Getting settled and being productive in your new home office may take some getting used to. New surroundings, spaces not designed for work and productivity and interruptions from kids and pets (not to mention easy access to the fridge!) can all disrupt even the best work intentions. Take heart! These productivity apps (and some for your kids) should be able to keep everyone on task.
Best productivity apps: Trello
Trello is a genus organization and scheduling app that lets you keep tabs on projects, tasks and collaborators. You can create Boards (Teams or work groups) as well as Cards (tasks) with deadlines, to-do lists and more. I use Trello for all my work-at-home assignment management and have some Trello team boards for other companies I work with.
As Trello describes it:
Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process. Imagine a white board, filled with lists of sticky notes, with each note as a task for you and your team. … That’s Trello!
Best productivity apps: What’s App – virtual office coffee klatch
Missing out on seeing your coworkers at the coffee station or water cooler each day? A What’s App Chat group can allow you to catch up, gossip, share memes, joke and otherwise stay connected while practicing physical distancing.
Of course you could also use it to create a chat group for actually talking about work also.
Best productivity apps: Google Keep
One of my all-time favourite notekeeping apps, Google Keep lets you visualize your notes easily. With the ability to create different views, colour code your notes, and add media like voice notes, photos and links, and drag, drop and rearrange your notes it’s the ultimate in made-for-you productivity and organization.
Best productivity apps: Apple News
Staying on-task means no distractions… until it’s break time! Apple’s News app is a free and paid service that gives you access to news stories and topics you curate (free) as well as to hundreds of weekly and monthly magazines (paid). You don’t need to surf Twitter constantly; just check in on Apple News to see what’s going on. And when it’s lunch or break time, pull up a magazine to flip through. Now’s also a good time to catch up on your professional magazine and periodical readying, right?
Best productivity apps: Relax Sounds
I can’t listen to music when I work. Well, I can, as long as it has no singing or words. But it is nice to have some background audio to drown out other non-interesting background noise. Relax Sounds lets me play relaxing white noise like ocean/beach, a bubbling creek, rushing river, rain, thunderstorm, nature sounds and more. They’re realistic sounding (or maybe really real) so it doesn’t sound annoyingly canned.
That’s what can help you be more productive. And what might help even more is keeping the family entertained while you’re working.
From family-friendly apps and games to movies everyone will love, we’ve got you. Check out the curated recommendations for Apple’s app store below to get the kids moving, learning and having a blast.
Best productivity apps: apps to keep kids entertained
- Learn, Play, Create, Repeat: Apps to inspire creativity for all, from future engineers to budding poets or filmmakers and everyone in between.
- Entertain the Kids: Educational games for fun and safe screen time, including Hopster, Little Kitten (who wouldn’t be kept busy taking care of a virtual cat!) and Lego Life.
- Play With the Family: Play board games like the all new Carcassone, try trivia or have a go at words with friends. There’s a list of family and board games here for the whole family to enjoy.
- Apple Arcade Games Families Will Love: Apples’s gaming platform should be hours of fun with access over 100 brand new games and retro favourites for players of all ages. Sign up with a one-month free trial to try games you won’t find on any other mobile platform or subscription service.
Apple’s Family Sharing set up lets up to six family members share Apple App Store purchases and Apple subscriptions. Family Sharing includes the ability to set up an Apple ID for kids, set permissions remotely with Screen Time, and approve spending and downloads from a parent’s device.
Find Free Books Kids Will Love on Apple Books
On Apple Books, you’ll find all the books you love, and the ones you will soon. Browse the Book Store and keep track of what you’ve read and want to read, and listen to captivating audiobooks. Head over to the Free Books for Kids Collection for all the greatest story-time titles and audiobooks sure to fill hours of fun.
Kids Entertainment: Apple Music’s Kids & Family space
Now might be the time to add additional entertainment options for the kids. Consider a free 3 month trial of Apple Music. It’s ad-free and available on Android devices, iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC.
- Family Pop: Game night? Impromptu kitchen dance party? This is your soundtrack to all those things and more—the place to find the absolute best pop chartbusters for the whole family.
- Family Dance Party: Get everyone up on their feet with this set of pop classics and current favourites of the family-friendly variety.
- Kids Video Playlist: Turn screen time into party time with a mix of kiddie classics guaranteed to get your little ones off the couch and onto the floor. The dance card includes musical segments from their favorite TV shows, theme songs from recent family-friendly blockbuster movies, animated viral-video phenomena, and iconic clips for pop hits that’ll make them clap along if they feel like a room without a roof.