While our smartphones might be a distraction, they can also be a powerful tool for keeping our lives organized and our work on track.

Whether you’re looking for a way to keep up with your schedule, organize communications, plan your next project, or avoid distractions, this collection of apps will help you turn your phone into a productivity machine.



E-Mail


Gmail

While Gmail comes default on many Android phones, don’t discount it as a tool for keeping your communications in order. Labels, auto-sorting, snooze features, and autocomplete replies all offer ways to help shave time off keeping things at inbox zero.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone


Outlook

If you use any of Microsoft’s Office suite at work or at home, Outlook offers a level of integration you won’t find with other email clients. Outlook has been a top choice for managing emails on desktops for years. The mobile app brings a bit of that power to your pocket.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Spark

Recently released for Android, Spark is a long-time iOS favorite. Interface and notification customization make it easy to tailor the app to your needs. Compatibility with virtually any email service can consolidate your various addresses into one sleek inbox. You can even collaborate in your inbox using the delegation feature.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Project Management



Trello

Trello's kanban approach to task management works wonderfully on mobile devices, placing all of your tasks in columns you can swipe through quickly. And it doesn't hurt that most features are free.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Asana

Offering kanbans, lists, customizable forms, timelines, and complex team management, Asana is one of the most flexible project management apps around. And the interface translates great to mobile. For large teams, Asana is hard to beat.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Basecamp

As a heavyweight on the project management, Basecamp provides a collaboration hub for everything you need to organize to stay productive and meet your deadlines. Chat, file sharing, conferencing, to-do lists, and more are all a few swipes or taps away.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



To-Do Lists



Wunderlist

Wunderlist is a great option for those that want a bit of visual pop to their to-do lists. Color codes, custom backgrounds, and a loose, spacious design make this app as easy on the eyes as it is functional.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Todoist

Don’t let Todoist’s minimalist interface fool you. Even at the free tier, it offers powerful organizational tools, a great tagging system, and just enough motivation in its charts and progress trackers to keep you on track.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Any.do

Featuring a clean look and easy navigation, Any.do takes the fuss out of keeping track of your to-dos. It also features some handy templates -- such as the smart grocery list -- to help you wrangle personal tasks on top of work obligations.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Calendars



Business Calendar 2

With 6 different views and a range of labeling and color coding options, Business Calendar 2 is a great choice for anyone looking for a flexible, capable app to organize busy schedules or consolidate multiple calendars into one place.

Get it: for Android


Google Calendar

With support for multiple calendars, integrated appointment scheduling, color coding, sharing, and more, Google Calendar offers everything you need to keep your schedule running smoothly.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Fantastical 2

This app uses the power of natural language parsing to make creating events and organizing your schedule as simple as talking to your phone. Multiple views, in-depth labeling, and multi-calendar support also make it easy to stay on top of things.

Get it: for iPhone


For more options, you check our roundups of the best iOS and Android calendar apps.



Automation



IFTTT

This service allows you connect apps to automate common tasks -- such as sharing a blog post on social media when published or sending you a collection of free books off Amazon. The mobile app puts the power to automate in your pocket, giving you control of a wide range of services and devices.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Tasker

If you’re looking to automate phone settings -- such as automatically muting your phone when you get to the office or forward calls between certain hours -- Tasker is a great choice. It looks intimidating, but once you get the hang of making profiles, it’s a powerful tool.

Get it: for Android



Automate

Using flowcharts to create steps, Automate allows you to create routines that change settings on your phone or perform tasks based on triggers -- such as time, location, battery life, calls and more. All without having to type out commands.

Get it: for Android



Shortcuts

If you frequently shorten links, save articles as PDFs, need directions home, or any number of other basic tasks, Shortcuts can help you shave time off mundane things and spend more time getting things done by creating buttons that do them for you.

Get it: for iPhone



Notes & Information Dumps


OneNote

Set up like a digital binder, OneNote makes it easy to store notes, pictures, audio, website links, and virtually anything you want to store. The app makes it even easier to record quick audio notes, save webpages, and access your notebooks on the go.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone


Evernote

Evernote’s tagging and organization features make it one of the most popular note-taking apps around. The mobile app puts all of your notes in your pocket and makes it simple to save webpages, search your notes, and stay organized without having to boot up your laptop or PC.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone


Simplenote

Focusing on plain text notes, Simplenote offers all of the organizational potential of bigger note taking apps without all the bloat. This makes it great for research, collecting quotes, managing recipes, or any number of tasks that don’t require fancy formatting.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone


Google Keep

Like a collection of digital sticky notes, Google Keep offers an interesting spin on note taking apps. Color coding, labels, reminders, and more make it one-part notes, one-part to-do app. The design works great on mobile devices with most features just a tap or two away.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Cloud Storage


Google Drive

With great integration for Android devices, Google Drive puts all of your files just a few taps away. You can also download files for offline viewing. Integration with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides also makes the app handy for collaboration on the go.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Dropbox

An emphasis on file sharing and collaboration, mobile scanning, discussion boards and more, Dropbox is an ideal cloud storage solution for people looking to use their online storage more like an office space than a picture archive.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone




