Apple’s App Store downloads surpassed 2 billion in just over a year, at an astonishing rate of 6.6 million downloads per day. With more than 85,000 apps available, iPhone and iPod users are at no loss for options. The iPhone can be as useful as you need it to be, and the potential that it has is amplified even more with the right apps. The App Genius has made it easier to find some undiscovered apps, and undoubtedly added to the rapid increase in downloads. From personal use to strictly business, the iPhone or iPod can deliver results quicker than you can say, “There’s an app for that.” For many, business is done solely on the iPhone, from entering credit card information (there’s an app for that!) to communicating with clients worldwide. Apps can go beyond these functions, helping to save time (and money) with just a few taps of a finger. In this week’s top five, we’re looking beyond the basics to find some of the best apps for productivity.
1. Evernote (Free)
One of the most popular productivity apps, Evernote helps you stay organized with an easy-to-use interface and features that many other productivity apps don’t have. When you write a new note, the app tracks your location, allowing you to go back to the note to see where you wrote it (great for on-the-go travelers); you can assign notes to different locations as well. The app allows users to store travel itineraries, maps and travel documents, reminders, photos and voice memos, all through one app. Evernote also lets you search your notes, so you don’t have to remember when or where you first created it. Evernote is actually a desktop program (PC and Mac compatible), so you can sync notes from your regular computer to your iPhone, and vice versa.
2. Personal Assistant (Free)
Just like the name says, this amazingly free app lets users track online spending, investments, travel and more – all from your phone. Users can set up multiple accounts for credit cards to track balances, investment portfolios with up-to-date changes, airline miles accounts, cell phone minute tracking, and even manage a Netflix queue. Twitter and Gmail can also be integrated into Personal Assistant, meaning you may never really need to exit the app. You can even access your account directly from the app, and manage accounts no matter how far from home you may be. Those concerned with security will be happy to know that if your phone is stolen or lost, you can easily disable the mobile connection from the app’s main Web site, Pageonce.
3. Toodledo ($2.99)
Toodledo goes beyond a pen and paper to give you a powerful and easy-to-use tool for making to-do lists that might otherwise get lost in the shuffle. Manage multiple lists according to you’re their priority level, set alerts when due dates or events get closer, and seamlessly integrate your lists with Toodledo.com. Toodledo also has a collaboration feature, where you can allow others access to a certain list to add or edit additional items. The app boasts a customization feature to make your productivity experience unique to you, so it can be as simple or complex as you need. Toodledo also imports tasks and notes from compatible task management platforms such as Outlook and iCal, or other online to-do list managers.
4. Dropbox (2G Free, Premium service extra)
Have you ever come home from the office, and suddenly remembered a file you forgot to send to yourself or someone else? Have you ever been stranded when a file goes missing or becomes corrupt without a backup file to work from? Chances are, you’ve been in this situation at least once before. Dropbox helps to remedy this, by instantly syncing your important documents to your iPhone and any computer you assign it to. Instead of being backed up on a hard drive, Dropbox utilizes cloud computing and hosts your files on a secure server. You can also invite people to access your files, or send them a download link to access it easily. Dropbox eliminates the hassle of external hard drives, USB drives and the need to e-mail files back and forth.
5. TouchGoal ($3.99)
Based on the GTD (Get Things Done) philosophy, TouchGoal allows users to track personal and professional goals by day, week and month in a fun way. Assign yourself a goal, whether it’s to get more sleep, read a certain book, get more exercise, do more networking, or make more sales. You then give yourself a time frame, and add (or take away) points for each goal, depending on your progress. You hold yourself accountable, which for some people, is what makes them strive to do better. When your goal is completed, you have the satisfaction of not only finishing what you started, but something you can look back on, too. Goal progress is displayed in a simple line graph, color-coded for positive or negative progress, and the daily journal option helps you to record memos regarding each goal.