Managing your tasks shouldn't be a distraction unto itself. These desk mates let your phone handle the hard stuff.
Update, February 2022: We’ve added new picks and refreshed the descriptions.
Otter is great for automatically transcribing important meetings. The transcription is not 100 percent accurate, but it’s close enough for you to understand the larger context. Clicking on a section of the transcript starts the audio file at that moment. Always be proactive and ask for consent before recording any conversation. The phone app works well for in-person meetings, but you need to have a Business-level membership to fully integrate with Zoom. Otter provides 600 minutes a month of free transcription services for meetings that last up to 30 minutes, which is plenty of assistance for less steady users.
Knowing when to take a break is a crucial component of sustained productivity. Whether it’s a walk around the block or a guided meditation, have strategies prepared to ease your anxiety during hectic days. A Headspace subscription gives you access to a variety of soothing meditations. The app’s Focus tab has options tailored specifically to workplace situations. For someone who is easily distracted but enjoys a little background noise, HeadSpace’s nature soundscapes provide just enough ambience; “Cabin Downpour” and “Redwood Canopy” are personal favorites.
Price: $13 per month, $70 per year
Pocket archives web articles, news stories, and online documents into a personal library so you can read them later in the app’s distraction-free interface. Collect industry headlines, sync them to your phone, and focus as you read the articles offline. The basic service is free. For more search functions and a permanent library of saved articles, Pocket Premium costs $5 a month or $45 a year.
A smartphone is a wellspring of distractions, and sometimes you need encouragement to put the screen down. When setting a focus timer with Flora, the app plants a digital tree that only grows if you refrain from using your phone. It’s free to download, and Flora offers different subscription tiers if you want your successfully grown digital forest to correspond with real-world tree plantings.
If your Achilles’ heel is social media distractions, try automating it. Schedule your posts for the day in Buffer, then close Instagram and get back to your work or family. The app handles all the major social media platforms and gives you reports on what your followers clicked on.
From the people who brought you the iconic Moleskine notebooks, this app keeps track of tasks, appointments, and reminders. Organize lists as obsessively as you want with custom color coding on Actions, and set reminders liberally if you need nudging.
Price: $2 per month, $12 per year
More Great WIRED Stories📩 The latest on tech, science, and more: Get our newsletters!The metaverse-crashing life of Kai LennyYou can rent a robot worker for less than paying a humanThis recyclable boat is made from woolAre you sure you know what a photograph is?Humanity has turned land itself into a menace👁️ Explore AI like never before with our new database💻 Upgrade your work game with our Gear team’s favorite laptops, keyboards, typing alternatives, and noise-canceling headphonesMost Popular GearThe 15 Best Electric Bikes for Every Kind of Ride