The 18 Best Productivity Apps In The World

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Photo: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

Earlier this month, we published the App 100, a collection of the best across all platforms.realising that 100 apps is a lot to digest, we decided to break up the list by category.

Over the next several days we’ll republish the individual sections to help you get through the best apps easier.

Here’s our definitive list of the best productivity apps you can get today.

Paper by 50 Three, for doodling on your iPad

Paper by 50 Three is a drawing app that won Apple's Design Award in 2012. Think of the app as your own digital sketchbook. It comes packed with a variety of brushes and pens for your doodles. We suggest buying a stylus if you really want to get the most out of the app.

Price: Free, but you have to pay extra for more brushes and tools.

Available on: iPad

Box, for storing documents online

If you work in a corporate environment, you need to be using Box.

Box is one of the hottest tech startups at the moment. The company touts itself as a cloud service for the enterprise, giving you an easy way to back up and share all your documents online and view them on any device.

We love Box's commitment to developing apps for all platforms, not just the most popular ones. You get 5 GB of storage for free with Box, but there are several paid plans if you need more.

Price: Free

Available on: Android, iOS, BlackBerry PlayBook, and Windows Phone.

Bump, for sharing stuff between phones

Bump lets you swap contacts and other content with nearby mobile devices over a Wi-Fi network. All you have to do is select what you want to share and 'bump' the two devices together. Kiss your business cards goodbye.

Price: Free

Available on: Android,iOS, and PC

CardMunch, for keeping track of business cards

CardMunch allows users to convert business cards to address book contacts, and then add those contacts as connections on LinkedIn. Just snap a photo of a business card, upload it to the service, and the information will be automatically added to your phone. There's no need to hang on to the paper business card after that.

Price: Free

Available on: iOS

Checkmark, for setting tasks and reminders

Checkpoint is our favourite location-based reminder app. The app takes advantage of the iPhone's geofencing feature to alert you of tasks when you enter and exit a particular location. It's not a new concept, but Checkmark does it a lot better than the iPhone's built-in Reminders app.

Check out our walkthrough of Checkmark >

Price: $2.99

Available on: iOS

Clear, for a beautiful to-do list on your iPhone

Clear is a very simple, yet elegant to-do list app that will help you stay productive and on task. The app is beautifully designed and it feels satisfying to remove completed tasks with a simple swipe.

Notably missing is a feature that lets you back up tasks online so you can access them on your computer or other mobile device. But that's not necessarily the point with Clear. The app aims to keep things as simple as possible.

Check out our full walkthrough of Clear >

Price: $2.99

Available on: iOS

CloudOn, for running Microsoft office on your phone or tablet

CloudOn provides users will a full PC version of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel on your mobile device. Think of it as running a virtual Windows environment on your smartphone or tablet.

CloudOn also integrates with Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive so you can keep all your documents stored in the cloud.

Check out our tour of CloudOn >

Price: Free

Available on: Android & iOS

Dropbox, for storing all your files online

Dropbox lives on your desktop as a virtual folder. You can drag and drop files into your Dropbox and they'll appear on all your devices. You also have the option to store files in a public folder so you can easily share them with a simple download link.

Dropbox gives you 2 GB of storage for free, but you can earn extra storage by inviting your friends to sign up. There are also a bunch of paid plans.

Price: Free

Available on: Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Mac and PC, and the web

Evernote, so you can remember everything

Think of Evernote as your online notebook for everything. The service lets you store text notes, audio files, photos, web articles, to-do lists, and just about anything else you can think of online. You can then access all your stuff on your PC, the web, or mobile device.

Price: Free

Available on: Android,Blackberry, iOS, Windows Phone, Web OS, PC, Mac, Google Chrome, and the web.

Gmail, still the best way to check email

Gmail is the web-based email king. With a Gmail account, you get plenty of storage for free, meaning you likely never have to delete an email again. (You can always purchase extra storage just in case). You also get Google's excellent search feature, so you can easily go back and find old messages.

Price: Free

Available on: Android and iOS. Gmail can also be accessed from any smartphone browser like Blackberry and Windows Phone by heading to m.google.com/mail.

Google Chrome, our favourite Web browser

Depending on who you talk to, Google Chrome is widely regarded as the best browser you can use. It syncs with your Google Account, meaning all you have to do is log in to get access to your bookmarks, tabs, and settings. If you already use Google services like Gmail, then switching to Chrome is a no-brainer.

Price: Free

Available on: Android, iOS, and Mac and PC

Google Drive, a great way to store files and documents to your Google Account

Google Drive is an excellent storage solution within Google's ecosystem. It functions a lot like Dropbox, allowing you to store a folder on your desktop to drag and drop files into. It also syncs with your Google Documents, so you don't have to worry about losing a file.

Drive starts you off with 5GB for free but if that isn't enough you can always purchase more.

Price: Free

Available on: Android and iOS

Google Goggles, for searching Google using images instead of words

Google Goggles is an augmented reality app that lets you search for stuff just by snapping a photo of an item. Simply point the app at a book, product, or street sign, and Goggles can provide facts about it.

The app is perfect when you need to find out more information about a product on store shelves or a painting at the local gallery.

*Goggles is built into Google's Search app for iOS.

Price: Free

Available on: Android and iOS.

Microsoft Office, the ultimate productivity suite

Microsoft Office is the go-to productivity suite. Office has been around since 1989, and is still the standard for productivity apps.

And don't forget! Microsoft is going to release a brand new version of Office early next year that's designed for Windows 8 tablets.

Price: $149 (Mac), $127.49 (Windows)

Available on: Mac OS X and Windows

iWork, an Office alternative for Macs

iWork is Apple's productivity suite. (Think of it as the Apple version of Microsoft Office). With the full suite you get Pages (word processing), Keynote (presentations), and Numbers (Spreadsheets).

Price: $9.99 each (iOS) and $19.99 each (Mac OS X)

Available on:

iOS: Pages, Keynote, and Numbers

OS X: Pages, Keynote, and Numbers

Remember the Milk, for setting reminders on all your devices

Remember the Milk is a handy app that helps you to organise the things you have to do. Remember the Milk lets you see tasks that are located nearby (depending on your location) and syncs everything seamlessly with its online platform.

Price: Free

Available on: Android,Blackberry, and iOS

Robin, a Siri alternative for Android users

Robin is the first true Siri challenger. We love the expanded capabilities of the newer virtual assistant. You can ask Robin for directions, local places, real-time parking, traffic info, gas prices, weather, your Twitter news, and much more.

Robin is disrupting the personal assistant arena, and we only hope that her existence pushes developers to make personal assistant apps feel more like true personal assistants.

Price: Free

Available on: Android

Sparrow, a great alternative to the iPhone's email app

Sparrow was recently acquired by Google, but it's still our favourite alternative to Apple's built-in email app on the iPhone.

Sparrow is based on simplicity and minimalism. The app takes the headache out of checking email and makes it more interactive. Users can take advantage of full IMAP and POP email support, and Sparrow even allows you to easily browse through threaded conversations.

One major bummer: Sparrow for iOS does not support push notifications.

Price: $2.99 (iOS), $9.99 (OS X)

Available on: iOS and Mac OS X

Check out the full list of apps here...

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