Get to Work! — The 9 Best Time Blocking Apps
- 2019-07-17 19:10
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Time flies like a condor, runs like Forrest and flows like dark luger at an Irish pub. There's no way to stop it. But instead here's something else — a great time-management technique called Time Blocking. Thanks to it you can focus your daily schedule around the most important priorities and achieve goals. Our Top 9 Time Blocking Apps will help you with that.
1. HourStack — Hour After Hour...
HourStack is a time-managing tool that can answer one important question: are you sure you're not overworking? To find that out, you can select a specific task and tap the Start button. A countdown will begin, and by the time your work is finished, you will know for sure how much time was invested in it.
It can provide a detailed account on what you've been spending time during your work week. Simply block the time and set a schedule. Or you can transfer scheduled events from Google Calendar and Outlook 365. In that case HourStack won't automatically form a new time-blocking schedule. Instead, it will browse in the right sidebar. And from there you can do drag-n-dropping to extend your time-blocking calendar.
What's disappointing is that the app doesn't have a to-do list feature. To compensate for it, there's an integration with To-Doist, Google Calendar, Trello, Asana, Office 365 and GitHub. So you can have both your schedules and bucket lists in one place.
There are two plans:
- Personal. Charges $7 monthly.
- Professional. $15 monthly with Asana and GitHub support.
HourStack is a serious app for serious business.
2. TickTick Premium — Success Clocks Ticking
TickTick combines two efficient techniques. On the one hand, we have classic to-do lists that help you set goals and subtasks. On the other hand, there's time-blocking that helps you block days for certain events, activities and even leisure. For instance, Tuesdays and Fridays are blocked for reading financial reports and Mondays are blocked for social events.
To get things going:
- Set a task to the calendar;
- Select the deadline;
- Set the approximate duration.
Unfortunately, TickTick's interface feels a bit clumsy. It barely supports drag-n-drop and scheduled events cannot be edited right in the calendar. Every action requires a short algorithm.
As an awesome bonus, you get to test the so-called Pomodoro timer. It's a feature based on the Pomodoro method discovered by Francesco Cirillo in his first year of college. According to this technique, you must concentrate solidly on one task during a short time period: 10, 15, 25 minutes. And then you get a quick break to replenish energy.
As an extra perk, there's a widget feature. The app employs RSS to pull events from your calendar. The free version has no calendar though. You get it + RSS feed feature only for almost $28 per year.
TickTick will help you be more efficient with its Pomodoro timer.
3. Planyway — Professional Planning
Planyway is a time-blocking app that will take your collaborative efforts to the next level. The catch is that it's fully compatible with Trello — the N1 favorite among creative and corporate teams.
Simply add Planyway to your Trello account through the app's plugin. After that Trello cards can be added to the Planyway's calendar through drag-n-drop. there's one and two-way synchronization, with the latter being accessible in the Pro plan ($5 per month). For those who prefer organizing teamwork via PC, Planyway has a browser extension.
Planyway is a great tool to manage your team's schedule, set goals and priorities and also assess the overall efficiency of the collective workflow. As a result, Planyway has become an application of choice among such organizations and companies as Netflix, Uber, Tesla, Microsoft, Stanford, HubSpot, and others.
Planyway and Trello together form a killer-tandem, perfect for corporate projects.
4. Plan — Masterplan for a Mastermind
The app's name speaks for itself. It's half a to-do tool and half an event-organizer. Its compatibility with calendars from Google and Outlook allow adding tasks and already planned events automatically.
One of the Plan's clever features allows you vast freedom at organizing to-do lists. They can be separated from each other or grouped together if they belong to the same project. For instance, you need to make a presentation on South America's wildlife. Then your to-dos will look like this:
- To-Do #1: a) Learn about rare species b) Visit WorldAtlas.com.
- To-Do #2: a) Check how wildlife is preserved b) Visit WWF. org.
- To-Do #3: a) Go to Shutterstock b) Find HD pics of capybara, tapir, jaguarundi, and others.
