One of the great claims of technology is that it will free up more of our time by automating boring tasks. However, many office workers have the opposite experience. Productivity apps are designed to help us make more effective use of our time.
Productivity apps is quite a broad category. For example, there are tools out there to help you make better decisions about how you plan your day. There are also tools which are specifically designed to keep you focused on important tasks.
Unlike games and other mobile software, productivity apps actually serve a purpose. They are very useful and essentially contribute to our daily lives by cutting down on wasted time. Productivity apps are really trendy nowadays, but what makes them special?
For business owners, this is all about getting the most out of your employees. As the name suggests, the goal of productivity apps is to make workers more productive. This is important, as most workers waste incredible amounts of time in a given day.
This isn’t necessarily laziness. Simple ineffective working habits make a huge impact. Think about how much time you waste switching between your actual work and checking your emails.
The average American worker spends 23 hours a week on emails alone:
That’s just one of the potential time savings on offer from paying more attention to your productivity. Let’s take a more in depth look at some of the ways that productivity can help you achieve better results.
What do Productivity Apps Actually do?
The main purpose or goal of a productivity app is to help the users become more efficient and productive and finish their tasks promptly. Now you may be wondering, how exactly can productivity apps contribute or add value to my life?
Do they do my work for me?
Can they run errands while I am at work? While productivity apps help you become more productive, they do not do their work for you. It is merely the app’s purpose to help, organize and allow you to do your work and complete your tasks more efficiently.
There are 100’s of different productivity apps out there. Each concerned with a different aspect of your life. For example, there are apps to help organize your meal plan if you’re on a diet. Other Apps to help keep track of your current tasks.
Another type that makes sharing and collaboration with co-workers much easier. There is a productivity app for every need. All you need to do is look for the one that fits you best.
Most Popular Productivity Apps
As noted, productivity apps can serve quite a broad range of functions, all with the same goal of helping you maximise the amount of work you get done in a given time. This includes:
- Time management tools,
- Planning tools,
- Project management tools,
- Tools to help you focus.
To get a better feel for how each of these works in practice, let’s look at a selection of some of the most popular productivity tools on the market today.
Life can sometimes get a bit chaotic. Different tasks overlap, some appointments get overlooked. It’s common for people not to have the ability to recall things they have to do or appointments they have made.
For this reason, lots of apps containing to-do lists were created and categorized as productivity apps to help the users stay on track.
Trello is one of the most popular productivity apps that help you organise tasks and get your work done. Trello lets you add your own lists with different titles for different occasions. So for example, if you have a few different core tasks, which you need to break into sub-tasks, you can create a list for each one.
You might even create separate lists for appointments or deadlines, as well as your daily work. You can even continue to add the birthday party you have on Tuesday or the Doctor’s appointment you have on Wednesday and you order the app to remind you on the day you want.
Let us come clean and admit that some, if not most of us, have a huge problem with keeping physical documents organised. Why may you ask? For one thing, papers get lost easily and frequently.
On the other hand, phones, tablets or laptops are always with us everywhere we go.
That is why one of the most efficient productivity apps you should get is the apps that take notes. A note to call your mom, a note to go to a dentist appointment, or even a note containing your grocery list.
There are probably hundreds of apps that help you do this but Letterspace is one of the best. This app even uses a system of hashtags to help you find what you wrote quicker, which is why it is considered a productivity app.
Sometimes, it’s still necessary to transfer physical copies of documents quickly. This is especially true in industries like the legal or financial sectors.
Let us all agree that faxing papers is quite a lot of work and frankly an ancient method. Technology is upgrading rapidly every day and almost everyone has a smartphone which they have on them almost 24/7.
Let us say you are in a meeting, and a contract just got signed. Yet your boss, who is currently in another city, needs the contract immediately.
You now have two options; A, you walk to your office, turn on the printer, scan the paper to your laptop then send the email. B, you walk to your office, turn on the fax machine and fax it to his office. Those are really good solutions but not in the modern world where everything is fast.
