8 tips for being more productive with wearable tech

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We all know what it's like to lose track of work tasks, panic about life admin and procrastinate. Sometimes you have too much to do and not enough time to do it.

Can wearable tech actually help us get things done? There's certainly a growing number of wearables and apps aimed at making us more productive, whether it's helping us get organised, saving us time or finding efficient ways to handle specific tasks so you don't end up overwhelmed.

Here's our pick of some of the best so far.

Keep in touch with work chat

8 tips for being more productive with wearable tech

Slack is everyone's current favourite, trendy chat and document sharing app, with around three million users so far. Previously available on desktop and mobile, you can now get Slack on the Apple Watch. The smartwatch app lets you read and respond to your latest messages using pre-selected replies and keep track of mentions. It's a great way to flick in and out of your work life, in between meetings or at lunch, without having to get your phone out of your bag or pocket.

Stay on top of expenses

If you run your own business or are self-employed, you'll understand the bane of managing your finances. It's easy to become overwhelmed when staring at a large stack of invoices or receipts. Well, Billings Pro has your back. The Apple Watch app will let you track time, mileage and expenses all from your wrist, so you can add entries as you spend to ensure you don't get in trouble with the taxman.

What's also nice is that it syncs across your Watch, iPhone, iPad and Mac, so you can keep things in order from any device. It's free, but you have to pay in-app for its freelance and professional plans.

Read this: The 42 best Apple Watch apps

Set up a family hub

8 tips for being more productive with wearable tech

To the smart home and Invoxia's $169 Triby kitchen speaker uses Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, like the Amazon Echo. That means you can give it voice instructions for tasks such as music playback, information from the web and shopping list updates all while cooking, cleaning or spending quality time with the family. You can also use the Triby to leave loved ones memos on its E Ink display and contact them through Wi-Fi calling.

Create digital to-do lists

There's no better way to keep sane in frankly any situation than by creating a to-do list, but that's not to say you're stuck with the pen and paper route. Wunderlist digitises the process, and you can get it on both the Apple Watch and Android Wear watches. Using the smartwatch client, you can check your lists and agendas and it'll even remind you when you have deadlines looming or if a task needs to be completed.

Get snappy translations

8 tips for being more productive with wearable tech

It's pretty common to go abroad and have trouble understanding the lingo. Whether you're on holiday or a business trip, you would usually be lumbered with a language dictionary to ensure you survive on your travels. It can be fiddly and time-consuming flicking through a physical book, which is why Microsoft Translator is worth a try.

Available on the Apple Watch and Android Wear, you speak into your smartwatch and the app translates your words into a language of your choice. There are more than 50 to choose from and while no translation service is perfect, the more we use it, the better it'll get.

Study your habits

8 tips for being more productive with wearable tech

If you're stuck in a rut and feel like you're always unproductive, it might be worth studying your habits and emotions to try to make bigger changes. Zenta, a biometric bracelet, can help. Costing $149 on Indiegogo, it does everything a normal smartwatch can do - like track your steps, sleep and heart rate.

What sets it apart is the fact it sports biometric sensors that can track how you're feeling and how this relates to your location, activities and who you're with. The startup behind the device, Vinaya, is building a platform that pulls in all this data to create an emotional profile of you and offer practical suggestions like 'don't schedule a finance meeting for Monday morning'.

Bring your notes everywhere you go

When it comes to talking about productivity, we couldn't leave out Evernote. The app is famed for helping you keep on top of your precious notes and documents. You can dictate notes, use voice searches to locate older notes and files, set up reminders and create task lists. The app uses the cloud, so all your notes are backed up and available across different devices. You can switch to viewing a note on your iPhone to your Watch, too.

Don't miss deadlines

Evernote is great for personal notes but a task management tool like Trello, on Apple Watch and Android Wear, helps you to stay on top of work projects. Create and access cards for tasks, get reminders for when a deadline is nearing, add handy labels and reply to comments from other users. It syncs with your smartphone, which means your cards are always updated and available to view.

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Nicholas is a freelance journalist and copywriter interested in technology, digital culture and business, and have experience in both online and print media.

He writes for The FT, Business Insider, Engadget, TechRadar, The Next Web, FT, The Independent, Trusted Reviews, Wareable, and more.

His work has also appeared in T3, Tom's Guide, Laptop Magazine, Android Central.

Nicholas is interested in how entrepreneurs and companies using technology to drive positive change in the world.

Nicholas was diagnosed with a form of autism as a teenager, and uses his writing to be a keen advocate of tech-for-good, and to raise awareness of mental health. 

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