The smartphone has become a very important part of our lives, not just for entertainment and communications, but also for productivity. In fact, the smartphone has largely replaced the computer for many things. Emailing, messaging, note-taking, and even word processing can all be done on the phone.
So what are the best productivity apps? There are quite a few out there, making it difficult to wade through them all at times. Here are some of the best ones.
This one’s obvious. Microsoft Office was off to a bit of a rough start when it was first brought to mobile, but of late Microsoft has put some serious R&D into the suite of apps and has come up with a great lineup. In fact, for basic viewing and editing, you can get Office on mobile for free. For more complex uses you will need pay for an Office 365 subscription, which starts at $6.99 per month, and will also give you access to Office for PC or Mac.
Office for mobile devices is arguably the best way to edit word documents, spreadsheets, and slideshows, especially if you’re plugged into Microsoft’s ecosystem and already use Office 365 for your desktop needs.
Microsoft Office is great, but it’s not very efficient for quick and easy note-taking — for that you’re going to want something a little lighter, like Evernote. Evernote has become a standard for mobile note-taking ever since early on in the mobile revolution, and for good reason. The app is very well-designed, and stores all of your notes in the cloud — meaning that you can take notes on your phone and then revisit those notes on your computer or tablet later on, as long as you’re signed in. Not only can you type notes out, but you can also record voice memos, and tag your notes to easily sort through them later on.
Evernote is available for free, but you can subscribe for $45-per-year to get access to premium features like up to 1GB of cloud storage (compared to 60MB for free users) — helpful for those that upload a lot of images and voice memos.
Trello is an excellent tool for teams — the user interface basically works in columns, and cards can be created for different tasks and moved into different columns for different stages of a process. Perhaps the best thing about Trello is how easy it is to use and how simple the interface is. It’s also a very visual platform, allowing you to get a sense of what’s going on at a quick glance.
Trello was originally built as a desktop service, but it now exists as an app and does so very well. Sometimes services struggle in porting over to mobile, and Trello has not fallen into that trap.
But how do you know if I’m telling the truth when I say it’s super helpful? This very site routinely uses Trello to manage publishing schedules and article ideas.
A big part of productivity is messaging — it needs to be easy for members of teams to interact with each other, and Slack makes that possible. With Slack you can chat to individual members of your team, multiple members at once, groups of people, and so on — quickly and easily.
Slack offers a number of great tools for helping in conveying the message you’re trying to convey, and it has the famous Slackbot, which offers information on demand. Slack is also helpful because of its notifications, which are very customizable — you don’t have to get notifications for everything that happens on Slack, you can choose to only get them from one person if you want.
Cloud storage is an important part of work for many people. Not only is it a great place to store your files, but it’s a great way to have access to your files across multiple devices whenever you want, provided you’re connected to the internet. Google Drive is arguably one of the best cloud storage services for mobile. There’s an Android and iOS app available on Drive, and if you’re an Android user, Drive will integrate with other services on your phone.
Drive is available to use for free, however you’ll only get 15GB for free. If you’re willing to pay, however, you can get 100GB for $1.99, or 1TB for $9.99, if you need the extra space.
There are a ton of productivity apps out there, but with these five apps you could really boost your workflow and how you work with others. Many of them also have desktop websites or apps, so check those out too!