Best productivity apps for staying on track

Best productivity apps for staying on track

If you have a hectic schedule, managing your day-to-day responsibilities and future objectives could be a challenge. There aren’t always enough hours in the day to do what needs to be done, and it’s nearly impossible to concentrate when you’re constantly feeling exhausted and uninspired. Fortunately, among the top Android apps on the Play Store, there’s an app available to help with every aspect of your life that you’d like to focus on.

Many individuals try far too many apps in their quest for the perfect solution, but there honestly isn’t one. You’ll likely find something you dislike in every app you try, and some of those annoyances will be more frustrating than others. You really shouldn’t let that stop you from using an app, though, because the minor flaw you’re unhappy with won’t outweigh all the app’s fantastic productivity-boosting features. Additionally, you’ll often need to combine multiple apps to get all the features you’re looking for.


What to look for in a productivity app

With so many apps to choose from, it’s crucial to know what to look for so that you’re encouraged to use it and get the most out of it on your Android phone. To start, the user interface should be streamlined and easy to navigate. Everything you need should be front and center, or at least within easy reach. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to dig for the most important features.

Not every app is perfect with its default settings, so being able to tweak the settings to your liking is essential. You’re not going to be completely happy with an app that doesn’t have the options you’re looking for. Having availability on at least one other platform is also ideal, especially if you’d like to use the service on multiple devices. Plus, you never know if, down the road, you may want to completely switch to a different mobile operating system altogether.

Now that you know what to look for, here are the best productivity apps to help you get more done, stay focused, and reach your future goals.

Work faster


Using a strong, unique password for every site you log into is good practice. However, since it’s impossible to remember all those passwords, this free app helps you securely store and manage them using advanced end-to-end encryption. In addition, using the app, you can automatically fill in your log information into other apps with just one tap; no need to copy and paste it.

Along with saving login information, you can store credit cards, identifications, and secure notes and organize them into folders. Bitwarden’s password generator is convenient for creating passwords up to 128 characters in length or passphrases up to 20 words in length; customization options are included for each type to help you make them even more unique.

Available platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS


Sometimes the default keyboard on your Android device may lack productivity-boosting features to increase your typing speed and accuracy. SwiftKey is a stylish keyboard app that fits the bill. It includes all the features you would expect with a keyboard and even some you never knew you needed. For instance, you can choose your preferred keyboard mode, switch to incognito mode, resize the keyboard, and change the layout.

There’s an impressive gallery of free keyboard themes to choose from, and you can also create your own if you don’t find something you like. Swiftkey’s typing features include autocorrect, quick prediction insert, quick period, auto-capitalize, auto space, cursor control, quick delete, and flow or gesture input. The built-in stats can also help you visualize how much the app has improved your mobile typing.

Available platforms: Android, iOS

Communication and collaboration

Simple Calendar

The name of this app says it all; this truly is a simple and beautiful calendar app with many customization options. The ad-free app isn’t free; it requires a one-time fee under $2.00; however, it’s well worth it. If you’d like to test out some of its basic features, there is a free version of Simple Calendar, but it lacks widgets, time zone support, email reminders, tasks, and color customization; it’s also no longer maintained.

For those using a different calendar, such as Microsoft Outlook, Samsung Calendar, Nextcloud, or Google Calendar, you can sync your events using CalDAV. Other ways to add events are by importing them via an ICS file or adding them manually. If you give Simple Calendar access to your contacts, you can even sync their birthdays and anniversaries. Along with the usual calendar views, it also includes monthly and daily, yearly, and simple event list views.

Available platforms: Android


Lastly, we have an email app, but Spark isn’t your average email app. It’s free and chock-full of impressive features that will help you get your Inbox under control. With the Smart Inbox feature enabled, the app collects emails from all added accounts and automatically categorizes them for you (e.g., personal, notifications, newsletters). However, Smart Inbox can be disabled if you prefer your inbox the standard way.

