5 Insanely Useful Productivity Tools For Insanely Busy People

I’m a sucker for a good productivity app. If an app promises me that it’s going to totally change my life and give me countless extra hours in the day, I’m like ‘SHUT UP TAKE MY MONEY!!!’. I also don’t mind spending a few dollars here and there to test out cool new apps. If an app costs $1.99 and I never use it again I honestly don’t care.

useful productivity tools

It’s like half a bad cup of coffee. I also love trying out desktop apps and tools. Here’s a list of the most useful productivity tools I’ve discovered in the last few years…

This is by far one of the best sites for productivity. It allows you to unsubscribe to dozens of email lists in one click. It’s beyond brilliant. I do an ‘’ of my inbox every few months just to clear everything out. It saves me so much time every morning on emails that I auto-delete without reading.


Carrot is a hilarious tough love to-do app that gets cranky at you if you don’t complete your tasks. It’s fun to mix things up every now and then with your to-do list and I love a productivity app with a bit of personality. It’s a great app if you need a bit of a kick up the bum to get shit done.

Be Happy

This one is a gorgeous little ray of sunshine every day. You sign up and it sends you a lovely little happy message to your inbox every day. Sometimes you just need a little jolt in your happy gland to get things moving in the morning.

Focus Booster

This is a great little Pomodoro timer app that helps you track your time. That means it helps you kick bad habits like Facebook, email, Google – whatever your productivity Achilles heel is. I love Focus Booster for when I’m knuckling down and writing my content. It stops me from going ‘Oh FACEBOOK!’ every ten minutes because I’m aware of where my time is going.

I’m a seasoned to-do list writer (I’ve written a to-do list nearly every day since I was about sixteen years old) but for some people writing to-do lists is really scary. How much stuff do you put on it? Is it a list for today or forever? is a really simple page that gives you the perfect layout of things to get done in a day. 1 big thing, 3 medium things and 5 little things. It’s a brilliant starting point for people who are keen to get themselves a little high up on the productivity ladder.

Do you have any productivity apps or tools you love? Anything you use to help you stay focused at work?

P.S Also you should totally sign up for my newsletter. It’s full of cool stuff.
P.P.S Don’t forget Crochet Coach has a free trial offer period at the moment so make sure you sign up!


  1. erinmadethis 6 years ago

    Carly! These are all so amazing. Thank you! I am going to be kicking some productivity butt.

  2. Christine 6 years ago

    Thank you Carly. Definitely going to have a look at unroll me and I love the sound of the others, so will be checking them out too. My daily to do list is usually in my head, but doesn’t it feel great when you get to the end of the day and your list is all crossed off! xx

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      I can’t do an in my head list – I must have my pen and paper tick off list!

  3. Tahlia Meredith 6 years ago

    Awesome, I’ll check these out. I also heard recently about Taco app, which I immediately love for its name (obvs). Apparently it pulls all of your stuff into one spot so you don’t have to keep clicking over to Asana, Evernote, Todoist etc.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      Ah that sounds amazing! I signed up for Asana but I didn’t fine it very intuitive. Must give it another go.

  4. You had me at… and then Be Happy… and then
    I love you. x

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      No! I love you! Seriously though unroll me will change your life.

  5. Niraj 6 years ago

    Excellent article, Carly! A useful set of tools. Do check out, really good for sharing emails (by just adding labels – no need to forward), and for delegating emails to your team-mates. It also lets you write notes on emails. Thanks, Niraj

  6. heidisewell1975 6 years ago

    Ok… I can do this!!! I know I can, I know I can… Thanks for the tips!! ?

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      You totally can. I have faith in you.

      • heidisewell1975 6 years ago

        Thank you 🙂 l’m hoping to hear you speak at pro-blogger next month!! ?

      • heidisewell1975 6 years ago

        Thank you 🙂 l’m hoping to hear you speak at pro-blogger next month!! ?

  7. Unroll me sounds great! Sometimes I find myself on lists that I never even sign up to and I’m already overwhelmed by my inbox as is.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      It’s the best. Unroll me will change your life. For real.

