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 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
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.
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.
Available on: iOS
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.
Available on: iOS
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.
Available on: iOS
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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)
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.
Available on: Android
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)
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