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5 Best Productivity Apps for the iPhone

By Erik Folgate

productivity barsMy wife loves to make fun of my love for technology. I try to limit it to a minimum, but with the emergence of the iPhone, Internet television, social networking, tablet computers like the iPad, and so many other new technologies, I just can’t help myself.

I’ve had an iPhone for about two years, and I especially enjoy experimenting with the many new useful apps that developers churn out every day. My friends and family members know that I have a deep interest and enthusiasm for technology. In fact, they love taking advantage of my expertise by asking me various IT questions. I don’t mind answering their questions because I always enjoy a good troubleshooting challenge. They also frequently ask me my opinion on new apps, and more specifically, my favorite apps to increase productivity.

Don’t get me wrong; I love playing games and toying with fun apps on my iPhone. But in addition to all of that, some of my favorite iPhone apps have increased my productivity and I now use them on a daily basis. In an increasingly fast-paced and connected world, these apps save me a lot of time and frustration.

Below is a list of my top five favorite iPhone apps for increasing productivity.

Top iPhone Productivity Apps

1. Dropbox

dropbox iconDropbox is an app I use daily to increase my productivity. In a nutshell, it allows users to securely save and share files online. Anyone can sign up and receive 2GB of free space, and you can purchase additional space as needed. You can get up to 50 GB of space for $9.99 a month and 100 GB of space for $19.99 a month.

Using Dropbox saves time because the app automatically places your media files on your computer, and you don’t have to hook up your iPhone to sync photos and other media. Using Dropbox is the easiest way to sync files across multiple computers, and to the Dropbox website.

You can also work on Dropbox files while you are offline. The Dropbox app allows you to access, preview, and change documents and spreadsheets right on your phone. The Dropbox app also allows you to import photos, music, and videos to your Dropbox folder.

Whether you use the Dropbox for work or for fun, the app enables you to quickly share files with friends, family, and coworkers.

dropbox iphone app

2.  JotNot Scanner

jotnot scanner iconJotNot Scanner converts your iPhone into a portable multipage scanner that performs a number of different tasks. You can use JotNot Scanner to:

  • Scan multipage documents, receipts, whiteboards, business cards, and notes into PDF files.
  • Email scanned items directly from your iPhone, fax scanned items to U.S. fax numbers, and upload them to iDisk/WebDAV, Evernote, Box.net, Dropbox, or Google Docs, to share them with others.
  • Crop and manipulate scanned images. Retina display ready scanned items provide high quality images for viewing.
  • Add, delete, and reorder scanned items.
  • Name documents, easily sort documents, and store scanned items to ZIP files.

I frequently use JotNot to create electronic versions of business receipts for tax records, and I also scan business cards so I can just throw them away, instead of keeping them in my wallet forever. Many scanning apps exist, but the JotNot Scanner app provides excellent scanning quality.

You can get the JotNot Scanner app for free, or upgrade to JotNot Scanner Pro for $0.99.

jotnot scanner iphone app

3.  MiniBooks by FreshBooks

minibooks iconFreshBooks offers a valuable invoicing and estimating system for small businesses. The MiniBooks app, the mobile version of FreshBooks, is worth the $9.99 price tag.

This app perfectly complements FreshBooks; you can create invoices for clients on the go, and you can view past invoices sent to clients. The app has a time tracker, so you can easily track the amount of time you spend working on a project or with a client, and then turn your tracked hours into invoices.

When you receive a check from a client, you can quickly use the app to record the payment, allowing you to easily keep track. You can also create estimates using the app, and if necessary, turn your estimates into invoices. The MiniBooks app syncs up with your FreshBooks account, to ensure accuracy.

minibooks freshbooks iphone app

4. Air Sharing App

air sharing pro iconThe Air Sharing app works like Dropbox, but it offers 3.5 GB of free space. You can mount your device as a Wi-Fi connection to your Mac, or add it as a network drive or network place to your PC. Air Sharing works with Linux over a Wi-Fi connection. Users can also access files from a web browser.

Using the app, you can drag and drop files between your computer and your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. You can view, share, and print documents, spreadsheets, presentations and other common file formats. Air Sharing Pro users can also copy, print, share and view files saved in Google Docs. The Air Sharing app costs $2.99 for the standard version, and $6.99 for Air Sharing Pro.

air sharing iphone app

5. eBay for iPhone

ebay iconIf you enjoy selling items on eBay but hate the time and effort it takes to list items, manage the listings, and ship the items, then you need the eBay for iPhone app.

Over the past six months, I’ve discovered the utility of the eBay for iPhone app. If you want to earn some extra cash to pay off debt or save money for a big purchase, download eBay for iPhone to make listing and selling items easier. You can do everything on the app: take photos, write the description, list the auction specifics, and track the listing. You can also do research on related listings that have recently ended, to see the final auction prices for the items sold.

The app provides instant alerts for auctions you’ve bid on, and provides you with a barcode scanner to compare store prices with eBay prices. I’m a big fan; I think the eBay for iPhone app has made it much easier to use eBay. This app can help increase productivity, and help you start making money on eBay, or get the best deals on items you buy on the website.

ebay iphone app

Final Word

Productivity apps can make your life easier. The ability to record expenses, scan receipts, and share files on the go can save you time and eliminate duplicate efforts. In addition to making your job easier, using productivity apps can also help to keep your family organized and on schedule.

If you find a productivity app that seems useful, but you don’t want to pay to purchase it, try using a free trial to get a feel for it first. You can also find new apps by using the Browse App Store function on iTunes. Here you can search for apps by category, and read product descriptions and reviews before purchasing.

What are your favorite iPhone productivity apps?

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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  • http://www.savings.com/blog/blog.html Amy Saves

    I will have to check out the eBay app! gotta love working on the phone, especially if you just want to be anywhere but your desk.

  • http://www.facebook.com/puneet.choudary Puneet Choudary

    I think minibooks is just so over rated. First of all it is costly and has a lot of features missing.
    If you are looking for an invoicing tool check out Apptivo Invoicing on the iTunes store. It is used by thousands of people and has great ratings

  • Jeff

    I would like to recommend Must Do today. It is a useful app for productivity.

  • Andre Lewis

    i really like your post keep up the good work i wish you success

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