  8. Elaine B 6 years ago is simply brilliant Carly! Thank you so much! xE

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      Unroll me is a game changer. I use it every few months.

  9. Deborah 6 years ago

    I like the sound of Focus Booster and – both are just what I need!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      Focus booster is the best! Game changer! I’m going to need it actually… I’ve been Facebook binging a bit today!

  10. I needed this. is awesome, thank you!!

  11. Melissa {Suger} 6 years ago

    Pinning for future reference! Good one. And like my parents always said, want something done, ask someone who is busy. 😉

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      Oh I’m so glad! I do pinnable images for every post so I’m so glad someone is using them!

  12. I’m going to read this post again when I’m in bed tonight, all snuggly under my blankets, maybe with a well-earned red in hand! Thanks, carrot sounds interesting!

  13. I absolutely love TeuxDeux which is simple, cool and syncs across devices and has a online website as well you can access it from. You can organise your to do’s and also create recurring to dos, and it will email you your task list every day. It’s $24/year but well worth it I reckon!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      I have no issues at all with paying for apps. None whatsoever. I think the whole market is ridiculous (my partner is an app developer so I know how much work goes into it)

  14. These are totes awesome! I love the sound of Be Happy and I don’t use any apps but I find bulking my tasks makes me a lot more productive (I think you taught me that trick) and I’m a big fan of Christina’s working 51 (?) minutes on, and taking 17 minutes off. I try and set myself achievable goals in the 51 minutes and even if I’m not always super productive, I feel like I am! Here’s to kicking butt!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      the 53/17 is me! I love it! I used it every day – particularly because I then get to have 17 minutes of to crochet!

  15. my2morrows 6 years ago has been completely life changing!

  16. nonnuclearmaven 6 years ago

    These are amazing! Going to trial some when uni goes back. I’m such a naughty kitteh when it comes to the “quick” facebook/instagram/candy crush “break”!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      I’m the worst and I just discovered a new one… Word bubbles. You’re going to hate me for introducing you to that one.

  17. I love this! I think I need carrot in my life, and unroll me and all of the above actually!!

  18. Belinda Jacobson 6 years ago

    Oh I so need Focus Booster!! I’m also a major To do list writer – I’ve been using evernote lately but I’m going to check out now. x

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 6 years ago

      I love Evernote but I still have a daily paper to do list in my notebook. I just can’t break the habit.

  19. Clare (@checksandspots) 6 years ago

    Killer List! Will have to check out – that’s right up my alley.
    In terms of productivity, I’m a sucker for the Pomodoro technique using this nifty site:

  20. Mia 6 years ago

    We use proofhub at our workplace to stay focused and with real time updates of everything. I just love this tool ! I will try out behappy 🙂

  21. Pam Rigden 6 years ago

    manageflitter for clearing out your Twitter account. Absolutely fantastic!

  22. Christa 6 years ago

    I was just thinking that I needed an app to unsubscribe from the hundreds of emails I get everyday. sounds brilliant. Like you, I’m an explorer, so these are fantastic. Thank you!

  23. Valarie Ashley 6 years ago

    I just downloaded Focus booster and 1-3-5 because I have been a fan of for about a year and it has controlled so much of the beast of email for me. Thanks for the recommendations. I agree about paying for apps. Once I started to recognize how valuable my time is paying for apps that gave me time back was a no brainer.

  24. Anna 6 years ago

    I love and focus booster – thanks for the reminder to put it on my work desktop! I use “things” by far the best project/gtd to do list i have found. I use anylist for my grocery lists. I can email or sms the list to others like my husband if he is doing the grocery shopping. I will check out 1-3-5 but i think it might be overkill because i already use things. As for writing, i use scrivener on my laptop and iwriter on the ipad.

  25. Karina 3 years ago

    The tool that helped me organise my work better is Kanban Tool ( ). It’s easy to use and it’s increased my productivity a lot. You basically have 3 boards: things to do, things in progress and things that are done and you put all your tasks in the right category. And because the tool is online, you don’t need to worry that you’ll lose a piece of paper with a super important task written on it, so it’s very convenient. And then you have more advanced features, like some analysing ones, so if you want to look at your productivity with a more scientific approach, you can do that too.


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