And after to-do lists have been added, block time and days to accomplish them successfully. Additionally, Plan offers compatibility with GitHub, Google Drive & Calendar, Box, Jira, and Outlook. Although prepare to do some work — adding schedules and events to Plan is manual.
5. SkedPal — A Simple Organizer
SkedPal is an easy and unique time-organizer. Why unique? Well, it does a considerable amount of organizing for you. Thanks to its integrated AI, it adds your pre-planned events from Google Calendar, iCloud, Outlook and other similar apps. Then it's up to you to turn them into to-dos, set deadlines and approximate time completion.
Thanks to the Update Schedule feature, you can teach the app about your personal preferences: deadlines, time amount for each task, days blocked for certain activities, etc. The latter feature is called Time Map.
It allows you to select a certain time for accomplishing a specific job. E.g. you can select 10 a.m. - 14 p.m. for 3D modeling. Nothing else will be scheduled for this time slot. Trello and other platforms are compatible with SkedPal, so you can migrate your to-dos and schedules to and fro.
SkedPal is a perfect tool for lazy planners.
6. Clockify — The Master of Time
As you know, Doctor Who is the Time Lord. with Clockify you can receive the same honorable title since it allows controlling your work time. After you create an account and install its web-extension, Clockify is ready to block and track your time spent on various projects.
Basically, the whole app is controlled via the single timer button. Statistics are stored in the Dashboard. Access it to analyze how much time you spend on a certain activity. It is represented in the form of color-coded graphs and pie charts.
E.g., if you're managing an IT project, it will be easier to identify how much time is spent on Java Script coding, market analysis, quality assurance, and testing. Apart from collective work, Clockify is also great for organizing and blocking personal activities and events.
The app can be semi-automated via Zapier and synced with Google Calendar. This way Start/Stop buttons will be pushed automatically when a task begins and ends. The overall amount of time tracked will be displayed in Google Calendar. It allows to compare estimated vs. real-time.
However, the biggest strength of the app is it's $0 price. Clockify is relatively obscure and just about 50 thousand people are using it at the current moment. Though it charges no money, it supports Asana, Trello and To-Doist integration. Hurry up to try it!
Clockify has an impressive functionality that is also free of charge.
7. Rescue Time — Emergency Kit for Personal Productivity
Rescue Time is more about monitoring your work and internet surfing habits. But it goes nicely with time-blocking technique too. It detects which apps you use and websites you surf during the day. It estimates which of them consume the major part of your time and finally gives you a detailed report.
Using Rescue time you can exclude pesky distractions and get yourself focused on work. Moreover, with its help you can block websites, applications, and games, making them accessible on certain days only, which doesn't contradict the time-blocking concept at all.
Rescue Time has deserved being mentioned by such media outlets as Life Hacker, Business Week, BBC, TechCrunch, The New York Times and others. Perhaps, it's the perfect moment for you to rescue some time too?
Rescue Time will assist you in eradicating useless distractions.
8. Fantastical 2 — Majestic, Wonderful, Kickass
Fantastical 2 has deserved its name for one crucial feature. First, it extracts every event, chore, appointment, etc. set for a certain day from your calendar. Second, they are presented as a short, laconic summary when you tap a day.
Once you have the events added to Fantastical's calendar, it will be much easier to block certain days. You can switch from weekly to the monthly view, add links to the summaries and integrate the likes of Google Maps, Waze and so on. The only major downside is that the app is available for iOS only.
Using Fantastical 2 is a sure way to declutter your mind.
9. Toggl — #1-time tracker
Time is money, and Toggl agrees with that saying. The multi-platform app, it lets you track the time intuitively, block hours and days and also estimate monetary worth of your efforts.
Using its tracking technique, you can allocate time wisely for various projects, analyze their profitability, check your team's efficiency and even hold negotiations with the corporate clients. Yes, when they see each minute, invested in their projects, it'll be easier to get better financial compensation.
Toggl is a time-management multi-tool.
As you can see, time blocking can help you achieve better results. Hopefully, one of these apps will suit your tastes and boost your personal productivity. If you have a secret time-management weapon of your own, please share it with us in the comments!