5 productivity apps that promise to simplify your personal and professional lifeSohini Mitter
As smartphone usage soars, productivity apps are gaining ground. Here are five that cover your most important activities on the mobile.
What is a productivity app? It is nothing but a tool or an application that helps save time for smartphone users by tracking, managing, and performing tasks in a quick, efficient and organised manner. Some call them the “antithesis of social media” apps (that are typically known to kill productivity in people).
Productivity tools are a boon for workaholics, social media addicts, forgetful souls, and procrastinators. According to Australian lifestyle publication Man of Many, these apps “help you manage and prioritise your workload, streamline your efficiency, increase your potential, and sustain your mental balance.”
Most of these apps have specific functionalities and can be sorted based on the need — professional or personal — they cater to. Google Play Store lists them under several sub-categories such as Make a List, Manage Your Schedule, Keep Track of Time, Get Stuff Done, System Management, Motivation & Self Help, Customise Your Keyboard, Password Managers, Backup Your Data, etc.
Business and productivity apps as a category was estimated to be a $58 billion market in 2016, according to Statista. A separate projection by app analytics provider App Annie indicates that by 2021, productivity apps would be one of the top five categories “leading the way” for the global app economy. (Others are video, music, dating, and education apps.)
YourStory drew up a list of five productivity apps, each solving a unique need.
This is a task manager that helps you create and organise your to-do lists on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. The app is intuitive, minimally designed, super-fast, and allows you to generate category-wise folders, add notes and dates to tasks, set reminders and notifications, and more. Both your personal and professional to-do lists can be managed seamlessly and separately on Todoist. Power users get additional features like custom labels and filters, location-based reminders, and set templates for recurring projects. There’s even Todoist Karma that informs users of their progress by displaying colourful graphs and stats. Trends indicate that seeing their progress in a visually appealing manner has motivated people to do more. Todoist is available on iOS, Android, web, and as a browser extension.
This app is a password manager that relieves you of the enormous task of remembering all your passwords, from work to personal mails, social media networks, video/audio streaming sites, e-commerce platforms, and more. The more you’re networked, the more passwords you’ll have, and the more you’ll forget them. This app frees you of all login hassles, and of course, from the need to ‘reset password’ every time you log in. LastPass stores all your login information in ‘The Vault’, and automatically enters them when you visit a site. You need to remember only one password, i.e. the LastPass password, to be able to access all your profiles on any platform. Also, LastPass syncs your password information across various devices - smartphones, tablets, PCs, and Macs.
In an era of multitasking across devices, PushBullet is a saviour of an app. It links a smartphone and a computer by syncing text, images, video, audio, web links, emails, reminders, call alerts or anything else entirely wirelessly. Essentially, it allows you to view your phone apps and activities on a computer screen, and eliminates the need to switch between the two devices, while at work or play. This means you can answer calls and reply to text messages via your desktop. All you need to do is install the PushBullet app on both the devices you wish to sync. The app is available on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms.
Otter is a new-age, AI-powered app that generates text transcripts of voice conversation. Journalists and students will swear by this app that promises to save precious hours which would otherwise go into transcribing long audio interviews or lectures. Otter lets you record, transcribe, search or share any part of a conversation seamlessly. Its speech recognition technology helps identify multiple voices in a conversation. The app can even transcribe meetings in real-time (with just a 2-3 seconds delay). You may not get a perfect transcript, but the app’s AI engine and the Natural Language Processing (NLP) software get better with usage. If you’re still not satisfied with the transcript, you can listen to parts of the audio later and clean up the text. Otter offers 600 free minutes of transcription. You can upgrade to the premium version that comes with 6,000 minutes of recording time.
Buffer is a social media management app and is popular with brand managers, digital marketing professionals, media publishers, and internet influencers. The app’s two primary features are analytics and scheduling. Buffer allows you to pre-post social media updates — all at once — and release them at specific times across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. It saves time by allowing you to cross-post across platforms simultaneously. It helps you be online when your audience is, thus bringing about higher engagement on posts. Buffer also provides social media analytics that help you analyse post performance and reach, identify audience behaviour, track trends, and reassess your marketing/content strategy accordingly. Buffer is available as an iOS and Android app, but is possibly most effective when used as an extension on a Chrome browser.