Android Apps to Improve Productivity

According to a recent study, people use their smartphones for an average of around 5 hours per day. That’s almost one-third of the time we’re awake! This list of must-have utility apps will help you get more done in lesser time so that you can explore your environment rather than stare at the millions of pixels on your screen.

Let’s have a look at the apps that will help your phone truly deserve its rightful title of being a “smart” phone.

File Management
ES File Explorer
Most Android devices (especially the Nexus series) do not come with a capable file manager pre-installed. Downloading the ES File Explorer will help you correct that. It provides a convenient interface loaded with features such as inbuilt ZIP and RAR support (eliminating the need to download a separate app for that) and also allows you to access and utilize files over computers on your network – very useful for transferring data.
It also has cache-cleaning and task-killing functions along with support for most cloud storage platforms.

IF is an incredibly simple yet powerful automation app that allows you to connect various apps to work in tandem in a manner you specify for them. IFTTT = If This, Then That is an accurate rendition of what it does. A few interesting use cases of IF that will help you understand its need: Auto turn-off Bluetooth (especially if you’re using a smartwatch) & GPS when you reach home; Posting all your Instagram photos as Twitter Photos; Getting notified about expected rain a day in advance; and so on.
IF can prove to be a great tool to maximise the true potential of your phone through automating menial, repetitive tasks.

Office Suite
Microsoft Excel, Word & Power Point
Microsoft has developed a great set of office apps for Android which give you an intuitive touch experience – unlike most other office suites for phones. An all familiar navigation, look and feel will make it easy for you to transition viewing and editing your files from PCs to phones while you are on-the-go. Though the apps are slightly larger and processor-heavy compared to Google’s office productivity apps, a big advantage the Microsoft apps have is the ability to open and view password protected workbooks.
A must-have for productivity.

Inshorts is, by far, the best way to quickly catch up on news on your smartphone. It selects the latest news articles from around the world and shows each of them to you summarised in a crisp format of 60 words or less. The stories, displayed in a card format, consist only of the headlines and the facts and no opinions – which is one of the best things about this app. You can also click on a link at the bottom and read the original news article as published at the source.
You can set up a custom news feed or follow specific news categories such as Politics, Technology, Sports, etc.

Personal Finances
Money Lover
Towards the end of every month, I used to sit and scratch my head trying to figure where all my money disappeared. Not since I started using this app. Money Lover is the most convenient expense manager app to help you keep a track of all your inflows and outflows on a daily basis. The app interface is clean, uncluttered and incredibly simple to use. It also shows you detailed bars and pie charts that will help you keep track of where all your precious dough was spent on.
It has an option of showing the wallet (with an expense adding shortcut) in the notification bar – which I strongly suggest you to keep on. Having that works as a constant reminder to add your expenses as they occur through the day.

Photo Editing
To say that there is no dearth of photo editing apps would be an understatement. There are various powerful, high quality apps and to choose one is tough. But I stand by Snapseed for its sheer simplicity. The app has a clean interface and lovely flow to editing photos to add that extra pop.
All the editing tools and also a variety of filters.

Quick Mentions
Anti-Theft Security: Prey Anti Theft
Note Taking: Google Keep
Video Playback: MX Player
Weather: Yahoo Weather
Document Scanning: CamScanner
Cloud Storage: Google Drive

Which apps have worked best to improve your productivity and efficiency? Would love to hear your experiences!


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