How to stay productive – 5 useful apps to help you stay focused and motivated

In these day and age there’s an app for everything. Apps to sleep. Apps to remember. And even if they seem ironic by virtue of existence – apps to focus.

Whether you’re adjusting to working from home or looking to maintain your daily motivation, staying productive will help you to remain on track to achieve your goals, be efficient with your time, alleviate stress and boost your mood.

Here are our 5 favourite apps that can help you focus and motivated.


You could move from website to website, checking each homepage to discover the latest articles. Or you could use Feedly, which uses RSS technology to download a list of unread articles from almost any blog or website you choose.

That way, you’ll always be up-to-date, and you’ll never have to wonder if you’ve missed something. Better yet, you can read the articles in Feedly, save them for later, or open them in their original locations.

Your environment contributes to how well you focus. Sounds and smells can influence your mental state. That’s the driving principle behind, which allows you to customise your background music to suit activity level.

Whether you need to get productive, relaxed, or to bed, this app curates “functional music” to encourage what the creators call “strong neural phase-locking”. This means your brain can make new, varied connections more often based on the type of music you listen to.


Best for Keeping distractions at bay.

If you find yourself mindlessly checking Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or other apps and websites throughout the day, this app helps to free you from their grip while encouraging healthier digital habits.

Freedom allows you to block apps and websites while you work (or if you just need a break) to “give you control over your time and attention”. Freedom can also sync these blocks across all of your devices.


Forest: Stay Focused is a fun app that turns productivity into a feel-good game with real-life ecological consequences. Whenever you want to focus, you plant a virtual seed and set a timer for your task, during which time your seed will grow into a tree. However, if you can’t resist the urge to use your phone and exit the app while the timer is running, the tree will die.

With each successful tree that is grown in your virtual forest, you also earn coins in the app that can be saved up to plant a real tree in Africa, thanks to the app’s partnership with Trees for the Future. To date, Forest app users have planted over 703,000 trees with the non-profit organization.


Maybe it’s the sound your smartphone makes when an email arrives. Or maybe it’s the little number in the red circle sitting on top of your mail app, reporting how many unread emails you have. Both can make us turn our attention from what we’re doing and have a quick glance at our emails.

It might feel like just a few seconds of distraction, but it can cause you to lose focus completely. That’s where Unroll.Me comes in. Unroll.Me goes through your inbox, collates your subscription emails, helps you unsubscribe from the emails you no longer need, then rolls up the emails you like into one easy daily digest email. Prepare for Inbox Zero.


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