Clock time
Credit: By János Balázs on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Staying on top of a long to-do list is always a challenge, particularly when working from home surrounded by distractions.

Freelancing might come with the flexibility to choose all the stories and projects you get to work on, and to do it at a pace dictated by you, but how can you make sure you are managing your time as well as possible? have put together a list of apps you can take with you everywhere to help you out every step of the way, from planning a story and recording interviews more efficiently, to monitoring the total time spent on each project.


For interviews, Cogi combines note-taking with voice recording, allow you to record only the most important parts of a conversation to make transcribing more time-efficient.

Available on Android and iOS, Cogi also supports images, allowing you to keep all of your notes from an interview or a project in one place.

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Fetchnotes is great for general note taking and to-do lists, allowing you to organise files through hashtags and @mentions.

Available on Android and iOS or as a Chrome browser extension, Fetchnotes is a simple way to organise notes while typing, saving time by removing the need to add tags and labels once you've finished writing.


Available on Android and Windows Phone, Hashnotes is an app for writing quick password-protected notes and organise them using hashtags.

You can password-protect either selected notes only, or set the app to request a password on start-up. Hashnotes also lets you email notes, use dates as hashtags, and set up reminders through hashtags.

VoCal XL
VoCal XL is a reminder app that combines voice memos with alarms. Available on iOS, it helps keep track of tasks as well as ideas by offering a simple way to record your thoughts on the go.

VoCal can be used to set regular reminders and create an audio to-do list, or to record story ideas and thoughts on the move and set an alarm at a later time to remind you of them.


For time management, Android app Jiffy is great for keeping track of how long you spend on each assignment.

You need to remember to start and stop the clock, but it's all worth it as Jiffy then gives you a report calculating the time spent on each project during the day, week or a month.

Sunrise Calendar

If you're the sort of person who has multiple to-do lists, Sunrise Calendar can be used to store them all in one place.

Available on iOS, Android and desktop, the app also offers Google Maps integration if directions to places if they have been added as the location of an upcoming meeting, for example.

The iOS version also comes with a 'Today Widget' which appears in the notification centre for easier access to your to-do list for the day.


When you're deep in the work zone, Timeful is a good app for reminding yourself to take breaks.

Available on iOS, the Timeful calendar examines your schedule and points out the best time to take a screen-break.

It syncs with other calendars such as Google Calendar or iCal, and its scheduling recommendations get better the more you use the app.


For project management, Trello allows you to create 'boards' for different projects with 'cards' highlighting the tasks you have planned, those you are currently working on, and what you have already finished.

Available on desktop, iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Trello can also be used for collaborative work, as each board can be assigned to a team and team members can then comment on individual cards.

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is a great tool for organising notes and contacts, syncing across devices so you can access files saved on desktop from your mobile devices. Similarly, you can import images taken with your smartphone and upload them to your laptop through Evernote without having to spend more time transfering files.

Available on desktop, Android and iOS, Evernote also recognises text in images, so you can use it as a quick way to index business cards from your contacts for example.

Check out this guide to Evernote for journalists for more practical examples.


If you've ever missed an important call because you were busy working on your laptop, Pushbullet could come in handy.

Available on Android and iPhone, it mirrors notifications from your phone onto your desktop through a browser extension so you can immediately answer those calls.

Pushbullet also acts as a file transfer tool, so once you're done typing you can send the file straight to your phone.
If you have any other suggestions feel free to add them in the comments below or tweet us @journalismnews.

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