Nearly half of all Americans with cell phones have smartphones — and that means we’re increasingly connected not just to our social networks and the Internet, but also to our jobs. And that means staying productive on the go is becoming an increasingly important priority. After all, smartphones are simply palm-sized computers. With the right tools, you can get a lot accomplished on this hand-held device.
Yet when it comes to deciding which productivity apps will help you get the job done, the vast selection can be daunting. We thought we’d narrow the playing field with five of our favorite productivity apps for smartphones.
Praised for its elegant interface and usability, Sparrow is the perfect tool to manage multiple email accounts. This app allows you to seamlessly navigate between different accounts for increased convenience. Best of all, you’re free to sync as many accounts as you want into your unified inbox. Users can also benefit from threaded messaging and labels, among other features. (Available for Mac and iPhone, $2.99)
We’re all familiar with Microsoft Office for PC, but Quickoffice allows you to have access to these programs at the tips of your fingers. The app is great for creating/editing documents in Microsoft Word and Excel. You can also transfer data between your computer and iPhone with remarkable ease. Its simple and familiar design makes the product a cinch to use, too. (Available for Android and iPhone, $14.99)
If you struggle to manage many file types, Goodreader may be the answer. You’ll be able to access Word documents, pictures, movies and PDFs. A bonus? You can mark up and annotate documents with sticky notes, highlights, text-insert tools and more. The versatility of this app is great — students can use it to read and annotate textbooks, while business professionals can use it to access and store important files. No matter your purpose, Goodreader provides the tools you need to stay productive right on your phone or tablet. (Available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, $4.99)
Let’s face it — typing on smartphones isn’t always fun. If you’ve got an Android phone, try Swiftkey 3, a predictive on-screen keyboard that, over time, will adapt to your typing behavior and offer relevant word suggestions. Once you install Swiftkey 3, it will ask permission to scan your SMS, Gmail, Facebook and Twitter messages to better understand your typing style. The app provides support for 22 languages, making this a great option for international use. (Android, $3.99)
The wildly popular note-taking app is more robust than ever. Far from a simple note-taking app, Evernote lets you store and capture anything that inspires you: photos, things you hear, clippings, video, etc. Plus, you can easily search your Evernote library using keywords or tags to help you quickly find what you need. Evernote syncs across your computer and mobile devices so that you never lose access to your most important information. And Evernote has added a slew of new tools that you can add to further customize your experience, including Skitch, a photo editor; and Penultimate, a handwriting app for iPad. Later this fall, Evernote will introduce the Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine, a notebook made of smart paper that’s instantly added to your Evernote library once you take a picture of the page. (Available for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7, Free).
And there you have it — some of our favorite productivity apps for smartphones. Just don’t forget to unplug every once in a while and take some time for yourself!