15 (Mostly) Free Apps To Make You More Productive

The only point of technology is to make your life easier. But sometimes it doesn't feel like that. Below are 15 of Esquire's favourite apps that offer shortcuts to getting stuff done, quicker. Best of all, they're almost all free.

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1 | Sunrise Calendar

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How much difference can there really be between the dozens of calendar apps out there? Sunrise Calendar presents a strong case for being the very best, thanks to its straightforward interface and the ability to sync dates, appointments and birthdays across Google Calendar, iCloud, Facebook, Evernote and more.

iOS and Android; free


2 | 1Password

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Passwords are a 21st Century curse: feel your limited time on this beautiful planet literally ticking away as you try and recall the name of your first pet and/or retype the same six-digit password substituting capitals for lower case letters at random until you feel like Scr3m1ng. 1Password creates a unique password for all your sites then remembers them all for you, allowing you to tap-in with a single touch.

iOS and Android; free


3 | LogMeIn

Securely connect to your home computer from your mobile device and access everything – files, photos, apps, the lot. Previously only on Android, now Mac owners can ‘share’ the love, too.

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iOS and Android; free for 14 days, then various charges apply


4 | Day One

Pleasingly simple diary app that prompts you to record something of the days events, tag it with location, time and weather and upload a photo. Your whole year is then scrollable at a glace.

iOS only; £2.99


5 | Remember The Milk

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Not just the best-named reminder app but also the most versatile. Allows users to manage the same tasks from computer or a smartphone, even when offline. Can be integrated with Google Maps for location-specific reminders. Remarkably it's 10 years old.

iOS and Android; free


6 | IFTTT

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Pronounced as in ‘gift’, and short for 'If This Then That'. Allows users to create and share ‘recipes’ between their various channels to have them talk to one another. For example: If this: ‘I’m tagged in a photo on Facebook’ then that: ‘Send me a text’.

iOS and Android; free


7 | Dragon Dictation

Voice recognition app that claims to be five times faster than typing, and is genuinely accurate. You can’t save the words (oddly) but cut-and-paste will sort that out.

iOS only; free


8 | Dropbox

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iCloud Drive, Google Drive, One Drive: everyone’s having a go at cloud storage these days, but Dropbox remains a peerless early innovator. Sync everything across all your devices and never email yourself a file again.

iOS and Android; free for 2GB then charges apply


9 | Mailbox

Clever email client that lets you sort messages into lists folders by swiping and allows you to ‘snooze’ less urgent ones for days, weeks or months. The mythical Inbox Zero edges closer to becoming reality.

iOS and Android; free


10 | Buffer

 

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Type your Twitter and Facebook messages and have Buffer schedule when they’re posted. Buffer for Business adds more social accounts and detailed analytics.

iOS and Android; free


11 | Evernote

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Still the note-taking daddy. Works as well for to-do lists as for lengthy research, and allows collation of web articles, handwritten notes and photos. Remains a favourite thanks to its top-rate search function.

iOS and Android; free


12 | Pocket

10 million users can’t be wrong: Pocket lets you save articles, recipes, videos – anything with a webpage, basically – to one place with one click. Then it’s all accessible on any device, even if you’re offline.

iOS and Android; free


13 | Swiftkey Keyboard

Lets you replace your onscreen keyboard with one that ‘learns the way you type’. That means next-word prediction, smart autocorrect and the ability to enter words by sliding your finger from letter to letter. New to Apple now that iOS8 has allowed third-party keyboards for the first time.

iOS and Android; free


14 | Clear

An Esquire office favourite thanks to its brilliant design, Clear is a to-do and reminder app with an entirely gesture-based interface. Swipe and pull your tasks into colour-coded lists, with a look that's optimised for phones.

iOS and Android; £2.99


15 | iA Writer

Distraction-free writing app that strips out everything on screen but the text, and whose ‘Focus Mode’ highlights the sentence you’re working on and recedes all the surrounding text into the background, removing the temptation to edit and fiddle.

iOS and Android; £2.99

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