Sticking to a writing schedule—or any schedule, for that matter—takes a huge amount of willpower that most of us don’t often possess. It’s a skill that comes with years of practice. More often than not, we don’t have years to develop a skill that is so essential if we are to turn in our work before the deadline.
We open up Google to find the meaning of a phrase only to go down a rabbit hole and be stuck there for hours, reading pages upon pages of irrelevant information. We’re blissfully typing away when the phone beeps and you simply have to check who is messaging you.
But it’s no longer just a matter of skills and sheer willpower! Check out these three amazing productivity apps designed for authors that will help you keep track of your work and compel you to stick to your writing plans.
How often do we open the Word docs on our laptops but keep using Twitter or Facebook on our phones? That’s how our brains work: it’s apparently okay to use your phone as long as your laptop remains open in front of you.
Don’t be like me—setting up an app timer but switching it off whenever I need to use Twitter or Instagram. This is why we all need a little bit of Self-Control—if not in ourselves, then definitely the app!
Self-Control is an app that will let you block other distracting apps, like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The only way you can use the blocked apps before the timer runs out is by uninstalling the app… which is simply too much work, so we tend to simply wait till the timer runs out and we gain access once more. Exactly what we all need.
Trello is one of the best apps out there for writers. You can use it to set goals and tasks without worrying about losing your pending work in a whirlwind of notes. Besides, it’s also extremely convenient when it comes to keeping all your research organized. The boards and lists on Trello will help you easily find all the information you’ve gathered without needing to reread pages upon pages of irrelevant content again.
If you’re a fiction writer, and you’re having trouble keeping your story organized or if you have a problem of forgetting what events took place at a certain moment in your story’s timeline, this app will work wonders for you. You can simply create a board for your novel and add “lists” for each chapter, under which you can make pins for different scenes in your story.
3. Focus Keeper
The Pomodoro technique has been proven to keep people—of all professions—focused. It’s a simple technique of breaking down your long tasks into small sessions of 25 minutes, and taking a break of five minutes at the end of every session. At the end of two hours, you take a 15-minute break. This will trick your brain to downscale the size of your tasks, making it much more likely for you to get it done without being stressed over it.
There are many apps that implement the Pomodoro technique, and Focus Keeper is one of the best. It lets you schedule your task times and the breaks in between and alerts you when it’s time to switch.
Sharika Hafeez is a nerd, and she’s proud of it. Growing up, she fell in love with books and writing, and is currently following her undergraduate degree (for some mysterious reasons) in Physics. She likes procrastinating by watching the stars with a steaming cup of tea, composing poetry in her head.