As a student, it is very important to stay productive, especially when you are overwhelmed with course tasks and exams. Staying organised and keeping track of how you spend your time is imperative for remaining productive. This is where time tracking apps come into play. These apps allow you to easily start and stop a timer, and they can help you balance your study time and your idle time by showing you how much time you spend studying versus scrolling through social media. They can also alert you if you are spending too much time on one task, which might mean that you are not progressing on it and that you need a break.
Time-tracking apps transform your data into comprehensive reports that help you understand how long it takes to complete different tasks and when to switch tasks to avoid wasting time. When coupled with good time-management techniques such as writing down your tasks and breaking them down into smaller steps, these apps can help you get everything done on time.
To inspire you to stay focused, we identified 6 time-tracking apps which can help you reach your productivity goals!
One of the great things about time-tracking apps is that they motivate you to stay on track and not get distracted, especially if you are remote learning and you do not have a teacher or a professor to watch over you. If you are new to tracking apps and you are not ready to invest in a subscription plan yet, you can always try Clockify, which is a free time tracker and timesheet app. The good thing about Clockify is that you can sync your data across devices as the app has web, desktop, and mobile versions. It also has a free Chrome extension so you can track time directly from your browser.
Focus Booster is based on the Pomodoro technique which is a time-management method designed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s during his time as a university student. This technique breaks work into smaller intervals (typically lasting 20-25 minutes) that are separated by short breaks (usually 5-10 minutes). This is believed to help increase productivity by reducing any interruptions and it is great for students who struggle with concentration and spend a long time in front of their textbooks. Focus Booster automatically records your Pomodoro sessions which lets you review how you spent your time and gain insights on how to increase productivity. The good thing about this time-tracking app is that you can use it online, on Windows and Mac, and on your mobile phone.
Apploye is a simple time tracking software that can be used both by individuals and by businesses. As a student, you can use Apploye to keep track of the apps or programs you are using as well as the websites you are browsing while studying. The software also shows you how much time you spend on each website or app, which can be very helpful in identifying idle time activities and determining how many of those can be substituted with something more productive.
Apploye has a Pomodoro timer that notifies you to take a break after working for a certain period of time as well as an idle time feature that notes long-time inactivity and gives you a friendly nudge to go back to studying. There is also a scheduling feature where you can mark course task deadlines or exam dates which can prevent you from procrastinating.
If you are more of a visual person, give Forest a try. The Forest app lets you plant trees whenever you want to stay focused. You can set a timer or a stopwatch and your tree will grow while you work. The app keeps you accountable in a very unique way. The moment you leave the app before your scheduled time, the tree will wilt away and die. The app has a Deep Focus feature that helps you avoid distractions from other apps by automatically guiding you back to Forest if you leave the app during a “planting season”. What is the most interesting part about Forest, you ask? By growing virtual trees, you can earn coins that can be saved up and used to help plant real trees!
Time productivity is not only achieved by knowing how much time you spend on studying and doing projects, but also by limiting any distractions. Apps such as Freedom can help you limit the time you spend on apps and websites that have a tendency to affect your focus. You can decide which websites and apps to block and for how long, across all your devices. For example, you can block social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram to avoid aimlessly scrolling during your study time. Instead, you can leave access to useful websites such as those offering creative subscriptions for students that help you design better school projects for a lot less time than it would take you to create them from scratch. The good thing about Freedom is that it is available for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and Chrome.
AntiSocial works in a similar logic as Freedom, however, it is designed only for smartphones. It goes one step further by analysing all your daily media activity and provides insights such as how many times a day you unlock your phone, the total number of minutes spent on social media, and your favourite apps. This app is very helpful for students who are addicted to social media because it not only provides them with a comprehensive report of their mobile phone usage but also has tools that blacklist apps to reduce students’ smartphone dependency.
Time-tracking apps can be very helpful for international students who are taking intensive courses such as the CELTA course in Seville that offer the opportunity to both learn and travel. Students who move abroad for education might find it even harder to focus on what they have to do when everything around them is new. Tracking your time and increasing your focus can not only help you be more productive but also create more free time for other activities in a new country!
Dilek Asanoska is a content creator and social media analyst who works with multiple languages including English, Korean, Turkish, Macedonian, and occasionally, Spanish. She is also a freelance fashion designer and a contributing writer who covers a variety of topics including, but not limited to, fashion, beauty, interior design, lifestyle, PR, marketing, etc.