Increasing productivity for work with the OnePlus 8 Series

  1. KnightofScorpio
    US Brand Ambassador Jun 1, 2020

    KnightofScorpio , Jun 1, 2020 :
    Productivity for work.png

    Many of us are students, whether high school or college, and/or are in the workforce. So we all know how beneficial and also how detrimental technology and social media can be. A study published in the Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning that surveyed 478 instructors at the University of Waterloo found that 49% of the undergraduate students surveyed reported that their use of technology was not related to class, or "off-task use" use, and that it was distracted to them (Neiterman and Zaza, 2019). According to International Journal of Recent Technology and Engineering (Mohamed, 2019), “The overuse of social media can develop many negative impacts on employee’s performance as it may directly disrupt employee's productivity in the organisation which later affects the profit, management and the company's reputation worldwide.” So, how exactly can we have our technology work for us, making us more productive than distracting? These following OnePlus features, and third-party hidden apps, I have found to be the best remedy to improve productivity, keeping you on your P’s and Q’s:

    Alarmy (The never failing to get the job done alarm)


    For those of you that aren’t great with time management, or just want to make sure you meet deadlines, Alarmy is perfect for you.

    My need for the app began when I started a new weekend job. Not only is it on the weekend when my mind is more in the space to be free, not to be enthralled by work-related tasks, but the job is also in the early morning. Work starts at 7:30AM EST, so I need to be up at around 6:20AM EST to get prepared and to get there on-time, as it is about a 22 minute ride to the location. My default Android alarm just wasn’t cutting it; I was either missing it entirely, or I would catch it and put it on snooze. I needed something quick and my first option was a physical alarm clock, but I didn’t want to make that investment, so I searched the Google Play store and found the app for free.

    Now the difference between Alarmy and other alarm clocks that makes it great, is the fact that it doesn’t give you an easy snooze option; the app gives you missions in order to shut it off. So, it requires you to put in effort to turn it off, and of course by this time, you’re fully awake to handle the business you need to take care of. It has multiple missions, such as math problems, barcode scanning, typing, taking a picture, and shaking the phone. I personally always use math problems, and barcode scanning. For math problems, you can choose the difficulty, and number of problems, so it really gets your juices flowing to get your mind activated, as there is always the chance that with an alarm, you get up enough just to turn the alarm off, but with this app, that’s not the case. I use the barcode scanning missions to scan this printing paper I bought a few months ago, which can be a bit difficult because it’s dark, and you have to align it a certain way, which is great, so I can stay up.

    The app has so many customizations to make sure you're Up and at 'em. For instance, there's an option to modify mission time limits (like for math problems, if you don’t answer the problem it that amount of time, it’ll just give you another problem), prevent turning your phone off during the alarm ringing, prevent app uninstall, and Premium features such as: Backup Sound (super loud ringtone played 40 seconds after initial alarm), time pressure (reading the time and alarm label until you’ve completed the missions to turn off the alarm), and Wake Up Check (stopping you from falling back asleep, by activating after 100 seconds where it will vibrate once very minimally, and will start the whole alarm all over again, but even more extreme). Another great thing is, it’s available for no extra charge if you have Google’s Play Pass ($5/month, though some like myself got it for $1.99 for the debut promotional period). Alarmy is also free, with in-app purchases for premium features such as Super Power Pack,and Wake Up Check. The pricing is unknown for the Android app, but according to the iTunes App Store listing, it should be no more than $4.99 - $7.99.

    Google Keep (All the note you need)


    Google Keep is a free, simple, but full-fledge note taking app. It has unlimited storage, and is connected to your Google account, so it follows you with each upgrade, and accessible from work and home using any web browser via https://keep.google.com. You never have to worry about losing your notes. The home screen shows all your notes, where you can categorize them by label, color, and more. For more important notes, you can pin them to the top of the Google Keep screen, so they always show up first, and can always unpin, when the note is no longer a priority. The top search bar offers all the filtering and viewing options, you can obviously type in the search bar to easily find any note, tapping to the left side of the search bar allows you to view notes you’ve categorized into different labels, as well as viewing all reminders you’ve set. The right side allows you to see notes in a list-view or a thumbnail view.

