While we'd all like to be spending 100 percent of our time on our mobile devices playing games, sending pictures and videos to friends, and doing other fun stuff, the reality is that we occasionally have to use those iPhones and iPads to do work. Sometimes more than occasionally.
The idea, then, is to be able to do that work as quickly and efficiently as possible to get you back to doing whatever you do on your leisure time. Apple has helpfully loaded your iPhone and iPad with default apps to assist in that quest (though iOS 10 will allow you to delete them), but at 148apps, we don't like to settle, we like to find the best -- in this case the best free productivity apps around.
So let us help cut through the clutter in the App Store and get to the good stuff. Read on and you'll discover five free apps, one each in five different categories, that can boost your productivity and make work a little less painful.
Best free email app: CloudMagic Email
Despite all the articles floating around the internets either declaring the impending death of email or claiming it's already flatlined, the truth is that most of us can't do our jobs without it. We're also all juggling multiple accounts for work, personal life, and other purposes.
CloudMagic is able to handle all the most popular email services and give you push notifications for any or all of them. It integrates with numerous other productivity apps, offers numerous security features and saves attachments with ease. Mostly, though, it's simple and fast, and that's most of the never ending battle against email overload right there.
Best free calendar app: Google Calendar
Yes, we're aware that some folks would prefer not to give any more information and control to the big G than absolutely necessary. The rest of us already use plenty of Google's products, and Google Calendar is simply a champ when it comes to calendar apps.
It's especially helpful if you use Gmail since it adds things from your mail to your calendar automatically. But even without that synergy, Google Calendar shines for its multiple views, ease of use, and the way it turns your hectic life into easily digestible colored blocks.
Best free note-taking app: Evernote
Though Evernote has been around for a while and everyone knows about it, that doesn't mean it's yielded its crown to any of the challengers that have sprung up more recently. Primarily, it's longevity is due to how seamlessly it operates, syncing notes between devices without the user having to even give it a second thought.
Plus it can keep much more than just written notes organized, including videos, audio clips, photos, PDFs, and more. For people like yours truly that just need some assistance keeping everything in their work lives neat and orderly, it's hard to beat a great note-taking app, and this one is still on top of its particular mountain.
Best free team messaging app: Slack
Several apps on this particular list are getting to the point where they seem ubiquitous, but perhaps none as much as Slack. If you work in a field where other members of your team are remote, or where co-workers are simply traveling a lot and in other locations, you're going to run across it sooner or later.
The reason is that it's simply great at what it does. From team chats to private messaging to file sharing, it works well, syncs easily across devices and simply never gives you reason to worry. New features are always being added, and the Slack team writes some of the funniest update notes you'll find. Seriously, go ahead and read them sometime and you'll see.
Best free task organizer app: Trello
If you're the type of person who absorbs information visually, you'll certainly appreciate the way Trello helps you keep on top of your to-do lists. Its tile-based system is intuitive, graphically appealing, and slick. Add words, images, color coding, and more, start different bulletin boards for different purposes, and generally give yourself no excuses for not getting things done.
Best of all, if you need some gentle reminders when deadlines approach, Trello will do that for you, emailing you with warnings of impending doomtimes you need to remember. As you might expect, it syncs easily across devices and is just to use with a mouse as it is on a touchscreen, and you'll quickly accept it as part of your daily routine.