Got A New Smartphone? Try These Vital Apps

in Mobile Cloud, Productivity

smartphoneIf you have ventured into the Brave New World of smartphones over the festive season, you will be forgiven for looking dazed and confused at the large number of apps available to you. At first glance in the online stores there are hundreds of apps for email, task management and calendars which are usually the first things tech savvy individuals look for while the battery is charging for the first time. I am afraid that I cannot hand out any advice on the gaming front. Apart from a handful of card games for passing the time in doctors’ waiting rooms etc. I just don’t have that mindset, although I plead guilty to trying out Angry Birds for a day or so before deleting it!

Below are my top five apps that I believe any new smartphone user should have on their new smartphone.  The Today Calendar is only available for Android devices, but the others are multi-platform.

1: Evernote

I have been an Evernote user for many years and am more than happy to pay an annual premium subscription for the additional benefits this brings. Evernote is more than just a note app, it is a digital brain.  Used in conjunction with the browser add on web clipper I can capture virtually anything for future reference.  I can capture random “stuff” from the web to read later, take a formatted snapshot of a business card, scan documents direct from a desktop scanner or from the smartphone camera app … the list goes on and on. With a premium subscription all notebooks are available offline, ideal if you are somewhere like Outer Mongolia where there is no Wi Fi or mobile data signal!

2: Pocket

If, like me, you read a lot of web sites but don’t have time to read everything in full, Pocket is the ideal tool for you.  I scan online newspapers and magazines and save articles to read later with the click of a browser button. You can also add material from mobile browsers, too. For example, on my annual two week pilgrimage to Greece (summer holiday) I always build up a stock of Pocket articles and YouTube tutorials to view on the flight to take my mind off the deep bum thrombosis brought on by seats that have been designed for anorexic midgets.  Again, as a premium member, I recommend coughing up for the upgrade for the added benefits.

3: Today Calendar

I used to be a major fan of the Sunrise calendar but it was bought by Microsoft to build into its Outlook email app. I played briefly with WAVE calendar but found myself using today calendar more and more. Today is only available for Android. For more details you can read my review.

4: Todoist/Wunderlist

I used to be a confirmed Todoist user but some glitches in 2015 made me look elsewhere and out of the crap that litters the Android Play Store posing as task management apps I discovered Wunderlist. I recently won a year’s premium subscription top Wunderlist and find myself using it more and more over Todoist for the simple reason that adding sub tasks is so much easier.  To make comparisons between Todoist and Wunderlist easier I set up a Zapier zap so that all tasks entered into Todoist are copied into Wunderlist (it doesn’t work the other way round).

5: CloudMagic

CloudMagic at first glance looks like an upmarket email app but dig deeper and you will discover that it is a productivity hub linking to a wide range of apps and services such as Todoist, Pocket, Evernote, Asana, OneNote, Trello,Salesforce, Zendesk and others. It really is worth investigating this app and service first because I firmly believe that all the others pale into insignificance.

There are other apps and services that are invaluable and these include Dropbox,  Trello, Flipboard, Feedly and more but I just wanted to focus on the top five that I think you need to get you going.

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