Spark lets you pin important emails, snooze emails you’re not ready to handle, and schedule emails to be sent later. It also helps you stay on top of things by alerting you about important unread emails you may have missed. You can also set up follow-up reminders to let you know if you haven’t received a response to your message by a specific day and time.

Available platforms: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS

Capture and organize ideas


If you’re a visual learner, you’re sure to enjoy this app since it utilizes the creative method of mind mapping to help you visualize your thoughts and collaborate with others in real-time. It’s perfect for brainstorming, note-taking, project planning, and many other things where you’d like to see the big picture in a beautiful graphical format. With a free, Basic account can create up to maps. For each one, you can customize the text style and map theme.

Along with adding sibling and child ideas to your main topic, you can add links, notes, tasks, opinions, files, icons, emojis, and images to enhance your mind map. After adding new topics and ideas, you can drag and drop them to rearrange where they appear on your map. MindMeister has three monthly plans for those wanting unlimited mind maps and other advanced features: Personal, Pro, and Business. The Personal plan is best for individuals, while Pro is great for teams.

Available platforms: Android, iOS


If you’re someone who takes a lot of notes or looking for a convenient place to store all types of digital content, this is the app for you. Evernote is a well-known productivity app that started as a simple digital notebook, but it’s now so much more than that. Along with taking notes, you can use the app to capture and store tasks, images, sketches, attachments, and audio. You can then organize these items into custom notebooks.

Evernote is free to use, but it does have its limitations. However, you can upgrade to the Personal or Professional plan if you want more out of the app. Upgrading will give you much more storage space for monthly uploads, increase the maximum note size allowed, enable task management, sync with Google calendar, unlock home screen customization of the app, and allow PDF annotation.

Available platforms: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS

Distraction and focus


Mental health is just as important as physical health since it affects all aspects of your life and can have a significant impact on your mood, relationships, and work performance, to name a few. If you want to remain healthy mentally, Headspace is a great app to have in your arsenal. With it, you can spend as much or as little time as you’d like improving yourself with its collection of guided meditations, classes, and mindfulness activities. You’ll learn to manage everyday anxiety and stress, improve your sleep habits, increase your daily activities, boost your productivity, and learn how to focus better.

You can enable various types of notifications, which include encouragement, inspiration, and insightful words of wisdom. Headspace is free with limited features, and you’ll need to unlock it to get the full experience. After you unlock the app, you will receive a new meditation every day, be able to listen to sleep sounds and bedtime exercises, and have access to Move Mode (for mind and body fitness). There’s a 14-day free trial, after which you can sign up for a monthly or annual subscription to reap all the benefits of the app.

Available platforms: Android, iOS


How many times have you tried to get work done but failed due to the constant distractions and interruptions from your phone? We’ve all been there! It can be hard to put the phone down when you’re on your favorite social app, and it’s extremely hard to ignore constant messages from your friends or family. Forest completely understands the struggle, which is why it advises that whenever you want to focus, you should plant trees! The concept is simple: the app helps to keep you motivated and rewards you for your hard work. You can easily switch between Timer Mode and Stopwatch Mode depending on your goal.

As you work on your task, a tree will grow right before your eyes, and the longer you work, the more trees you will grow until you have a full forest. However, if you leave the app, you’ll be encouraged to return quickly, or else your trees will die. There are also relaxing sounds that can play in the background as you work. The app is free and supported by ads, but a Pro version is also available if you want to unlock extra features like detailed statistics, an allow list, cloud backup, working with friends, achievements, and custom tags.

Available platforms: Android, iOS

Time management


Life is full of projects, tasks, wants, and goals, many of which you likely can’t remember on your own. TickTick is a feature-rich, user-friendly task manager that helps you keep track of these things and reminds you when to do them. You can also organize tasks using tags and custom lists. In addition to viewing your tasks as a list, you can get an overview of them on a calendar.

