Smartphones have significantly changed how we work and live, so it is hardly surprising that they also massively impact our productivity.
Now phones often are a big source of distraction, and procrastination. But if used right, they can actually have a very positive impact on your ability to get things done.
To help with that, here are 25 of the best productivity apps for android users.
1. Google Keep
Simple and effective task list app
This happens to be one of my personal favourite’s.
It is simple, straightforward and does exactly what it is meant to do without having to wonder or getting confused with irrelevant features.
Related article: Complacency is the enemy of progress
THE best notes and information management app
Another one of my personal favourite’s, Evernote is a powerhouse. It not only stores your notes, but can transform your ability to store and manage your information through its use of tags and folders (notebooks).
You can also use its built-in document scanner camera to scan documents, which you can search for thanks to their OCR feature.
What you can do with it goes far beyond storing notes – whole websites and forums are dedicated to Evernote and its uses! Here’s an article to get you started:
Definitely worth checking out if you have not already.
Free cloud storage and backup
Dropbox is the most popular option when it comes to cloud storage.
It comes with 2GB of free storage, which is enough for storing your important documents. So you have an extra layer of safety for any documents or information you have on your smartphone. And because of its desktop app, you can have it synced so that you can access on your laptop/desktop/tablet the information you saved on your phone, and vice versa. Quite handy, especially when you are on the move and need to have access to saved documents.
It is not suitable for photo or media storage though. For those, check out Google Photos which offers unlimited free photo storage.
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Project management on the go
Trello helps you to effectively plan and manage your tasks. You can setup whole projects on it if you want, or just daily tasks.
Trello also has collaboration features – so you can add team members to projects, and vice versa, which is great for keeping track of progress.
The visual progress tracking is by far its best feature. It has a simple interface which gives you an at-a-glance snapshot of where you are and what you need to do next. That can be very effective.
Try it out.
Also available on – Web, iOS, Windows, Mac
This app gives you the ability to create mindmaps on your phone, which is great if you are used to mindmapping but don’t have access to pen and paper, or your laptop.
In case you don’t know what mindmapping is, it is basically brainstorming on steroids. The idea is to visually record ideas in a way that our brain really thinks and processes information.
Here’s a primer on mindmapping if you are new to it:
Related article: You can grow new brain cells. Here’s how
6. Google Docs
Word on the go
Google Docs gives you access to a word processor on your phone. So if you don’t have Microsoft Word (or prefer something free), you can access this version from Google.
Some other benefits of Google docs:
- You can collaborate real-time, meaning your team members can see what you are doing – real time – and vice versa. This can really speed up your work
- All your documents are saved real-time, so you don’t have to worry about losing your work
- It is free!
Also available on – Web, iOS, Windows, Mac
7. Do It Later
Do it later is a nifty app that you can use to schedule things like emails, texts, calls and social media posts.
You can also use it to set personal reminders.
This way you don’t have to interrupt yourself mid-work, or worry about stuff later. Just schedule and carry on.
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Cut down on repetitive typing
Texpand does what shorthand used to do – you can create customised shorthands (codes) for phrases and words that you use often.
This app can really cut down on the time you spend typing, especially if you have stuff that you often send when communicating with others.
The Productivity Challenge Timer app enables you to use preset pomodoro timers on your phone.
In case you don’t know what pomodoro is, it’s a productivity strategy based on 25 minute bursts of work.
This strategy has been shown to be quite effective in terms of improving productivity.
If you have not tried pomodoro yet, it is well worth a shot.
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10. My Effectiveness
My Effectiveness is more than just one tool – it’s a set of tools that are geared towards keeping you on track, with the goal of making you more effective.
11. Time Until
Set up countdowns
Time until is a countdown app which you can use to setup deadlines.
Once you setup a goal date, you can see the time being counted down via an on-screen widget.
Can be quite useful to have this type of visual countdown reminder.
You can setup deadlines with this app well into the future.
Better time management
If you have ever wondered where your time went, this app can be a life saver.
RescueTime tracks how you spend your time on your phone, and gives you insight on which apps eat up the most amount of your time. You can then use the information to decide how best to improve your productivity, as well as getting rid of your time hogs.
The insights can be very useful.
Also available on – Chrome, Windows, Mac, Linux
Task list app
Wunderlist is one of the most popular to do list apps around, with millions of users.
You can use the app to not only plan your day to day tasks, but also create plans with friends and team members where you can collaborate and share ideas.
