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Concept of an app icon with a butterfly on it showing the Ulysses app's functionality

Writing tool

Ulysses is a distraction-free editor that’s great for getting ideas down. Once they’re in the app, notes can be organised into projects, rearranged and then combined and exported. With iCloud support, all your text is accessible even when you’re queueing for another coffee. iOS.

£5.99 per month
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Concept of an app icon with a bear on it showing the Bearfocus app's functionality

Take a break

If you’re in thrall to petty distractions, grab Bear Focus Timer. Based on the Pomodoro method of work/break sprints, it makes you put your phone face-down to kick off the timer. Do well and you get illustrations of happy bears. Try to cheat and an angry bear scowls at you.

£1.19, Android; £1.99, iOS
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Concept of an app icon with a weather cloud on it showing the Carrot app's functionality

Witty weather check

What will the weather do during your next business trip? Dare you risk nipping into town, or will you get soaked? With CARROT Weather, you get forecasts delivered with snark, because this app is hosted by an AI with sass. In short, this one’s – surreally – a fun weather app.

Free, Android; £4.99, iOS
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Concept of an app icon with stacks of paper on it showing the Todoist app's functionality

To-do list organiser

Is your cunning mix of paper scraps, calendar app and scribbling on your hand just not cutting it? Bung all you need to do into the Todoist inbox and assign dates to items. Priorities surface in the Today and Next 7 Days categories, while less pressing stuff is earmarked for later. Android/iOS.

From free
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Concept of an app icon with a lock on it showing the 1Password app's functionality

Password manager

Whatever device you’re on, you need important personal details to hand. To prevent others accessing them, store logins in a password manager. 1Password integrates with browsers, works cross-platform and can house software licences, server logins and payment card information. Android/iOS.

From €2.65 per month
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Concept of an app icon with the Google logo on it showing the Google app's functionality

All content access

If you’re OOO, it’s vital you have relevant documents to hand. Enter cloud storage. Dropbox limits sync unless you pay. iCloud is weak for collaboration. So Google Drive is your best bet for reliable service. And you can easily take documents offline for when there’s no internet access. Android/iOS.

From free
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Concept of an app icon with a smile on it showing the Smiling app's functionality

Mindfulness guide

Smiling Mind invites you to temporarily forgo ‘always-on’ mode by taking ten minutes daily for yourself. Tell the app what you need help with and it’ll serve up brief stints of mindful meditation to leave you in a position to more readily handle any challenges lobbed your way. Android/iOS

Free
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 Concept of an app icon with a calendar on it showing the Fantastical app's functionality

Sync all calendar accounts

Fantastical offers many productivity-enhancing features – and a dash of humanity. Whichever device you use, you can quickly switch between a range of views, one being an endless ticker for rapidly zooming to future (or past) events. Includes time zone cards and weather reporting. iOS/iPadOS/MacOS

From £3.25 per month
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