With Android devices on the rise it’s time to consider how best to put your smartphones and tablet PCs to work. Here is a selection of ten Android productivity apps that could give your work a serious boost.
Note Everything is a note-taking application on steroids. It’s simple and easy to use but amazingly powerful. Notes can be text-based, audio clips, or even hand drawn notes. Notes can be organised in folders, re-arranged, and sent to contacts. Voice notes can also have text notes attached to them.
Astrid is the ultimate to-do list manager. Create tasks with notes, deadlines, reminders, tags and priorities. Input is straightforward and reminders can be set in any form. Astrid can also sync with online site Rememberthemilk.com. Tasks can also record time spent on each of them so Astrid also acts like a time-logger for billing hours.
If you’re a Twitter fan then Hootsuite is a must for one vital reason: scheduled updates. Who has time during a busy work day to tweet a couple of times an hour? Hootsuite has the ability to schedule tweets over the course of the day or the week. This means you can spend a little time every morning and schedule announcements, links and repeated tweets for the rest of the day. You’ll look like a Twitter Ninja with barely any effort.
In today’s world brilliant ideas don’t always wait until you’re at your desk. You could be at lunch, in a meeting or waiting in a doctor’s waiting room when your next big idea hits. Evernote makes it easy to jot down just about anything that you want to remember, from simple to-dos to video snippets that you want use in your next promotion. And Evernote’s available on just about every platform you can think of so you’ll never lose your notes.
You probably already use Dropbox on your desktop so why not on your phone? With Dropbox’s online storage you’ve always got access to your important documents, even when you’re in the middle of nowhere with just a phone for access. Dropbox on Android makes it easy to access your files no matter where you are. But more importantly, it’s also easy to upload documents while you’re on the road so that they are accessible back in the office.
Like most people you’re probably swamped with articles on the web that you really want to read, but you don’t have enough time to read at the time. Instapaper makes it easy to save these articles to your account in simplified text format so that you can read them later. It’s better than bookmarking and because articles are synchronised to all your devices you can read them when offline as well. Instapaper is not available on Android but Instafetch is a worthy client and could well become your default reader once you get the hang of it.
Typing on a smartphone (or a small tablet PC) is one of the biggest productivity drains. Most of the effort is spent replacing the word the phone thinks you want with the one you actually want. And, if you have a really small phone and big fingers, the problem is exacerbated. Swype is a predictive text input keyboard replacement that is really smart. You only need to trace the words you want on the keyboard and Swype does the rest. It’s seriously fast once you get used to it and extremely accurate.
How many times a week do you need to know the exchange rate for various currencies around the world? Even if it’s just to buy a book from Amazon.com it’s handy to have a one-stop currency converter. Oanda has long been my favourite currency portal on my desktop and now the Android app makes it even easier to use. Onada’s app offers a full range of conversions and you can easily set your preferred currencies.
Search for “Document scanner” in the Android Market.
Document scanner is a pretty handy tool to have at hand all the time. Have a receipt, a document, a letter you need to scan? Take a pic and Document Scanner converts it into a PDF. Better still, Document Scanner allows you to crop the image and correct the perspective if you took it an a weird angle. Document Scanner can also upload your scan to Google Docs, Dropbox or a host of other services.
Search for “CamCard” in the Android Market.
Another scanner, but this time for business cards. Even though everyone is going digital most of us carry printed business cards wherever we go. CamCard is an easy to use card scanner that does basic character recognition on the cards it scans and puts those into your contacts. Very handy and pretty accurate.