Stop wasting time and start getting things done with these handy time management tools.

By Maggie Seaver
Updated: May 08, 2019
James Boast/Getty Images

With so much to do and so little time, it might feel like you’re running yourself into the ground. But what many people don’t realize is that not having enough time isn’t always the problem—everyone gets 24 hours—the secret lies in how they spend their time.

In theory, if you’re using your time wisely (read: efficiently and productively), you should have more than enough hours in the waking day to kick butt and get things done. But we’re only human, distractions are everywhere, and sometimes you just can’t say no to an Instagram rabbit hole.

Looking for ways to ditch wasted time and be more productive at work and at home? These genius time management apps could be exactly what you need to train yourself to work smarter—not harder.

Best Apps if You Love To-Do Lists

Is crossing tasks off a list is the most satisfying part of your day? These handy, no-frills to-do list apps will change your life. De-clutter your mind with one of these straightforward to-do lists, calendars, and reminder apps. They’re simple on purpose; fewer bells and whistles help cut distractions and prioritize things that matter.

Todoist

The name of this free to-do list pretty much speaks for itself. Track big work deadlines and smaller, personal tasks and goals as soon as they pop into your head.

Try the Todoist app.

TeuxDeux

Designed to be intentionally bare-bones for people who like to check things off, TeuxDeux is the digital answer for those who love a good checklist.

Try the TeuxDeux app.

Remember the Milk

Never forget the milk (or rent day or your aunt’s birthday or that weekly stats report deadline) ever again.

Try the Remember the Milk app.

TickTick

Set recurring tasks, create checklists within tasks, and label tasks by priority with this uncomplicated app.

Get the TickTick app.

Best Apps for Tracking Time

How many hours do you spend checking emails or scrolling Twitter? Probably more than necessary. One of the first steps to improving time management skills is to do a personal time audit. Figure out how long you’re spending on everything from leisurely tasks to important projects to know where you can cut, simplify, and optimize. Enter: the Pomodoro Technique, a time management method of giving yourself a set window to complete a task before rewarding yourself with a (short) break. Try one of these time management apps, all based on the Pomodoro Technique.

Be Focused

Stay on task with this customizable work/break interval app.

Try the Be Focused app.

PomoDoneApp

Sync all your tasks into this app, set timers to stay focused, then track and analyze how long things are taking.

Try the PomoDoneApp.

Focus Booster

Bye, procrastination! Log your time spent, manage distractions, and stay super-focused; then spend the rest of your time enjoying life.

Try the Focus Booster app.

Best Apps for Breaking Habits and Cutting Distractions

Sometimes you just need to know when to block out the noise. These time management apps help pinpoint your procrastination and productivity weakness so you can cut out clutter and accomplish everything you need to. Don’t worry, you can get back to the fun stuff once you’ve crushed the work you need to.

Forest

Need some incentive to stay focused? Forest turns your productivity into a game. As soon as you start working, your tree starts growing—but if you stop, it dies. The app also partners with a tree-planting organization, so your productivity can actually help bring a real forest to life.

Try the Forest app.

FocusMe

Block distracting sites, notifications, and more so you’re not tempted to break focus while you work. 

Try the FocusMe app.

HabitMinder

Everyone needs a tap on the shoulder once in a while to remind them it’s been 30 minutes and they’re still watching Instagram food videos. Here’s a healthy (and unhealthy) habit tracker, right in your back pocket.

Try the HabitMinder app.

Pocket

If you’re constantly deviating from the task at hand to read a cool article you stumbled upon, get Pocket. Save stories you can’t wait to read for later right in this app. Think of it as a reward for cranking through your work.

Try the Pocket app.

RELATED: How to Have a Healthier Relationship with Your Phone

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