Wednesday 31 December 2014 5:26 am

Apps to improve your work-life balance in 2015

A 24/7 business cycle coupled with the smartphone invasion can create a seemingly insurmountable workload making it increasingly impossible to achieve the ideal work-life balance.

But desperate times call for desperate measures, and for the tech-savvy there's a myriad of apps to help fight back against the increasingly blurred lines between work and play.

Rescue time:

What is it: Rescue time will help even the biggest day-dreamers improve their time management skills by monitoring time spent on applications and the internet.

What it can be used for: See how much time you've spent in a meeting, on an email or completing a particular task; receive alerts throughout the day and block distracting websites such as Facebook or Twitter for a set period of time.

What it's compatible with: A Mac, PC, Android or Linux. RescueTime Lite is the free version while RescueLite Premium, which has all of the features, costs $9 (£6) a month.


What is it: Carrying the slogan "expense reports that don't suck" it streamlines the tedious process of expense reporting for employees.

What it can be used for: Take pictures of and scan information from receipts (which saves typing it in manually and you can bin the receipts), automatically generate expense reports and provide financial insights.

What it's compatible with: The free mobile app can be used on the iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone.


What is it: An app that tracks spending on the go helping users stay within their budget while making better financial decisions.

What it can be used for: Real-time access to bank accounts at your fingertips, automatically records and categories financial transactions, calculates how much money users can spend as well as providing sections for budgeting and other financial goals. 

What it's compatible with: There's a free desktop version as well as iOS and Android mobile apps (but the mobile versions do not have as many features).


What is it: This app works on the ethos that it's much easier to save if you don't actually realise you're setting money aside in the first place.

What it can be used for: Every time a user spends money a percentage of it will be transferred to their savings account. If you spend £50 on dinner out, and you've said you want to save 10 per cent of your total spending, then £5 will go from you current account to your savings account.

What it's compatible with: It's free and compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

Remember the Milk:

What is it: A task manager which is essentially a digital to-do list that is easy to add to and update.

What it can be used for: Organise tasks on your to-do list by features like priority or location, include precise details about the task at hand and receive reminders by text message or email.

What it's compatible with: It's compatible with desktop, Android, iPhone, iPad and the Blackberry 10. The basic version is free to download but mega-fans can upgrade to the Pro version which has a the full range of functions for $25 a year.

Tesco Groceries:

What is it: Tesco groceries, which lets users do their weekly food shop from their mobile phones, means you complete this task during your daily commute or even from a meeting.

What it can be used for: Hunting down special offers, making an easy-to-access list of favourites, making any changes to existing orders as well as a rewards system.

If you're not a fan of Tesco then other supermarkets such as Sainsbury's and Waitrose also offer their customers mobile shopping apps.

What it's compatible with: It is available to download for free on the iPhone, Android, iPad, Android tablet or Windows tablet.


What is it: It takes care of all the frustrating admin aspects of online shopping such as delivery dates and price drops.

What it can be used for: Searches an email inbox to find and collate all online order receipt information, create lists enabling users to track the delivery date of their packages and sends notifications if a product's price drops.

What it's compatible with: It's available for free on iPhone, Android and desktop.

Adobe reader:

What is it: The app lets busy workers deal with paperwork and other important documents on-the-go.

What it can be used for: Open and view important documents, search through and bookmark them, highlight or underline key phrases, complete forms as well as sign documents using an e-signature.

What it's compatible with: Free to download on iPad, iPhone and Android.