Ever since the first smartphone hit the market, mobile devices have become an ubiquitous presence in our lives: entertaining us during idle moments, keeping us connected to our network of friends and family, and, more recently, serving as a valuable tool for work and productivity.
In our recent mobile productivity survey, over 850 respondents shared how their mobile devices enhance their ability to get work done, especially after hours or while working remotely. In spite of headlines stating that mobile devices encourage workaholic tendencies and always-on expectations, 70% of respondents said that their mobile devices either improve or have no negative effect on their work-life balance. And 45% of those who work frequently via their mobile devices say they use 5 or more apps to help them be more efficient.
Here are 20 top-rated productivity apps for iOS and Android that will make your mobile device your best asset for getting more done and improving your work-life balance.
Best Mobile Productivity Apps for iOS
This Editor's Choice app automates processes like getting directions, calling an Uber to get to your next calendar event, uploading the last photo taken to Dropbox, etc. ($2.99)
2. Duet Display
Developed by a team of ex-Apple engineers, Duet Display lets you use your iPhone or iPad as a second display. Connect your device to your Mac with a lightning or 30-pin cable for a lag-free second display that preserves the touch screen functionality. ($7.99)
This app takes Seinfeld's "Don't Break the Chain" productivity approach to help you create and keep better habits. It tracks how long you've kept streaks going for a variety of daily tasks, from "work out" or "drink 8 glasses of water". ($3.99)
4. Pomodoro Timer
Customizable timers let you set the length of your work sprints and breaks, all using a clean, beautiful interface. ($1.99)
Chosen as a Best of 2015 app, Streaks helps you form good habits by encouraging you to complete a chosen set of tasks from your to-do list every single day. ($3.99, also available on Apple Watch)
6. Super Notes
Take notes, recordings, photos, and set reminders with this free app. Color-code your notes by topic, sort by date or category, search, and sync with your devices or cloud storage. (Free)
7. CamScanner Pro
Use your phone's camera to scan receipts, notes, invoices, business cards, etc. Invite others to view and comment on your scans, make annotations, add custom watermarks, set passcodes to view certain documents, and sync across devices. ($4.99)
Create and manage groups from your contacts list and easily get in touch with entire teams via message, email, and phone. ($4.99)
Forest is a soothing app that encourages you to focus on the task at hand. Keep the app open for 30 minutes to plant and grow a tree. Close the app to check Facebook or Instagram, and the tree will wither and die. ($0.99)
10. Dragon Dictation
This voice-recognition app allows you to quickly take down notes or compose messages, without having to type them out on a tiny mobile keyboard. (Free)
Best Mobile Productivity Apps for Android
11. 7 Weeks Habit & Goal Tracker
Based on the bestselling book, The Power of Habit, this app helps you develop good habits and break bad ones in just 7 weeks. A simple, color-coded design makes it easy to see just how far you’ve come. (Free)
Brainstorm, organize your thoughts, and plan a project with visual mind mapping. Attach notes or images to any element in your mind map, choose color schemes, sync to Dropbox, or export your mind map as a PDF. (Free)
Get secure remote access to your Windows, Mac, and Linux devices. Full keyboard functionality, real-time sound & video transmission, and two-way file transfer make it easy to access your files or provide live support to clients and colleagues. (Free)
Save articles and videos you find on the web to read later or offline, on any of your synced devices. (Free)
This alarm clock analyzes your sleep patterns to wake you at the best possible time during a 30-minute window, so you start your days feeling fresh, not groggy. ($0.99)
Twilight automatically filters out harsh blue light from your device’s screen to combat eye strain and help you sleep. (Free)
17. Shush! Ringer Restorer
Ever silenced your phone for a meeting and then forgotten to turn it back on again? This app lets you set a timer to automatically restore your ringer volume after a set period of time (say, the length of the movie you're watching). (Free)
Push files and links between your Android devices, send and receive SMS, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger messages, and have mobile notifications pop up while you're working on your computer. (Free)
19. ASTRO File Manager
Find and manage all your files, whether they’re stored on an SD card, internal storage, Dropbox or other cloud storage, or on your networked PC, Mac, or Linux device. (Free)
20. Notification Toggle
Customize your Android's swipe-down status bar. Quickly switch to WiFi, Bluetooth, silent mode, and adjust screen brightness, or create shortcuts to your favorite apps. (Free)
How do you use your mobile device to improve productivity?
What would you add to our list? Share your must-have productivity apps with us in the comments below, then check out Wrike's free mobile apps for iOS and Android. To discover the latest trends in mobile productivity, including the top benefits, favorite features, and major challenges of mobile work, download the full results report of our Mobile Productivity Survey 2016.