The app syncs to their web tool, so you can access it on your computer or tablet as well.
Related article: Five Procrastination Tips and Hacks
Stay focused and mindful
Forest is another pomodoro based app, which also blends the concept of focused work and mindfulness.
Basically, it gamifies your focused work by limiting distractions from your phone.
You can also use it to meditate and to improve your ability to be mindful.
Manage your time
TimeTune helps you effectively use your time by creating a plan for how you will use your time.
Routines are not everyone’s cup of tea, I totally appreciate that. But if you really want to take your time management and productivity to the next level, this app is worth trying out.
Related article: Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Productivity
AppBlock lets you block apps for a defined time period, letting you work without being distracted.
You can schedule the app for a specific time and date, and once the pre-set time duration is over, the blocked apps can be used again.
Tip: This app can pair well with RescueTime – use the insight you get from RescueTime to block apps that you identify as your biggest time hogs.
Create charts on the go
Now you can create charts and diagrams on your phone, using this app.
It syncs with its web interface, so you can access your charts on your computer, and vice versa.
Very useful if you need to create or edit charts and diagrams on the go.
Also available on – Web, iOS
Related article: Secret To Having a Massively Productive Day
Create productive habits
HabitBull is useful for creating habits and sticking to them.
It’s simple to use, and the visual streak counter is a great way to stay on track with creating your habits.
Choose one or more positive habits that you have always wanted to develop, then give it a go.
Benchmark your distractions to limit them
AntiSocial is another phone usage tracker app, but it integrates a social element into it by bench marking your usage against others’. So you get to see how much you use your phone compared to other people.
The data is recorded anonymously, so no one else will know about your usage.
For many, this type of social benchmarking can be quite useful, especially if phone addiction is an issue.
The app also comes with three blocking modes, to help you block apps that eat up your time.
If you find yourself glued to your phone all the time, this app could be well worth a try.
Also available on – Chrome, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux
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Schedule your social media
If you tend to spend a fair bit of time on social media regularly, this app can be a massive productivity booster.
With Buffer, you can schedule content to be posted on your different social media platforms. This way you can get a few days of social media posts scheduled in one go, rather than having to do it every day – which also is a gateway for more distractions.
So any opportunity you have to limit potential distractions, is good.
Design content on the go
Canva is a nifty app that you can use to create designs and graphics without having to worry about being on your computer, or spending hours.
It has preset designs (along with preset sizes for different social media sites), so designing graphics for your work becomes quite easy.
Definitely worth checking out if your work involves any design and/or any sort of marketing work.
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LastPass has been around for a while, and is one of the most popular password managers around.
The LastPass app can be quite useful for not just managing your many different passwords, but also for creating strong, effective passwords.
It autofills your passwords, so you save time there. You also save time (and mental energy) from not having to remember and worry about all your passwords.
The app autosyncs across devices, so you can use it on your computer, and vice versa, seamlessly.
In this age of cyber threats, security is always an issue, and having one password manager like this one can be useful for reducing your risks online. Even just for peace of mind this is an app worth checking out.
Also available on – Web, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux
Sign your documents even when you are on the go
DocuSign enables you to sign documents on your phone. So if you are on the go you don’t need to worry – you can still get on with signing documents.
The process is simple and secure, and the app encrypts your documents, adding an extra layer of security.
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White noise to help you work
This app does exactly what it says on the tin – it plays white noise. White noise can be very useful to help you focus, and limit distractions.
You have quite a few choices – so if you like working with white noise in the background, you can do that. Or if you prefer different background noises, you can choose those instead.
PDF reader and editor
Xodo is a PDF reader and annotator. With Xodo, you can read, highlight, mark, sign, and share PDFs. You can also use the app to fill in PDF forms.
It syncs with Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive, which is great for working on and backing up your PDFs.
If you regularly get PDF documents to go through, this app can be a major time saver.
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To recap, here are the 25 best productivity apps for android:
- Google Keep
- Google Docs
- Do It Later
- Productivity Challenge Timer
- My Effectiveness
- Time Until
- Lucid Chart
- White Noise Generator
Related article: How To Deal With Negative Thoughts – The Definitive Guide
These productivity apps should get you well on your way to using your smartphone as a tool to improve your life, and work.
Smartphones are amazing gadgets. It is time they helped you, vs cause more distraction and procrastination.
Which productivity apps are your favourite, and why? Have I missed any good ones?
Let me know in the comments.
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