This post was written for Oh So Amelia by Kelvin Goodson, senior writer at broadbandchoices.co.uk, where you can compare broadband, TV and mobile deals.
Are you a blogger like Kerry, the brains (and bump!) behind Oh So Amelia? Or maybe, again, like Kerry, you’re an active parent? Whether you’re the former, the latter, or both, the chances are you’re busy, which can make it difficult to stay organised and be at your best.
Well, you know that shiny smartphone you’re possibly reading this on? It’s not just for checking Facebook, playing Candy Crush Saga and, well, reading blog posts. No, that slab of metal and plastic can help you be more productive. How? With these five apps, that’s how…
1. Google Keep and Notes
Right, let’s keep it simple to start with. Google Keep is an app for Android phones with which you can make notes and lists, which are automatically stored on Google Drive, Google’s free online storage service. Notes is exactly the same thing for iPhones, albeit backing up to Apple’s iCloud instead.
While these might seem obvious choices, the fact is you won’t get owt out of them until you get into the habit of using them. Once you do, you’ll wonder what you did without them. Out of milk? Bang it on your to-do list. Idea for a blog post while you’re otherwise engaged? Record a voice memo. Getting a big round in at the pub? You know what to do…
Google Keep is free on Google Play and Notes is pre-installed on iPhone 4 and upwards
You know when someone emails you suggesting you meet up, and you end up exchanging 100 emails before deciding you’ve not got a window in your immediate schedule? So you try again next month, and repeat the whole sorry process? Wouldn’t it be neat if there were a quicker, easier way of doing that?
Say hello to Doodle - choose the dates you want to suggest meeting up on, choose the times, invite whoever’s involved and jobs a good ‘un. You can synchronise it with the calendar on your phone too. The app will cost you though, so stick to the mobile version of the site if you don’t want to pay for it.
Doodle is £1.99 on Google Play and iTunes
Evernote’s essentially a more hardcore version of Google Keep and Notes. As well as making notes and voice recordings, you can ‘handwrite’ notes/make sketches using a finger, create notebooks for different things, attach images from elsewhere, use tags to organise notes, and enable it so they’re automatically associated with where they were made.
So, it’s basically a blogger’s delight when it comes to creating posts on the go, and it also works with a bunch of other productivity apps, like Pocket (lets you save stuff to read later) and Receipts (you can probably guess what that does). And, as a bonus, it’s Android and Apple-compatible, so if you’ve got, say, a Samsung Galaxy S5 and an iPad, no problemo.
Evernote is free on Google Play and iTunes.
Remember when I mentioned Google Drive and iCloud? Well, Dropbox is like both of those. Basically, if you back up all your documents, photos and videos to it, you’ll be able to access them anywhere you can get online, and won’t have to worry about losing them should your phone go walkies or your hard drive give up the ghost.
Why bother with Dropbox if you already have Google Drive or iCloud? Two reasons. Firstly, Dropbox is compatible with both Android and Apple devices, as well as just about any computer. Secondly, while you only get 2GB of storage for free with Dropbox, you get another 500MB free - up to a total of 16GB - every time you refer a friend.
Dropbox is free on Google Play and iTunes.
So, back to what I was saying originally, if you’re a blogger or a parent, or both, like Oh So Amelia’s Kerry, you’re bound to be busy, and if you’re busy you haven’t got time to read through the dozens of emails that no doubt land in your inbox each day. At the same time, you don’t want to be deleting swathes of them willy-nilly and lose something you need.
So, what’s the answer? Mailbox. Use it in conjunction with Gmail or Apple email (it’ll be compatible with other services soon), and you can tidy up your inbox by swiping emails to quickly store or delete them and ‘snooze’ them to deal with later. Best of all, it learns from your swiping and snoozing, so it can file and put stuff on standby for you. Pretty neat, eh?
Mailbox is free on Google Play and iTunes
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