Posts Tagged

productivity

Email is the arena for an almighty battle of innovation right now. Ever since Mailbox introduced its shiny new side-swipe sorting to iOS, there have been innumerable reinventions of the veteran communication platform, with new clients arriving, by the bucket-load, on pretty much every OS.

Android has been no exception to this rush — in fact, it has been at the forefront. Google, itself, has made the official Gmail app a market leader in terms of intuitive design, whilst apps such as SolMail and Dextr are well-made alternatives, each with a slightly different approach to inbox sifting and sorting. There are plenty more where those came from, as well.

Take new email client, CloudMagic, for example. With a sleek interface and all the usual tricks of the email 2.0 trade, it looks like a great, free download. But how does it measure up to the fierce competition?

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I like to think of myself as a hard worker with a time-wasting problem. I don’t procrastinate. I just accidentally get caught up in tech articles, Instapaper and Twitter. I need all the help I can get to stay on track.

That’s one of the reasons I was interested when I heard about Mobile Worker, a time management app that was supposed to be perfect for freelancers and independent contractors. The app helps you stay organized and ensures efficiency. For me, I just needed a little extra kick in the pants to keep going. I downloaded the free version of the app to see if it would give me what I needed. Read on for my thoughts.

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As with any mobile OS, there are a lot of ingredients that go into Android’s mix, and though many of us share likes and dislikes, each of us has a set of favourite features. In my case, Android’s tight integration with the Google Apps services I use on a daily basis makes life a great deal easier, and it was one of the primary reasons I chose to switch to a phone powered by the little green robot.

One key example of this is Gmail. The official app Google provides on Android is brilliantly designed, providing the instantaneousness of IMAP, with the intuitive operation of swipe-to-archive. However, as a (predominantly) Gmail user myself, it had never occurred to me that this glorious messaging experience is not extended to those Android users who rely on email providers other than Google. That seems a real shame.

A new emailing app, Compail, looks like it wants to provide an intuitive, Gmail-like experience to the rest of the email universe. Can it deliver the same slick environment as Google’s custom-built email flagship, though?

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It has been a while since we looked at apps that can be used to automate tasks on your Android phone or tablet so I thought it was time to rectify the situation. In a never-ending quest to make my life as easy as possible, I’ve tried everything from Tasker to AutomateIt.

I love to automate things. Love it. I use filters in Gmail to organize my inbox and IFTTT is a service I just can’t recommend highly enough. I use it to manage emails, news feeds, cloud storage backups and much more – all without having to lift a finger. Profile Flow brings the same idea to Android.

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It’s National Novel Writing Month once again, time to challenge yourself to write 50000 words in 30 days, no easy feat! But with your Android device by your side, you can keep working on your novel or non-fiction book anywhere and anytime. Throughout this week, we’ll share our best apps, thoughts, and tips to help you achieve that writing goal.

As any writer knows, focus is absolutely key, and unnecessary distractions can really hurt the workflow. Most word processors are filled with bulky features that aren’t needed except for special projects that require formatting or tables. This means that they can easily distract from the primary purpose of the app.

Writer recognizes these aspects and strives to provide the most efficient writing experience possible on Android. It is an extremely simple word processing app that is designed to keep you submersed in your writing.

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I have been a big fan of Basecamp from 37signals for years now. I think it’s the best project management system; easy to use, you don’t need to log in to use it (thanks to email integration), and it has some great features. Plus it’s mobile! Well…it was until they upgraded to Basecamp Next, which got a new API and a new design that doesn’t have a mobile friendly interface. This was a big bummer for me. Luckily, Everest came to the rescue.

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The Pomodoro Technique is a popular time-boxing productivity method to help you improve your focus and concentration, requiring nothing more than a kitchen timer. The idea is simple: alternate 25 minutes of work with 5 minutes of rest, and repeat.

Today I’ll show you the principles of this technique, and how to use it daily, using Pomodroido, an app designed to help you do the technique whenever you go, so you don’t need to carry a timer with you everywhere.

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Whether you are a professional who charges clients by the hour, or a productivity geek simply out to evaluate and analyze the time you spend on things, tracking time is a pretty mundane and potentially irritating activity. Of course, there are a lot of ways on the desktop and the web that you can make things easier – from simple spreadsheets to dedicated time tracking apps or full-fledged project management suites. But all of these methods have been traditionally computer-focused and are not best suited for when you are out and about.

If you’re always out and about, or simply use your Android smartphone a lot, you probably like to get things done on the handset and would like an easy way to track time on the go as well. If so, this is a good place to start. Rounded up below are a bunch of apps that you can use on your phone to track the time you spend on projects or pretty much anything else you might want to keep track of.
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It’s that time of the year again when we all resolve – among other things – to keep the resolutions we make for ourselves every year. To be honest, I’ve been guilty of breaking new year’s resolutions within as little as a week and yet I take a shot at them every year. Exercising more, controlling what I eat, working less and playing more. We all say we want to do it, right? The problem is, it’s just really really hard to keep track of all of these things when we have so much else going on in our lives!

At least, that’s the excuse I’ve been giving myself for a while now.

This year will be different, though. I’m going to be a little proactive and try to use technology to my advantage in ensuring I don’t have that one excuse in 2012. So here is a roundup of over 30 Android Apps that let you track your goals – whatever the kind – and help make sure you stick with them as long as possible.

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A month ago, I asked, Do You Actually Need Your Smartphone?, and turned off all “smart” features (everything other than texting and calling) as an experiment.

Turns out, yes, I actually do need my smart phone.

While I knew it was useful, I didn’t think I needed it so much. So far today I’ve used it numerous times over the last few hours!

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