Staying organized is key to a successful workday — so why not let your Android device do some of the heavy lifting? Your smartphone or tablet can help you organize your long-term calendar, your daily appointments and even your paper receipts. Read on for five of the best apps on the Android platform to help you stay organized.
Keep your calendar organized: Google Calendar (Free)
There are quite a few excellent calendar applications for Android devices, but none of them top Google's own calendar software, especially after a slew of recent updates. The Google Calendar app can now automatically grab event information from your email inbox and turn that info into calendar events. For instance, if you schedule a flight, the date, time and location will be pulled right from the flight confirmation email in your inbox and added to your calendar, no manual copying and pasting needed. The app can also pull in details like photos, email addresses and phone numbers from your address book when you add attendees to meetings. The cherry on top is the revamped Schedule view, which now adds photos, maps and illustrations to your events (say, a mug next to an appointment to meet a client for coffee, and a map to the cafe), letting you easily take in your schedule at a glance.
Keep your notes organized: Evernote (Free)
A paper notepad is a decent tool for jotting down quick notes, but a good note-taking app is better. That's because an app like Evernote stores your notes in the cloud, so they're backed up and accessible from anywhere. Plus, your personal Evernote archive is fully searchable, so you can easily track down a specific piece of information buried in your notes. You can even save photos to the app, and it will automatically recognize and index printed or handwritten text, making it searchable as well. And since Evernote is available for just about every computing platform — including Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Mac and PC — you can log in and access your notes from practically any Internet-connected device. Whenever you update your notes, the changes will be automatically synced across all your devices.
Keep your agenda organized: Schedule Planner (Free)
Managing the minutiae of your daily agenda is just as important as staying on top of your long-term schedule, and a dedicated day-planner app can help you do just that. Schedule planner, which has some good tools to help you budget your time, is a solid pick. It includes an easy-to-use interface that lets you plan your day each morning by placing items in color-coded categories, such as Work and Free Time. Then you can pull up a chart to see where your time is going at a glance, and get yourself back on track. Other handy features include the ability to set recurring daily tasks that will carry over to later dates, and a function to set custom alerts so you never forget about an item on your to-do list.
Keep your paper documents organized: Shoeboxed (Free with Shoeboxed subscription, starting at $10/month)
It's important to keep your receipts, bills and other financial documents organized, but doing it the old-fashioned way is a chore. That's where a handy app like Shoeboxed comes in. It lets you upload any paper document by snapping a photo with your Android smartphone or tablet's camera. It then uses text-recognition software to extract important information from the document, including the date, total charge, payment type and vendor. Then, all that data is stored in a fully searchable that includes all your transactions, helping you avoid the time-consuming task of searching for a particular document in a stack of paper. The app also helps you save money, since you won't have to hire someone to manage your documents for you. Uploading receipts and other documents takes a bit of upfront effort, but it will really pay off when tax season rolls around.
Keep your meetings organized: Agenda Maker ($1.99)
The Agenda Maker app for Android can help organize your business meeting by getting everyone on the same page before the meeting even starts. The tool lets you create a detailed outline for an upcoming meeting, then send the agenda out to all attendees via email with a few taps. You can select attendees from your address book, making it easy to share agendas. And even after an agenda has been shared, you can continue to update the schedule and tweak the amount of time allocated for each item, then share the changes with attendees. Plus, the app allows for collaborative editing by all attendees who have Agenda Make installed on their own Android devices.