    Now, I know you’re asking, well how do I add notes? Simply tapping the Google themed, add icon allows you to create a new note, where you can add: recordings, images (from your gallery, or capture an image directly from the note menu option), drawings, checkboxes (for list notes). To the top-right corner you have the option to pin notes, add reminders, and archive. For work purposes, you even have the option to add Collaborator or send, to collaborate on projects and ideas, or share ideas. While collaborating, if someone modifies something, and you liked the original idea, you can always undo, which is an option via the bottom-middle of the note screen, with undo and redo options. Of course, this also works for individual notes, if you’ve accidentally deleted something. Google Keep has you covered, you didn’t lose all your work and important ideas.

    I personally use Google Keep to quickly note various creative ideas and business ventures. I’m never without a loss with the option to add media, voice records, and quickly search older ideas, I’m ready to finalize and bring into fruition. I’ve also used it to collaborate on a business idea with a close friend and business partner. It’s the best note app I’ve ever used, and it’s free. Save yourself time and money, and check it out, if you haven't already.

    Telegram (Your virtual office)


    Not only do I love using telegram as an instant messenger (for personal and business) but it also makes an exceptional note keeper as well.This makes telegram practically the best virtual office, where you can be at your most productive. For those of you that have never heard of Telegram, it’s a free, secured, cloud-based messenger. “All Telegram messages are always securely encrypted. Messages in Secret Chats use client-client encryption, while Cloud Chats use client-server/server-client encryption and are stored encrypted in the Telegram Cloud,” per Telegram’s FAQ. So, you don’t have to worry about anyone getting a hold of your data, it’s secure. There are no paid advertisements on telegram, so there’s no pressure for telegram to provide businesses your data for ad-targeting.

    Now, I know on the list there’s another note keep, Google Keep and you might wonder why do you have two? Well, I use telegram more so as a short-term, instantaneous note keeper, and Google Keep for long-term note keeping. So, when I use telegram, it’s to use that note or media immediately, rather than with Google keep, where I’ll come back to the note in a day, weeks, or months later. If I were to compare its uses to social media platforms, Telegram would be like snapchat (post and automatic delete after 24-hours), and Google Keep would be like Facebook (forever, think brand post). After Pushbullet became paid, and free features were put behind a paywall, I instantly turned to Telegram, and it’s worked out as a great replacement ever since then. Telegram’s note space is called “Saved Messages,” and you can use it to store notes, media, voice message, etc. You can give media captions, so you can search to easily find it when you’re ready to use it. This area also has a reminder feature, where after typing a message, tapping and holding the paper-plane icon (send button), will bring up the “Set a reminder” feature, where you can pick a day and time for the reminder, where telegram will send you a push notification as a reminder.

    As a messenger, telegram lets you send HUGE files, like up to 1.5GB. To put this into perspective, I own all of my music in FLAC, so each music file is huge, about 30-45MB per song (often 360MB-700MB+). I send over a lot of music to myself that way, to download on a new phone, or to almost use as a cloud-storage if anything happens to my files on my laptop. In college, I used telegram to easily send over media files I was working on on group projects, 1080p/60fps videos, photoshop files, illustrator files, Hi-Def PDF flyers and posters, PNGs, etc. It’s quick, and easy. In addition to being mobile via Android and iPhone, Telegram also has a desktop client for both MAC and PC, so you’re always connected wherever you go, no matter at home, at work, or on-the-go. If you’re working on a business (like myself), and want to share ideas of your business with friends or business partners, you can create a secret chat to chat with and trade ideas, opinions and feedback about, until you’re more comfortable, like when you’re able to register your business, and trademark and copyright your creative properties.

    Easy Audio Recorder (Simple Audio Recorder to catch what you can’t catch)


    Easy Video Recorder is a simple audio recorder, that allows you to record audio with just a simple click in-app. The UI takes you directly to where you can record audio, by just tapping the red microphone button. You can record in all common audio formats, aac, mp3, and m4a (most notably known as the music audio formats on iTunes), as well as less common and a bit more complex formats, wav and 3gp. You’re allowed to change the bit-rate, sample rate, turn the audio from mono to stereo if you please, and change your microphone preferences, even having a Bluetooth option.

