8 Counterproductive Productivity Apps –

Nothing’s more annoying than a smug, Apple-using, productivity expert. They’ve got opinions on where to find out how to get things done that will leave you wondering what the heck it is they do (read: usually a whole lot of nothing, to be honest). Productivity snobs are a cult of personality that hovers around the burgeoning lifehack-style app market. You’ve seen them — they’re constantly glued to their iPhones, are probably in credit card debt, and listen to podcasts like Back to Work but are mysteriously, commonly broke and underemployed. To-do lists, e-mail programs, newsreaders, shopping — apps want to help you do everything, right from the convenience of your own thumbs. But sometimes an app falls short of its stated goal; these are the time wasters. The most offensive of these apps are those that make it difficult to be more productive. If you’re set on saving time, avoid those people, and these eight surprisingly counterproductive productivity apps.

  1. iNap@Work

    No. 1 with a bullet? iNap@Work. It’s the productivity app gone so wrong that it could help you lose your job. With counterproductivity as its aim, the app will make you seem busy while — you guessed it — napping at work. To fool the waking dead (read: your cubemates), the app will play a series of sound effects at varying frequencies, including typing, stapling, and mouse clicks.

  2. Workflowy

    Workflowy wants to help you “organize your brain,” but instead it drives you crazy. You can’t set reminders, there’s no offline access, and the media sharing options are incredibly poor. Workflowy needs to work out the kinks; right now all it does is clog you up.

  3. Popplet

    Looks cool, sounds cool, and people say it’s cool. Popplet must be cool, right? Wrong. It’s billed as a place for your ideas, and while its finished products look good on the static website, it’s really just an organized-looking way to make a mess.

  4. Evernote (for iPad)

    Stick with Instapaper or SpringPad. Evernote for iPad is not as streamlined as the iPhone version, and there are a few tiny features missing. The difference in format creates some transitional difficulties and an overall lack of polish, rendering the app simply more annoying and clunky when accessed with an iPad. Apps are supposed to make life seamless, not stilted — and Evernote for iPad does not succeed.

  5. Notability

    Notability is a popular productivity app that lets your jot things down and send them several different places in various formats. Though an unpopular opinion, it’s true: Notability? Not notable. The app can insult your intelligence and often crashes, as well as not having all the support structure of, for example, Google Docs.

  6. Nozbe

    If they say “GTD” instead of “getting things done,” you know there’s nothing you can really do with Nozbe. The app lacks the ability to create folders for projects, and you don’t have the option to leave the app active all the time. And Nozbe 2.0 is much worse than the original. Just say, um, no.

  7. NetNewsWire

    It boasts that you can get all your news in one place, but it’s a ruse to sucker you into an online service. Before you get the free app, consider this: you can’t zoom out on large pieces, you can’t manually tweak your feeds, and the feed hierarchy is static and weird. If you want good news, fast, look elsewhere.

  8. eBay

    If you work on the web (or even in retail), there’s a good chance you make money from eBay. While the auction site may be a part of your business, you’ll have to go back to the drawing board (read: your computer) to get anything done. Awful design and a garish interface make it difficult to sell, buy, and bid. You can’t even monitor a bidding war! How are you supposed to run a business like that? Fail.