5 Productivity Apps You Need To Be Using in 2016

2016-04-08-1460134048-2449022-CarterThomas.pngBy Carter Thomas

Whether you are a multimillion-dollar-company owner, or a young adult just trying to scrape by and make enough money to survive, your time is valuable. Thanks to the rising production of smartphones and wearable technology like smart watches, more and more apps are being created to help you get the most out of your time so you can focus more on the pressing matters.

But the market is flooded with productivity apps, making it difficult to find those that are actually beneficial without wasting money. Outlined below are five of the top-rated productivity apps available on both iOS and Android, and why they are some of the many top choices available on the market.

Listen

Listen is for those who find themselves being interrupted far too often when driving, in a meeting, or even out on the golf course for a company outing. By using location detection and other customizable tools, Listen can respond to calls, emails and text messages with a large range of possible replies.

Customize a message to be auto-sent when you want to let callers know what you are doing, and let them know you'll get back to them when you are available. Newer features of Listen include geo-location tools that can change the message based on your location and even notify others when you are driving.

One of its most convenient features is the synchronization between the app and your calendar. This way, you don't have to worry about sending a reply to an incoming call when you are free to answer it, or not sending one when you are in a meeting.

LastPass

LastPass is a productivity app that is meant to simplify your web browsing time in more ways than one. LastPass is a secure password generator, a storage space and a web browser.

With the increase in awareness for cyber security and identity theft, having good passwords for your online retailer profiles, bank accounts and other personal information can be the difference between happy browsing and months of headaches from misplaced information.

LastPass generates strong, high-quality passwords and stores them in its internal memory to use while browsing. The app will both auto-fill the login information in its internal browser and fill the forms inside of Chrome and Safari. Passwords can also be transferred between devices, and are protected with a security code or your fingerprint.

These features and more make it an excellent productivity application to have on a mobile device.

SwiftKey

SwiftKey offers something that most mobile keyboards lack, which is customization. Custom keyboards have been available for some time, but few have been able to provide the level of predictive text and user experiences that SwiftKey has been able to offer.

Every user has their own preference on key placement and spacing, so SwiftKey offers users the ability to adjust their keyboard spacing and color to their liking. Messaging, emailing and typing memos are common and highly practical things to do on a smartphone, so keyboards like SwiftKey speed those things up, giving you more time to do other tasks.

One of the best features is that SwiftKey's settings and user-defined dictionaries can be uploaded to a cloud and transferred to any device. Combine this cloud support with lightning-quick response time and the ability to instantly learn and correct your spelling mistakes, and you have a great productivity app.

Workflow

Think of the task you do more than anything else during the day. Is it calling your boss, emailing a particular client, or calling a taxi? Workflow can help make that task, and many others, much easier.

Workflow allows you to create shortcuts for certain tasks, eliminating the extra menus and time it takes to do normally. There are over 200 different tasks Workflow can do for you, including uploading your recent photos to a cloud, calling an Uber, and even calculating a tip at a restaurant.

The shortcuts that you use inside of Workflow can be turned into home screen shortcuts with a couple button presses, so even without the app open, your navigation and normal routine can be shorter.

A productivity app like this is essential for business owners because it allows you to do things that you ordinarily wouldn't have time to do, or would slow you down.

Forest

Despite all the benefits that technology and social media can provide, they also have one major flaw: dependency. How many times during the day do you find yourself checking an email only to scan through your news feed or waste time on another app? Then, before you know it, a whole hour has gone by.

Forest was created exactly for that reason. Forest lets you realize just how much time you spend on your phone doing things that are not productive, and rewards you for shying away from those tendencies.

Your entire goal is to grow a forest within the app, one tree at a time. However, if you try to plant a tree, then open another app for any reason, the tree dies. By leaving your phone unchanged and letting the tree mature, you can grow a large forest. As a bonus, Forest tracks how much time you spend doing other tasks, so you can remain conscious of your anti-productive habits.

Your time is valuable, so don't waste a second of it. Download these great apps and instantly watch your productivity increase.

Carter Thomas is a marketer and strategist in the mobile app space. Since 2011, Carter has published over 1,500 apps on multiple platforms that have generated 18M+ downloads. Since early 2013, Carter has built and sold 5 separate app portfolios to private buyers. Along with apps, Carter's blog, Bluecloud Solutions, has reached over 2.5M visitors and been responsible for over 100M downloads from the readers who implemented his strategies. On the weekends, you can find Carter swimming in Hawaii, looking for new investments and working on his next creative project, LemonDrone.