Best Time Management App List 2020

Finding the best time management apps can be a challenge. Every one has a different ideas of what “works” and what’s “effective.” When I look for a time management app, whether it’s a daily routine app or a calendar, I look for something to keep me on task, send me reminders, and you know… look pretty 🙂

My road to time management proficiency was a rocky one. I was homeschooled until high school. I never had to keep up with homework, quiz dates, chapter readings, etc. When I started high school, I cried almost daily because I didn’t how to study effectively or manage my time. It wasn’t until college that I started to set myself up with systems that would keep me on track no matter what!

best time manage app 2020

By the time I hit grad school, I was a time management pro! I was student teaching, studying, newlywed, living in a house that was for sale, and trying to maintain a somewhat relevant social life! That’s when/why I started this blog! And here we are 🙂 So, when people ask me: “What are the best time management apps for college students?” I’ve got quite a few suggestions!!

“Time management” is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities. Good time management enables you to work smarter – not harder – so that you get more done in less time, even when time is tight and pressures are high. Failing to manage your time damages your effectiveness and causes stress.

So, let’s break apart this definition of time management and apply it to your life!

  1. Define your activities
  2. Plan your time
  3. Organize your environment
  4. Be effective with your time
  5. Manage your stress

Define Your Activities

The first step to good time management is to define what’s important to you. I once heard that we can do about five life activities well. Think about what yours are. For me, this looks like:

  1. Work
  2. Being a mom & wife
  3. Writing a blog
  4. Gym time
  5. Tutoring before & after school

For you, the list may look like:

  1. Classes
  2. Studying
  3. Church
  4. Work
  5. Friends

If you find you have more than five major life activities, it may be time to cut down some time spent on things. For example, I’m currently in Junior League. But it just isn’t a high enough priority to make my “top 5.” Knowing that, I submitted my resignation for it last month. I don’t believe in doing things half-heartedly or being busy for busy-ness sake.

You may also find that you need to eliminate some things- and that’s ok! It’s ok to do less in order accomplish things more effectively!

how to create a time map

Plan Your Time

Now it’s time to put those times into your calendar! I like to use a “time map” for this step. Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to create a time map. Your time map will allow you to map out your weekly schedule! Remember to start with the activities that are most important to you! And remember to be realistic about how much time you need for driving, sleeping, getting ready, etc. Leaving a bit of “transition time” will keep you from feeling stressed!

best time management app TimeTree

Time management app for this: TimeTree

Cost: Free

TimeTree is by far my favorite calendar app! And believe me, I have tried a LOT of calendar apps! I just wanted something that was simple to use, could be color-coded, and had pretty colors 🙂 TimeTree delivers all those things, and also has the capability of being a shared calendar. You can schedule long-term tasks, and even “keep” events that don’t have a date yet! This app is so positively reviewed! Perfect for college & grad students, and busy families!

Organize Your Activities

So, organizing your activities would include keeping an effective to-do list or keeping up with your progress on different tasks. Everything fits neatly into your schedule, and now you need a way to keep up with your progress. Make sure you update this information daily so you don’t waste time figuring out where to start next time!

Best time management app: TickTick

Time management app for this: TickTick

Cost: Free ($2.40/m Premium subscription available, but I don’t have that)

No, not TikTok (which is probably the opposite a productive app). TickTick is a SUPER simple to-do list app that makes it easy to quickly add tasks and send yourself reminders to do them! It’s kind of like the Reminders app on the iPhone, but I find it easier to set due dates on TickTick. I have the regular (aka free) version, but the Premium version shows all kinds of graphs and insights about your task management, too!

Be Effective with Your Time

When I think about being effective with time, I think about actually having the energy and focus to do each thing. Make sure you have things scheduled at times that you’ll actually get them done. For example, don’t schedule a 5:00 AM spin class in your time map if you know you’re not a morning person! Schedule activities at realistic times for you to accomplish them!

What does research say about the best time of day to do things? A lot!

Here’s a quick list of the “best times of day” to do all kinds of things!

