29 Best Productivity Apps To Help You In 2018

29 Best Productivity Apps To Help You In 2018

Your phone is awful, right? Everyone says that we spend way too much time on our phones instead of investing meaningful time in our work, family, friends or actual hobbies.

But what if we turn those powerful computers in our pockets to good rather than into a distraction? What if instead of modifying a selfie for the 1200th time, we started better habits? And what if our phones could get us there?

Yep, you can do it. Your phone can help you not only do fun stuff, but for productive stuff, too. And there are loads of apps to help you get there. Check out the app store and download these essential ones. They are the best productivity apps to help you out this year. 💪

Note: Want even more productivity resources? Check out this ultimate guide to productivity!

 

1. 1Password

Save a little extra time and brain space by storing your passwords in 1Password. Your passwords will be secure and in one place. 1Password is simple to use, and manage. It connects to your accounts, selects the right password and then uses it to log in to the app automatically. Like seriously, no more lock-outs after 5 attempts. It will also help you choose strong passwords. Only catch? You’ve gotta remember the master password or use Face ID to log in. It also has password vaults to keep different areas of your life separate–such as keeping your work, personal and family passwords separated. That family one is crucial–no more text messages asking about the Netflix password again. It can be easy to overlook how much time we spend entering passwords especially if we forget them!

Use It For: Your passwords

Price: Free with in-app purchases, depending on how many users

Download: Apple | Google Play

2. 24me

How many calendars and calendar apps do you have? One for work, one for personal activity, your spouse’s calendar, your household calendar for all of your kids’ school activities and events. Oh yeah, but your work calendar is split into multiple calendars, detailing everything from time off to when a big presentation is due. What you need is an assistant, but then you’d have to keep up with their calendar 😂. That’s where 24me comes in. It’s the smart personal assistant to sync all of your calendars–including Google, Microsoft 365, Yahoo and whatever else. Your tasks from all of your calendars will come together in one glorious mess, I calendar app.

Use It For: Syncing your calendars

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Download: Apple | Google Play

3. Be Focused Pro – Focus Timer

This app is a little different than the typical timer or distraction-blocker app. You can put in specific tasks, then set a timer to those tasks. The app then plans short breaks for you…you don’t even have to keep track of it yourself. By creating work intervals, you set your own short sprints and aren’t locked into a certain time length. You can also set work interval targets each day, customizing your day around meetings or appointments. Optimize the amount of time that you do have to finish up work, stay focused.

Use It For: Timing your tasks and setting up your schedule

Price: $1.99

Download: Apple

NOTE: Love tools? And list apps? Check out our top recommended collaboration tools!

4. Bear

Tired of those notes programs that lack pizzazz? Bear is the elegant response. It’s easy to tag your notes and link documents together. Easily insert images as well. It’s a step up design-wise from your default phone notes,  but gives you the flexibility, annotation and sketch options that you’ve come to expect. Advanced search functions through your to-dos or notes also simplify the files and allow you to find what you need faster. You can also export to PDF, HTML, DOCX, or JPG files. Could definitely be worth the switch!

Use It For: Notes and sketches

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Download: Apple

5. Bullet Journal Companion

Uh, isn’t a bullet journal supposed to be a paper only thing? Yes…it is, but hear me out! If you’re not sure what a bullet journal is, check out this helpful article. But what if you don’t have your journal with you for whatever reason (Bullet Journal Rule #1: Never forget your bullet journal), then this is the second best option. You can take notes right on the app, place it into the categories you’ve set up in your paper journal, and then record them later. You’ll also be part of the larger bullet journal community and get monthly writing prompts. Score!

Use It For: Journaling

Price: $2.99

Download: Apple

6. CamScanner

In a business with lots of documents? And some of those aren’t electronic? That’s a problem. But not with CamScanner. This app lets you scan in documents and even search them quickly. Send them to print directly from your phone (still a sticking point in most offices), attach to emails for signatures and even throw in watermarks to document who has access to what to stop any leaks of sensitive or confidential information. This is a must-have for most busy executives.

