Best Minimal Productivity Apps: For Better Focus & Zen

Creating a minimal, focused environment to work will help to produce better results. Many productivity apps are designed in this fashion to help you retain focus and zen.

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The author of this post is Francesco D'Alessio
Francesco D'Alessio

Tuesday 9th May, 2023



Minimal Productivity Tools: What Are They?

These type of productivity tools are clean and focus on the core elements.

Whilst we will focus on three of these minimal productivity tools, the trend to be more focused on the design and experience is very much on the rise. A zen focus environment can improve many aspects of productivity, for some that could be writing, others that could be planning and many people like a focused timer for knowing what their focus is.

Many people enjoy using more focused tools - with less pop-ups, less distracting design and micro-management of smaller features. All of these tools enhance that and bring it to the core of their layout and feel.

When looking at minimal productivity tools, still remember your guiding principles to finding the perfect productivity tool, they are as follows:

  • Research - spend time finding the tool that matches your long-term needs. Think of a 3-5 year window when looking for the perfect productivity tool, it will help improve decisions, even when looking for minimalist approaches to productivity.
  • Trial - Do a 90-day trial with a tool to take it for a full-test drive.
  • Optimise - Once you know it is the ideal tool for your productivity, make a base on it. This means looking at ways people are using it, similar industry approaches and even features to get the most from the tool.

Minimal Task Management: Things 3

Things 3 on our list is a perfect example of minimal design.

Simple and nothing too overloaded allows users to keep things clear and focused on what’s at hand. Smaller features that people like in Things 3 are the “this evening” tab for adding tasks to this evening, without overloading the main “today” area and also the simple way to create projects and keep it structured.

People normally rave about the iOS and macOS designs of Things 3 as one of the best minimal task management applications out there for staying on task.

Minimal Timer: Session

Focused on you starting a timer, adding notes and taking breaks, Session is a well-designed - cleanly laid out - pomodoro-like timer application.

Session could be one of the best designed and functional pomodoro timer experiences. Especially when you’re focusing in timed environments, something that blocks the initial distractions is something you want and need. Well worth looking at it.

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