Top 5 Android apps for productivity

Top 5 Android apps for productivity

Summary: There are a lot of Android apps, many designed to help users be more productive, but finding them can often be a burden. Here are five apps that will help most folks get more things done.

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Android is a good platform for getting things done, both on smartphones and the growing tablet segment. The key to productivity on Android and any platform lies in the apps available. There are a lot of Android apps, many designed to help users be more productive, but finding them can often be a burden. Here are five apps that will help most folks get more things done using an Android device.

1. Documents to Go. People need to work with documents all the time, and this app is as full of features as any. Docs to Go allows working with Microsoft Office documents, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It has a good interface designed to make such work easy, and uses the small screen to best advantage. In addition to handling Office documents, Docs to Go can access Google Docs in the cloud, and also handles PDF files with good effect. Free version available with limited features, full version is $14.99.

2. Pocket Informant. Android has decent calendar and contact apps, but lacks in the native to-do list area. Pocket Informant is an app that handles calendaring and task management as good as anything available. The app can be configured to present calendars in any style desired, and the task manager can sync with the online service Toodledo. It takes a while to get familiar with all of the features of Pocket Informant, but once you do it is incredibly useful. $9.99.

3. Exchange by TouchDown. Some Android phones handle Exchange email well, but it's not uniform across the Android world. Exchange by TouchDown handles Exchange accounts very well, and many swear by it. The TouchDown solution handles the full spectrum of Exchange data: email, contacts, tasks, notes and even SMS syncing. There is a new tablet optimized version for bigger screens, requiring Honeycomb. $19.99.

4. Handcent SMS. It may be odd to find a text messaging app in a list of productivity apps, but texting has become a big part of my business communications. Handcent SMS is a great app as in addition to a full screen app, it also uses popup dialog boxes that appear on top of any other app. This makes it possible to read incoming SMS messages and reply to them without leaving the app that is currently open. The interface is highly configurable, and presents threaded conversations in an attractive view. Free.

5. Thinking Space Pro. This app may not be for everyone, but as a writer I am constantly outlining and mapping out writing projects. Thinking Space Pro makes this drop-dead simple with a good touch interface and an intuitive design. It is based on simple mind mapping techniques, but can also be used to create visual outlines for projects. £2.95.

Apps are a very personal thing and while these work for me they might not be the best fit for the way you work. If you have a favorite Android app for productivity please share it in the TalkBack so we can all check it out.

Topics: Laptops, Android, Apps, CXO, Hardware, Mobility, Smartphones, Tablets

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Talkback

36 comments
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  • RE: Top 5 Android apps for productivity

    All this stuff in the Market, yet stock android doesn't even come with a crummy note app.
    podstolom
    • RE: Top 5 Android apps for productivity

      @podstolom That's right. The iPhone comes with a crummy note app...one that you can't remove. Better off without it and installing either Evernote or a Simplenote client (like mNote)
      dmccall
      • RE: Top 5 Android apps for productivity

        @dmccall I like the note app that comes with the iPhone - EverNote is better granted but for quick notes while out of service the stock note app comes through every time.
        athynz
      • can you tell me why evernote won't install on my android tablet?

        @dmccall

        i have a flytouch 2.
        it just doesn't work.
        any ideas?

        :)
        .
        wessonjoe
      • RE: Top 5 Android apps for productivity

        @dmccall I am very happy "Note everything" application. Especially the widget on desktop where I can easily make a voice memo or just start typing a new ToDo or memo. (4x1 size by default).
        Fri13
    • RE: Top 5 Android apps for productivity

      @podstolom why is this such a bother? Would it kill you to go and download one that will suit you best?
      TristanThomas
    • RE: Top 5 Android apps for productivity

      @podstolom

      Or you could just get a WP7 phone and not need the apps.
      tonymcs@...
      • RE: Top 5 Android apps for productivity

        @tonymcs@...
        Cause there is no0 such apps
        pinkfloydhighhopes
      • RE: Top 5 Android apps for productivity

        @tonymcs@...
        WP7 .. the worst mobile platform.. with few incredibly slow .NET apps..
        pinkfloydhighhopes
  • RE: Top 5 Android apps for productivity

    I like Thinking Space Pro. I do a lot of stuff using mind mapping and actually this is a good software for people who likes Free Mind or any other Mind Mapping tool.
    Ram U
  • RE: Top 5 Android apps for productivity

    Go SMS Pro blows Handcent out of the water, and it's free too.

    https://market.android.com/details?id=com.jb.gosms&feature=search_result

    and you don't need to have a registered account with Handcent to download new themes (really handcent?)
    x0prahWinfr3yx
    • Go SMS Pro

      @x0prahWinfr3yx I couldn't agree more... you beat me to posting this. Awesome app. They used to have a free version and a paid Pro version... now just a free Pro version... can't go wrong with that. HIGHLY customizable too :) popups, fonts, colors, ... Awesome.
      Doug-WA
    • You don't have to register for new themse for Handcent....

      @x0prahWinfr3yx

      ....as I just did it! However that was before I read your post, and will now check out "Go SMS Pro".
      DevJonny
  • RE: Top 5 Android apps for productivity

    One thing to note about Tasks... Google just released the Tasks API at Google IO, so task apps that take advantage of the task's in gmail and google calendar are coming soon. Some already exist like Taskos.
    matroxrt
    • RE: Top 5 Android apps for productivity

      @matroxrt I've been very happy with Remember The Milk, though it costs $30/yr.
      dmccall
  • RE: Top 5 Android apps for productivity

    When is someone going to write "Smart Phones for Dummies" so I can catch up??
    glen@...
    • RE: Top 5 Android apps for productivity

      @glen@... Yeah, I could use that one.
      wrufit
    • RE: Top 5 Android apps for productivity

      @glen@... The sad thing is the book would be obsolete in six months or less. It is sad when a phones technology is moving so fast that a phone outsmarts the average person. I am an addict and it is hard for me to keep up.
      djnextgen
  • RE: Top 5 Android apps for productivity

    Big fan of ColorNote for notes. You can pin them to the status bar
    durtykurty
    • Also a Fan of ColorNotes

      @durtykurty - really like color notes for the simplicity, and the fact that you can create check lists or just a quick note. For me, the color coding is a quick reference (Red=client item, green= personal item) and is a quick prioritization.
      tmccaf