Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Four Android productivity apps you should use in 2013

Happy New Year! Like most folks, I am working on some resolutions for 2013. One resolution I have is to be more productive. One way I am going to do this is by using my Android phone better. Now there are apps that I have, but really have not used to their fullest. As I work on this resolution, I might discover even better apps. For now I will focus on these impressive apps that can make anyone more productive.

I use Hootsuite on the computer, but rarely find myself engaging with it on my smartphone. With Hootsuite, you can manage Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Foursquare accounts. The free version allows for up to five accounts and one member of your team to access the account. There is a pro version with a monthly fee, in which you can have more accounts and team members and helpful analytics tools.

The design of the app is very good. If you sync the web version to mobile, you will have everything automatically downloaded to the phone. When viewing content, you swipe left or right to change columns or streams. If you are in the middle of a stream, simply tap the top menu bar to automatically return to the top. The app allows for multiple profiles and scheduled tweets. My goal is to keep up with my feeds and tweets in real-time rather than waiting until I get to a computer.

Another web service that I started to use, but find myself not using it to the fullest. Producteev is a web-based task management service. With Producteev you can work as an individual or in a team by setting up workspaces and then organize tasks by labels. For each task you can assign a priority, due date, and share with team members, if you have any. Overall, this is a great service, since I like making lists, even though I rarely remember having made them.

The Producteev app is available for all platforms. The app has a very clean interface and is easy to find tasks. Probably the best way to keep up with tasks is to use the different widget for the home screen. Seeing the widgets will help keep those key tasks in the forefront of your mind. The app will work offline and syncs in the background.

I read blogs every single day, especially those related to new apps, Android, or mobile news. The only way I can do that is via my Google Reader. I find myself trying to catch up each day on the computer (just like with Twitter activity) when I would be better off reading a little bit over time during the day. NewsRob is a Google Reader that I have had for years. The interface is very clean and easy to use. The developer created a bunch of customizations options, which really make this reader stand out.

With NewsRob you can set up a notification of new articles, how you synchronize with Google and when, how many articles to keep in your cache, and more. If you set up folders within Google Reader, NewsRob will download the folders, too. This enables you to read the posts by blog or folder. The app provides a very clean blogpost display optimized for smaller screens. With each post you can zoom in or out, mark a post read or unread, view in the browser, and share the link to email or services such as Evernote. There is a free version of the app.

The last task I need to work on to be more productive is to keep up with the calendar. I find myself checking on the computer, after the fact, finding out that I am either late or forgot about a meeting or appointment. Using Google calendar is a good place to start, but I have not found the standard calendar app on my Droid was all that helpful.

Business Calendar is a very capable calendar app that has a ton of features. The app lets you view your calendar in a number of different views, and has search and favorite-calendar features, to name a few. The option of viewing different calendars, color coding and being able to easily add, delete, and edit events is helpful. The ability to use widgets for reminders is important. The pro version has over 10 different sizes and allows for the import or export of calendar files in the iCalendar format.?Business Calendar also has a free version.

So my top goal or resolution for 2013 is to be more productive. I think using these apps more will help me accomplish that goal. Are there any apps you have but not using to their fullest? What resolutions do you have for 2013?

Download the Appolicious Android app


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