An Assistant in Your Pocket: Apps to Help You Be More Productive While Working Less

Smartphones are supposed to increase productivity by giving us the power of computers wherever we go. Yet we often sift through apps trying to sort the efficient ones from the time-wasters. Sketching ideas, note taking and communicating are essential tools, but there are so many options.  We all want to find ways to work less so we can have more time to spend with our families and friends, and just do the things we love. Here are some top apps that will take the work off our hands and get more done, too.

Organising Apps

We have so many things to take care of, and so many ways of taking care of them that they can make the task at hand even more difficult. Luckily, there are streamlined answers for file storage, habit maintenance, and budgeting. You can store your files (e.g. photos and videos) on a cloud service that can be accessed on any of your devices with Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive and easily organize events with Google Calendar. Lastpass gives you a master password to access all your passwords in a central location and CloudMagic Email synchronizes all of your email accounts and calendars. 24me is a general personal assistant that syncs your calendar, to-do lists and notes and lets you tap to complete them and send reminders. Mint allows you to manage your budget and savings by logging and analyzing your budget. Call Recorder for Me lets you record important calls for later consideration rather than having to remember all the relevant details at the time of the call.

Aggregating and Automating Apps

You can enhance your productivity further by not having to switch between so many apps. You can save links, articles and videos from different social media services to the same location using Pocket, and do the same for news articles with SmartNews, then access them from any device. Evernote expands your note-taking abilities by letting you take voice, video and image notes and sync across devices and platforms. Workflow lets you customize your phone to hasten things, like calling Ubers before a certain calendar appointment. Finally, If (If This Then That) connects up to 300 apps (e.g. Spotify or Google Drive) to let you sync files across the platforms and get notifications from them all. You can tell different apps to do different things, e.g. if you download photos from Facebook you can automate it to upload them to Dropbox.

Brainstorming and Remote Access

For Brainstorming, try Simplemind to arrange and visualize your thoughts in simple text and image diagrams. Unstuck is like a digital coach to help you overcome creative blocks with helpful tips and tools. TeamViewer for Remote Control lets you view and control your desktop from your mobile device, uploading documents you forgot you needed for a meeting, for example. GoodReader reads almost any PDF or text file and lets you annotate and highlight them.

Now you can plan, streamline and brainstorm your way out of any problem. How would you ideally manage your daily schedule? Is there an app for it?

Paige Carter is a freelancer who has a variety of gigs on the go. She’s also a Mom of 3 daughters so getting the balance right between family life and working life is a priority.