    I used this when I was in college, when I felt like I might miss something a professor said in lecture, if they were too low, had a heavy accent, they talked too fast and I wasn’t able to type as quickly, or I made a typo and missed something. So, I would go back to my notes, and go back over the audio and fill in the blanks. Of course, this was just my use for it, for my reasoning to download the app. I also used it for interviews, or to take notes from presenters. Most importantly, to keep track of all audio documentation, Easy Audio recorder offers automatic cloud upload using Google Drive and Dropbox. So, it made it extremely easy for me to make sure I also had notes for classes, allowing me access and listen to audio on my laptop using the Google Drive website. Right now, I use it whenever I have a business idea and I’m out and about, and I obviously am unable to write it down or type it out, so I make a quick audio note of it, then come back to it later to convert it into written documentation.

    OnePlus Hidden Space (A place to hide, but not seek)


    I wouldn’t say that I’m the biggest social media user, but I have in the past have had a quite active life with it. Though I had reasonable control over it, I noticed that I could use that time to advance my skills, such as digital design, and add time into investing into working on all the tons of business ideas and ventures I had in my Google Keep. OnePlus Hidden Space was perfect for this social media diet. A friend of mine would do this at the beginning of every year, calling it a Social Media cleanse/detox. Didn’t know how he did it, but I found OnePlus Hidden Space was great with staying on track with it.

    To access this feature, you can activate this feature, one of two ways, using both fingers in a pinch-to-zoom fashion, or swiping from right-to-left in the app drawer. I have to say, the gesture activation is pretty cool, like when you saw Popeyes in the old cartoon episode, Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba's Forty Thieves, when he found the secret passage and tried to use the password, “Open Sesame,” to open the cave. Here, if you tap the 3-dots to the upper-right corner is the only menu for this space, and allows you to enable a password (or disable depending on if you have already activated the password). The password can be either your pin or a fingerprint. Tapping the + icon allows you to add whatever app you want to this space, making you less inclined to want to use it. This will now remove the app from your app drawer. With the password activated, it makes it all the harder to use the app, so you can now focus on what’s more important. Long-pressing gives you the option to un-hide the app, but you don’t need to know that, be STRONG.

    App-Locker (Tight locks keep apps at Bay)


    This is another feature, similar to OnePlus Hidden Space, you can lock down apps. You give apps a password (your PIN), in order to access. So you can use this on top of OnePlus Hidden Space, or use it solely. The expected, common usage would be to hide anything you don’t want anyone to see when you allow them to use your phone, but as clever as a community that we are, we always have found a way to use it to be more productive.

    To activate this feature, simply go to your settings. I personally go to my settings using the drop-down notification bar. Once you’ve pulled down the notification bar, and tapped on the white gear icon to bring up settings, scroll down to Utilities > App locker. Once there, the feature will ask you to enter your PIN, once entered simply tap “+ Add Apps,” and now everytime you try to go to the app, you will be challenged to enter your PIN, which should activate the reminder in your mind to get back to work. There’s also a setting to “Hide notification content” above the App Locker List. Using this in tandem with OnePlus Hidden Space, is the perfect rock hard defense to stay on track to being as productive as possible.

    OnePlus Zen Mode (Sergeant Productivity):


    If you struggle to stay productive, and need something to enforce time off your phone, and time in, to work, OnePlus Zen Mode is the place to go. Sometimes a simple helping hand isn’t enough, and you need a timeout. Maybe OnePlus’ Hidden Space isn’t enough; maybe you’re so addictive to social media, playing video games on your phone, browsing the internet, and what have you, that you’ll just go to hidden space put in your password or scan your fingerprint, and still consistently use the apps you were trying to get away from, when that isn’t enough, you need a complete lock down, and that’s exactly what OnePlus Zen Mode does.

