Our phones and tablets are one of the biggest double-edged swords in the 21st century- they allow us to be on all the time and be productive where previously we needed to be at a desk. They also, however, make it very easy to while away your time on Facebook looking at pictures of cats.
Don’t let your devices distract you from being productive! Here are some productivity apps that are great time helpers and will help you reclaim the inevitable lost time of a day when you mean to check your email but end up looking at the top 20 cat gifs of 2014…
Google Keep is amazing- and it’s free, so it’s a no-brainer as far as productivity apps go. It’s a note-taker and to-do list all in one, and to boot it can share those notes and lists effortlessly with other users via email in the click of a button. This app is useful even if you don’t use Google Apps at work, but if you do then it goes from being useful to being downright essential!
Contacts+ is a full address book replacement that turns your phone’s contact list from an ordinary one into one that helps you. It can automatically import information from your social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook as well as automatically filling in cover pictures from them, and you can see recent texts or emails from each contact right from the contacts page. A definite must-have in your productivity apps go-to download for reducing the time spent bouncing from app to app!
I have no impulse control, and that’s why Pocket is great: it lets you save interesting articles and posts for offline reading later. Productivity apps that offload your distractions are always welcome! It can also save pictures and videos, making it perfect for tabling those funny cat videos for lunchtime or after work.
Some will argue that Evernote and Google Keep share the same function, but that’s hardly true- they’re fundamentally different productivity apps. Google Keep’s functionality makes it ideal for quick notes and shared to-do lists, but Evernote’s power to take pictures, video, and audio snippets into organized notebooks makes it more for long-term document storage, retrieval, and indexing (it can even scan your PDFs and make them searchable!). Definitely a must-have for easy and powerful archive and lookup.
Dropbox is one of the best and most mature cloud storage and file lockers out there, and one of the most well-known productivity apps on this list. Dropbox syncs your files automatically, so a document you were editing seconds before on your desktop will be on your phone when you need to review it on your way to an upcoming meeting. Plus, you can quickly and easily share files and documents with people at the click of a button!
Sunrise is a free calendar app that adds a host of really useful bells and whistles: not only does it sync with Google Calendar, iCloud, and Exchange, but it also boasts automatic timezone support, quick event entry, and location tagging (not to mention a really slick looking widget). Definitely a useful upgrade from the stock calendar apps!
Do you find yourself doing the same thing over and over? Automate it! IFTTT lets you automate repetitive tasks using task “recipes” using a very rudimentary and easy to understand if-else system. There are a bunch of triggers and actions you can do with it, as well as look at other people’s recipes to find one that works for you! A definite must-have for anyone who finds themselves doing the same thing over and over again.
Honorable Mention: Tasker
An honorable mention in this category is Tasker, though it is Android-only; it is by far the most powerful of the productivity apps of this sort, letting you make your phone do things that are almost semi-magical (for example, putting your phone into a ‘driving mode’ that responds automatically to texts with your location and a response that says you’re driving). It’s complex and Android-only, however, which means that we have to recommend IFTTT over it. It’s truly incredible, however!
Those are our top 7 picks for productivity apps that will help you throughout your work day. Have your own productivity apps you’d like to share? Post them here!