Smartphones, especially the iPhone, have become our all-in-one tools for business, thanks to an enormous library of apps made for productivity, communication and organization. There are nearly 2 million apps in the Apple App Store, so it can be tough to find the right ones for you. Here's our list of iPhone/iPad apps to help you have a more productive and efficient workday.
Calendar: Fantastical 2 ($2.99)
Fantastical 2 is a top-rated alternative to the stock iPhone calendar app because it strikes a great balance between deep features and ease of use. It has all the features of competing apps, including the ability to view your calendar by day, week, month or year, and easily drill down to view individual events. It lets you add events using natural speech, such as "Meet Ted for lunch at 2:00 on Tuesday." Fantastical 2 parses your sentence to fill in all the relevant information and then automatically notifies you when the event approaches.
Most importantly, the app is intuitive and easy to use. For example, moving an event to a different time or day is as easy as tapping and holding, then dragging it to the correct spot on your calendar. One newly added feature is detailed location info for meetings, including a map. It also has an easy-to-use reminder feature, so you can casually voice your tasks you want to be reminded of later.
Day planner: Schedule Planner (free)
Schedule Planner puts the focus squarely on the minutiae of your daily tasks, then provides the tools you need to see if you're spending your time wisely. It has an easy-to-use interface to help you quickly plan out your day in the morning, letting you place items in color-coded categories such as Work and Free Time. The app then generates charts to help you see, at a glance, where your time is going – a key feature for small business owners who make their own schedules. Like other day-planner apps, Schedule Planner allows you to set custom alerts, repeat tasks, and move items around with easy copy-and-paste functionality.
To-do list: Todoist (free, with premium version)
Productivity: OmniFocus 3 (free, with premium version)
Data on demand: Wolfram Alpha ($2.99)
PDFs: PDFelement (free, with premium version)
Read it later: Pocket (free, with premium version)
Accounting: FreshBooks (free, with premium version)
Recording: Just Press Record ($4.99)
Notetaking: Paper (free, with premium version)
Additional reporting by Anna Attkisson and Matt D'Angelo.