If you are struggling to get in as many hours working from home, the answer is to work smarter. Here are the best apps to keep you focused, achieving, and guilt-free!

Try the Freedom app to block distracting websites, or the whole internet!

Are you really working from home?

The dishes, that shopping list you just want to quickly add to, the cat that keeps wanting attention…

They are all such little things, but before you know it, the working day is over. You are left feeling frustrated and guilty that you hardly made a dent in your good intentions list.

Working from home we can sometimes miss that sense of achievement and we can end up just getting by on the bare minimum. It’s not good for our mental health, or our confidence.

The answer is not to work more, but rather to work better. If we can work out how to keep our focus under control, we can achieve so much more in much less time.

Here is a list of apps and websites that can help to get you in the ‘zone’ and be much more efficient with your time.

Remember, we only want satisfaction here, no guilt!

“Never confuse movement with progress. Because you can run in place and not get anywhere.”

Denzel Washington

1. Pomodoro Tracker

The Pomodoro technique is an incredibly simple and popular productivity technique. It suggests you create a to-do list and tackle each item in 25 minute chunks. You give yourself a short break in between and start again with the next task.

Pomodoro Tracker is a free timer with a no-frills web interface.

Set your list of tasks, press play on the timer and then mark your tasks as done as you go.

A bell rings and a notification pops up when you are finished.

It also saves your stats so you can keep track of your progress.

There are many apps available for this technique. Take a look at the JotForm website to explore more.

You can see a full explanation of the Pomodoro technique here:

2. Brain.fm

Brain.fm is available on smart phone or desktop. It is a great tool for distraction-free home working, but it seems counter-intuitive at first.

It offers music and sounds for you to work along to, but the sounds are developed with neuroscience to help you in three areas.

  • Focus
  • Relax
  • Sleep

While you are working at your desk and you want to zone in on a task, put your headphones on and choose from their selection of audios. It is great for drowning out any distracting sounds around you.

Some people really enjoy the background hum of an office. If your home is too quiet, but the radio is too distracting, this app works great as white noise to help you focus on a task.

You get your first 5 listening sessions for free. To upgrade is $6.99 or $4.17 per month.

3. Evernote

What do you do when you are so focused on a task but then you suddenly remember a bunch of things that you haven’t done yet?

The key is to make a quick note of what’s in your head to refer to later, and then get right back to what you were doing.

You need a consistent tool to use for this.

It’s easy to waste so much time making different lists and keeping them in different places. Then when we need to remember where we stored them…we get distracted!

Also, have you ever forgotten you have even made a list, and then found out you have just duplicated your work? So frustrating.

Evernote lets you take notes and more, and syncs across devices so you always have access to anything you’ve written.

  • Make notes
  • Makes lists
  • Add photos and files
  • Share with your teams
  • Save web pages, articles and pdf
  • Add notes to your webpages

There is a free version, or it’s £3.75 per month for more features.

4. Freedom

Freedom does exactly what it says on the tin!

Quite often our willpower is not enough. We can’t help checking emails or having a little game of something here and there.

Freedom blocks all of the distracting websites and apps that eat away our time.

It even blocks the whole internet if you want it to.

You can create ‘Blocklists’ to make sure you never touch those gossip websites or social media. And you can schedule when you want this to happen so you can make your most productive times of the day even more blazing!

It even has its own ambient noise to keep you focused.

Access starts from $2.49 per month.

5. Grammarly

Grammarly is a browser extension that fixes your spelling and grammar as you write. In the premium version it also checks your fluency, readability and more.

It does this on every site you write on. You won’t need to stop and check a spelling as you write a comment on a website or write an email. You won’t need to spend too much time thinking about whether you have expressed yourself clearly, because Grammarly will let you know.

So you can just get on with writing and be confident that it is all correct!

There is a basic free version and a paid premium and business version.

So for a small monthly fee, or for free, you can have access to simple yet powerful tools that can transform how you work.

When working from home we have to think creatively and set ourselves up with the correct habits.

But these apps won’t work if we just use them randomly. With a plan and consistent implementation you may be more productive at home than you were in the office!

Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right

Henry Ford

And if you are thinking about organising your physical work space as well as your thoughts

take a look at how Next Desk can transform how you work from home.

It is a foldable and lockable desk that means you can keep your entire home office organised and secure within your desk, even in a small house.

And best of all…this means less distractions, and more efficient work!

Check out our product page here