  • The best time of day to accomplish “work” is between 8AM-12PM. This is when your brain is most alert. Productivity is highest on Mondays and drops daily throughout the week. We also accomplish more in the Fall and Summer than we do in Spring. Winter is the least productive month. (Source: Quartz at Work)
  • The best time of day to handle household chores/cleaning is 4:00PM. Your hand-eye coordination is most effective and your brain is starting to take a break from all it’s hard work in the morning. (Source:
  • The best time of day to exercise is between 1:00PM-4:00PM. Although, there is also a lot of research showing that morning workouts are also effective for helping you focus throughout the day and sleep better. Most importantly, squeeze in at least 20 minutes of exercise whenever you can! Any time is better than no time!! (Source:
  • The best amount of time to spend on creative work is 90 minutes. It could be right after waking for you or at night, but schedule in 90-minute blocks of time to work on your creative projects! (Source: PsychologyToday)
  • The best time of day to study is 5AM-10AM or 5:00PM-9:00PM. These are times with the fewest distractions. This is also perfect for both full-time students and night students (with adult jobs)! (Source:
Best Time Management App LifeCycle

Time management app for this: LifeCycle

Cost: Free ($9.99/m Premium subscription available, but I don’t have that)

LifeCycle is a super cool app that runs in your background all the time. It uses your location to determine how much time you spend on various activities! According to their website, this app only uses 1% of your phone’s battery. I downloaded this one over a year ago, so I now have a donut showing how I spent my time for the whole year! It also tells you “trends” about how you’re spending your time. I highly recommend it!!

Manage Your Stress

The final part of effective time management is to manage your stress. Keeping your time balanced is a great way to reduce stress! Those 12-hour study sessions? They’re the enemy of a calm mindset! Instead, plan studying or work on projects for short increments of time over a longer period of time. Use a long-term project-planner to help with this!

Best Apps: Sanvello

Time management app for this: Sanvello

Cost: Free ($8.95/m Premium subscription available, but I don’t have that)

Sanvello used to be called Pacifica. What I love about this app is that it has several different activities you can use to manage stress, anxiety, and depression. You can do a weekly check-in, get your “score” for the week, and then do the suggested activities. It also asks how much time you spent on various mental health activities each day, such as time with friends, exercise, or time outside. It also gives you insights/trends over time. Super great for self-cultivation and maintaining a balanced, positive mindset.


Effective time management comes from prioritizing your activities, scheduling into your day/week at effective times, and giving yourself starting and ending times. Keep your workload low by using these tips to plan ahead! Finally, manage your stress with frequent reflections and practicing mindfulness. We’ve all got busy lives, but you are in charge of how you manage your life. YOU GOT THIS!!

Best time management app 2020

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Encouraging Books for 2020

Encouraging books are one of my favorite parts of my morning routine. Last summer, I downloaded Audible as a way to pass the time during summer break. But I had no idea that once I downloaded it, I would become an audiobook junkie!

Encouraging books for millennials

Now, I listen to encouraging books (read: audiobooks) for about an hour every morning while I get ready! It takes the boredom out of doing my hair. And the promise of learning something new actually gives me more incentive to get out of bed in the mornings!

Here are some of my favorite encouraging books for Millennials:

Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis

Girl, Wash Your Face | Rachel Hollis

This is one of the most encouraging books of the decade. Everyone has been all about this book lately, and for good reason! I’d never heard of Rachel Hollis before it, but listening to this book made me a huge fan! She is honest and real, even when it’s embarrassing (like a story about shaving her toes). It’s like advice a big sister would give you. And since I don’t have a big sister, I appreciated it SO MUCH. This book is great for anyone in college, out of college, in their first real job, newly married, new moms, and working moms… I honestly can’t think of a stage of life where this book wouldn’t be helpful 🙂

Of Mess and Moxie, Jen Hatmaker

Of Mess and Moxie | Jen Hatmaker

Jen Hatmaker is one of my most favorite authors ever. Her book, Interrupted, literally changed my life. It’s what made me want to leave the world of private schools and teach in one of the most low-income neighborhoods in America. She is so real and raw and FUNNY. This book is way less intense than Interrupted or Seven. This book is about extracting all the joy you can out of your daily life. Jen’s writing is fun, encouraging, and will give you the emotional boost you may be needing. This book is fun and encouraging for women of all ages!

