What do you do when you need a distraction? Pick up your smartphone! Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook: all these apps are at your fingertips. Before you know it, you’re down an Instagram Stories rabbit hole — and far behind at work. But what if you could use your cell phone to make your work life and your leisure life better? With these productivity apps for better work/life balance, the seemingly impossible will suddenly seem possible.

Text by Martha Kendall

Person writing and using phone.

Day One

It’s hard to take a break from your busy life to journal every day. If this is something you want to prioritize, consider downloading Day One. This app acts as an online journal. You can add photos, voice recordings, geo tags, and more. It even tracks what time you’re writing and your physical activity for the day. The best part about this app is its reminders. The app will send push notifications throughout the day that remind you to journal. If you’ve ever taken a picture and wished you could caption the photo in your camera roll, this is the app for you. It’s a great way to record memories without taking too much time out of your day.

Person looking at digital calendar.

Air Table

Air Table is the ultimate app for keeping all of your projects organized. This is the only app where you can keep your grocery list and your novel outline in the same place while still staying organized. This app has a template for planning everything from school study guides to soccer tournaments. It allows you to separate tasks, items needed, etc. and even lets you add in notes and photos for each task.

google docs logo.

Google Docs

Google Docs gives your work or school assignments wheels. Whether you’ve been sitting on the bus for an hour or are waiting for your friends to finally show up at the restaurant, Docs lets you make use of your would-be-wasted time. You can even take it a step further and make spreadsheets with Google Sheets!

Books inside laptop.


Reading is great, but many people just don’t have the time. They could listen to audiobooks, but those are expensive. If you’re looking to get a good audiobook on a budget, download this app. Libby lets you connect your library card to access a vast collection of eBooks and audiobooks right from your phone. The best part is, it’s free! You can even download the books so they don’t waste your data on the go.

Online banking sit on computer.

Online Banking Apps

Whatever bank you use, make sure to download their app. These days, you can deposit checks right from your phone. You never have to worry about balancing your checkbook because the app does this for you. You can log in at any time and see exactly how much money is in your checking and savings account. Some apps even allow you to create budgets that connect to your account and send you text reminders when you are spending too much in a certain category.