When it comes to usefulness, the smartphone is both a blessing and a curse. While too much time checking social media or scrolling through news feeds is a hindrance on productivity, smartphones can also be used for good. The right apps help you streamline your schedule, keep you on task, jot down notes, and stay better connected to the office. Download some of these productivity apps to turn your smartphone into a mobile personal assistant.
If you work with a team, you'll want Asana to keep everyone organized and on track. With this Android and iOS app, assign tasks, create checklists, send reminders or requests, organize lists, upload files, add due dates, and so much more. Asana also makes it easy to communicate by providing users with the ability to make announcements, comment on a task, ask a teammate a question, or send a message. With Asana, you're not tied down to your computer as you organize and facilitate various work projects.
Available for both iOS and Android, Microsoft To-Do makes it easier to keep track of all the tasks and projects you've got on your plate. Within the app, create lists for various topics to stay focused and organized. The app sends you reminders for things you need to complete and allows you to group task items using different emojis. Microsoft To-Do connects to Office 365 and integrates with Outlook, making it easy for you to transition from home to office while keeping all your thoughts organized.
Smartphone use can easily turn into a time suck, and Forest helps fight the danger of smartphone addiction. This app motivates you to stay focused on the task at hand rather than picking up your phone to mindlessly scroll. The idea is simple, but genius — when you have a task to accomplish, get on the app and plant a tree. Whether you are working, studying, or out with friends, the tree grows. If you pick up the phone and leave the app before your allotted time is up, the tree dies. As your trees grow, they're added to a forest. Over time you'll see the forest growing, and you're motivated to stay focused and add more trees.
If you're a fan of Post-it notes, then make them digital with Google Keep. This Android and iOS app is an electronic way to jot reminders, tasks, and notes to yourself wherever you are. When inspiration hits or you need to make a reminder for an important task, open the app and create your note, then "pin" it to your home screen. The app supports dictation as well as typing. For more creativity and personalization, add photos or your own drawings to each note and then group notes with labels.
If you find yourself faced with a lot of paperwork, Scanbot helps cut down on the clutter. Use this app to quickly scan papers using your phone's camera. The Android and iOS app coverts these pictures into usable PDF documents, so you can save, email, or file them away as necessary. From receipts to bills to white boards, this app is a game changer in creating usable documents on the fly.
Establishing good habits is a cornerstone of better productivity, but it's not always easy to know exactly how you're doing at putting these habits into practice. Strides is a habit tracker that offers four different interfaces to chronicle your progress. Simply input the goal you're trying to reach, and Strides gives you statistics as to how well you're accomplishing your task. This provides a much-needed boost when the going gets tough and provides insight as to where you may need to improve.
If you have trouble keeping track of time or frequently charge clients based on the amount of time you work, then Hours can help. This time-tracking app for iOS answers the ever-popular question, "Where did the day go?" To use it, set up timers for each project or task you're working on. Click the timer button next to a project when you start working. If you change tasks, simply switch timers. This app also has a handy reports feature, which gives you quick and detailed insight into how you spent your week and alerts you to gaps so you can work to be more productive.