Distractions abound when there’s work to be done. Social media, entertainment news, sports and retail websites lead even the most diligent worker down rabbit holes of wasted time. Apps can be even more diverting, luring the user into assembling puzzles, battling armies and flinging birds when he or she should be completing a host of projects. But not all apps are designed to disrupt efficiency; many have been created to help people multitask better and achieve more in less time. Here are the 10 best apps (available for Android and iOS devices) designed to help you improve productivity at home and work.
Typing too fast can result in gibberish and auto-correct can be humiliating. SwiftKey (for Android and iOS) learns what you type in other apps and then predicts not just your next word, but the next two words. It also includes a wide selection of keyboard layouts and sizes for your comfort. If that doesn’t speed things up enough, its “Flow Through Space” feature enables entire sentences to be written without lifting your finger from the screen.
2. Dashlane Password Manager
Between your credit cards, online retailers, multiple email accounts and countless applications, you have too much sign-in information to memorize. Avoid retyping your logins and getting locked out of your accounts with Dashlane Password Manager. Dashlane (for Android and iOS) encrypts your passwords and then enters it into the necessary fields, helping you to log into your accounts. Its “digital wallet” feature speeds up purchases by encrypting your payment information and saving the receipts.
Take control of your busy life with Todoist. Available on 15 platforms including Android and iOS, the Todoist app lets you add, complete and reschedule all your responsibilities in one place through your devices, email and computer, both online and off. It’s also integrated with dozens of other apps, letting you focus on your tasks via this centralized application. Get motivated as you score points by completing items and then follow your success with colorful charts.
Automate your online and off-line world with IFTTT (If This, Then That). IFTTT (for Android and iOS) connects actions between more than 360 services—including apps and appliances—through “recipes” or commands so each task is completed for you rather than by you. Set instructions for everything from text messages to thermostat adjustments through your device’s keyboard or voice commands, and then let IFTTT do all the heavy lifting.
The idea that organization is a key way to improve productivity is not groundbreaking, but what if you could better organize your thoughts by using an app? Evernote (for Android and iOS) takes all your notes, lists, timelines, tasks, brainstorms, documents, recordings and plans, then syncs them across all your devices, letting you access them anywhere, at any time. Evernote entries can also be used for projects, letting multiple users collaborate and manage tasks right on the app.
6. Microsoft Outlook
Rather than utilizing different apps and websites for your calendars and multiple email accounts, streamline it all through Microsoft Outlook (for Android and iOS). Outlook’s unified inbox works with Gmail, iCloud and Yahoo Mail as well as Microsoft’s email products. It also makes file attachments easier to share and use by connecting with cloud services like Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox, as well as integrating with Microsoft Office products like PowerPoint and Word. Scheduling meetings and managing the day becomes a simple pleasure thanks to the integration of the former Sunrise app into the calendar module.
Manage projects at work and at home with Trello (for Android and iOS). Trello uses a system developed by Toyota to improve productivity. The app has a simple web page layout to keep it user friendly. It’s designed for real-time collaboration and there’s no limit to how many people you invite to add feedback and complete tasks. The app backs up everything to the cloud to protect your work. Trello lets you customize the workspace to fit your needs by linking to other productivity apps and adding third-party widgets.
When your social media life becomes so busy it interferes with your work and play time, it’s time to consolidate and control your communication through a single application called Buffer. Buffer (for Android and iOS) lets you schedule and customize all your Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest,and Twitter posts through its interface, so you don’t have to hop from site to site, or app to app, throughout the day. Once your tweets, pins and pics have posted, the app provides a set of analytics to track views and responses for each action.
Instead of compiling a mess of bookmarks for news, video channels and blogs, download the Feedly app to view your favorite sites in one centralized place. Feedly (for Android and iOS) is a streamlined newsfeed application that lets you read without distraction and then save or share content with one click. You can also organize the feeds with different layouts and discover other sites based on your interests.
Sometimes you find an interesting article—such as the 10 best apps for improving productivity—but you have real work to complete at the moment. The best thing to do is Pocket it. Pocket (for Android and iOS) lets you save entire articles including built-in media (especially video). You can Pocket items from your emails, web browser, clipboard and over 1500 different apps. Then you can enjoy your discoveries in full from your device or computer, online or off-line.
Structure your day, type efficiently, organize thoughts and complete your projects without wearing yourself down. Utilize your devices and these 10 apps to accomplish more at home and the office, so you can have time to enjoy assembling puzzles, battling armies and flinging birds guilt-free.