Use It For: Scanning and sending documents for signature

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Download: Apple | Google Play

7. ClickUp

How can you combine your personal to-do lists and tasks with your team’s agenda? What’s an easy way to see the status of your projects, work that needs to be done and any comments on tasks? Born out of the frustration of using too many complex or far-too-simplified project management systems, ClickUp is a beautiful and simple-to-use platform that helps you get your work done promptly and accurately. It’s one of the best productivity apps that you should immediately add to your phone. 

It’s easy to share files, ideas, notes and more within ClickUp. Built for teams of all sizes and industries, ClickUp’s fully customizable and proprietary features make it a must-have for team members that want to keep everything from design to development in one organized place. Your team communication will be faster and smoother, with fewer hiccups. The mobile app is as robust as the desktop or web version to help you always stay productive.

Use It For: Team collaboration, managing projects and creating tasks

Price: Free

Download: Apple | Google Play

8. Dashlane

Don’t just store your passwords; get suggestions for super strong passwords. Dashlane is the intuitive platform for storing your passwords and your logins. What makes Dashlane unique is that you can also store and organize your address, phone numbers and credit cards here, so your financial information is safe as well as entered smoothly when ordering online. It’s like having your wallet or purse secured on your phone.

Use It For: Storing passwords and credit card info

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Download:  Apple | Google Play

9. Dropbox

In an episode of Exponent, the tech podcast put on by the minds behind Stratechery, they discussed the value of Dropbox. Their biggest praise? It clearly works. And it was one of the earliest widespread document-sharing platforms that’s changed the way people work and share information.

So what? It’s beautiful, transparent and simple to organize files and comment on those files. With Dropbox, you’ll get all of your documents on your phone, where you can quickly send, review and edit. You’ll also see notifications for changes that other members of your team are working on.

Use It For: Document storage

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Download: Apple | Google Play

10. Evernote

Meet your second brain. That’s one of Evernote’s taglines and it’s a good impression of not only what Evernote can do, but what they want to be. If your brain is anything like mine, there are a million things passing through–from family to work to friends to the random trivia conversation from lunch. Evernote is great for recording that ephemera, whether it be for work or personal things to follow up on. And because your phone is (probably) always handy, you’ll have a place for it. Their Web Clipper is a great tool for capturing the ideas, thoughts, arguments and memorable links from the Internet. It’s a big boost to their capabilities.

Use It For: Notes and document storage

Price: Free, Basic & Premium

teaDownload: Apple | Google Play

11. FocusList

If you’re a fan of the Pomodoro Technique for time management, this list app is for you. Plan out all of your tasks for your day, then assign time allotted to them. Usually, the Pomodoro technique has 25 minutes on, then a 5 minute break for each 30-minute block. The stats feature lets you revisit your day to see how accurate you were with your time estimates, and then help you adjust accordingly from there. There are loads of Pomodoro timers out there, but the reviews say that this is one of the simplest.

Use It For: Time management

Price: $4.99

Download: Apple

12. Forest

Forest is usually the #1 mobile app in the charts. Which is kind of ironic, because its main goal is to keep you off of your phone. Forest measures how much time you spend on your phone and then gives you a report. But that’s really boring, so Forest gamified the concept. Here’s the deal: you plant a seed in the “forest” and the less time you spend on your phone, the more your tree will grow. Keep picking up your phone when you’re not supposed to? Your tree will wither and die. You don’t want to kill trees, do you?

You can even invite your friends, families and co-workers and plant “trees” together–building a non-forest Forest together.

Forest: Time management and blocking distractions

Price: Free, with in-app purchases

Download: Apple | Google Play

13. Google Keep

Say hello to my little friend. That’s an old quote and joke, but it fits Google Keep. Google is the old man on the proverbial Internet block, and Google Keep is only one of their multitude of features.

But the key here is “my.” This is the note-taking app that I personally use all the time.

I use it to record notes from a book I’m reading. Or for reminders to do something. Or something interesting. Or if I’m listening to a podcast and they have a great idea, then I’ll jot it down here.

I’m sure Evernote or another tool has more functionality–but Google is part of what I use every day. Gmail. Google Docs. And I have an Android device so there 😄. Since Google connects all of those things, it only makes sense to use it for notes, too. It’s simple and it works. Bam.

