A lot of us depend on our iPhones to stay productive and stay in touch with our teams. If you’re like me, as the new year begins, you’ve probably decided it’s time to get your business and your personal life organized so that you can be more productive this year.
One of the best ways to be productive is to have the right technology and tools available to get work done. But, let’s face it–it’s not always easy to sort through all of the noise and it can leave you a little overwhelmed.
If that’s the case, you’re not only not alone–you’re in luck. That’s because I’ve put together a list of the 10 iPhone productivity apps that you should download right now to make 2020 the year you get stuff done.
It would be disingenuous of me to have a list of apps that can help you get organized without including Evernote. That’s because I use it for everything. I brainstorm in Evernote. I clip articles into Evernote to read later. I scan documents and save audio notes. Basically, it’s my digital brain. There are apps that do some of those things better, but none that do them all.
I’m really picky about email apps. Admittedly, probably more so than is reasonable, but I am. And, I really want to love Apple’s Mail app, but I just can’t because it’s missing the ability to share with other apps. Which is why I love Spark so much. It’s not perfect (e.g, there’s only one line of preview), but it connects with just about every other app and service I use every day, which is why it’s essential for me.
So, technically, Shortcuts isn’t an app as much as it’s a feature of iOS 13 and iPadOS. Still, it’s incredibly useful at keeping things organized. It’s basically a workflow automation tool that allows you to create sequences that combine actions from various apps. So, for example, you can create a shortcut that emails you a pdf of all of the Trello cards on a specific board.
While there are better pure task management or to-do apps, (see Things 3, below), the combination of Reminders and Siri is a killer productivity combination. The ability to simply ask Siri to “remind me to call Mike at 3 p.m.,” or “remind me to send Dave the presentation when I get to the office,” is unbelievably helpful, and maybe my favorite thing about the iPhone and Apple Watch. Especially the ability to have her remind you based on your location.
Trello is how I keep my day-to-day work organized. I use it for research, for managing content for this column, and for my design and marketing projects. I love how versatile it is, and I’m a big fan of the “card” setup since it just makes sense for my brain. One of the best parts is that it’s free for up to 10 boards, which is a great way to start getting yourself organized this year.
6. Things 3
I’m still mostly a pencil-and-paper kind of guy, but if you need an app to keep track of tasks, Things 3 is probably the best there is. The iOS app is clean, simple to use, and capable of keeping all of your tasks organized. The biggest drawback is that you have to pay for iPhone, iPad, and Mac versions separately, which makes it pretty pricey. If you need something cheaper, see Reminders (above), which is free.
Ulysses is my writing app of choice. It doesn’t do a lot else, which is a bonus. In fact, in my opinion, it’s the best pure writing tool for iOS or macOS. It’s also great that it syncs with iCloud across all of your devices. It’ll cost you $40 a year, but it’s well worth it, especially if you’re a writer or other type of content creator like me.
Dropbox has added features over time, but at its core, it’s still the simplest, quickest way to keep all of your files synced across all of your devices. I’m also a big fan of the fact that the iOS app allows you to scan documents as PDFs and even record audio files. While there are plenty of competitors like Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, and iCloud, none of those have an iPhone app that’s anywhere as useful at staying organized.
One of the ways most of us could probably be a little more organized is with the dozens of passwords we use every day. In fact, not only does an app like LastPass make you more productive it also makes your online accounts and information safer. LastPass stores your existing passwords, keeps them secure, and even lets you know when you’ve reused passwords that have been compromised.
I’ve already made it known that I’m a fan of the artificial intelligence-powered transcription app from Otter. I use it all the time and love how it records and transcribes conversations and interviews in real-time. That comes in handy keeping meetings and all sorts of important conversations organized but the best part is that it’s free for up to 600 minute of transcription a month.