It’s no secret that one benefit to working as an entrepreneur or freelancer is getting to make your own schedule. But it can also make it infinitely more difficult to draw the line on what time and activities are business and which are personal. And though some may be comfortable with a heavy overlap, it won’t hurt to implement a little organization to help create boundaries. Here are some apps that can help do just that.
6 Apps You Need to Keep Work-Life Balance as an Entrepreneur or Freelancer
So you can keep both your business and personal life running smoothly
1. Google Calendar
This is the holy grail of organizing work and personal lives. You can create multiple calendars for different areas of your life (I have at least four) and color code them, so you know what’s happening at a glance. While the desktop calendar will always reign supreme, the mobile app is an efficient adaptation that lets you eyeball what’s happening in the office and at home at a glance. (Apple’s Calendar is an equally customizable and efficient substitute if you’re an iCloud person.)
Google Calendar is available for free in the App Store and Google Play.
If we’ve learned one thing from social media overload, it’s that it’s OK to take breaks from the internet. Enter: Forest. This app allows you to set the amount of time you want to keep away from your phone, and while you’re working or relaxing, a happy little digital tree grows on the screen. If you come back early, it kills the tree. According to Forest’s website, the company helps plant trees IRL: “Forest team partners with a real tree-planting organization, Trees for the Future, to plant real trees on the earth. When our users spend virtual coins they earn in Forest on planting real trees, Forest team donates our partner and create orders of planting.” Making yourself focus and helping combat climate change? It’s a win-win.
Forest is available for free in the App Store and Google Play, and also as an extension in the Chrome Web Store.
Everyone has their preferred app for note-tracking, and my godsend is Evernote. Aside from the many ways to customize the view and interface, it allows you to create multiple “notebooks” to easily organize your notes into work, personal and whatever else you may desire. (I have notebooks dedicated to travel, health and fitness and creative writing ideas, to name a few.) It syncs easily and quickly so you can always access or save any note, and it’s available on phones, as a desktop app and even on any browser as a site.
Evernote is available for free in the App Store and Google Play.
In the digital age, there’s no shortage of reading as news and opinions are constantly being published. It can become stressful when something piques your interest at work that’s more hobby related. Pocket makes it easy to download that article or video and save it to read or watch later with the push of a button. It syncs across browsers and your phone, and you can even read what you’ve saved while offline since it downloads the site. Say goodbye to distractions and reclaim your time management.
Pocket is available for free in the App Store and Google Play, and also as an extension in the Chrome Web Store.
5. Sleep Cycle
There’s a reason multimillionaire Ariana Huffington has become such a sleep activist: Studies show that sleep deprivation can affect the brain and decision-making as heavily as drugs. The Sleep Cycle app makes it easy to optimize your sleep, so you never have to worry about that again. It uses movement detection—your phone has to lay on the bed with you—to track how often you toss and turn in the night, and accurately provides data of what times you were at your lightest and deepest sleeps. Also, in addition to tracking how many hours you get, it allows you to set a time frame in which you’d like to rise so it can peacefully wake you up when it senses that you’re at your lightest sleep cycle. And more brain power means more willpower to control when you work and when you play.
Sleep Cycle is available for free in the App Store and Google Play.
This one is a Google Extension instead of a mobile app, but it’s in the same vein of providing balance. Momentum makes it so that every time you open a new tab, a beautiful photo (that changes every day) greets you by name with an inspirational quote, a daily goal you can choose to fill out or not, and a little to-do list. It’s a small thing, but seeing that instead of a blank page or top sites when we open an infinite amount of tabs a day can help with your inspiration and remembering your priorities in life beyond the office.
Momentum is available for free as an extension in the Chrome Web Store.