Whether you're back at the office or still working from home, organizing family vacations or helping out a friend with a project, there's a good chance you'd benefit from using a productivity app. Heck, you're likely already using one. (We all use email apps, after all.)
But there are different types of productivity apps. Many of them. Also, it's not guaranteed that the default app on your smartphone, which you've been using all along, is the best one for you. From calendar apps to to-do-list apps, project management apps to note-taking apps, we’ve rounded up our favorite productivity apps for your home and workplace.
The Best Note-Taking Apps
Note-taking apps can be used to do everything from keeping a grocery list or jotting down random thoughts to doing something as robust as preparing an entire presentation. And since we have our smartphones on us wherever we go anyway, note-taking apps are just convenient. There are a lot of different note-taking apps out there, but they're far from all the same.
The Best Email Apps (That Aren't Gmail)
Gmail is the largest email service in the world. That said, it’s not necessarily best to use the Gmail app to access your email. Nor is it always best to use the email apps that come stock with your smartphone’s software, like Apple Mail. There are superior email apps available that can better align with your needs, whether you’re a Gmail user or not.
The Best To-Do List Apps
A to-do list app can help you plan out your day by reminding you to knock out one task or chore at a time — no more procrastinating or forgetting to do something. There are many different to-do list apps out there, so it's important to find one that works for you.
The Best Calendar Apps
A calendar app is a vital tool for staying organized, productive and on schedule. But you shouldn't just pick the default calendar app that comes on your smartphone (although it's likely a good choice) — you need to pick the calendar app that works best for you, which means the devices and software (including other productivity apps) that you use every day.
The Best Habit-Tracking Apps
A habit-tracking app is designed to help you develop good habits and achieve your goals, which can range from exercising regularly to keeping in touch with family members. It can help break bad habits such as eating fast food or smoking, as well. There's a wide variety of habit-tracking apps out there, some with minimalist designs and some that are highly customizable. Pick the one that works best for you.
The Best Project Management Apps
Whether you're a small business or a group of friends working on a weekend project, a project management app is a great tool to help everybody stay connected and on the same page. There are a lot of different apps out there and they all do different things well, from sharing photos and files to creating projects and assigning tasks.
The Best Scanner Apps
Thanks to smartphones, it's easier than ever to digitize your various documents — such as bills, receipts, newspaper articles and even photos — so that you can access them whenever you want. All you have to do is open an app, point your camera at it and — snap — it's saved in the cloud. Most scanner apps have built-in technologies that automatically cut, crop and (sometimes) color your scanned document so that it looks best.
The Best Digital Wellness Apps
A digital wellness app is designed to help analyze your screen time across your various devices and ultimately help you change your habits. It allows you to set goals and limit your access from certain apps and websites throughout the day to help you stay more productive. Both iPhone and Androids have digital wellness features nowadays — you can learn more, here — but these apps are designed for those who want to take things a step further.
The Best Budgeting Apps
You don’t need to be a genius to manage your money intelligently and invest it wisely. Thanks to a handful of apps, the black box that is money management is now slightly less opaque. These apps won’t make you Gordon Gekko, nor will they suddenly unlock your inner Soros, but they will help you to be smarter about your money and could even put an extra bit of cash in your pocket.