There are many free (or very inexpensive) applications to assist with time management, motivation, concentration and reading. Here is a selection.
Making Text Easier to Read
ColorVeil adds a customizable color filter over your Desktop, Internet browser, video player, document, email, or program. You can work, play, read, write, or browse as usual. Free download for Windows
DyslexiaKey makes typing less frustrating for those with dyslexia. By using a specific font created specifically for dyslexic individuals, this app allows people affected by dyslexia to type with ease in the iOS app of their choice and on the iOS device of choice.By using a font with a heavy base line, alternating stick/tail lengths and larger than normal openings, DyslexiaKey assures all users that each character will have a distinct difference, making reading/writing easier.
Google Chrome extension Open Dyslexic is an open source font created to increase readability for readers with dyslexia. The extension changes the font on all web pages to a specially designed font.
Google Chrome extension Speedy Readie offers a very different view of text from a webpage using the Spritz text delivery function. Once this extension is added to Chrome it is ready to display text. Tap the SHIFT key twice to start the reader. Passages of text are displayed, one word at a time, with a single letter coloured to assist focus. You can change the words per minute speed, reader size, font type and central letter colour.
Google Chrome extension Plaintextify removes all graphics from a webpage to display only the text. Very easy-to-use. Changing the appearance of a webpage is simple. When a webpage is displayed, left click once on the Plaintextify icon on the extension toolbar. The webpage will be re-displayed with all images removed.
Text to Speech
Free online Text To Speech service with natural sounding voices.
The Google Chrome App Click2Speech reads selected text. The basic settings allow you to click on a paragraph with the mouse and the text will automatically be read out loud.
The Google Chrome extension Voice Instead reads text which has been highlighted in a webpage.
The ClaroSpeak Chrome App lets you read back documents, proof read and correct your work.
It is available for Apple Mac OSX and Microsoft Windows machines with the Google Chrome browser, or Google Chromebooks.
The ChromeVox Google Chrome extension reads accessible text and will announce links and webpage titles.
Clockwork Tomato is a time management application, based on the Pomodoro technique, a method that boosts productivity by breaking down work periods into 25-minute slices, separated by short breaks.
Cold Turkey does exactly what its name suggests, blocking apps and websites on a schedule set by you in advance. If you know you'll start scrolling through websites and apps near the end of the working day you can use Cold Turkey to make sure that doesn't happen.
Forest is a smartphone app that helps you focus but it does things a little differently. When you need to get some work done, you plant a tree in the app. It will keep growing as long as you ignore your phone and stay away from the distracting apps that ruin your productivity. If you get distracted the tree dies. If you work for 30 minutes, you end up with a fully-grown tree.
Google Keep is a note taking app that can make list, set location reminders, images and record and transcribe audio. It syncs between devices and can be used as an app on iOS and Android and on the web. Notes can be colour coded and there's a "Copy to Google Doc" button that copies text into a new Google Doc.
Microsoft To-Do is a simple to-do list that you can access on the web and as an app on iOS and Android that can help you manage, track and prioritise tasks. You can set reminders and also link with an Outlook account.
Microsoft One Note is a digital notebook that can be shared with other users and create notebooks, lists that you can annotate, create voice memos, insert videos, pictures and organise content. You can use with all of Microsoft Office and Office Lens that converts pictures of whiteboards and documents into PDF, Word and PowerPoint files.
GoConqr is a free web-app that allows teachers and students to easily create, save, share, and embed mind maps, quizzes, flashcards, and notes. Plus, the service also includes a study planner to help students stay organised and on top of their classes.
Emergency chat can be used in any situation where speech is impossible but communication is still necessary. The screen has a base text that explains to the person you gave your phone to that you can't use speech and want to use this app to communicate. The default text is aimed at people experiencing anxiety. Both the title and text can be adjusted in the settings screen to be whatever you want the person you give your phone to know.
Mole Hill Mountain is an app designed for people on the Autistic Spectrum to help manage their anxiety. It aims to build knowledge, confidence and skills to self manage the causes and symptoms of anxiety.
What's Up? is an app that uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to help manage feelings of low mood, anxiety, stress and more.
Stop, Breathe and Think is a meditation and mindfulness app that allows you to check in with your emotions and recommends short, guided meditations, yoga and acupressure videos, tuned to how you feel.
Coffitivity is an app the recreates the ambient sound of a cafe to boost your creativity and work better, blocking out surrounding noise.
Google Dictionary can be used to highlight words and instantly see the definition.
The Google Chrome extension Grammarly contextually scans your text for mistakes and typos and provides suggestions to make the writing better.
Hemingway Editor is a desktop tool for writers to explore their writer's voice and developing their writing style. It can identify common writing errors, such as difficult-to-read sentences and word usage that could be simplified.