Captivate by Vanessa Van Edwards

Captivate | Vanessa Van Edwards

This book is all about body language and other subconscious things that are important for relationship building. Vanessa is a social researcher and she shares the best place to stand in a party, what to do in a job interview, and how to work better with your coworkers. Plus, I love it that she backs everything up with science. And I love it even more that she conducts most of the research herself. Her stories and experiments are fascinating! If you are job-searching, YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT THIS BOOK!

Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

Designing Your Life | Bill Burnett & Dave Evans

These two guys actually teach a course on this at Stanford. But since taking a course at Stanford isn’t practical for most of us, this book is a good substitute! This book primarily focuses on Design Thinking, which along with Growth Mindset, is all the rage in education these days. This book tells stories of people who had no life plan or who changed the current path of their lives. If you are contemplating a career change, this book is for you. If you are fresh out of school and looking for your next steps, this book is for you. No matter your phase of life, this book is for you. It will definitely give you some insights into what you are passionate about!

You are a Badass, Jen Sincero

You Are a Badass | Jen Sincero

This book is probably the most self-helpy one on this list. However, Jen Sicnero’s style of writing and storytelling is pretty funny, even if you aren’t into that kind of book. Her basic message is that the universe is conspiring in your favor. It may sound cheesy, or fantasy-like, but I truly believe there is something to be said for a positive mindset! She talks a lot about how she has overcome obstacles in her life. And she tells stories that have helped her learn important life lessons. Her honesty is refreshing and maybe the motivation you need to get back on track. This book is perfect for anyone feeling a little down or stuck in life.

Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin

Better Than Before | Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin has become one of my favorite authors over the past few months. Even if you haven’t heard of her, you would probably recognize the cover of her first book The Happiness Project. I remember seeing it in FedEx Office in college (I spent a LOT of time at FedEx Office). This book is like Organized Charm on steroids. Gretchen is amazing. She researches, she writes, she shares. Everything in this particular book is about creating new habits. 21 different strategies total. 21! It will help you run daily, eat healthier, sleep earlier, study consistently, WHATEVER your dream goal it! Definitely check it out 🙂 This book is good for anyone looking to make life changes, but needing concrete steps to do it!

Read: 3 Habits That Will Boost Your Productivity
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

Daring Greatly | Brené Brown

Brené Brown’s main topic is vulnerability. She researches vulnerability, why we hate it for ourselves but like to see it in others, and how it can make us better leaders and humans. This particular book focuses on taking risks and is full of advice and great quotes. “If you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback”. How often do we accept judgments of others WHO ARE NOT IN OUR SITUATIONS? And on the flip side of that, how often do we judge others when WE are not in the arena? This book is perfect for anyone needing a little extra boost of encouragement to take a big leap.

Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown

Braving the Wilderness | Brené Brown

Brown encourages you to look at what lies you tell yourself and the power they hold over you. Everyone feels like they are a little weird/different/unlike anyone else. And guess what? You are. None of us have had the same mix of personality, upbringing, life experiences, education, skills, talents, etc. This is something we P R E A C H in Kindergarten, but it’s so hard to follow as adults. Brown encourages you to be true to yourself, even at the risk of feeling like you don’t fit in. It’s a message that we start needing to hear when we’re about 12, and apparently never stop needing to hear. This book is perfect for people who are “pleasers” or are seeking to fit in.

You might also like: How to Actually Accomplish Your Goals
The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

The Four Tendencies | Gretchen Rubin

This book is like a spin-off of Better Than Before. Rubin talks about how there are four main categories of people when it comes to habit formation. What I like is that she’s not saying there are four main ways to BE or four main personality types. She’s saying, when it comes to forming (or quitting) a habit, there are four ways people handle it. This book helps you find out what YOUR tendency is and those of your children, coworkers, roommates, spouse, etc. Great for anyone who is starting new habits or looking to work better with others. 

