Sure, we all use our smart phones for calling, texting and playing games, but are you really taking full advantage of all your phone has to offer? With productivity apps you can use your smart phone to make your life easier and more efficient, what’s not to love about that? In this list we’ve steered clear of the well known productivity apps like EverNote and DropBox, and gone for some that you might not have heard of. So get ready to be productive and download some of these!
Okay, every smart phone these days comes with an email app, but frankly, compared to Mailbox none of the standard apps hold up. Just how much time do you waste messing around with email settings, or answering messages that really should wait? Mailbox is simple and minimalistic, making everything you do as easy as a swipe of the finger. It even lets you “snooze” emails, so you get another notification later about the mail. Better still, it learns from what you do- quickly learning to delay emails from friends to after work time, for example. It’s the smartest and fastest email programme we’ve come across, and it’s not only available for iOS and Android, but it’s free too!
Exactly how much time do you waste reading web articles or watching videos when you should be doing something else? No, don’t tell us, we know. But with Pocket, that’s not going to be a problem any more. This app let’s you quickly and simply save articles, pictures and videos for later viewing all in one place. This way, you’ll be able to waste all your time at once (preferably once the work day is over). It’s available on both iOS and Android.
Quip is a fairly new app for both Android and iOS and it’s a collaborative working app. You get to add different team members to different tasks, and then you can all edit and share the same documents. Plus, you get integrated messaging in the app as well as a shared calendar, to do lists and note taking. Whether you’re a freelancer who needs to share information with clients, or you just want to be able to add items to your partner’s shopping list, this app is free, easy to use and a great way to collaborate on tons of different projects. You can even import files from DropBox and other file storage services.
IFTTT is one of the neatest apps we’ve seen for a long time. The name stands for If This Then That, and this app is a huge time saver. Basically, you programme the app to do certain tasks given something that happens. For example you can say “IF bbc.co.uk posts information about Manchester United THEN send me an email of the article.” Or maybe you use the in built connection to Google Maps to programme the app to send an SMS to your wife to tell her you’ll be home in ten minutes when you hit a certain location. The possibilities are endless, and you can really do pretty much anything you want. On top of all that, IFTTT is for both iOS and Android and it’s free. Totally amazing.
Keep is an Android only note taking app from Google. What makes Keep so different from all the other note taking apps out there? Basically, it’s intuitiveness and beautiful design. Keep is for notes, and you’ll get a pinboard interface that let’s you view all your notes like post-its on your desk. It’s fast and easy to use, and the ability to see everything at once without needing to flick through pages or files (we’re talking to you EverNote) is brilliant. Oh, it’s free too.
EasilyDo is sort of like having a personal assistant that lives in your pocket. The app syncs with your calendar and not only reminds you about upcoming events, but also does things like check the traffic or weather forecast where appropriate. It will learn from your smart phone use and remind you to do daily tasks, or offer to do them for you, and it will even track packages sent through the post office. EasilyDo is neat, easy to use, available for iOS and Android and free.
For social media lovers, Buffer is a lifesaver. Firstly, it lets you collate all of your social media accounts into one app, but Buffer is so much smarter than that. You can schedule when your status updates, Tweets or messages go out, meaning that you can get all your networking done at one time and then sit back and let the app take care of the rest of the work. It’s free for individuals (companies or groups will need to pay though) and it’s available in both iOS and Android versions.
You might not expect to find a music app on a list of productivity apps, but focus@will is something a little different. Collaborating with neuroscientists at UCLA the app’s developers have come up with playlists of music that encourage productivity. Scientifically, all the music in the app should help you become more productive. This app is available for both iOS and Android, and the good news is that the first 100 minutes of music are free, though after that you’ll need to pay a small monthly fee to access the service.
Clear is a to do list with a difference. Firstly, it’s designed especially for a smart phone, so every action involves swiping or pinching, rather than needing to tick little boxes with the tip of your finger. That’s pretty nice, but even nicer is the way that Clear prioritises your tasks by colour, making the more important things bright red, fading down to blues and greens (which are obviously things that you don’t really need to do). Clear is easy to use and one of the simplest to do list apps that we’ve come across. It is iOS only though, and will cost you £2.99.