Fall is one of the busiest seasons of the year. After celebrating the summer months with lots of free time and a laid-back attitude at work, it could be hard to get back into a routine.
It's easy to find yourself staring at a blank screen until you break and start browsing social media or put on Netflix instead of tackling important tasks. The last thing you want to do is be productive when all you really want is to curl up in blankets with a pumpkin spice latte.
It can also be a challenge to stay organized while juggling school, work and family life. But if you don't stay on top of it now, you will be buried by the time you get to the chaos of the holiday season.
However, you do have a personal assistant attached to you all time in the form of your smartphone and smartwatch. It takes seconds to download apps that will help you get it together and remind you of important things, so it's time to take advantage of the tech and regain some control.
Here are the best apps to download now to help you stay productive and organized this fall.
Everyone with a smartphone puts things in their calendar app and sets reminders, but Fantastical 2 combines these two together to make managing schedules easier and more efficient. Users can type in things like "meeting on Friday" or "buy milk" and the app will do the rest of the work for you.
All events, reminders, alerts and to-do lists appear in one main feed. Users can easily tap to edit, copy, move or share an event or reminder using 3D Touch's peek and pop.
IF by IFTTT
No matter how much you try to stay away from social media, it's impossible to do. But you don't need to go on a hiatus in order to remain productive throughout the day. Instead get more out of the way you use your apps by using them smarter.
That's where IF comes in, the app that connects with other apps like Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox and Gmail, as well as devices like Nest and Fitbit to enable users to complete multiple things at once. The app uses an "if, then" formula such as if I post to Instagram, then save the photo to Dropbox. IF will post a video you like on a blog, or share the same Facebook status on Twitter. It can save tweets to Evernote or turn off your thermostat when you leave.
No matter how much you try, getting your email inbox to zero remains close to impossible to do. Most of the junk mail comes from companies, stores and sites that we subscribe to and immediately regret. This app makes it easier to declutter your email by unsubscribing to these sales and newsletter emails so that you can focus on the more important messages.
Instead of having to manually click to unsubscribe to each email, Unroll.Me does this for you by having the user swipe left. Users can swipe up to have certain subscriptions added to a daily digest so they are removed from your inbox, but now in one centralized place. The best part is that users can switch between multiple email accounts.
Unroll.Me is available to download for iOS for free.
Today: Habit Tracker / HabitBull
The best way to stay on top of a schedule is to consistently make things a habit. That might include reminding yourself to drink water, meditate to de-stress or read a chapter from your book each night.
Today: Habit tracker helps users track their daily goals, routine and health and fitness data all from one app. Users can create a custom dashboard for each of their habits, track just about any kind of habit including those integrated with Apple Health data, and set reminders to complete a habit.
This app is available to download for free for iOS.
A great Android alternative is HabitBull, a habit-tracking app that does the same thing only in a different way. Users can set their own schedules and goals and can be alerted to remember to do something. This app helps cutting out bad habits by tracking the number of days since your last cigarette, while celebrating positive habits like going for a walk every night after work.
HabitBull is available to download for Android for free.
Hours Time Tracking
The best way to stay focused on a task at hand is to dedicate the proper time to complete this task. This might include scheduling a 30-minute study session, dedicating 15 minutes of relaxation before picking up the kids, or starting that fall recipe for dinner at a certain time. Hours Time Tracking allows users to do all this so that you can track a task and then be reminded when it's time to redirect your attention to the next task.
Hours Time Tracking is available fore free for iOS and watchOS.
Photo: Garry Knight | Flickr