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5 Software Apps for a Legitimate Productivity Boost

?Productivity? is the buzzword of the day: everyone?s got a million things to do, and no one has enough time to do it all. Life is much busier than it used to be, and keeping track can become overwhelming.

Luckily, technology has created tools for busy folks to help ease their bloated schedules. Productivity apps for both smartphones and computers allow users to work together on projects, keep track of documents and calendars, access data from anywhere, even steer us away from time-wasting websites. It?s become a trend in computer and smartphone apps, but not all productivity apps are created equal. These five are user-tested and do exactly what they purport to do: they make life easier to keep track of.

Springpad

Springpad is a free multitasking app: not only does it help you keep track of several items at once, but it harnesses the power of the Internet to help you collect information with just a few clicks. With the Board feature, users can use Springpad as a search engine and pull information from the Internet into their notebooks. And the ability to share those notes with other students means that distance learning students can share information with classmates and instructors, helping them to earn online degrees to collaborate on assignments. For work, it means being able to search for information on the fly during meetings and presentations. Springpad also has mobile apps for iPhone and Android, as well as a Chrome browser extension.

iCloud

For Mac users, iCloud is Apple?s upcoming cloud computing platform. The advantages are numerous: since Apple?s pushing for users to switch to the cloud, they?ve made most of their major apps sync with iCloud?and programs like Calendar and Mail are automatically updated across all of your Apple devices. That means your iTunes, apps, and photos are all synched and available on your Macbook, your iPad and your iPhone. The first 5G are free, but since music, books and apps don?t count toward the storage total, it?s a great deal.

ReadItLater

ReadItLater is a must for people with jobs that are research-intensive, or for students who want to compile information to comb through all at once. Along with being able to save pages from your computer or phone, you can read pages offline, which is helpful if you?re not in an area with an Internet connection. The app is free and is available for PC?s, Macs, Android and iPhones.

VMWare?s virtualization software

VMWare makes several programs, but their virtualization software can be a lifesaver for people who work remotely or are away from the office for a significant amount of time. Features include the ability to run several operating systems at once, as well as the ability to share physical resources from one computer with several machines. VMWare?s system is built for larger companies, but its features could help companies save money and boost efficiency.

Yast

Time management software isn?t new, but it is being used in new ways: Yast is for freelancers who want to keep accurate time records for projects, for students who want to break their study time into digestible bites, and for busy people who want to keep track of how much time they spend performing various tasks throughout the day. The interface is simple to use, but comprehensive enough that multiple tasks can be timed, and groups can use Yast to time several projects. The app is free, but there is a premium version for a small monthly fee, and it?s available for both computers and mobile phones.

As life becomes more hectic, finding ways to keep on top of our daily tasks can be made easier with productivity apps like these. There?s an app for every situation, no matter how complicated?find the right one for you, and bring some structure to your life.

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