Apps

8 apps to use when working from home

Conquer your to-do list and maintain your productivity!

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The outbreak of COVID-19 shows no sign of stopping. With no end in sight for the deadly disease, companies are resorting to a remote working environment for their employees. After all, most employees use smartphones and laptops that makes work from home possible.

For employees working at home for the first time, it can be a difficult task on where to start. There are many apps out there that could potentially distract you from reaching your full productivity levels. That’s why we compiled apps which can help you on your daily grind at the comfort of your home.

Tide (meditation and timer app)

Working for hours can be draining. As such, you tend to lose focus and your productivity levels suffer as a result. This is where Tide comes in. The name itself invokes a familiar sight on a calm beach. For the app itself, the combination of meditation and productivity timer in one makes it a great tool for everyone working at home.

You can set different timers for focusing on your work. By default, the app uses the pomodoro technique where tasks are divided into 25-minute sessions with breaks in between. The app’s breathe mode allows you to meditate and focus on your breath. Meanwhile, the sleep and nap timer tracks and helps you achieve that elusive sleep after a long day of grinding at work.

Download on Google Play Store or Apple App Store

Slack (work collaboration app)

Slack is a household name for remote work collaboration. As a matter of fact, we use this app at GadgetMatch for updates and pitching in articles. The app is straightforward to use — it’s comparable to most chat apps on the market, but better. You can reply to someone’s message, which will become a thread in itself where you can also react and reply to keep the conversation going.

Slack shines the most when used as a collaboration tool for work teams. As such, the app may not be useful to you if your company doesn’t have its own Slack workspace. You’ll need an invite to join a workspace and a channel. Once you’re invited, you can say anything to the channel you’re allowed in. Plus, you can also message a fellow user directly and privately.

Download on Google Play Store or Apple App Store

Gmail (email app)

Who doesn’t use Gmail to handle their email inbox? Google’s mail service has been around for a long time, making it a popular tool for sending and receiving emails. To utilize Gmail for best productivity, you can create automatic filters and labels which does the job of sorting out important work emails from personal ones.

Gmail’s smart compose feature is also a plus when typing new emails to your colleagues and bosses. And with the intelligent features baked in, you will see important emails right in front of your inbox. That makes it perfect for dealing with tasks with tight deadlines.

Download on Google Play Store or Apple App Store

Microsoft To-Do (to-do list app)

A day’s work is more exciting if you have a to-do list to conquer. Microsoft To-Do is basically that: a to-do list app, but with added features so you can conquer the day with confidence. By default, the app takes you to the “My Day” tab, where you can add your own to-do for the day. You have the option to create a sub-task within a certain task too, making it a versatile companion for focusing on your daily hustle.

The app’s versatility doesn’t stop there. You can remind yourself of an upcoming to-do, and even set it to repeat daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. Plus, you can even set it to repeat at a custom time. The biggest advantage of this app, however, is the option to set a due date. Setting a deadline for a certain task is very useful especially when working at home where numerous distractions abound.

And unlike other to-do list app, you can add images, notes, and files directly to a certain task.

Download on Google Play Store or Apple App Store

Microsoft Office (document creation app)

If you ever need a mobile companion for editing documents on the go, Microsoft Office app will more than suit your needs. Almost everything that you would expect from the desktop app is on the mobile app too. In the past, Microsoft used to offer three different apps for editing document, spreadsheet, and presentation files just like in the desktop. However, the company recently released a brand-new app which bundles Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and even Lens in one.

From the app, you can open and edit any documents from the local file directory or your OneDrive account. Microsoft Office even supports opening and converting PDFs, so you can view and edit an important document from your email inbox.

Download on Google Play Store or Apple App Store

Google Keep (note-taking app)

Keeping tabs of notes while working on a certain task can be daunting. While some of us may opt for a physical sticky-notes to keep tabs of the important stuff, some prefer a digital solution. After all, it’s much easier to use a digital note-taking app that synchronizes your notes on all devices.

That is what Google Keep does for its users. It’s dead simple to use and you can jot your notes within the app in no time. Additionally, you can change the color and label of your own notes if you’re obsessed with organizing stuffs. The biggest advantage of this app yet over its traditional counterpart is the ability to store and sync your notes from the cloud. Worrying over a sticky-note that you were supposed to pin on a board is now a thing of the past with this app.

Download on Google Play Store or Apple App Store

Toggl (time tracking app)

It can be a struggle to keep track of the time you work on something while at home. Toggl is a timesheet app that simplifies time tracking for you. You can set the app to automatically track the time while you work on a certain task. The time tracked can be displayed on your calendar too.

At the end of the day, the app will nudge you with stats and reports so you can see how productive you are for the day. This is useful if you always struggle completing a task because you had numerous distractions at home.

Download on Google Play Store or Apple App Store

LinkedIn (work social networking app)

LinkedIn is a social networking site just like Facebook. However, it’s more focused on work-related stuff. Here, you can follow a company’s profile for any updates related to work and daily operations. Plus, you can also follow a colleague. Following a colleague allows you to message him/her at any time of the day too. This is useful for getting in touch with a workmate regarding any company announcement that you missed while at home.

