5 Free Android Productivity Apps

Handcent SMS

The smartphone has become so powerful that some folks are heading out the door each day with only the phone in hand. The phone is a powerful mobile computer, and becomes even more useful with the addition of the proper apps. Android smartphones are good examples of the phone as a mobile computer, and the increasing number of apps in the Android Market play a factor in that role. If daily productivity is the goal, these five apps are worth checking out.

Evernote. The ability to capture information on the go is very useful, and Evernote is a champ at that task. Information can be captured via phone camera, by recording an audio note, uploading a file or the old-fashioned way of entering a text note. All information recorded in the app is synced with the user’s Evernote cloud account.

Jorte. Android has good Personal Information Manager (PIM) functionality, but some folks prefer an integrated app to track calendars and tasks. Jorte is an app that presents schedules and tasks in a totally configurable fashion. The app handles all types of calendar views to suit, and can work as a totally self-contained PIM system. Those using Google Calendar can have Jorte sync with that for a total PIM solution.

Astro File Manager. Android doesn’t provide a way to work with files and folders, which can be very useful at times. Astro is a full-featured graphical file manager which allows interaction with files anywhere on the phone. It is a simple process to move files to the SD card (or back) and organize user files as desired.

Astrid Task. Those who need a simple task or list manager should take a look at Astrid. This app was developed exclusively for Android and gives complete control over how one views the task list. Astrid can coordinate with Remember The Milk, and offers a “motivational notification” system that inspires you to get things done. Say you enter a task to “clean inbox” — Astrid will pop up a notification at the designated time telling you to “when you have a moment: clean inbox.”

Handcent SMS. If you have envied your iPhone-toting friend’s pretty text messaging app, you can shed your envy with Handcent SMS. This messaging app displays threaded messages in a appealing graphical view, and makes sending group messages a breeze.

These are all apps that help me be more productive on a daily basis. There are many others in the Android Market that are also good, leave your favorites in the comments. Here’s a bonus for you — if you use several IM services and want an app that provides a unified interface, try Meebo. It works with just about every IM service and makes it easy to communicate with friends and colleagues.


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