Use It For: Notetaking

Price: Free app

Download: Apple | Google Play

14. Grammarly

One of the most revolutionary desktop apps is also available on the phone. This is like autocorrect, but way better. Grammarly will offer suggestions for your grammar, sentence structure and more before you ever hit “send” on that next email. Their suggestions are spot-on and easy to implement within the text that you’re composing. It’s simpler than searching a menu for corrections, because Grammarly does it for you. You won’t forget to spell check any longer.

Use It For: Spell check and grammar suggestions

Price: Free

Download: Apple | Google Play

15. Hours Time Tracking

Called the “perfect iPhone time tracking app” by Forbes, Hours will keep track of your time in an easy and useful way.

You can even set a reminder to tell you when to start a timer or to stop one for your work, and adjust your time on their visual calendar. Instead of offering yet another time-tracking app, they thought about what makes a time-tracking app great. And then did it.

Apple only, though! For iPhones and Apple Watch.

Use It For: Time tracking

Price: Free, with in-app purchases

Download: Apple

16. Lumen Trails

What if you want to track everything? Your habits, your spending, your calories, your sleep? Lumen Trails brings the best of all the habit trackers into one app, and gives you great reporting and quick notes in case you need them.

Use It For: Habit tracker and productivity

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Download: Apple

17. Omnifocus

At first, I thought Omnifocus was some sort of distraction-free social media blocker. No, it’s a to-do list. What makes this one stand out? Location awareness and places. Want to get a reminder when you arrive somewhere? Omnifocus can do it. Quite frankly, that’s pretty genius. You can also organize by a person (like if you need to help them out or do something for them). That also is genius. Omnifocus reinvents the to-do list beyond dates. Way to go 🙌.

Love staying on top of things with to-do apps, but need a system that puts your whole team on the same page? Check out what ClickUp can do!

Use It For: To-do list

Price: Free app / $19.99

Download: Apple 

18. Paper

One of the top sketching apps for trying to get your message across. Their suite of icons and imagery helps you to build a mock-up quickly, or use your own creative skills with their advanced tools. Write notes, drafts, diagrams–it’s up to you. This one stands out because you touch the screen to draw and create, unlike the typical laptop or desktop monitor. You can also rearrange pages or share notes with a group to improve your collaboration.

Use It For: Sketches

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Download: Apple

19. Pocket

If you’re a news junkie, then you definitely need this app. You can save any article that you want and then read it later in a simpler, less-cluttered interface. You can also tag and organize any of your articles, so if you’re interested in a particular topic then it stays top of mind. Their suggested reading list is a winner, too.

Use It For: Bookmarks and articles

Price: Free

Download: Apple | Google Play

20. Productive Habit Tracker

Don’t break the chain. Keep your streak alive. That’s the mojo behind this habit tracker, which combines rewards with your to-do list to give you an extra boost of motivation. Set up habits that you want or hope to do every day, from the simple to the more complex. Include your daily exercise, prayer/meditation, reading, journaling or taking the dog for a walk. Whatever daily habit you’re trying to create, remind yourself to do it with Productive Habit Tracker.

Use It For: Habit tracker

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Download: Apple

21. RescueTime

Spending too much time checking your phone? Which apps or websites are you visiting all the time? RescueTime is one of the best apps for Android that will show you exactly how and when you’re spending phone time. You can set goals for yourself and then track your progress over time. Take back your time, you can do it!

Use It For: Goal setting and blocking distractions

Price: Free

Download: Google Play

22. Slack

Is this one super obvious or what?

I mostly use Slack on my desktop, but this is why the app works so well–it connects your desktop files and your phone together in a much more seamless way than any text messaging app can. Their snooze option is easier than any built-in text messenger I’ve seen…I’m not sure why all of the platforms don’t build this in.

It’s also helpful, unlike most email, to see what channel or topic your message is addressing–then decide if that’s an area you need to respond to or not. Here at ClickUp, our #content channel is more active than some other ones. So if I get a message in #content on my phone, I’m more likely to respond faster than for some other channels.

One of the other great things about Slack is how easily they integrate with the other productivity tools that you use most. Like if you’re using ClickUp for project management, you can directly connect your tasks to Slack. Email still isn’t there yet for that type of seamless functionality. It’s a great productivity app for Apple and Android that you can’t ignore. 

