• Girish Chawla

Lesser-Known Android Apps to Boost Productivity (Part 1)

Lockdown brought us closer to the remote work culture, and working in our pajamas is a thing now. However, creating boundaries is essential to work efficiently. Be it with our family, friends, or even our mobile phones. Nevertheless, there has been a rise in the number of hours people spend on social media every day.


According to a recent study by Statistica, Android contributes to 74.13% of the total market share in the mobile OS industry, which is quite a huge proportion if we look at the numbers.


I have tried a few lesser-known Android apps which are quite unique and should be known amongst the masses. Forest, Toggl, Todoist, etc. are not on my list as they are famous with over a million downloads on the Play Store. Personally, I use these apps every day and have worked really well with no complaints whatsoever. Do give them a try:


Acture

The app is pretty basic and quite effective. I really wonder why it wasn't there since the beginning. Whenever you unlock your phone, it asks for a reason for unlocking it. That's it! Many times, we unlock our phones mindlessly to quickly glance through Instagram or Twitter feed (quick plug: follow us on Twitter and Instagram) or for no reason at all. The app also provides a notification to remind us why we unlocked our phone. Also saves the reason in the activity tab of the app. In my case, the number of unlocks almost halved. You can dismiss it, but there's a catch. It will save it as a "skipped purpose input". So there's no running away from the app. Trust me, very effective.

Download Link:


Block

As the name suggests, the app blocks and limits the use of any app added manually into a category that can be further customised. It is very similar to focus mode but is more powerful in terms of preventing the launch of the app. Unlike focus mode, here you can even add multiple time blocks throughout the week and can even block notifications that are collected in the app (free version displays few notifications) for you to check once the block in inactive or whenever you are free. A really powerful app to consider if you want to view your app usage, reduce social media consumption, or want to block notifications but also want to check them once when you are free.

Download Link:


Engross

Want to have Pomodoro and time tracker in a single app? Engross has got you covered. Other apps like Boosted also provide the same functionality but require in-app purchases to do the same. It also has a calendar and to-do list built-in making it an all-in-one solution to get things done. A neat little feature I found in the app is a button that you can click on once you get distracted. Along with this, statistics, tags, reminders, app whitelist/blocklist, etc. are available (though some require you to pay, the free version is enough for everyday use). Also available for iOS.


Bashful

The problem with the lock-me-out app is that it is quite strict when it comes to an emergency. You need to restart your phone to disable lock (if you are unlucky, you might have even enabled "keep lock active after restart" option). Bashful provides the same functionality as keep me out but instead of asking for n number of permissions, accessibility and overlay do the job. Once enabled, it will not allow you to use any part of your screen unless disabled by a button on the center which needs to press for a certain period of time. Also, it will disable only for a few seconds which can also be customized in the settings. Use this app while studying or doing any other task which requires intense focus.


Noice

Wordplay, huh! A really basic focus music app with offline support. Unlike other apps found on the play store, this app is completely free and ad-free as well. It has 20+ background sounds such as birds, bonfire, coffee shop, rain, etc. and one can play all of them simultaneously and can even save presets for future use. It even has a sleep timer and theme support.


Do share this post if you found it useful and leave a comment if you use any other productivity app that didn't make it to the list. We will cover it in the next post. Stay tuned and follow blognbeyond to get updates when we post new articles. Thank you for reading.


Featured Image: Rami Al-zayat (Unsplash)


#android #productivity #freeapps

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