We’ve all had work weeks where we feel drained and overwhelmed - days where we would rather be anywhere but our desk and Mondays spent longing for Friday.
We all have fallen victim to the overwhelmed office mindset and have likely experienced this emotion’s problematic consequences. It turns out our employers agree, Deloitte found in their 2014 Human Capital Trends Study that 65% of executives surveyed identified the ‘overwhelmed employee’ as an “urgent” or “important” trend, which is a problem only made worse by all the electronic stimulus at hand. What if we could use this technology to our advantage instead? The following apps aim to turn the tables and use our smartphones, tablets, desktops, and other technology to combat work stress and help us accomplish more with our time.
Don’t spend hours filtering through the app store or scouring websites for ‘Best Of’ articles; we have compiled a list of our 5 favorite productivity-boosting apps to help you tackle overwhelming tasks as the come.
iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows.
Trello is the to-do list for all the visual learners. Open yourself up to a more creative means of daily organization by crafting boards and detailed task breakouts to meet your personal and professional goals. Whether you like to keep it general or focus on the minute details, Trello allows you to sort and display your work for maximum efficiency. It even allows for your team’s input; all boards can be easily shared amongst your peers, and collective tasks can be tracked using Trello’s simple drag-and-drop feature, transferring project from your ‘to-do’ to a ‘well-done.’
The visual aesthetic is very pleasing for those who like to (literally) watch their work get done. The ‘Sticky Note’ style can be rather addicting. Download Trello here: https://trello.com/.
- 2. Dropbox
Cloud-based app Dropbox lets you digitally save your files across all of your devices. Even a large file, like your impending presentation, can be easily saved and viewed using Dropbox’s sharing features. However, if you plan on utilizing your coworker’s expertise before project close, Dropbox allows you create shared folders which prompt live updates on team member progress and the ability to quickly recover deleted files if problems arise. You’ll no longer have to worry about how to share and present work projects with your team.
Dropbox offers a free version that provides adequate storage space and a paid version if you need/wish to upgrade. Try it out here: https://www.dropbox.com/.
- 3. Relax Melodies
Do you find yourself distracted by your coworker’s phone conversation or the ever-running printer a few desks over? Sure, you can tune it out with music, but can your productivity handle the hour of swivel chair dancing that accompanies this lyrical foray (yes, we see you)? Stop exposing yourself to Top 40 distractions and embrace your top productivity with Relax Melodies. This application allows you to create a custom playlist of ambient noise, aka rainfall and wave soundtracks, as well as meditations to fuel your efficiency. A helpful fact considering a Psychology of Music study found that moderate levels of ‘natural’ sounds can lead to higher work concentration. Heed the Psychology of Music’s advice and reinvent your schedule with some mindful listening.
Try it free here: http://www.ipnossoft.com/app/relax-melodies/.
- 4. Evernote
Evernote is the app to save all the notes, info, and lists scattered about your desk. With Evernote, you have the power to snap a picture of yesterday’s work lunch receipts and automatically save and organize your work expenses using both the mobile and computer application. Sharing with your coworkers has never been easier; use the app to send out your department goals or yesterday’s meeting notes, so every member of your team is on the same page and tapping into your collective potential.
Versatile as well as compatible across all your devices, Evernote’s usability transcends work, to help you stay organized both personally and professionally. Try it here: https://evernote.com
- 5. Todoist
If you are one of those still tied to traditional to-do (think: finding simple joy in crossing off a task once finished), then Todoist is your ticket to a more productive work day. Todoist gives the power to create and sort any ‘To-do’ item into projects, subprojects, lists, and even sub-lists. Use its tagging tool to assign coworkers, priority levels, and even categories specifications like personal or work-related to stay on top of your workday. Need to put a specific date and time on a task? Rather than manually entering the date and time you can just say “Call Mark tomorrow at 3pm”, and Todoist will create the meeting for you without all the hassle, quickly becoming the only to-do list you’ll ever want to use.
Find it here: https://en.todoist.com/.
 Hodson, Schwartz, van Berkel, Windstrom Otten. (2014). Deloitte 2014 Human Capital Trends Study, The Overwhelmed Employee: Simplify the Work Environment. Retrieved from: http://d27n205l7rookf.cloudfront.net/ wp-content/uploads/2014/03/GlobalHumanCapitalTrends_2014.pdf
 Kämpfe, Sedlmeier, Renkewitz. (2010). The Impact of Background Music on Adult Listeners: A meta-analysis. Retrieved from: http://pom.sagepub.com/content/early/2010/11/04/0305735610376261#cited-by.