity by up to 4x.
- Use focus@will across devices, uninterrupted. Whether you’re working from home or listening to headphones at the office, you can pick back up where you left off.
Pocket is a bookmarking app that lets you save web content to come back to later. Even on your most productive days, it’s easy to be thrown off track by one interesting article. Pocket lets you save everything in one place so you can read or watch it later, after you’ve gotten your work out of the way first.
Not working? Stay unplugged and save work-related content to refer back to when you are in the office so you can enjoy your time off.
You can also browse content within Pocket, which will serve up recommendations based on your preferences. The app works with over 1500 different apps, so no matter where you find interesting content, you’ll be able to save it for later.
Pocket is available for Android and iOS, Mac and Windows, and has several browser extensions. You can sign up for a free plan or choose to pay $5/month or $45/year for access to more features and no ads.
- Pocket stops you from getting distracted by giving you the option to save what you’re looking at for later and make the most of your time.
- Pocket helps you organize your day and separate work time from learning time.
- Pocket makes it easy to discover new content, so when you do finally decide to dive in, you’ll have no shortage of reading material.
Todoist is another task-management and organizer app that can help you stay on top of everything that needs to get done. You can also use the calendar view to get a glance at your week or month ahead.
Add daily habits and recurring tasks and deadlines so you don’t have to manually input repetitive tasks every time. Use color-coded prioritization, and get the satisfaction of seeing your progress toward task completion.
Todoist is available on Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and browser add-ons. Like many of these time management apps, Todoist has both free and paid options. Todoist Premium starts at $3/month for individual accounts, and Business accounts start at $5/user/month.
- Todoist integrates with hundreds of apps so you can stay on top of everything you’re doing.
- Offload some of your tasks with Todoist’s team delegation features.
- Todoist has several templates to choose from. You don’t need to start from scratch to build your to-do list dashboard.
11. Remember The Milk
Ever run to the grocery store for milk and get everything but the milk? That’s the premise Remember The Milk was built on, and it’s expanded beyond just grocery shopping lists. The time management app will help you stay on top of the milk and much more.
Remember The Milk is a to-do list app that allows you to organize tasks by color-coded tags, as well as break larger projects down into subtasks. Attach files from Google Drive or Dropbox and share you lists with others so they stay on the same page. The app can send reminders via email, text, IM, and even Twitter.
Remember The Milk is available for Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and browser extensions. There’s a free version available, and paid access starts at $40/year.
Why Remember The Milk?
- Organize multiple task lists and use the app’s Smart Lists feature to create new lists based off of searches.
- Stay connected even when you’re not. Remember The Milk syncs across all devices, even when they’re offline.
- Never stop building lists. Remember The Milk will let you create an unlimited number of lists, so go crazy!
Harvest is a time- and expense-tracking app that can help you shift your mindset and start thinking about time as a finite resource. The app has robust time-tracking features, and it’ll share easy-to-understand visual reports on how you and your team are spending your time.
The app integrates with tons of other tools, like Asana, Trello, and GitHub, among others. Plus, it can help you track billable time so you can make sure you account for every minute.
You can download Harvest on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows devices. There are also several browser add-ons available. Harvest costs $12/user/month.
- Harvest helps you get paid by tracking billable time and allowing you to instantly create invoices to send to clients for that time.
- Plan for the future with forecasting functionality and make sure you and your team have enough time to complete all of your planned projects.
- See if projects are on budget with a glance. Know if you need to pivot before it’s too late.
Time management is everything
Spending your time effectively isn’t just the key to a more productive life, it’s also the secret to a happier one.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in work, especially if you aren’t managing your time effectively. You could miss out on opportunities to spend quality time with your friends and family. Maintaining a proper work-life balance is at the heart of your personal and professional success, so you need to make better use of your time whenever possible.
With these time management apps in your toolkit, you’ll be better equipped to streamline your life for more productivity and less stress.