This article was last updated on September 5, 2017
Your smartphone can help you be more productive. For most people, smartphones destroy productivity. But using the right apps can actually help you increase your productivity. If you’re an Android user, there are tonnes of apps out there that can improve your daily productivity without costing you a dollar. So, whether you’re stuck in traffic, or commuting to your workplace, or doing your grocery shopping, here are 10 apps that will boost your productivity.
Save articles to read later. Remember that time when you came across that really interesting article but didn’t have the time to read it? Well, you probably forgot about it later and never got around to reading it anyway. With Pocket, you can save any content you find on the internet to view it later. What’s great about the app is that you can also view the saved content offline. When you come across an interesting piece of content online, you can easily save it to Pocket. However, whether or not you’ll actually remember to read it later depends entirely on you though.
Scan, save and share documents. Why use a scanner when you can use your smartphone? Office Lens is arguably the best document scanner out there. Made and distributed for free by Microsoft, Office Lens scans documents efficiently. You can also choose the size and quality of your scanned document. The app also comes with more functionality like document sharing from the app or saving directly to cloud storage. So, with the right lighting and a phone with a good enough camera, you can get high-quality scans that are as good as a document scanned with any normal scanner.
To-do list app. There’s a bunch of to-do list apps out there. But this one really stands out from the rest. Unlike many other to-do list apps I’ve tried, this one doesn’t over complicate the very basic functionalities. Despite its simplicity, this app actually provides more functionality than most other to-do list apps. Some of them are:
Creating folders for similar lists
Sharing lists with others
Turning emails into actions by forwarding them
Setting due dates (for rent, bills etc.)
Adding hashtags to make lists easily discoverable
And let’s be honest, no matter how many times you assure yourself you’ll remember everything, you end up forgetting some or all of it. Because let’s face it, life is busy and there’s a lot to do. So, get in the habit of making lists, and you’ll never have to worry about forgetting something. That is, unless, you forget to check the list itself.
Group Messaging. You’ve probably already heard of this app. And for good reasons. Slack is the best choice of an app when it comes to group messaging, especially if you’re working with your team on a project. So what makes Slack better than email or other messaging apps? Well, conversations in Slack is based around topics. Different channels are created based on different topics. And anyone can participate in conversations based on their interest in topics. So, you don’t have to respond to a certain topic if it is not in your interest. Unlike emails, this reduces clutter and makes conversations efficient.
Automate app tasks. IFTTT is a unique app that allows you to automate repetitive tasks on your phone. Using the app, you can automate tasks in your phone by writing “recipes” on the app. Recipes are basically simple scripts that dictate what tasks your phone will automatically do without needing your input. For example, if you’re using your smartphone to turn on the lights of your house, you can use IFTTT to automate the process so that as soon as you’re close to your house, based on the location tracking, the app can turn on the lights using your phone.
However, for beginners, it can be overwhelming as the app has a learning curve. But once you get the hang of it, you can utilise it to make your day a lot more productive.
Note taking, efficiently. Keep is a simple note taking app by Google. The app essentially offers you all the features you can expect in a note-taking app, such as taking notes, making lists, archiving notes etc. So whether you’re making a birthday wish-list or just came up with the greatest idea ever, it’s always a good idea to note it down to make sure you don’t forget about it later. What’s great about the app is that it saves your notes under your Gmail address; so you’ll never lose your notes if you’re switching devices. You can also access the notes across multiple devices.
LastPass Password Manager
Save all your passwords in one place. LastPass Password Manager is a password manager to store all your passwords. You can also generate passwords using the app. Remembering too many passwords can be challenging. You may also forget some of them over time. So, using the app, you can save all your passwords securely. Essentially, the app works as a master key. So for example, if you’re trying to log on Facebook on your phone, the app will automatically put in the password for you.
All your emails in one app. If you’re constantly torn apart between work emails and personal emails, this app will make your life a lot easier. myMail brings all your email accounts into one app so you can receive all your emails in one place instead of switching between different apps. Although this app will not help you reduce clutter in your mailbox, it can make it a lot easier to manage all your emails from one place.
Receive and respond to messages from your computer. Using PushBullet, you can connect your computer with your Android phone to receive and send messages using your computer. Constantly switching between devices can be distracting, especially when you’re focusing on doing something on your computer. So, using the app, you can manage all your conversations without even touching your phone.
Store & backup in the cloud. It’s always a good idea to make a backup of all your important files and Google Drive is arguably the best cloud storage app out there. If you’re storing all your important files on your laptop or external drive, you have the risk of losing them. Also, if you need to use a file in different devices, you have to manually transfer the files between devices.
Using Google Drive, you can keep all your important files in the cloud so you can access them from anywhere you want. Moreover, Google Drive now allows you to backup entire devices automatically so you don’t have to worry about losing your files anymore. Although this list is geared towards Android users, most of these free apps are available on the Apple App Store as well. Whether or not you’ll use your smartphone to your advantage, depends on your choice of apps. Using these apps to make minor changes in your daily life will have a substantial impact on your overall productivity.