Additionally, most offices no longer have fax machines, and scanners never seem to work.
You’ve got a third option which is to use an App called Scannable. Scannable is an app created to allow you to scan anything and have it appear on your phone. It is basically taking a picture of a paper but in much higher quality and you can export the document to as a PDF anywhere, in almost no time at all.
A company that is an expert in productivity apps, known as Abukai, developed an app that is called Abukai Expenses. This app facilitates the process of calculating your business expense reports without you having to go through too much work.
It works by capturing your paper receipts for your business transactions, as opposed to you having to type every single transaction which of course speeds up the process.
Most people have more than one email that they frequently use. Often, these are hosted by different providers. Wouldn’t it be easier to just have all emails gathered in one app instead of jumping around from one app to the other?
Well Cloud Magic made that dream come true!
It is an app that supports many email services such as Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, and many more. It shows all your emails from different accounts in one inbox, allowing you to be fully in control of those emails and categorizing them by what is easier for you.
Cloud Magic really values the privacy of its clients. Therefore, it lets you create a passcode to prevent anyone from accessing the app and reading your private email. Could it get any more productive than that?
We all have more than one electronic device, but have you ever bookmarked an article on your tablet to read later on vacation but then realized you forgot your tablet at home and all your bookmarked articles, videos or pictures were stuck home with your tablet?
Well Pocket is here to save you. Pocket facilitates things for you by allowing you to bookmark anything and being able to access them later on any device you have. And the best thing about it? You can access it without the use of the internet.
For all the students out there, this app is definitely for you! Anki is a productivity app that allows you to create flashcards on your phone, tablet or laptop to ease up the studying process.
“Spaced Repetition” is the system Anki uses to evaluate your performance. Also, in order to save you time, it only shows the ones you might have forgotten and not every single card on there.
And the best thing about Anki is that you could review your cards on your way to class using the mobile app.
Microsoft Office has been with us for years. In fact, it first launched in 1988. It also has its own applications that are considered as Productivity Apps, such as Excel, PowerPoint, word, publisher and so much more.
These applications, which are all available for all phones, help its users be productive, organized and get everything done on time without a lot of hassle. For instance, if a college professor wants to make the lecture more interesting and not just stick to the textbook.
They may use PowerPoint, add visuals to the slides; some videos or pictures to make the lecture more interesting.
Moreover, if another teacher needs to show the students anything concerning science or math, they can use Excel and show some graphs or charts to elaborate more for the students without having a hard time creating that graph as it is only a matter of inputting numbers and choosing the graph type and colors.
This is also useful for the students as they may use Microsoft Word to take notes while in class, which for some would be faster to type on their phone than to write with a pen. They also may use PowerPoint if they have a class presentation and they want to keep the audience engaged.
So they use the PowerPoint as a background while they present, and so much more on how Microsoft is a Productivity App that saves many teachers, students and even employees when it comes to being productive.
Microsoft Office also offers a range of productivity-focused collaboration features, which helps to improve efficiency when you have multiple people working on the same project.
Productivity Apps in a Nutshell
To sum up, smartphone apps all have a purpose. Whether it is a game to occupy your time or a book app so you can read. But what really helped us, smartphone users, was the productivity apps as they helped us get organized and more efficient.
To-do lists reminding you with the appointment, meeting, or social gathering you set earlier. Notes apps that help you remember what was on your grocery list because, let’s face it, no one carries notepads anymore!
Scan apps that scan your document on your phone in no time instead of the hassle you had to go through to get a document scanned. Even financial issues were taken care of by the productivity apps, allowing you to finish your business transactions without actually losing your mind.
Let’s not forget about Microsoft office which just makes everything easier. From taking notes, or calculating graphs, to presenting for your class or team at the office. Let us all agree that productivity apps really saved our lives.