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Staff Picks: 11 Favorite Productivity Apps

How to do everything from optimize the Internet to find the best seat at a concert.

Articles by Katherine Buck

By Katherine Buck
  |  Published: August 28, 2013

At Betterment, we are believers in living efficiently. Whether you need to turn whiteboards into searchable documents or know “right this second” if an umbrella is needed, Betterment staffers have apps for it all.

Staff Picks: Favorite Productivity Apps
Staff Picks: Favorite Productivity Apps


Sam Moore, Software Engineer

What it does: IFTTT stands for “If This Then That”. It allows you to put the Internet to work for you.

Where I use it: Laptop

Why it’s worth downloading: IFTTT lets you write formulas to tell it what to do when something happens on the web. For example, “When the sun comes up, send my cell phone the day’s forecast,” or “When I post an image to Instagram, post that to Facebook, save it in my Dropbox, and tweet it.”


Joe Ziemer, Communications Manager

What it does: SeatGeek allows users to search concerts by artist or venue, and optimizes the purchasing experience.

Where I use it: iPhone

Why it’s worth downloading: SeatGeek shows the best deals across secondary markets and includes venue maps so you know exactly where you’re sitting.


Edwin Chau, Software Engineer

What it does: Automatically tracks everything you do on your computer, what programs you have open, how long you spend using that program, and automatically categorizes them into being productive or not.

Where I use it: Laptop (OSX)

Why it’s worth downloading: Rescuetime gives instant feedback if you’re starting to become unproductive during the day, and warnings on not reaching your goals (i.e. 70 percent productivity for the day). It lets you look back in your history to see what you spend most of your time doing on your computer and shows you what time of the day you’re most productive.


Alex Benke, Product Manager

What it does: Scans your credit card transactions, and makes it fun to review them for errors or fraud.

Where I use it: iPhone

Why it’s worth downloading: The swiping makes BillGuard fun. It makes a “to do” list out of your credit card charges. Also, it gives you a fraud score for a charge based on if other users have “OK’d” or “flagged” similar transactions. Lastly, it allows you to easily ask someone else about a transaction (i.e. my wife) by SMS or email if you don’t recognize it.


Dan Egan, Behavioral Economist

What it does: Prey allows you to remote control, track, and wipe your phone

Where I use it: Google Nexus 4

Why it’s worth downloading: Gives you complete peace of mind if you lose your phone or if it’s stolen.

Dark Sky

Sarah Michaelson, Manager of Customer Success

What it does: Uses advanced weather forecasting to predict when it will rain or snow — down to the minute — at your exact location.

Where I use it: iPhone

Why it’s worth downloading: Do I need an umbrella right now?

Google Play

Katelyn Lesse, Engineering Intern

What it does: Transfers your iTunes to be compatible with an Android device.

Where I use it: Motorola Droid

Why it’s worth downloading: I have iTunes for my music but use an Android phone. Google Play makes it possible for the two to coexist peacefully!


Alan Norton, Software Engineer

What it does: FlightBoard lets you track departures and arrivals at any airport.

Where I use it: iPad

Why it’s worth downloading: FlightBoard has a neat UI and is super helpful to see if your friends who are visiting will be landing on time.


Dustin Lucien, VP of Engineering

What it does: Turns your phone into a mobile scanner.

Where I use it: iOS desktop and mobile

Why it’s worth downloading: Take a picture of a whiteboard after a meeting, and turn the photo into an enhanced can of the board for future reference. It corrects for punctuation and bumps the contrast of the writing. JotNot also bundles the pictures into a PDF for upload to Evernote.


Yuriy Goldman, Senior Software Engineer

What it does: Organizes everything

Where I use it: iOS desktop and mobile

Why it’s worth downloading: Notes, snippets, drafts, you name it — Evernote will get it all organized. And the interface is really intuitive.

Mailbox (a true Betterment favorite!)

Anthony Schrauth, Chief Product Officer and Patrick Burns, Behavior and Investing Analyst

What it does: Turns your inbox into a to-do list. Allows you to snooze an email and have it come back as “new” at a more convenient time.

Where we use it: iPhone

Why it’s worth downloading: Anthony says, “Mailbox helps me stay on top of my email box in a time-efficient way. It even makes email fun.” Patrick tells us, “It improves on the original mail app in an intuitive way. Swipe to the right to archive/delete; swipe to the left to set up a reminder, where the email is resent later — it’s a really cool feature.”

Are there any apps that make your life easier? We’re always looking for great new suggestions. Let us know in the comments below.


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