The rapid spread of the Coronavirus in 2020 led to an unprecedented global pandemic.
Social distancing is its most dramatic and noticeable impact. Many workplaces have their employees working from home. A growing number of colleges have adopted online learning models. As people are confined inside their homes for weeks, many turn to their screens for work, connection, and more.
According to a recent report from App Annie, the amount of time spent on business apps has soared by 200% in 2020, which indicates the shift of working behaviors. Compared to in-office working, mobile working is highly flexible and has no constraints on places or equipment except for a mobile phone.
While the vaccine development news looks positive in December 2020, we believe the mobile working trend will remain the epicenter of our working lives in 2021. Notably, as stated by App Annie, business and education apps are poised to see a 4-year CAGR of 57% and 62% in 2021. The significant increase in time spent on distance learning is mainly driven by campus closures. The Coronavirus has accelerated the shift to online education.
For a close look at the role mobile apps have played in helping people navigate the crisis and doing remote work and learning feasible, we list the top 10 productivity apps in 2020. Let’s have a look at how technology has changed our lives.
Zoom is one of the apps that went popular since the pandemic outbreak. As working from home has become the new norm, and more workplaces have looked for a dedicated app for video meetings, Zoom is one of the apps that met the requirements.
Zoom’s free account allows user to have up to 40 minutes call, and recently, zoom is lifting the limit for a few holiday celebrations.
CamScanner is a document scanning and sharing app that enables you to scan, sync, share, and manage various documents. It has made scanners redundant in many ways.
This application allows users to obtain high-resolution copies of any paper document and convert them into PDF or JPEG formats. You can then store the scanned files on your phone or upload them to cloud spaces, including Google Drive, Dropbox, and Onedrive, to name a few. Alternatively, you can share via links.
Far better than a standard mobile scanning app, CamScanner also includes Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, which can turn images into editable files for even easier editing or sharing.
The APP is free to use, but there’re advanced features, such as no ads, no watermark on the scan, and text recognition from a scan, available for Premium Subscriptions. However, students and educators can apply for special educational accounts that include most of the advanced features for free.
Timely is an innovative time-tracking, and scheduling app developed to help people organize workflow more efficiently.
By laying out the workweek in advance and estimating the time tasks need, users then can compare their predictions with how long tasks took, becoming more realistic of how much time projects take up.
In this way, Timely holds you accountable for the amount of time you set aside for work. Hence, you are more likely to understand how your workweek plays out and optimize workflow in the future.
Timely also uses AI to turn tracked activities into accurate timesheets and generates time sheets automatically based on previous daily routines. In this aspect, technology contributes to making our lives easier and more controllable.
Dropbox is one of the first services developed to make file saving and syncing a breeze.
Thanks to Dropbox’s syncing technology, users can transfer large files up to four times faster than they would via Wi-Fi. You can also store a file in the Dropbox folder and sync it on all your devices instantly.
Compared to other cloud spaces, Dropbox’s 2GB free storage space is not competitive, but users can earn up to 16 GB on the free account by referring new members and completing other tasks.
Notion is the ultimate all-in-one workplace on the go. Its highlight is the template engine that allows you to turn pretty much anything into an easy-to-duplicate template.
Embedded building blocks such as Video, To-do, Bookmark, etc., allow users to create and customize workflows. Also, Notion’s media embedding and previewing tools enable users to obtain gallery views for photos and videos. In general, Notion can adapt to the way you think and work.
It is worth mentioning that Notion supports real-time collaborations. Team members can edit the same file at the same time and leave comments. The team project will still keep moving on time wherever team members are.
Pocket enables you to find articles, videos, and other content saved in one central storage space.
No matter how much time you’ve got online, it’s never enough to explore all the exciting things you find. Instead of adding bookmarks you’ll never see again or emailing yourself links for later reference, Pocket allows users to curate their own information space filled with all saved articles, videos, and stories from any publication, page, or app. And if your picks were as good as you hoped, you’re able to send them to another user’s Pocket or share them directly via social media.
In the age of information, Pocket helps users manage and drive value from information wisely.
7. Inkflow Visual Notebook
Inkflow is a perfect note-taking app for visual thinkers. Unlike any other app, this one allows users to capture their ideas as easily as with pen and paper.
You can assemble all the concepts tangled in your mind with your finger and rearrange them to fit into a logical mind map. This works great for brainstorming and planning. It’s also perfect for prototyping layouts, sketching, and drawing.
Besides, users are free to insert text boxes and photos anywhere on the page and resize them seamlessly. Furthermore, the high-resolution zoom allows writing and drawing with incredible precision. No matter how much you zoom in, you can add fine details at full quality.
8. Focus Booster
Focus Booster focuses on the Pomodoro Technique (which alternates 25-minute working blocks with short, 5-minute breaks) to maintain sustainable, long-term productivity.
The Pomodoro Technique is a simple way to boost your productivity when performing mind-consuming tasks. It helps you keep yourself focused while reducing mental exhaustion. Among other Pomodoro timers, Focus Booster is very simple to use thanks to its clean user interface.
Simplify your productivity journey with Focus Booster and start turning to-dos into have-dones in 25-minutes. This is what you need to achieve success day after day.
BlueMail is a free, universal email app developed to help you manage an unlimited number of mail accounts from various providers. The app enables personalization across multiple email accounts and group emailing, while smart push notifications warn you about incoming emails.
With the people-centric mailbox, users can focus their attention on important emails with a simple swap. Besides, its integrated calendar allows users to plan events, invite contacts, and send a reminder within one app.
If you believe in the philosophy of decluttering and living with less to do more, this application will help you become more organized and simplify your working routine.
Slack is one of the fastest-growing app of all time, currently valued at over 20 billion dollars. Major corporations like Oracle and Airbnb use this incredible productivity booster.
Email is great for many things, but it can be cumbersome when communicating with colleagues. Messages can easily get lost or buried beneath a mountain of other emails.
Slack helps users organize and search for office communications. You can create different channels for different projects, departments, or clients, and team members can jump in and out of conversations as needed. Meaning they won’t get notifications about discussions they’re no longer involved in.
Slack is a tool that can undoubtedly improve communication efficiency.