You could also search for new jobs on LinkedIn. The job search feature allows you to search for a part-time freelancing gig. More importantly, you could build connections with other people who can vouch you for a job you’re applying. And since this is a social networking site for work, your own profile will serve as a resume where you can post your achievements and boast your real-life skills.

Download on Google Play Store or Apple App Store

Bonus: Forest (productivity gaming app)

Who says that work at home can’t be fun? This app literally gamifies your work session. It works by letting you grow a virtual tree within a 25-minute period. The tree slowly grows as time progresses. However, once you leave the app, the tree dies. You wouldn’t want a tree to die, so you’ll be left with no other choice but to stick to the app and let the timer finish.

As such, you will be forced to focus on your work while the tree grows. It’s relaxing and satisfying to watch your tree grow while you conquer your task within the given time. The app cultivates a habit of productivity too, since any tree you’ve successfully grown will earn you coins that you can use to purchase another tree species. And the best part about this is that you can donate that coin to tree planting and conservation efforts for our planet.

Download on Google Play Store or Apple App Store

SEE ALSO:
How to disinfect your tech from the coronavirus
Apple: Coronavirus might cause iPhone shortage
COVID-19 effect: Facebook, Twitter employees advised to work from home


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

Apps

Instagram possibly letting users pay for a blue badge

Copied from Twitter’s playbook

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Twitter got the internet into an uproar after implementing a way to pay for a coveted blue checkmark. Despite the controversy, other social media platforms are potentially introducing similar systems soon. As spotted in new code, Instagram has started referencing paid badges, hinting at a similar feature in the future.

First noticed by developer Alessandro Paluzzi (who spotted other unannounced developments in the past), Instagram’s coding includes mentions of an “IG_NME_PAID_BLUE_BADGE_IDV,” via TechCrunch. Additionally, Paluzzi found references to a Facebook version of the same code. To cap things off, he also discovered a few references to an upcoming subscription product from the current code.

A word of caution, though: Small references inside code might not mean much for the platform’s future plans. Paluzzi himself says that the feature is essentially unconfirmed for now, especially without a prototype.

Given the controversy surrounding the paid blue checkmark, it’s likely that Facebook and Instagram are waiting if Twitter’s experiment translates to better revenue in the long run. Though the initial Twitter Blue brouhaha simmered down for now, the new feature — along with Musk’s other changes to Twitter — are still experiments to test the new ownership’s vision for the platform.

For their part, both Facebook and Instagram have experimented with additional features to expand their offerings to their users. It’s not unheard of for either platform to draw inspiration from the winning features of other social media platforms.

SEE ALSO: Twitter reverses Facebook, Instagram ban

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Apple Music launches ‘Rihanna’s Road to Halftime’

In anticipation of Super Bowl 2023

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Apple Music Rihanna

After succeeding Pepsi as NFL’s official Super Bowl Halftime Show partner, Apple Music is pulling all the stops as it braces for its first ever show in the sports event, which features music icon Rihanna.

In anticipation of her upcoming Super Bowl LVII halftime performance in Glendale, Arizona on February 13, Apple Music has launched Rihanna’s Road to Halftime”, letting streamers experience the superstar’s music catalogue in deeply-enriched multidimensional sound.

Apple Music Radio will also be holding a Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show press conference on February 10, with Nadeska Alexis interviewing Rihanna herself ahead of her highly-awaited performance in United States’ annual sports spectacle.

An 8-episode “Rihanna Revisited Radio” will also keep fans engaged as the countdown to Super Bowl LVII continues ticking.

Even after the performance itself, Apple Music will have people covered with its Halftime Recap Radio” to wrap everything up.

Meanwhile, the new Apple Music Sing feature will also allow subscribers to take the mic and reenact Rhianna’s hits on compatible iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV 4K models.

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Controversial Netflix policy might ban users for sharing passwords

Company says plans are still unconfirmed

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Likely eclipsed only by Twitter, Netflix has gone through a ton of changes since last year. Underlying most of the new changes is a desire to curb password sharing. Now that 2023 is alive and kicking, the platform is readying its grand strategy to eliminate the phenomenon once and for all. Before the company can reveal their plans, a new report has leaked what’s coming for subscribers.

According to The Streamable, Netflix has changed its Netflix Help Center to reflect the new strategy. Based on the changes, the platform will require all profiles using a single account to be from the same primary location. If the platform detects that someone is using the account in another location, Netflix can reportedly block that user automatically.

To remain in the fold of an account, devices must sign into their home Wi-Fi every 31 days to check in. Any device who can’t do so might get blocked. Incorrect blockings can only be resolved with a call to Netflix’s support.

Now, the biggest controversy revolves around those who travel regularly. Users can reportedly request for a temporary code from Netflix to use the service in another location for seven consecutive days.

Though the changes were spotted on Netflix’s official pages, none of them have been officially announced yet. The page has been reverted to a vaguer version which only asks users in other households to have their own account. In a separate statement issued to The Verge, the company has stated that plans for subscribers (in the United States, at least) are still unconfirmed.

Still, the changed website is viewable via archiving sites like Way Back Machine. A change in the official support page might have come from a premature announcement, rejected plans, or an error.

SEE ALSO: Netflix confirms One Piece adaptation coming this year

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