In some ways, having too many productivity tools can actually backfire, making you less productive by creating overwhelm. However, there are several apps that can dramatically increase productivity when used correctly.
1. A Project/Task Management App
Nothing will help you stay on task to meet your deadlines better than a task management application. This applies whether you’re on a laptop or a smartphone, but if you use both, it’s crucial to have the app installed on your smartphone. The only exception would be if you don’t use your phone for business at all, and keep regular office hours. Otherwise, if you’re working on projects throughout the day from your smartphone, you need the app.
A project management app allows you to keep track of your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks without having to think about what’s coming up next. You can set the alerts to come through whenever someone comments on a task or uploads a file, and you can also set reminders and push notifications so you don’t forget about anything upcoming.
When you work with a team of people, having task management software is essential to ensure everyone gets their part of the project done on time. When you have tasks with dependencies, and those dependencies are other people’s deadlines, it’s impossible to manage everything manually.
It may cost money to get the best task management software, but it’s worth it. You’ve already invested hundreds in your smartphone and crucial accessories, like screen protectors and a phone case, so it makes sense to also invest in your ability to get things done on time.
2. A Calendar Connected to Your Desktop Computer and Email
Calendars are life-saving if you haven’t already started using one. Unlike a static wall calendar, your calendar app is capable of scheduling your meetings with reminders, and with just a few clicks you can input your entire month’s worth of responsibilities and color-code everything to make it easy to read. The best part is that most calendar apps (like Google Calendar) will sync your appointments and notes across all of your devices.
Just make sure your calendar will send you email reminders for upcoming events so you don’t lose track of what’s in the near future.
3. A Note Taking Application
Being able to take notes on the fly, anytime anywhere, is crucial to productivity. You don’t want to get into a situation where you’ve got some great ideas flowing and you can’t write them down because you’re in a meeting, on a plane, or having dinner.
Putting a note taking application on your smartphone will make it easy for you to write everything down no matter where you are. Some note apps have a voice-to-text feature so you can speak instead of tapping the screen if it’s easier.
4. A voice recorder
Sometimes you’ll find yourself agreeing to call someone at a certain time, but you don’t have the ability to enter it into your calendar right away. If you have a voice recorder, you can speak the time and date of the call and reference your voice notes when you get home. This way, you won’t leave anything to memory. All you need to do is remember to review your voice notes for the day to make sure you have everything down.
5. Google Drive
If you normally use Google Drive on your laptop or desktop computer, you’ll want to add the app to your smartphone. If you ever need to access a file when you don’t have your laptop in front of you, you’ll be glad you have the app. For example, you might be in the middle of a meeting when someone needs some information that you know is on Google Drive. With the app, you can pull the document up right away.
Google Drive is also a convenient way to ensure all your documents are created and stored in the same place so you don’t have to shuffle files around between your devices.
6. A PDF Reader and Signer
When you need to sign a PDF contract, it’s not easy without an application. An app like DocuSign will make it simple and fast. You can put any document into the app and add your signature anywhere on the page. It’s much easier than trying to print, sign, and mail papers.
What Productivity Apps do You Like to Use?
Everyone has their favorite productivity apps, and the ones that work best for you will be different from what works for other people. Which specific apps you should use will depend entirely on your individual needs.