Also read: Good Habits for College Classes
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic | Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic is one of those books that gives you a little surge of optimism with every paragraph. Elizabeth Gilbert’s writing is so encouraging, matter-of-fact, and inspiring that you can’t help but pick up her positive energy. She talks about how long she spent on her dream of being a writer before her first book was ever published. Gilbert walks us through how to be courageous enough to share our creative work. She talks about not trying to satisfy your ego (because you never will). And she talks about creating for FUN, not for money. This book is great for any makers/creators who hold themselves back out of fear.

You might also like: How to Feng Shui Your Work Space
Encouraging books for 2020

Most of these books are ones that focus on emotional, warm and fuzzy type things. I’ll probably do a follow-up book on my favorite professional growth books soon! I know that there are SO MANY encouraging books for both personal and professional growth. Please tell me which ones are your favorites! 🙂

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Best Teacher Gifts Under $25

Teacher gifts can be challenging. Whether your child’s teacher’s birthday is coming up, or you’re a teacher participating in Secret Santa, it’s always tough to know what others will like. If you’re looking to get a little more creative than the traditional Starbucks gift card (and support small business), then here are some of the best teacher gifts for you!

Book Lovers’ Soy Candles from Frostbeard

Do you know what most teachers love? Books and candles. When you find something that combines the two, it is truly exciting! Frostbeard is a candle shop based in Minneapolis, Minnesota that focuses on candles for book lovers. You can choose from scents like Bookstore, Old Books, Oxford Library, and Headmaster’s Office, just to name a few! They also offer several sizes, so you can go big or tiny based on your teacher gift needs 🙂

Laptop Stickers from Coffeein5th & NewHampshireBelle

Laptop stickers are perfect teacher gifts! Teachers love motivational quotes and cute illustrations. It’s part of the job. Laptop stickers are the perfect way to gift a teacher with a pretty little dose of positivity each time he or she opens up a laptop to take attendance. And speaking of that, NewHampshireBelle has the perfect sticker reminding them to do that, too… admin will thank you 😉

( Get better at taking attendance here —> Tips for Forming Good Habits )

iPhone Charger Decal from FourPandas

This shop out of Jacksonville, Florida offers all kinds of monogrammed teacher gift ideas! Teachers (and I can only speak for the Southern ones) LOVE monogrammed gifts! I love monogrammed gifts because they show that you put some thought into it ahead of time. Plus, teachers (along with everyone else) can never have enough chargers!

Personalized Notebook from OldWaysFuss&Feathers

I feel comfortable telling you that, no matter the teacher you’re thinking about, he or she is a list-maker. Teachers just can’t help it. There are a million and one things to remember: Notes to take in meetings, things to copy, children to send to the office early next Tuesday at 11:10. #teacherlife is impossible without lists and notes, which is why notebooks are one of the best teacher gifts! These sweet notebooks out of North Vernon, Indiana just add an extra little bright spot to list-making! 

Read: Weekly Lesson-Planning Process

Teacher T-Shirts from uniquebelletique

“Wait a minute…” you may be thinking. “Teachers wear t-shirts about teaching?” Yes. Yes, we do. On a dress down day, a teacher shirt, jeans, and cute tennis shoes are the most Instagrammable teacher outfit you can imagine! Teacher t-shirts make great teacher gifts! Luckily, Etsy is FULL of cute shops with tons of options, like uniquebelletique out of Midlothian, Texas, and whimsyandwhiteboards out of Salem, Oregon. 


No teacher gift is complete without a meaningful card. In fact, you could really get away with this being your ONLY gift. And I’m not talking about a card that says, “Thanks for being the best teacher ever,” but a truly meaningful card. One where you list the things he or she does from day-to-day that you appreciate. It could be how your child’s teacher has worked really hard with him/her on handwriting over the past few months, or how your coworker across the hall always offers to make your copies.

Teachers like kindness and inspirational words, right? (see above) I still have cards hanging over my desk at home that are 3-4 years old. Those kids are almost in middle school now! But the kind words that those parents took the time to write me have been some of the most lasting gifts I’ve ever received.

You might also like: School Supply Shopping List

What gift ideas would you like to add to this list?! Please share them in the comments section 🙂