Vibhor Bansal

Harnessing the power of Productivity Apps

Blog Post created by Vibhor Bansal on Dec 1, 2014

We live in a time when connectivity is a necessity - 24/7, anytime, anywhere access is fast becoming the norm. No longer can one power down one's laptop and assume the work day has ended. Mobile phones and other handheld devices have brought about an era of continuous availability and access. And there are a host of apps available, for both Android and Apple devices, which help you make the most of your smartphone, allowing you to expand on the inherent functionality it offers. Productivity quotient increased, just with a few apps on board, and harnessing the power of the cloud!

While many apps are free, there are others that have both free and paid for versions. The paid apps offer more options, storage and greater functionality, but one can always try out their free versions or similar free apps before deciding whether to buy. Here's a list of ten of the most useful and popular apps across a range of needs, in the market right now, not mentioning the very obvious ones like Dropbox, Google Docs and Skype. Some we know you've heard off, while others are new or just not yet ubiquitous, though we predict they will be, given how helpful they are!

The Ten to Have

Evernote: This one shows up on pretty much every list of great productivity apps. Evernote allows you to take notes on the go, and sync them across your various devices. You get multiple notebooks where you can save everything from a short note to long lists, oral reminders and images. You can upload audio and video snippets too. The Clearly app, part of Evernote now, reduces the time taken to read articles online by removing all extraneous data - ads, sidebars, and images, that are both distracting and slow the loading of content. 

Remember the Milk: Is the ultimate task management app, and popular with many thanks to its quirky name. The app promises that you won't forget anything small or big, since you can sync to your Google calendar, have SMS, email or IM reminders, manage tasks offline, and share your tasks too.

MindMeister: is a mind mapping app. Mind mapping allows you to project ideas into a series of points/interconnected visuals. The app is highly useful for ideation and brainstrorming.

Podio: is a project management and collaborative work platform that means you and colleagues can share information, collaborate on a project and keep up to date, all with a downloaded app.

Quip: is also a mobile office app, with integrated messaging and collaborative editing. Users have the ability to create, import and share documents, to-do lists and then collaboratively edit them. The app's messaging sidebar allows you to reach out to colleagues and view their edits. Quip has the ability to import documents from Dropbox, Drive and Evernote, and export documents to PDF and Office formats.

Sunrise Calender: is the latest on the scene. Sunrise syncs with your existing Google Calendar, iCloud and Exchange calendars. It has background syncing, quick event entry, reminders, time zone support and even location tagging. It is gaining popularity quite literally by the day!

AirDroid: Allows you to use your phone from your PC,
rather than having to constantly switch back and forth between devices. You can read and send texts, transfer files, view your device storage and basically operate your phone via your PC.

PocketCloud: Offers you complete access to your PC from your smartphone, so you can reach those important files and emails wherever you are, whenever you need to.

Expensify: is the solution to keeping track of your expenses when you're on the road, a boon for frequent business travelers who otherwise have to wade through their receipts later on and rationalize them. The app allows scanning of receipts and then pulls the relevant information off the images and adds it to your records. It has offline and online functionality and can log miles as you drive, allowing you to calculate your mileage claim!

CloudMagic: is a mobile email app that allows you to access multiple accounts; personal and business emails can all be accessed in one place.

Tasker: is an app that allows one to create intelligent automation on a device, be it getting a smartphone to automatically connect to a certain Wi-Fi network or Bluetooth device, based on location. One can also change the phone's ring behavior and volume settings based on location, time of day, or currently occurring calendar events, which means you never will be embarrassed when your phone rings in the middle of an important meeting or at an inopportune moment because you forgot to turn it off.

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