Tools and resources to help you make time

These are the apps, products, and resources we use to put the Make Time tactics into action. Have a question or suggestion? Tweet us.

 
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The official Make Time app (coming soon)

Custom designed as a companion to the Make Time book, this app is also a refreshing alternative to so-called productivity apps that encourage busy work instead of actual work. Designed by AJ&Smart and built by Sidekick in collaboration with Jake and JZ. iOS only, for now.

One Big Thing app

JZ's One Big Thing practice was the precursor to Make Time's daily Highlight, and the inspiration for this simple app. It's a great, lightweight way to record your daily Highlight (tactic #1). Designed and built by Nick Burka. iOS only.

Distraction-free phone

With a distraction-free phone (tactic #17), you don't have to fiddle with notification settings or resist the urge to grab your phone for "just a quick check". For us, removing email and other Infinity Pool apps from our phones is the simplest, most powerful change we’ve made to reclaim time and attention. Here's a step-by-step guide for iOS and one for Android.

A timer for the Internet

Today’s always-on, superfast Internet is a wonderful thing, but it’s also super distracting. One solution: Cut the Internet off at the source, like Jake does, by using a vacation timer to automatically go offline at a pre-determined time every day (tactic #28). We recommend this simple mechanical timer from Amazon.

Tools to lock yourself out

For serious help avoiding distractions, try an app and website blocker like Freedom. Jake uses Freedom to lock himself out of email first thing in the morning and during the middle of the day (tactic #42). Also: Get 40% off Freedom with the Make Time Bonus Pack.

We also recommend StayFocusd, a simpler—but still highly effective—website blocker for Google Chrome.

Password manager app

Log Out (tactic #18) is one of the simplest ways to beat distraction: Just log out of distracting websites when you’re not using them. The login screen creates a speedbump that makes it a little bit harder to get distracted.

To supercharge this tactic, do what JZ did: Change your passwords (before logging out) to something random and impossible-to-remember, then store them in a password manager like 1Password.

Make notifications work for you

Your phone can be kind of a loudmouth. If you want to Nix Notifications (tactic #19) but don’t relish the idea of turning them off one by one, consider Daywise. It bundles up non-urgent notifications and tells you about them just a few times a day. Meanwhile, only the truly urgent ones (like “you have a meeting now”) make it through. Android only.

Plus, Daywise was developed in collaboration with Dan Ariely at Duke University, which automatically makes it badass.

Send-only email

Although not receiving email on your phone is wonderful, sometimes it’s still useful to have the ability to send email. Good news: You can have your cake and eat it, too (email-wise). Check out tactic #40 in the book or get a send-only email app like Compose. Designed and built by Rizwan Sattar. iOS only.

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Time Timer

Setting a visible timer (tactic #52) can have a big effect on your ability to stay Laser focused. We love the Time Timer, a brilliant countdown clock that makes time visible. They make a bunch of different models, but we recommend the special Time Timer Make Time Edition (!) for convenient desktop use.

Block and Flow app

Jake used this clever app (iOS only) to help him stay in Laser mode while writing Make Time. Whoa, meta!

A regular alarm clock

Keeping smartphones and tablets out of the bedroom (tactic #83) will improve your sleep, your mornings, your days, and your nights (pretty much your whole life). But we know these devices can be super handy as alarm clocks, so instead, we recommend getting a dedicated alarm clock that will do its job without distracting you.

This RCA alarm clock is simple, cheap, and easy to use, and the dimmable red numbers won’t mess with your sleep. For something way fancier, try this Philips model that simulates the sunrise.

The 7-Minute Workout

It sounds too good to be true, but a short, intense workout (tactic #64) can be more beneficial—not to mention, way more convenient—than normal exercise routines. The New York Times popularized the Scientific 7-Minute Workout (Jake’s a fan) and created a free exercise app that works on iOS, Android, and computers.

Meditation apps

The benefits of meditation (tactic #78) are well documented. It reduces stress. It increases happiness. It recharges your brain and boosts focus. But we know it’s tough to start a meditation habit when you feel busy, distracted, and low on energy. Fortunately, we can recommend a couple of great apps to help you start and keep going: Headspace (get a free month in the bonus pack) and Oak (which is free all the time).

Make Time’s daily notes

Make Time isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula. There are 87 different tactics you can use to tailor the framework to your unique habits and routines, your unique brain and body, and your unique goals and priorities. The key to this personalization is Reflect—a daily routine of jotting down what worked today and what you want to try tomorrow.

You can download and print a PDF of the Make Time Notes in hand-drawn format or a simpler, cleaner look.

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The official Make Time app

Yes, we’re recommending it again ☺️ The app includes a questionnaire for capturing your Make Time Notes. It can even remind you to pause and Reflect at a custom time each day. Coming soon for iOS only.


This page contains a few Amazon affiliate links. If you click one of these links and buy something on Amazon, we may receive a small referral fee. This won’t affect the price you pay, and it didn’t influence our decisions about which tools we recommend and include here.