What is productivity? It can be defined in so many ways, but many people can probably agree that it involves getting work done, while some may add that it also involves being efficient and accurate. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to assume that’s the definition. After all, completing our to-dos requires efficiency and accuracy, along with time management, and a boatload of apps on your phone. The best part is that you can let the apps take care of all the work and organizing, therefore allowing you to live free of stress — for the most part. Here are the best five apps to help you do that.
Google Drive is a powerhouse. The cloud-based storage allows you to save and edit virtually anything — from documents to spreadsheets and images to movies. You can then access these files on your phone, computer, or tablet. It eliminates the need for an external hard drive, which can break or get lost, and allows anyone whose device broke down to access their files safely. Besides the fact that it integrates with other Google apps, like Keep, its prices for storage space are also way less than those of Dropbox, its main competitor.
Sometimes, life throws a million things at you all at once. Your rent is due, you have three meetings next week, you have to buy groceries, and the dog’s vet appointment is on Friday. To-do lists will save you from this ever-growing pile of obligations, but if you want a special one, go with Any.do. With it, you can dictate tasks, and set a time and location. Its Moment feature then summarizes all of the tasks each morning, and asks you which tasks you want to complete that day, push till later, or delete. If you download Any.do’s Cal app, then you’ll be able to do all of this with the help of a calendar interface, which integrates with the device’s native calendar app.
Owned by DropBox, Mailbox claims that it will “put email in its place.” It promises that your inbox will always be at zero — something it seems almost impossible doing with the iPhone’s native email app, which is really just a scaled-down version of the app on Macs. The app forces you to handle your mail right away. If you don’t want to handle it on the spot, then you can schedule it for viewing at a later time. In this way, it acts almost like a to-do list. On top of that, it presents email threads on one unified page, is easily navigable, and connects to Dropbox, which bought the app in 2013.
If you’re a writer on the go who constantly needs tools beyond a notebook, but not really a laptop, then iA Writer is the app for you. Though it’s simple on the surface, it packs a lot of features — one of the coolest being focus mode, which dims surrounding text, allowing you to focus completely on that one line you’re writing. You can also switch between four modes — note, write, edit, and read — look at syntax within your work, and analyze stats about your writing, including reading time, and the number of sentences, words, and more. If writing is all you need, this is a perfect, straightforward app.
How many times have you seen an interesting website, recipe, photo, or news article on your phone just before getting into your car or going into work? You had no time to read it at the time, but would have loved to read it later. When later comes, though, you forgot who shared it on Facebook or what site you saw it on. That’s what Pocket is for. It’s pretty straightforward. It archives whatever pages, videos, or images you saw, and saves it for offline reading later on. That includes stuff you saw on the web, on Twitter, or on many other apps. That means that you can quickly access that recipe you saw for dinner, that list of places you wanted to visit, or pretty much anything else you want.
Download some of these apps and your life will not only be more organized but easier too. Your wife won’t get mad you missed her anniversary; your children won’t get mad you missed their recital, and you’ll be happy your life isn’t in shambles. It’s a win-win for all.