Many of us, myself included, chose to get a smartphone not because we like seeing caller ID replaced with photos and messages with bubbles, but to use our phones as devices that help us be punctual, productive and organized. The smartphone has become a device that encompasses all your daily needs starting from to-do lists to meals, schedules, notes, books, contacts, social media, e-mail, office tools and many more. A certain percentage of users swear that their phones have helped them become more productive individuals and helped them keep their stuff organized and well planned. A smartphone usually can’t do that by itself, although Android does offer apps that come pretty close, but otherwise you need certain applications that help you organize your daily life on your smartphone.
This list is meant for Android users and might be a little centered on apps made by Google, not because I would endorse only Google, but because I genuinely enjoy what they have to offer when it comes to applications, their design and their functionality. I don’t use a ton of apps to get stuff done, so here’s a list of 5 Android apps that I find absolutely necessary for optimal use of my device.
1. Google Keep (alternative: Evernote)
Google Keep is an Android application that helps you jot down notes, create lists, organize to-do lists, record memos and reminders and create photo reminders. What I love about Google Keep on Android is that it is able to sync all my notes and recordings and keep them tied to my Google account so I can access them from anywhere.
2. Google Calendar
Google Calendar doesn’t differ much from stock calendar applications pre-installed on Android devices, but it does allow for syncing and cross-referencing with Chrome, Google Keep, Google Drive, etc. I really enjoy that Google made this one account for all thing possible, because I can access all my important stuff from anywhere.
3. Google Drive (alternative: Dropbox)
Google Drive is a cloud storage service much like Dropbox, offering you 15 GB of free storage space. That’s more than enough for me, but the truth is I also use other cloud storage provided by my carrier on my phone to store pictures and videos. Google Drive does offer more space than many cloud storage services out there and keeps your files safe, syncs them with your account, making them available for Google+ as well so you can easily share, if you want to.
4. HabitRPG (alternative: Any.do)
This one is a fun app that turns your life into an RPG, offering rewards and HP for completed tasks and it’s designed to be a to-do list, but more awesome. You gain levels and unlock features as you progress through your tasks as quests, which helps improve your overall productivity. In the end, the goal is to form the habits you want so that you won’t need a game to keep track of all the things on your agenda. HabitRPG has helped me keep up with my own schedule and not miss removing make-up, sleeping at least 7 hours a day and not missing out on important events. It’s much like Any.do or Evernote, only that it’s more game than plain.
CamScanner basically turns your Android into a scanning device, taking pictures of documents and turning them into editable PDF files. This one has helped me a lot since I work with a lot of legal documents, spreadsheets and course memos at school. CamScanner makes sharing PDF files easy as well, so you can integrate the app into the projects you and your fellow colleagues are working on.
Which are your must-have apps you can’t see your phone’s homescreen go without? Have you used the apps I mentioned? What’s your opinion on them, if you did? Would you suggest better apps that would suit my productivity needs?