In the bubbled world of smartphone users, most people now prize their gadgets well above food, and the smartphones themselves now seem like terrible distraction and procrastination enablers. But, like anything, when smartphone capabilities are harnessed in the right way, they can serve as powerful productivity tools.
From time management to automation, here are 7 categories of mobile apps that simplify your work and ease the burden of the working person:
A-Tracker: A time-tracking app for monitoring tasks on your phone. This app is very well laid out, it displays your data in a calendar or your choice of chart style and you can enter an unlimited number of tasks. But, and this is a big one, this app is only available for iOS for now.
Wunderlist: Wunderlist is a cross-platform to-do list manager with multiple customization options. It is easy to use and features collaboration tools and commenting. It has sync issues sometimes, but overall it's a wonderful experience.
Asana: By far my favourite project management tool, Asana wants to help humanity thrive by helping all teams work effortlessly together. It cuts out emails, or at least is trying to, so that people can work faster and it streamlines the workflow. Updates are also eliminated, since everyone can see the latest news in real time. But, Asana lacks a discussion function and it cannot function offline.
Focus@Will: This is a new neuroscience-based app that helps you focus, reduce distractions and retain information when working, studying, writing and reading; and extending your attention span. It combines music and neuroscience to purportedly increase productivity by up to 400 percent, by playing background instrumental music that will stimulate rather than distract. The productivity reporting is still sub par and the timer is awkward, but guys, it works in the background by subtly soothing the part of your brain, the limbic system, that is always on the lookout for danger, food, sex or shiny things. How cool is that?!
Google Drive: An online storage locker for files and folders, arguably the best. Some people wouldn't agree but Google Drive features a generous free storage allowance, and extensive collaboration options which is priceless. It is compatible with Google docs, sheets, slides, forms and drawings; which aren't exactly huge pluses until you realize that Google docs can also open files from over 30 different software types. It requires a full Google account to use, and there is no media streaming...yet!
IFTT: IFTT allows for the automation of all your web services. It has a clear interface and it is easy to understand and use. IFTT is ideal for small task automation. The service work with templates known as recipes, but some recipes take longer to work.
Feedly: Feedly is a news aggregator app for various web browsers and mobile devices running iOS and Android, also available as a cloud-based service. It compiles news feeds from multiple of online sources for you to customize and/or share with others. Featuring a minimalist design and personalized interface, the Feedly app will not load an entire article. Instead, it will present a summary, and a link to the actual article, although some would say the service relies too heavily on its minimalist approach.
We realise that there are more apps in these categories that carry out the same functions as the apps we listed above, maybe even better. If you know some such apps, please tell us in the comments section, someone else might want to know it too!