Our favourite apps to boost productivity and crush procrastination

Simone Andrews
November 4, 2020

Exams are a tough time for any student, especially when there's a pandemic happening around you!

So, we've put together a list of our favourite apps to help boost your productivity and crush procrastination for good.

You know the saying... if there's a problem that needs solving, there's probably an app to do it.

In world where we're constantly connected, it can be easy to wonder off the exam revision path and dive into the rabbit hole of Instagram, Reddit (or the dreaded YouTube). But where there's an app for procrastination, there's an app for productivity.

Now believe it or not, the good folks here at Exercise Research Australia were students once too. And I can tell you, a good few of them were students long before the word 'app' even existed! 😜

But the techniques for boosting productivity have always been the same. Only, there's an app for that now! So, we're going to kick things off with 3 of our favourite apps to help you FOCUS.

Stay Focused

1. Forest

Available on: Android / iOS / Chrome Extension


Your phone is the biggest distraction you own. So why not turn that distraction into motivation?

Forest is an in-tree-guing little app, which motivates you to leave your phone alone and concentrate on the task at hand.
All you have to do is plant a seed when you start your work and as long as you leave your phone alone, the seed will eventually grow into a tree.
But beware... if you pick up your phone or exit the app for whatever reason, the tree will die. 😢
Plant enough trees and you will grow your very own forest!

Forest has been a favourite of ours for some time now. It's available on Android, iOS and as a Google Chrome browser extension.


2. Pomodoro

Available on: Android / iOS / Web Browser


When it comes to working for extended periods of time, everyone has their own preferred way of doing so.
If I have a lengthy project which requires quite a bit of mental energy, I like to split up my day with short breaks to refresh my mind before jumping back in.

Introducing the Pomodoro Technique! Pomodoro is a popular time management system to help you work with the time you have, rather than against it.

The method is to break up your study day into 25-minute blocks which are separated by five-minute breaks. The breaks are referred to as pomodoros. 🍅
After four pomodoros, you get a slightly longer break of 15 to 20 minutes, before the cycle starts again. 

Because the premise is so simple, there are lot's of apps and browser add-ons to choose from. We've linked our picks above. ⬆️⬆️⬆️


3. Toggl Track

Available on: Android / iOS / Chrome Extension

toggl track

When I sit down to work in the morning, I like to structure my day before diving in. This way I know exactly what I need to get done, and often I'll take it that one step further.

Toggl is a delightfully simple app which allows you to keep track of how much time you're spending on tasks.

Let's say you have 4 main tasks you have to complete by the end of the day. Part of your planning might be deciding how much time to spend on each task. Toggl allows you to do this, along with so much more!

And in case you're wondering, I've spent a total of 2 hours on this blog post since the start of the day 😉

Be Organised

4. Microsoft To Do

Available on: Android / iOS / Chrome Extension

to do

What is a planned day of work, without a tick box style to-do list?

There's something so satisfying about ticking off a task and watching it disappear from your list, only to be found in the 'completed' section when you're after a retrospective look at your accomplishments.

Microsoft To Do offers exactly that. Previously called Wanderlist (yes, I've been a fan for many years now), Microsoft took over earlier this year and have built the app into the product you see today.

Like most apps in this list, it's fully integrated with phone, tablet and desktop. Check it out and set your first task -  ☑️ Read ERA's Favourite Apps Blog


5. Google Calendar

Available on: Android / iOS / Chrome Extension

google calendar

Whatever career path you decide to take, you will most likely come across a calendar based scheduling system. 

Google Calendar is an oldie, but a goodie. It integrates seamlessly with most productivity apps, and works across just about every platform you can think of!

Whether you decide to go with your phone's native calendar, the classic Outlook and a different third party app, structuring your days and weeks with event based timetables is a great way to stay organised and boost your productivity.


6. VCE PE Unit 3 Study Guide

Available now: Free Download

Study Guide-1

What do you mean this isn't an app?! OK, you got me. But hear me out...

The ultimate way to stay ahead of yourself when it comes to VCE PE exam revision is to structure your time using a Study Guide. 
There are plenty of sites which offer step-by-step instructions on how to create a targeted study guide for your area of study. But when it came to VCE PE, we wanted to do the hard work for you.

Whether you're deep in your revision or have only just started, the guide will work with you to help identify those gaps in knowledge, and direct your learning.

Learn Better

7. Quizlet

Available on: Android / iOS


Everybody's learning style is different. Some of us prefer writing things down, whereas others like a more visual approach to learning. The main thing is that the information goes in, and stays in.

Quizlet is one of our favourite learning apps in that it mimics paper flashcards and is so, so easy to interactive with.
There's a variety of ways you can create cards - using simple text or adding in images. It appeals to more than one learning style, which is another reason why we love it.

There's a community space where you can find and view collections created by other users. Just make sure that what you're learning is up-to-date!


8. VCE PE Resource Hub

Find out more: The Secret Weapon for VCE PE Students

Resource Hub

Let's be real here, what is the purpose of an app exactly?

Apps quite literally make our lives easier. So, we've designed the perfect 'app' to make your VCE PE revision time a WHOLE lot easier!

It's been dubbed 'The Secret Weapon for VCE PE Students', and here's why - The VCE PE Resource Hub works in tandem with your Study Guide, to help you get the results you need come exam time.

  • Study Summary - For a simple framework to help you answer difficult PE exam questions.
  • VCE PE Community - To ask and receive answers to common exam questions from our content experts.
  • 25+ Video Lessons - Premium video content which covers every key concept from the Unit's 3 & 4 study design.
  • Interactive Quizzes - Multi-choice and self-marking to check your understanding.
  • Pace Yourself - Structured for you to work through at your own pace, as many times as you need.

Check out what you can access on the VCE PE Resource Hub below:

Before you download every new app you can get your hands on, have a think about where your productivity is falling short. It's important to start small, so start with what you feel will work for you and go from there. 

What do you think about our favourite apps? Are there any you feel we missed off the list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 😀

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