You’re sick and tired of your phone being nothing but a waste of your time. You know there are people out there who only use their phone to make their lives better – why can’t you be one of them?
You’ve tried searching for the apps to help you improve your productivity, but you just can’t seem to find the right means to do so.
You’re wasting time messaging friends and looking up cat memes on reddit, but is there a way your Android smartphone or tablet help you make your daily life easier?
Sure, you could try every app on the Google Play Store until you unearth the applications that would ensure that you never wasted another moment in your life, but why work hard when you can work smart?
The 5 Apps I Use to Improve My Productivity
1. The Google Suite - Everything
A long time ago, the Google suite was limited and unwieldy. Then the Google mages waved their wands and muttered some spells, and the Google suite was transformed into one of the most versatile application suites in the world.
From a word processor to a calendar to a scanning app, Google’s suite of services integrates almost everything you’d ever need to go about your daily life.
But in terms of productivity, what’s the best that Google has to offer?
Google Keep is a note-taking app that syncs with your Google account, allowing you to access your notes from any device connected to said account.
Moreover, Keep offers several additional features, integrating a reminder function, labels, lists, categories, and a quick and efficient search system that really makes looking for specifics a breeze.
It’s also incredibly easy to use because of its simple structure. Simply open the app and take a note. That’s how simple it is!
Google Calendar is another component of the Google suite that can contribute enormously to your productivity. In fact, a large number of top performers use Google Calendar as their default scheduling app.
With lightning-fast syncing capabilities and an intuitive interface, Google Calendar will help you set your life in order – or at least the upcoming week.
We haven’t even begun to go through the entire list of services that Google offers since that would probably require another entire article, but go through them yourself and you’ll quickly realize how helpful they might be.
2. Evernote – Note-taking
Evernote is the non-Google equivalent of Keep. If you’re worried about the amount of information Google collects about your life, Evernote is the perfect note-taking app for you.
It’s got a huge number of bells and whistles and is a great app if you’re interested in creating a deep archive of content.
The major downside to this app is that it’s a paid app, and the features available for the free version are very limiting. There’s been a huge backlash over the decision to limit free users of the app to only two devices, but you’ve got to realize that Evernote gets most of its money from subscribers – unlike Google, which makes the majority of its revenue from advertising.
The paid version of Evernote will allow you to sync to as many devices as you want and give you extra storage space, in contrast to the free basic plan that only allows you to connect with two devices.
If you don’t mind paying for it, Evernote will give you a huge amount of functionality. At the end of the day, its value is far more than the price you have to pay for it.
3. IFTTT – Automation and Service Integration
IFTTT stands for If This, Then That. That may sound like a weird name, but IFTTT is one of the best productivity applications.
If you’ve been monitoring the tech world lately, you’ve probably heard that automation is the name of the game.
IFTTT is a champion at this, allowing you to create ‘recipes.' These recipes are composed of two main parts – the trigger action, and the triggered action.
This makes it possible for you to outsource daily drudgery to your smartphone.
For example, you could set up your phone to switch on the lights in your smart home at nine at night. Or, you could use IFTTT to save all your email attachments to your Google Drive account.
In fact, you can even set up a fake call to get you out of awkward social interactions (good for your sanity, not so much for your social skills).
4. Tasker – Task Control and Automation
If you’re talking about automation, it would be a grave sin to ignore Tasker. Tasker is one of the most popular and beloved automation apps that has come up over the years.
Unlike IFTTT, Tasker is more focused on device-related tasks. In fact, Tasker is less of an automation app and more of a high-level programming app.
With this app, you can do practically anything with your device. Although the learning curve is steep and the app costs around $3.50, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.
One thing you need to keep in mind is that Tasker isn’t easy to learn. As we mentioned before, it’s virtually a high-level programming environment. So, if you’re not a fan of getting your hands dirty with technical work, IFTTT is probably a better option for you.
Tasker allows you to perform actions such as sending messages at certain times, remapping phone buttons, launch certain applications at specific times, etc.
Tasker is literally the most versatile task control and automation app available. If you’re looking for an app that will help you customize every aspect of your Android phone, Tasker will not let you down.
While that’s all well and good, how can Tasker help you improve your productivity?
Just like with IFTTT, you can outsource repetitive tasks to the application. You could set the app up to text your significant other to inform them when your phone’s battery goes below five percent. You could set it up to mute your phone during work hours.
The app’s uses are only limited by your creativity.
5. Slack – Communication and Project Management
Calling Slack a communication app is slightly myopic. It’s correct but uninformed – it’s in the same vein as defining painting as the art of putting color on paper.
Slack has made its name as the best official communication tool available on the market. While several newcomers are fighting for Slack’s position, it rules the roost – at least for the moment.
Slack allows teams of users to get together and talk about work. Different channels can be created for different purposes so people can talk to each other about individual projects without anyone else getting in the way or getting distracted.
If that’s not enough, Slack is also available on almost every operating system, meaning you don’t have to worry about certain members of your team being excluded from conversations.
If you’re working with or in a team, getting Slack will make your life much easier and will allow you to refocus on what’s important – the core project.
And There You Go!
Imagine a future where you can actually point to your smart device as a tool that helps you in your daily life.
Imagine being the exception to the rule that proclaims smartphones as utter time wasters.
It’s possible – but just downloading the apps is not enough. What you need to do is implement a framework for completing things – for getting things done, so to speak.
In fact, we’ll probably be doing an article on that in the future – so look out for that.
Till then, stay productive!