August 24, 2012

Best Free App to Boost Your Productivity

Hi everyone! I'm Corrina from Mrs. Allen's 5th Grade Files, and I'm thrilled to be Amanda's guest today. Last year I discovered this fantastic resource, and I'm so excited to have an opportunity to share it with you!

I'm sure many of you sometimes have the same trouble  I do - you're trying to accomplish something (at school or at home) and you're finding it extremely difficult to stay focused and actually finish what you're working on!  Perhaps one of these scenarios sounds familiar.......
  • You have a giant stack of essays to grade during your planning period but you can hear every word of the lesson your colleague is teaching next door.
  • You're at home trying to finish up lessons plans but your darling family is raising a ruckus.
  • You are on the computer attempting to compose a terrific blog post but are constantly stopping to check your e-mail, text a friend, glance at the tv, look for something to eat - anything BUT what you really want to get done.
  • It's one o'clock in the morning and you desperately need to get to sleep but in the words of my favorite cartoon pig, Olivia, "tomorrow is chasing today through my head.."
Every single one of those situations happens to me on a regular basis, but I finally found a way to give my focus, productivity (and even sleep) a boost: a Free App called Relax Melodies - available on iPhone, iPad, or Android.

Simply download it for free, put on your headphones, and create your own custom mix from 44 different sounds. (Each has it's own volume control, too!)  There are soothing Nature Sounds (Birds, Ocean Waves, Frogs, Night, etc....)beautiful Musical Sounds (Flute, Medieval, Zen, Wind Chimes, etc....), tons of Weather Sounds (Thunder, Winds, Storm, Icy Snow, Rainstorm, etc...), and a myriad of Ambient Sounds (Whitenoise, Grandfather Clock, Cat Purring, Vacuum, Monk Chanting, etc....).
 (My personal favorite is Night, Rainstorm, Zen...with a touch of Thunder.)

Then select one of the Binaural Beats settings. If you need to improve your attention, pick "Concentration". If you want to fall asleep, then select the "Relaxation" mode. According to the App developers, binaural beats are produced using a beating tone between ears. (That's why you need the headphones.)

I'll be completely honest and tell you that I was really skeptical at first. (It just sounded a little too much like New Age crystals.) But I gave it a try - and even if I credit the placebo effect - it really did work for me!  (As I am typing this, my husband and our two little girls are stomping around upstairs playing a rowdy game of Dinosaur vs. Princesses.  Is it distracting me?  Not a bit.)

You could also use the Relax Melodies App to create some calming background sounds in your classroom while students are working. Or...if you're one of the lucky schools that has iPads available, you could have students give it a try when they need to calm down or block out the sounds around them in order to stay on task.

If you do try it, I'd love to hear how it worked for you.  And thanks again to Amanda for letting me share this resource with you today!

Corrina Allen lives in Central New York with her husband and their two young daughters. She taught 6th grade in a middle school for seven years and is excited to be taking on 5th grade this year. She is the creator of the blog, Mrs. Allen's 5th Grade Files, where she shares teaching strategies, free resources, and reflections on her classroom experiences.


  1. Oh my gosh this is an amazing tool to use in the classroom! Thank you so much!!!! :-)

    1. Thanks, Sandy! I'll be trying it with my students this year as well...I just heard we have a class set of iPads available - cool!

      Mrs. Allen’s 5th Grade Files

  2. I'll have to check that out!

  3. Replies
    1. Thank YOU for this totally awesome post. I've downloaded and I'm going to use it to help me blog today. Heres to being more productive!! :)


  4. I just downloaded the app. It is so soothing. I work in an office bay area where there are partitions, so this will be GREAT to help me focus at work! Thanks.

  5. Wonderful list of apps that could bring a success and finally the productivity. Every single individual looks out for the way to be productive and the best part of the segment is no one of us today could bring an approach for the productivity without the help of certain tools or app. One tool that I would like to contribute here is the cloud based time tracking software from Replicon that helps keep track of the time and manage the same with a respective approach to reach out to the destination and help manage the things go in the right direction. Its not absolutely free but yes the price is almost minimal and is manageable.


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