In 2018 we’re all very busy. So busy, in fact, that often the things that we actually want to spend our time doing fall by the wayside. We deal with pressure at work, pressure at home, and pressure from social media to be living our best lives 24/7; soon enough, something’s got to give. But along with a to-do list that just won’t quit, the 21st century has also given us powerful technology, and with these five apps you’ll soon be taking back control of your precious time

1. Smarter Time

Where does the time go? No, really, where does it go? Smarter Time helps you track how you spend your day. By using your phone’s sensors, location and your own inputs, this app creates data and reports on how you spend your life, and how you can balance your daily activities and build better habits. You might discover that you only spend 8% of your time with your family, but 30% in overrun meetings, and 5% on social media. Whatever the results may be, Smarter Time equips you with the data to reassess where you invest your most valuable asset: your time.

(Google Play, free)

man on phone

2. Just Press Record

Suddenly remembered that creeping deadline? Need to pick up some milk from the shops? Got the plot for your yet-to-be-written best-seller? Just Press Record is the note making app for when a pen and paper is out of reach. An audio recorder that then automatically transcribes your voice memos, Just Press Record will also upload memos to iCloud, syncing all your devices and making sure you never miss a light-bulb moment.

(iOS, £4.99)

3. RescueTime

How do you really spend your time online? RescueTime tracks which sites and apps you spend the longest on each day. Want to maximise your efficiency and stop procrastinating? This app will help you discover which online habits may be holding you back from reaching your full potential, and it can also block websites for a certain amount of time – handy for when you’ve reached your daily allowance of cute animal videos.

(iOS and Android; OS X, Windows, and Linux, free)

4. Trello

Perfect for organising work assignments, Trello allows you to divide tasks up into manageable chunks on individual cards, which you can then drag and drop into columns as they are completed. You can set deadlines, comment on cards, upload files and share your board with friends or colleagues. Trello is available on desktop or in app and is free for personal use, or you can upgrade to a business account for $9.99 to $20.83 a month (all prices in US dollars).

(Google Play, App Store, Microsoft)

5. Streaks

Breaking bad habits is hard, but trying to create new ones can be even harder. With Streaks, you can create up to 12 tasks that you’d like to turn into daily habits such as drinking enough water, doing the washing up, or meditating for five minutes before bed. Each day, try to complete the tasks to keep the streak going – if you miss a day the streak resets to zero, but keep them going and you’ll soon develop good habits with the power to transform your lifestyle.

(iOS, £4.99)