Top 5 Productivity Apps for Home-Based Business Owners

  •    Kelly is a freelance SEO consultant based out of Washington D.C. She has worked for Philadelphia marketing agencies and writes for several lifestyle sites.

Starting a home-based business can be a lot of things: exciting, scary, challenging. Most of all, it's probably a big change if you're used to working in an office building or outdoors.

One of your biggest challenges for working at home will be distractions. Pets, kids, and the proximity to the kitchen can all be daily distractions for home-based business owners. Luckily, in this age of technology, there are apps to keep you productive and help you stick to your tasks.

The list below will give you some of the best productivity apps for desktop and smartphone to defy distractions and organize your to-do list. Best of all for your bottom line, it's been scientifically proven to work.

1. SelfControl

Having your business at home has its advantages, but it's easier to get sucked into the mass of distracting websites when you have more time to complete your tasks for the day.

SelfControl is the best app for procrastinators who tend to over-multitask and get distracted easily. It blocks you from all your favorite sites and frequent time-wasters. The app allows you to design a blacklist and a timeframe—even if you delete the app or restart your computer, the program won't stop working until the time is up.

​2. Procraster

Positive reinforcement works—and now comes in handy iPhone form. This is a great app for new business owners or home-based startups, because it lets you create easy tasks and long-term goals. The best part? You get short-term rewards for ticking things off the list by breaking tasks down as far as you want.

Even more helpful is Procraster's solution to roadblocks. Running into problems can easily lead to distractions—leave it and come back later, right? Sometimes later turns into never—but with Procraster, the app can help you get to the root of the issue with advice for overcoming your barriers.

Procraster offers short-term rewards and solutions to long lists or big projects. Sometimes you procrastinate because you get stuck on a problem or roadblock. This app helps you get to the source by providing a list of issues and advice for overcoming your particular barrier. The app's standard awards include everything from taking a snack break to 15 minutes of Twitter, but you can create custom rewards as well.

3. Squawk

If you're one of those people who gets overwhelmed by long task lists and big projects, Squawk is the productivity app for you. Instead of one long list staring at you from your phone screen, it streamlines your to-do list so you only see one task at a time, in priority order. You can customize your reminders so your tasks will pop up by time or by action—when you unlock your phone or turn on your computer.

Once you check off each task, it will alert you to your next one and how much time you have to complete it. If you want to get a certain number of things done per day without using a big list, Squawk will keep you productive without overwhelming you.

4. Written? Kitten!

Is your home productivity constantly interrupted by pets? Or even worse—just pictures of cute animals? Even when you work at a home-based business, you can still be subjected to the latest baby animal pictures that circulate via email.

You can have your cake and eat it too—the Written? Kitten! site utilizes another positive reinforcement structure, and your completed tasks are rewarded with pictures of cute kittens. For every 100 words written, you receive a new picture. This is a great app for businesses that are largely content based, or if you have a big writing task to complete for your website.

5. AppDetox

Detoxing from social media is a good idea in general, but when you're running a home-based business, it can be necessary to get things done. If you find yourself interrupting work to check Instagram or falling into a Pinterest-pinning black hole, AppDetox can get you back on track.

AppDetox lets you create your own rules, like limiting time spent on your most frequented apps. You can choose to be reminded about the time limit, or if it's really hindering productivity, AppDetox can shut the app down after your limit is up.

Being productive in your home-based business can lead to great things—sales, new customers, new product ideas, and more. If you need help getting there, consider one of these productivity apps to get you started.