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.
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.
It’s a great way to visualize what’s on your plate – and hopefully never miss another deadline!
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
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!
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.
That means you can read the articles when you’re out of service – making it my favorite way to use transit time productively.
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.
Even better, you earn credits for each successful session, which you can use to fund tree plantings around the world.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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