Although there are hundreds of thousands of iPhone apps, busy people don’t have time to wade through the App Store in search of the best apps to keep them productive.
With iPhone apps, we think that the best productivity apps for executives fall into two groups – those that fulfil a specific function and those that let them take advantage of small pockets of free time – moments stuck in an airport queue or waiting for a conference call.
TripIt is for regular travellers. It manages your itinerary quickly and easily.
Whenever you receive a flight or hotel itinerary you simply forward it to an email address. TripIt’s backend service will parse the data from the document and use it to build an itinerary.
The Pro service, which costs US$49 per year, adds a whole bunch of extra features to the free service. For example, you get reminders and alerts for flights and messages telling you when flights are delayed. If you have connecting flights, it will alert you if a delay will impact your ability to catch your next flight.
We’ve found that TripIt alerts us to schedule changes before they appear on the arrivals and departures screens in the airport.
We’ve waxed lyrical about Evernote before it continues to be the premium application for capturing all sorts of random information. Since the demise of Hello, Evernote’s business card scanning app, Evernote now has the ability to capture business cards, perform OCR on them and find contacts on LinkedIn making it a great tool for managing business connections.
As all of the data captured by the Evernote app can be synced to a cloud service, you can then retrieve the data from almost any other device.
Evernote has also brought their web clipping service to the iPhone. If you’re visiting a website you’d like to retain for later reading, you can, by using the Share button, send that page to Evernote where a full copy will be stored and available even when offline – handy for long articles you want to read on a plane.
Evernote is free although the pro service allows you to sync more data each month.
It took a while but now that Microsoft has released a version of their Office suite for iOS they’ve continued to refine it. World, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote are all available for the iPhone.
As well as giving you the ability to read and edit Microsoft Office documents, the new apps allow you to access documents stored on popular cloud services such as Evernote and OneDrive. It even supports iCloud Drive.
In short, if you need to read and edit Office documents – you need Microsoft Office.
Flipboard takes a different approach. It creates an online magazine, based on different subject areas and pulls together content from multiple sources about those topics.
If you subscribe to RSS newsfeeds, these can be used within Flipboard as can Twitter lists. In other words, it’s a customisable news magazine that brings content to you in an attractive and useful way.
Flipboard is free from the App Store.
GoodReader is a bit of a Swiss Army knife for handling different files. Although it’s main claim to fame is as a PDF reader that lets you annotate files, it’s also a great file manager that lets you connect to cloud-based file-sharing services, WebDAV systems and FTP servers so you can deposit and access files from just about anywhere.
It’s the kind of app that you might only need occasionally – but when you do it will allow you to do things few other apps can do.
GoodReader costs $6.49 from the App Store.