    This feature can be easily accessed via the drop-down notification bar. Simply pull it down, and tap the edit icon (the white pencil icon), simply hold and drag, then drop Zen Mode tile to your quick access notification bar features. Now, all you have to do is tap on it when you go to your drop-down notification bar. From there, OnePlus Zen Mode will ask you how long you want to take a break from your phone, with the option to set and change the duration of time via the green text with the duration of time and a down arrow, at the bottom-middle of the screen. Tap the green time duration, and you can change the timing from 20 minutes up to 60 minutes. Then, you tap the black “Let’s Go” button, and Zen Mode will give you it’s rules, telling you what happens while you’re on Zen Mode. Tap the black confirm button, and Zen Mode will be activated after it gives you a 3 second countdown.

    Even though social media and tech can be very distracting, there are also ways we can use it to our benefit and make it work for us. So, if you want to improve your work performance and productivity, features and apps such as (OnePlus) Hidden Space, Google Keep, Alarmy, Easy Audio Recorder, App Locker, OnePlus Zen Mode, and Telegram can be quite helpful.

    What OnePlus features and/or apps have you found to help you to be more productive, and has allowed you to be more efficient with work?

    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020

    radikubwa, Lucille, azu1414 and 36 others like this.
  2. Ronnie2020
    Froyo Jun 1, 2020

    Ronnie2020 , via OnePlus 8 Pro , Jun 1, 2020 :
    Well written and appreciate the details which set out the contextualise the apps. I would concur with your thoughts on google keep especially, since I found the app and web interface extremely helpful to capture key bits of my day.

  3. MosheG1
    The Lab - OnePlus 8 Pro Reviewer Jun 1, 2020

    buntycubal, Batman360 and Ranjithdora like this.
  4. Swatiranjan
    KitKat Jun 2, 2020


  5. #5
    KnightofScorpio and buntycubal like this.
  6. controlcrazy
    Gingerbread Jun 2, 2020

    controlcrazy , via OnePlus 5 , Jun 2, 2020 :
    Wow Increasing productivity in OnePlus 8, great news happy to hear. but we couldn't buy the phone in India, last sale ended too fast waiting for June 4 th sale

    KnightofScorpio likes this.
  7. the_reckoner
    Ice Cream Sandwich Jun 2, 2020

  8. keithnyc
    Marshmallow Moderator Jun 2, 2020

    keithnyc , Jun 2, 2020 :
    Really excellent read, buddy. Thank you (Big fan of Google Keep and Alarmy as well)!


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    KnightofScorpio likes this.

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    KnightofScorpio likes this.
  11. kevinkingsly
    Eclair Jun 3, 2020

  12. sandeepkyadav
    Froyo Jun 3, 2020

    sandeepkyadav , via OnePlus 7T , Jun 3, 2020 :
    Superb article. Thank you so much for sharing this. I think let's put your best productivity apps in the comment section and take his efforts forward. My apps are:
    1. Google Keep
    2. Any.do (will try Ticktick as suggested here)
    3. Alarmy
    4. Outlook (for office emails)
    5. Webex & Zoom (using a lot during Lockdown)
    Let me know yours! Thanks.

    KnightofScorpio likes this.

  13. #15
    manishs0 likes this.
  14. Naishavshah
    Cupcake Jun 3, 2020

  15. Aathif_Mahir
    Ice Cream Sandwich Jun 4, 2020

    KnightofScorpio likes this.
  16. KnightofScorpio
    US Brand Ambassador Jun 4, 2020

    KnightofScorpio , via OnePlus 8 , Jun 4, 2020 :
    Sorry for the lateness guys. A lot has been going on.

    Thanks. @Ronnie2020

    Yes, Google Keep has been the best for me over everything else. I believe in the sentiment, "if it's not broke, don't fix it." A lot of times we already have what's best. So, though I have tried other apps, Google Keep, that's been default on many Android smartphones I've had, has always been best for me.

    Ronnie2020 likes this.
  17. KnightofScorpio
    US Brand Ambassador Jun 4, 2020

  18. KnightofScorpio
    US Brand Ambassador Jun 4, 2020

    KnightofScorpio , via OnePlus 8 , Jun 4, 2020 :
    Yes, please do.

    I've used Any.do, for some reason I never got around to re-downloading when I upgraded. @sandeepkyadav

    I have to check out Webex & Zoom.