5 Free Android Productivity Apps


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 (s goog) 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 (S GOOG) 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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As a complement to Evernote, I use netMemo. netMemo is better when all I want to do is record a voice note and have it delivered to my e-mail inbox for later processing. That way I don’t even have to remember that I recorded something in the first place, since checking my e-mail is in my DNA :-)

Jeff Janer

I’m biased as the co-founder, but have you looked at Springpad (http://springpadit.com/android) – we not only make it quick and easy to save stuff you want to remember, but we also enhance the books, movies, music, recipes, products and businesses you save with useful links and offers

Steve Rowlands

User of Jorte here, and I have to recommend how good it is. I was really struggling with the god-awful HTC Sense calendar on my HTC Desire, but luckily I found Jorte, which has some nice built in widgets.

If only I could find a way of turning off HTC Sense for good!


Is there any note app that would allow quick hand/finger writing? Something similar to Onenote… but mobile :-)

Rick Huizinga

Although this isn’t necessarily a productivity app, you should also check out InstaFetch. It’s an Instapaper compatible reader for Android. I can now read my saved Instapaper articles on iOS and Android devices.


I have been using Got To Do with my Toodledo account. I find is as useful as Toodledo’s native client for the iPhone/iPod Touch.



I have been looking for a good file managers/explorer and Astro File Manager looks pretty powerful. It is worth noting that the version I found is a beta that expires July 15th. I’ll still give it a shot to see if its worth paying for…thanks for the tip.


hi james you gotta ask there are so much reviews on iOS apps but there really is so little on android paid apps in general what are you guys take on this situation?


Have you tried Shuffle as an alternative to Astrid? Its quite good. I used both for a time, settled on Shuffle to view tasks in different perspectives.


gotta say that shuffle looks good. what do you think is shuffle compared to “GOT TO DO” which have integration with Toodledo?

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