Productivity is a tricky thing in the era of smartphones and mobile Internet access. Just as these devices enable productivity, they also enable procrastination.
Yet with a few dedicated apps, you can turn your mobile device into a productivity powerhouse. Here are 10 that will quickly become your favorites:
The Mindjet app is an extension of the powerful desktop program of the same name. It allows you to turn your smartphone into a portable brainstorming device, complete with idea webs, which allows you to visually organize your ideas and thoughts through word maps. The newest versions even link up to the existing Mindjet Connect service, which offers synchronization between devices, cloud storage and multi-person collaboration.
If you meet a lot of new people—and you should, because networking is good for your career—managing business cards can quickly become a hassle. CamCard makes use of today’s advanced optical character recognition technology and the built-in camera on every smartphone to scan any business card you set in front of it. It automatically indexes information on the business card in as many as 16 different languages. No more scrambling to find that business card you know you stuffed into your bag at your last happy hour!
Anyone in the tech business knows how much work it can be to stay up-to-date with the constant stream of news coming from your favorite sites. While dozens of news aggregator websites already exist, Pulse lets you do everything from a mobile device. Supported on iDevices, the Kindle and the Android systems, Pulse lets you create interest pages and keep up with anything new posted on your favorite websites.
Diigo is an all-purpose app for storing tidbits of information. You can collect snippets of text and highlight relevant passages. You can create sticky notes, full-sized notes or entire documents to store your observations. You can gather any relevant Web bookmarks or images and store them all in one place.
Any time you’re browsing a website with a mobile device and you have to go, you have a choice to make. Do you let your mobile idle on the site and suck up battery life, or do you discard it and hope to remember it later? Instapaper allows you to save these articles locally and formats them into a clean and easy-to-read format for later browsing.
Unlike most productivity apps that focus on everything you need to do, iDoneThis focuses on what you’ve accomplished. It emails you each day to ask what you’ve completed and creates an ongoing calendar of everything you’ve done. Use it for recordkeeping, bragging rights or just as a morale-booster on those days when you feel like you’ve gotten nothing done.
Cloud-based storage is a useful feature for anyone on the go. Syncing documents and projects among multiple computers and mobile devices can be a pain. Dropbox is one of the first and most widespread cloud storage services, and it can be accessed from mobile devices just as easily as from home.
8. Where To?
The Where To? app is designed to take advantage of map data and GPS functionality to draw you directions to pretty much anything you could want to find. You can find the nearest restaurant of a certain type, the closest airport, the office where you’re going for that oh-so-important interview and more.
Gmail is one of the best free email services available, and it’s easy to access from a mobile device. Even so, sometimes logging in and viewing messages takes too long. The Gmail Widgets app allows you to place a Gmail window on your home screen and populates it with new messages. It even includes previews of the message content.
No webmaster should be without Ego, which provides your smartphone with a quick and elegant interface for checking out all sorts of Web statistics. It accepts feeds from Twitter, Tumblr, Google Analytics, Mint, Feedburner and more. With Ego, you’ll never be without all of the vital stats for you website or blog.