Use It For: Team communication

Price: Free app with upgrades

Download: Apple | Google Play

23. Skitch

This is an image annotation tool. That’s a fancy way of saying, this lets you draw stuff on the images you take. Nah, it’s not Snapchat or Instagram, but more for adding notes, directions or pointing out changes. You know for actual practical things. The team from Evernote created this, so it’s high-quality and useful. Skitch is great for reviewing new designs, circling a place on a map or pointing out where something needs to be moved. If you want to mark up PDFs for your business, sorry, but you’ll have to pay a little extra.

Use It For: Sketches and notes

Price: Free, with in-app purchases

Download: Apple

24. Things 3

A personal and to-do app for Mac users that provides you with focus to concentrate on the things on your list that matter most. Your calendar and to-do list appear together (imagine that!) and it’s easy to reschedule any events with a simple drag and drop functionality. Add broad to-dos with details and tag related items to easily find later. A little pricey, but it’s an Apple design award winner.

Use It For: To-do list

Price: $49 on Mac, $9.99 on iPhone, $19.99 on iPad

Download: Apple

25. Timepage

How about this? Get a heat map for when you’re day is “heating” up with way too many events or the day is heating up, literally. It’s way more than a calendar and it’s probably less expensive than a virtual assistant. It also gives you travel estimates to help you make your time more efficient. It will also remind you of downtimes in your day to schedule work and give you a hint about what’s coming up next. This is incredible. And it’s built by Moleskine. Wow.

Use It For: Syncing calendars

Price: Free with in-app purchases

Download: Apple

26. Todoist

Keep track of your personal errands, goals and habits in one app. Todoist promises to declutter your life, which will add more peace and less stress to what’s happening.

It has reminders, due dates and to-dos. The app started as a personal organizer and checklist, but has evolved to incorporate more users for light responsibility teams–or families and friends, I guess. It connects across all devices, even on the free app. You can access it on your phone, iPad or on the web.

It also gives a great report at the end of the week, listing everything that you accomplished. That feels good!

Need something a little stronger for your projects, but is a free app like Todoist? Try ClickUp. You can import your tasks from Todoist right into ClickUp.

Use It For: To-do list

Price: Free & Premium

Download: Apple | Google Play

27. Trello

Trello takes their Kanban boards to mobile apps. Trello makes a lot of sense for personal use in this case, especially if you’re planning something big with family members or friends. The visual imagery and photos are a nice addition to the primarily text-based list format.

See how Trello compares to ClickUp!

Use It For: To-do lists

Price: Free

Download: Apple | Google Play

28. Workflow

Ever want a shortcut, like calling a family member directly from your homescreen? Workflow is the task management app that can make it happen. Like the Zapier or Integromat of your phone, it automates simple tasks together and saves you a few clicks in the process. Like what if you want to send a text with the last screenshot you took? Do that with one click instead of five. Workflow makes the stuff you already do a lot simpler, and includes more than 200 actions for your calendar, maps, photos and more.

Use It For: Shortcuts and integrations

Price: Free

Download: Apple

29. Wunderlist

Last, but not the least list option (that’s hard to say). Wunderlist gets high reviews, because it’s easy to use, easy to share and easy to follow up on. One of the selling points is that you can create a conversation about your list and collaborate with your friends, family, spouse or co-workers about the importance of a task. If you’re having difficulty with storage, they have a premium buy-up option, too. They take a folder approach to organization, so you can separate your personal or work tasks into different categories.

It looks like Wunderlist is being incorporated into the greater Microsoft bubble, so beware moving forward! Changes are on the horizon.

Use It For: To-do lists

Price: Free

Download: Apple | Google Play

Conclusion

Nice work. With this list of best productivity apps, you’ve reclaimed your phone from the evil forces of procrastination and distraction for good. Hopefully, you’re more organized, more productive and have formed lots of great new habits to optimize your time and your day. And you don’t have to remember as much stuff because you’ve found a place for your tasks, notes and reminders. Go you!

 

 

  • NearMinder

    Thanks for this article Clickup!

    I would also recommend NearMinder, which is the only app to send you reminders based on your proximity to your contacts! With this app you can easily set reminders for things you have to do when meeting people and get notified when these people are nearby. It also works for location-based reminders.

    You can try it via this link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nearminder.nearminder

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