We tend to think of mobile apps as distractions: we can lose hours a day on Facebook or playing the latest mobile game. However, some mobile apps are excellent for helping you organize your life and more efficiently use your time. Here are three of the top apps for iOS and Android, which can help you become ultra productive and organize your time.
Available: iOS, Android;
Evernote is the undisputed king of organization apps, allowing you to carry all the documents, notes, checklists and other information you need in one trusty app. Evernote integrates with all parts of your offline and online life, allowing you to keep everything organized in the cloud. See a job that you want to apply for later on the web? Clip it to Evernote, add a due date, and make notes about how you can fill in the application form. Want to keep all of your receipts organized?
Simply take a picture with your phone and save them to Evernote, where the Evernote Optical Character Recognition software makes them searchable. Evernote is a big player in the organization industry, and that means that the available integration options are limitless. If you prefer to handwrite your notes, but are worried about losing them, you can buy an Evernote Moleskin notebook, snap a picture of your notes, and Evernote makes your handwriting searchable.
Available: iOS; Free
Update: Acquired by Google and now brings smart scheduling to Google Apps
Timeful is a new player in the organization and productivity app market, and yet it has already gotten the seal of approval from key industry notables as an app to keep an eye on. Timeful is based around one key idea: if you schedule items from your to-do list, you are more likely to actually do them. Timeful then takes this idea to a whole new leave by ‘suggesting’ you do certain items on your to-do list when it sees free spots in your calendar. Timeful helps you to make time, ensuring that you are making the best use out of every minute of your working day.
Perhaps the best thing about Timeful is that the more you use it, the more it learns.
If Timeful sees that you get more to-dos done in the morning, it will suggest you more to-dos before lunchtime. If Timeful learns that you like to go to the gym after work, it will fit gym time into your schedule.
Timeful’s other flagship feature is its ‘Habits’ function: Timeful tries to help you create good habits by encouraging you to set aside time to do them each week. If you want to ensure you take your medication every day, Timeful will schedule it for you. If you want to send an hour a week learning some Russian, Timeful will make time for you. Timeful is the to-do/calendar/personal assistant hybrid you have always needed, right in your pocket.
Available iOS, Android; Free
If This Then That (IFTTT) has been known for a while in tech circles as a simple yet powerful app that links together many of your other apps in order to organize your life. The logic is simple: by doing something on one app, something automatically happens in another app. This may sound quite rudimentary, but the actual effects are outstanding. Here are just some of the examples:
- Ever wanted to escape an awkward meeting? You can set up an IFTTT ‘recipe’ that allows you to text ‘#helpme’ to an IFTTT number which then causes your phone to ring, allowing you to make a quick escape.
- Use IFTTT to send yourself an automatic notification if there is rain forecast to remind you as you leave the house each morning to remember your umbrella.
- Use IFTTT to automatically mute your phone when you arrive at a certain location, like your office.
- Use IFTTT to push out an update on one of your social media networks to all of your social media networks. This is especially handy for getting around problems with Instagram and Twitter: using IFTTT, you can get Twitter to post your Instagram pictures as native Twitter pictures instead of just a link.
You can get the most out of IFTTT by using an Android phone because, unlike with Apple’s closed iOS ecosystem, IFTTT can control and access all parts of your phone. Want your phone to automatically text your partner saying ‘I’m on my way home!’ as you leave your office? IFTTT can do that. IFTTT’s Android app makes it easier than ever to set up IFTTT recipes yourself or find recipes others have created. You can automate and organize your life with the click of a button.