While the free version of TickTick will suffice for many users, upgrading to Premium unlocks many valuable features. For starters, you’ll unlock the collaboration features that allow you to share lists and assign tasks to family, friends, or team members. Plus, you’ll get access to advanced widgets for your device’s home screen: Eisenhower matrix, habits, monthly, and timeline view. Premium also includes premium themes, white noise options, and a Pomodoro timer feature to help you focus on individual tasks.

Available platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS

Loop Habit Tracker

Everyone has at least one habit they’d like to maintain but have trouble doing so. This free, user-friendly app makes it easy for you to create good habits and stick to them. In addition, the detailed graphs let you keep track of your progress to see how you’ve improved over time and motivate you to keep going. Loop Habit Tracker includes six useful homescreen widgets to help you keep an eye on things like your habit frequency, history, streaks, and more.

There are two types of habits that you can create: a habit you can answer with a yes or no (e.g., did you read today?) and a measurable one (e.g., how many minutes did you read today?). The app also gives each habit a score using an advanced formula to calculate its strength. Consistency is a huge factor, so your score will suffer if you miss a day or more. If you’re worried you’ll forget about a habit, you can set reminders for a specific time each day. In the app’s settings, there’s a feature to make reminders sticky, so you won’t be able to swipe them away; you’ll need to enter a response to remove it.

Available platforms: Android

File sharing and management

Google Drive

As one of the most popular cloud-based storage solutions, you’re likely already familiar with Google Drive. It’s perfect for storing all types of files and documents from Google’s own services: Docs, Sheets, and Slides. You can then access those files and documents wherever you go. All accounts start with 15 GB of storage (across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos); however, there’s an option to buy more storage space in the app.

File sharing and collaboration are the features that make this app shine. You can share anything in your drive using a direct link and can choose to restrict access to users you’ve selected or only those with the link. If you also use the Google Drive app on your computer, you can sync some or all of your folders and access them on your Android device, which ensures you’ll always have access to them.

Available platforms: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS

Solid Explorer

This file manager does it all and is quite stylish, thanks to its numerous themes and color schemes. Along with accessing your local files, you can access and manage an SD card, USB OTG, and cloud files; plus, files are automatically organized into collections. Solid Explorer supports numerous cloud services, including Google Drive, Dropbox, SugarSync, and OneDrive. You can also extend its functionality using plugins. It comes with a free 14-day free trial, after which you’ll lose access to premium features and will see ads within the app.

There are four viewing options for files: list, grid, gallery, and compact. Likewise, there are four sorting options: name, date, size, and type. Additionally, files and folders can be archived, hidden, encrypted (using strong AES encryption), transferred, and added to the bookmarks section of the app. You can even create an FTP server within the app to transfer files and folders to another device, such as a computer.

Available platforms: Android


This unique, ad-supported file manager is in a league of its own due to its highly customizable interface. Featuring a dual-panel explorer, you can quickly copy and transfer files from one pane to another. Like Solid Explorer, it supports viewing and managing files on an SD Card, USB OTG, and via the cloud. It supports 11 cloud storage services, including Mega, pCloud, MediaFire, OneDrive, and Dropbox.

If you need to transfer files between devices, there are numerous options: LAN, FTP, SSH, Wifi, and DLNA. In addition, X-plore’s file management options for viewing, renaming, sharing, duplicating, hiding, and compressing files are sure to come in handy. You can even unlock six additional features via an in-app donation. Finally, the disk map view shows your entire drive in graphical form and sorts each file by size, allowing you to see what’s using the most space.

Available platforms: Android

It’s time to be a better you

Getting your productivity in line won’t be easy. It is a personal journey that must be adapted to your specific objectives. The apps you use to remain focused and on track will likely be very different from those used by your friends and colleagues. The good news is that with some trial and error, you’ll be closer to reaching your goals. Just remember that it all comes down to determination and perseverance.

Have you set any goals for the new year, and if so, which productivity apps do you plan on using to achieve them?