Microsoft OneDrive

Native integration with Windows 10 PCs and laptops make this cloud storage app a great choice for those looking for a solution that integrates with their computers. Photo backup, file sharing, and version control also offer powerful ways to manage your files.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Communications


Slack

From bots and macros to channels and roles, Slack offers one of the most feature-rich chat experiences available. But the star of the app is its integrations with other apps to help you sync your communications with your work or collaboration.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Skype

Great for voice, video, and text chat, Skype is a great way to keep in touch no matter your location. Video and screen sharing can also help to better communicate problems and get more done quickly.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Hangouts

As a Google Service, Hangouts are a great way to get multiple people in a conversation at once. Whether you’re using voice, talk, or text, the interface will adapt to help you focus on who is speaking and allow you to present your information clearly.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Discord

While marketed as a communications tool for gamers, Discord includes many of the features of popular business communications apps. Voice, text, and video chat are all there as well as screen sharing, multiple channels, user roles, and rich messaging. Don’t let their marketing turn you away, it’s a powerful bit of kit.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Photo & Document Scanning



Scanbot

Automatic page detection and scan optimization make this one of the easiest scanning apps available. Just point your camera at the document and let the app handle the rest. It even handles multiple pages.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Scanner Pro

With the ability to clean up and straighten scans, cloud storage integration, multipage scan support, and an alignment grid to ensure you get a good scan every time, Scanner Pro is perfect for capturing documents, whiteboards, business cards, and more.

Get it: for iPhone



Microsoft Office Lens

Tight integration with Microsoft Office makes this an ideal app for capturing presentations for reports. The whiteboard scanning feature helps to eliminate glare and brighten colors to make them easy to read. While basic, Office Lens shines in what it offers.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone


For more options, you check our roundups of the best iOS and Android scanner apps.



Voice Recorders & Dictation



Rev Audio & Voice Recorder

Rev offers everything you need in a basic voice recording app -- complete with organization options and basic settings to optimize your audio. For a small fee, you can also have audio transcribed by humans and stored directly in the app.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone


Otter Voice Notes

Using machine learning, Otter Voice Notes combines an excellent voice recorder with automatic transcription. The ability to tag speakers and recordings makes it easy to refer back to your notes and free transcription minutes every month brings plenty of value.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



TapeACall Pro

If you’re looking for a powerful, flexible app for recording calls, TapeACall Pro is a leading option. Recording a call is as simple as a few taps and all recordings are automatically organized and searchable for future reference.

Get it: for iPhone


For more options, you check our roundups of the best iPhone and Android voice recorder apps.



Distraction Management & Focus


PomoDoneApp

Combining a flexible Pomodoro timer and integration with a huge range of to-do list and product management apps, PomoDoneApp allows you to use the Pomodoro Method to increase focus and get more done with your day -- all without having to duplicate tasks between a bunch of apps to track things.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Freedom

This app blocks sites and apps which you feel are distracting you at the times you set. Whether you’re looking to avoid Facebook while you work or want to improve your sleep by blocking games before bed, Freedom has you covered. And it supports Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android for full coverage wherever you’re working.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Forest

Mixing a bit of gamification into the Pomodoro Method, Forest lets you plant a digital tree. Trees take 30 minutes to grow and if you leave the app for any reason, the tree dies and you have to start again. It’s an interesting approach that is simple and effective.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Noisli

If you’re looking to block out the noise around you or add a little noise to an office that is too quiet, Noisli allows you to blend ambient noises -- such as wind, rain, or train sounds -- with colored noise -- such as white noise, brown noise, and pink noise -- to find the perfect fit to help you focus.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Self-Care


Headspace

Mindfulness and meditation are great ways to relax, improve focus, and manage the stresses of life so you can stay productive. Headspace offers a massive catalog of both guided and unguided meditations to help you create healthy habits using your phone.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Journey

Journey is a combination of a diary, journal, and mood tracker. It’s a great way to clear your mind, track your long-term progress, and get better at looking at both yourself and your life in a way that can help to improve productivity, boost confidence, and manage stress.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Habitica

By turning habit building into a game, Habitica makes it easy to remember to drink more water, get up and stretch, take breaks, or whatever you need to do to optimize your work routines and get more done.

Get it: for Android | for iPhone



Final Thoughts


Whether you’re a student, an entrepreneur, or working in an office, optimizing productivity is an essential part of achieving work/life balance.

We hope these apps help to boost your productivity and allow you to get more done with the time you have!

If you have a favorite app we missed, be sure to recommend it in the comments below.


P.S. Find your phone too distraction? Productivity apps might not be the best answer. Instead, consider ditching your smartphone. You’ll pay less for your phone and service and get more done with your day. It’s a win-win if you ask us. Check out our roundup of the best basic phones for a look at how nice life without a smartphone can be.

Disclosure: You should know that in some cases, we may receive a referral fee (at no additional cost to you) for products purchased through the links on our site. These links help support our work but they do not influence our content. Our editorial recommendations are always genuine and we try to feature only the best products and services. Why trust us?