8 Productivity Apps Every Side Hustler Needs in Their Life

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Does managing your job, side hustle, and personal commitments ever feel like jogging on a hamster wheel, always desperate for more time?

I know the feeling. I started my writing career as a side hustle. Now, even though I have a full-time writing job, I still freelance on the side. Although I’m grateful for the extra income, it often feels like I’ll never get everything done.

I can’t create more hours in the day, but I’ve learned to make better use of the time I do have – mostly thanks to technology.

So if you’re looking to carve out more time (and sanity) in your life, check out these eight productivity apps below.

8 best productivity apps for side hustlers

These apps will help you make the most of every minute – whether you’re working, hustling, or standing in line at the grocery store. All are available for both Apple and Android devices.

1. Trello

I recently discovered Trello, and I’m not sure how I lived without it before. This task-management app is basically a virtual bulletin board filled with sticky notes.

You can create a board for each segment of your life (personal, work, side hustle, etc.), or just combine them into one giant board. On each board you can make lists as well as tasks which you can easily move between lists.

best productivity apps

Image credit: Trello

It’s a great way to visualize what’s on your plate – and hopefully never miss another deadline!

2. Zapier

Zapier helps you save time by automating tasks across and between different apps. All you need to do is create a “Zap.” This is an event that automatically occurs when you perform a pre-designated “Trigger.” This Trigger then sets off another event.

Here’s a video explaining the process.

Although it’s accessed via a web platform and not a mobile app, I’m including it on this list because it works with more than 750 apps.

On the free plan, you can schedule up to five Zaps at once. Here are some that might interest you:

  • Publish a WordPress post → share it on LinkedIn
  • Add a label to an email in Gmail → create a Trello card
  • Host an Eventbrite event → add attendees to a Mailchimp list
  • Make a sale on Paypal → send a thank you email
  • Have an upcoming event on Google Calendar → tweet your followers a reminder
productivity apps

Image credit: Zapier

Since there are so many different ways to use the platform, trust me when I say that no matter your side hustle you’ll find ways to make it more efficient with Zapier!

3. Pocket

If you think you don’t have time to read the news (but want to stay in the know) then download Pocket to your mobile, tablet, or computer device. When you see an article that piques your interest, click “Save to Pocket,” and the article will download to your phone to read later.

best productivity apps

Image credit: Pocket

That means you can read the articles when you’re out of service – making it my favorite way to use transit time productively.

4. Forest

Here at Student Loan Hero, we’re big fans of the Pomodoro Technique. It involves working for 25 minutes, taking a five-minute break, and then starting over again. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you focus on a single task.

One way to put this into practice is with Forest. When you start the timer, it shows a tree growing on your phone’s display screen. If you touch your phone before the timer is up, the tree dies. But if you complete your timed session without touching your phone, the tree matures.

productivity apps

Image credit: Forest

Even better, you earn credits for each successful session, which you can use to fund tree plantings around the world.

Although free on Android, Forest costs $1.99 in the App Store. For a free iOS app that’s similar, try Tomato One or Be Focused.

5. Gboard

Between text messages to friends and emails to clients, you’re probably typing on your phone a lot. So save time by using an alternative keyboard such as Gboard (Android/iOS).

It allows you to use glide typing (sliding your finger from letter to letter), and more importantly, to search Google from within a text or email. No more opening a new window to find an address or phone number!

Another fun bonus: You can search for gifs and emojis from within the keyboard, too.

productivity apps

Image credit: Gboard

6. Toggl

The first step in managing your time better? Knowing how you spend that time.

Rather than calculate it by hand, use a simple time-tracking app like Toggl. With a single click, you can start (and stop) tracking your time on different projects.

best productivity apps

Image credit: Toggl

At the end of the week or month, you can pull up a report with how many hours you logged on each project. Armed with that knowledge, you can determine where you need to spend more time – and where you need to spend less.

7. Blinkist

Although I might spend too much time reading about productivity – and not enough time putting it into practice – I still think educational books are essential to achieving personal growth.

If you want to take a deep dive into time management or self-improvement, check out Blinkist. It summarizes popular non-fiction books into 15-minute recordings, which you can listen to during your morning run or commute.

On the free plan, you can listen to one pre-selected book each day. For $49.99 per year, you can choose from the full Blinkist library, which has more than 2,100 titles.

productivity apps

Image credit: Blinkist

Yes, it’s most definitely cheating – and no, you can’t claim you “read the book” – but if you want to devour lots of knowledge in little time, it’s not a bad solution.

8. Google Keep

When you have a job and a side hustle (not to mention friends and family and pets and errands), your mind is often in several places at once. Ever thought of a to-do and then forgotten it before you could get to your list?

Enter Google Keep, a no-frills app and web platform for jotting down notes, ideas, and reminders. It offers voice transcription, color coding, due dates, and collaborators, plus the ability to backup and search all your notes.

best productivity apps

Image credit: Google Keep

Starting a side hustle is a smart way to pay extra money on your student loans. With these free productivity apps, you’ll work smarter – allowing you to stay sane and keep hustling.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
Get real rates from up to 4 Lenders at once

Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

  1. VARIABLE APR – APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes.

2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student Loan RefinanceFixed rates from 3.999% APR to 7.804% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.480% APR to 7.524% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.480% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.07% plus 0.91% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

  1. Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). The following table displays the estimated monthly payment, total interest, and Annual Percentage Rates (APR) for a $10,000 loan. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) shown for each in-school loan product reflects the accruing interest, the effect of one-time capitalization of interest at the end of a deferment period, a 2% origination fee, and the applicable Repayment Plan. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment, which is reflected in the interest rates and APRs displayed. Variable rates may increase after consummation. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.08% effective July 25, 2018.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate DisclosureVariable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.07%. Variable interest rates range from 2.72%-8.17% (2.72%-8.17% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.50%-8.69% (3.50% – 8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled, must be in repayment of their existing student loan(s) and must make the minimum number of payments after leaving school. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.
  7. Average savings based on 18,113 actual customers who refinanced their federal and private student loans through our Education Refinance Loan between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. The calculation is derived by averaging the monthly savings of Education Refinance Loan customers whose payments decreased after refinancing, which is calculated by taking the monthly student loan payments prior to refinancing minus the monthly student loan payments after refinancing. The borrower’s savings might vary based on the interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of the loans they are seeking to refinance. The borrower’s overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans they are refinancing even if their monthly payments are lower.
2.57% – 5.87%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Earnest
2.80% – 6.38%1Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Laurel Road
2.48% – 7.52%2Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit SoFi
2.47% – 7.99%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Lendkey
2.57% – 6.65%3Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit CommonBond
2.72% – 8.17%4Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Citizens
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Published in Review, Side Hustles