The human brain has an uncanny knack for locking itself into a routine. Even though you might spend all day chanting a mantra of "I will wake up tomorrow at 4 a.m. to work out. I will wake up tomorrow at 4 a.m. to work out," you end up sleeping until noon in a cocoon of pillows and drool. Breaking our daily loops is tough work, and there are so many distractions and inefficiencies in our lives which compound that frustration even further. Fortunately, productivity software exists to jar you out of your current routine and set you on the path to success, and we've collected four shining examples of it here.
The one thing everyone needs in this world is a best friend -- that special someone with whom you can share your secrets and your dreams and that 130-page Supernatural fan fiction you've been working on. The problem with sharing your monumental work, though, is that there's no easy way to send something that surpasses the 25 mb attachment limit on an email.
So instead of giving cloud storage providers the keys to everything in your digital house, you can quickly share only what you want with Droplr. It lives in your menu bar, so you can just drag anything to the top of your screen to upload it to their servers. Everything you add gets a universally shareable link for email and chat, and it also integrates directly with design software like Photoshop and Sketch. Droplr even lets you annotate screenshots and convert screen recordings into GIFs, so your best friend can show themselves cringing at your work in real time. A four-year subscription is just $39.99 when you buy it here.
In a world full of lulz, Yas Queens, and #hashtags, it's getting harder and harder to switch your mindset back to professional communication. But we can attest that even if you're working for a pop culture site that trades in memes and photoshop contests, your boss is still going to expect you to bother yourself with such colonial formalities as grammar and fully formed sentences. Since the business world's common tongue isn't likely to get any easier, you could probably use a proofreader to rid your work-related emails of typos and swear words.
Ginger Page is a general-purpose text editor that helps improve your writing. Using algorithms and data far beyond our feeble comprehension, it analyzes your words and suggests alternate phrasings to get your point across more clearly, while still correcting for errors and expanding shorthand phrases. It also includes a built-in English personal trainer to help you build your language skills. Ginger Page has apps for mobile and desktop, and you can get a lifetime license for $69.99.
Nisus Writer Pro
Just because you have to use Microsoft Office for work doesn't mean you need to write your memoirs in Word. Those excessive rows of formatting options are great for adding personal flourishes to inter-office memos, but they can put a damper on your writing focus and drag you into a spiral of autoformatting oblivion. And don't even get us started on Clippy. No, we don't want your help, you condescending, aluminum-faced cretin!
For a fully customizable word processor that doesn't overwhelm with media embeds and table controls, Nisus Writer Pro is one of the best on the Mac. You can rearrange the control panels however you like, and make your own keyboard shortcuts. It also works with Word files for backward compatibility, and saves everything as universally accepted rich text files. And best of all, Clippy is nowhere in sight. Pick it up for $39.
The Award-Winning Speed Reading Bundle
Reading is great, until you have to do it on a time crunch. What can be immensely pleasurable to consume over a few days at the beach becomes nightmare fuel when it gets attached to a deadline. So if you find yourself stuck with a semester's worth of study guides to consume, or you just want to get through the entire A Song Of Ice And Fire series by the time Game Of Thrones starts back up, you should probably learn to speed read.
The Award-Winning Speed Reading Bundle includes two helpful tools that will give your eyes their own Rocky training montage. 7 Speed Reading EX lets you upload any PDF, website, or text file for practice, and it keeps track of progress and offers tips from speed-reading experts. Spreeder CX uses a rapid serial visual presentation to help you work through the material at light speed. You can grab this pair of apps for only $19.
For more ways to obliterate your rat race competition, check out 10 Ways To Escape 9-To-5 Hell For Good.