One of the great engineers, Charles Richards, once wrote: “Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in a year that you make use of.” He could not be more right. In today’s day and age, it seems like everyone is working to squeeze every bit of extra time out of their crazy, jam packed lives. As a college student who works part time, is an officer of two campus organizations, and plays guitar in a band, I can relate.
Whether you are a twenty-something working as a barista at a coffee shop or married with four kids, here are the five apps that will help you live your chaotic life in perfect harmony.
This app is the Grand Poobah of productivity. What started out as a confusing and clunky word processing system has evolved into a document powerhouse. Google Drive allows users to create and store documents, slideshow presentations, spreadsheets, and forms all for free. And there’s more. Every Google account holder gets five free gigabytes of storage on the cloud and unlimited Google doc storage. And there’s still more! Google announced at their I/O conference that Drive will be able to edit native Word documents from mobile devices, making this app a full-fledged contender to revolutionize the way we do documents. Google Drive is available for both Android and iOS.
Pushbullet is the unsung hero of the productivity apps. This app works in conjunction with Google Chrome to display all of your smartphone notifications on your computer. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You can send or “push” messages, docs, pictures, and music from your computer to your phone or vice versa. The app also gives you the option to push to a friend’s phone or computer. All of these great features come for the low, low price of free. Pushbullet is available on both Android and iOS.
SwiftKey is the greatest keyboard app of all time. Period. The app used to be a steep $4 on the Google Play Store, but recently became available for free. SwiftKey boasts of their “mind reading word suggestions” and rightly so. There have been times when I needed to send a message and I didn’t have to touch the keyboard once. And for those of you who are sick and tired of the standard gray, block keyboard you can purchase different skins to spice up your text life. SwiftKey is currently only available on Android, but will be coming to iOS with the release of iOS 8 later this summer.
There is no worse feeling than forgetting an important meeting or getting to the store and forgetting your shopping list. It was so bad for the creators of Any.do that they decied to build an app to make sure that it never happened again. Any.do allows you to create an itemized list with different categories and assign each item a deadline. The user is also able to have the deadline automatically placed into their Google Calendar or iCalendar. But, they take it another step forward. The app integrates with your phone to alert you when you miss a phone call and even gives you the option to set a reminder to call the person back at a better time. All of these features ensure that Any.do is available on both Android and iOS.
If Google Calendar and iCalendar were a Chevy, then Sunrise Calendar would be a Mercedes Benz. Sunrise Calendar features many of the convenient features of your standard calendar app and then some. Besides the elegant facade and the buttery smooth user interface, Sunrise will provide you with a practical overview of the month in a calendar format, as well as an agenda. The agenda format not only displays your appointments, but also the weather, a map to the location of the meeting, and pictures of all the guests invited. Looking for some free time in your schedule? Just press one of the navigation buttons on the menu and you will see your schedule in a vertical timeline format. Sunrise Calendar is available for Android, iOS, PC, and Mac.
With all of these apps in your productivity arsenal you will have the tools to grab life by the horns, accomplish your tasks, and gain some much needed (and worry free) leisure time.