Productivity can be tough, but things tend to get even tougher when mobility gets thrown in the mix. Developers everywhere have responded to the challenge with a countless number of applications, but by mimicking the desktop experience most of them haven’t managed to fit in with our smaller screens. Thankfully, recent times have yielded a handful of truly mobile-friendly options for a some of the business world’s biggest time sucks.
Oh, e-mail. You can’t live with it (unless you can stand dealing with an inbox all day) and you can’t live without it (because it’s the only platform absolutely everyone knows how to use).
Mailbox: Most e-mail apps are kinda clunky and lacking in the organization department, so Mailbox rethought the process with some smart gestures. Rather than leaving opened e-mails to accumulate, the app utilizes a number of intuitive swipes to delete, file, archive or schedule messages to reappear at a later time. Mailbox for the iPhone / iPad currently only handles Gmail, but given the app’s quickly growing popularity, we suspect they’ll role out support for other clients and for IMAP.
Aqua Mail: For the Android users, Aqua Mail seems to be leading the pack. The app focuses on customization, allowing users to sort messages in a variety of ways such as by date and time in reverse. Other useful features include endless scrolling, intuitive file extraction, and an attachments tab for a quick view of all attachments contained in each message.
While there’s no shame in being one of those can’t. stop. social. networking. zombies, being so connected all the time can be impractical — especially if you’re constantly on the go (after all, accidentally walking into walls/fire hydrants/traffic is never fun) . In this category, apps that allow users to be present on networks without actually being present are key.
Buffer: Buffer allows users to add their precious updates, links or other posts to a queue, which then releases them at scheduled times. One hour spent on Buffer can equal a week’s worth of social media updates. Magical!
Most calendar apps have played it safe by sticking to the design and functionality of a traditional calendar, but translation hasn’t been very successful. To stay organized, mobile users require something that’s designed around constant movement.
Sunrise: Created by ex-Foursquare designers, Sunrise attempts to go above and beyond with an intuitive list-view calendar that brings everything together. In addition to regular ol’ scheduling, features include weather forecasts, Facebook birthdays, and the ability to message people directly through the app if you’re running late.
Who here has ever started the day telling themselves they were really, really going to focus, and later realized over half of it was wasted on distractions? The Pomodoro Technique attempts to manage your time better by funneling focus into 25-minute chunks. Following each chunk, you take a break and start again.
Focus Time: Built around this method Focus Time is quite simple, but the key here is to build healthy habits. By batching tasks into uninterrupted blocks of time, iPhone users can relearn how to focus in a world full of noise. And for Android users, there’s Pomodoro Timer Lite.
GTD becomes even more complex when things start going mobile. Our own app, Mindjet Tasks, helps to keep it simple with smart, efficient design and plenty of features for managing workflow on the go. Available for both iPhone and Android devices, users can stay productive no matter their platform or location: