Smartphones get a bad reputation when it comes to distraction. Yes, Angry Birds and Tinder are the cause of hours of procrastination (and finger cramp), but if used properly, these gizmos can actually be a help rather than a hindrance to a hectic workload.

Don’t believe us? Try downloading these 10 apps designed to boost your output and streamline your workflow. Don’t worry, we know you’ll be working too hard to thank us.


Breaking up a day into task-specific blocks is no new phenomenon in the world of productivity, but enforcing it can prove difficult if distractions come knocking.

The 30/30 app uses a timer interface to which you can add tasks and their respective time constraints to help block out working hours accordingly. Once the tasks are locked in, tap go and put the pedal to the metal.

Available free on iPhone.


Taking minutes and making lists can be a tedious chore, but luckily the Paper app pushes note-taking to the next level.

Everything from lists and presentations to charts and graphs are easy to make while scribbling, translating the experience of writing (and doodling) on actual paper to your phone.

Available free on iPhone.


Being chief technology officer of Facebook, Bret Taylor has learned a thing or two about how most people use technology day-to-day.

Created as a side hustle (you know, outside of running one of the world’s most powerful companies), Taylor launched Quip, a mobile word-processing app that uses a messaging element to promote collaboration across documents, spreadsheets, presentations and lists.

Available on iPhone and Android, priced £25 per month per team.


Some days just call for a good old-fashioned to-do list. Clear is a simple interface that allows you to drag and reorder tasks, with adding new items as simple as pulling down and typing it in.

Being able to swipe right on a completed task to make it vanish is almost as satisfying as swiping right on that app you’re not supposed to be thinking about.

Available for £4.99 on iPhone.

With business tasks eating up every waking hour, personal admin often suffers. syncs between phone, desktop and tablet devices to keep to-do lists up to date, and features calendar integration so you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to post granny’s birthday card again.

Available free on iPhone and Android.


Artificial intelligence: a scary concept, but a welcome relief when faced with a bulging inbox.

The algorithm of the Notion app learns which emails you think are important and highlights them in your inbox, while another feature reads messages to identify those that require urgent replies.

It works with all the major email providers and even syncs with Amazon Echo, should you want to listen to your emails in the bath. Whatever floats your boat.

Available free on iPhone and Android.


‘If This Then That’ may sound like a riddle, but it’s the key to those little things in life that add up to a lot of wasted time.

The app comes with pre-built ‘applets’ that automate tasks, such as reminding you to buy milk when near the supermarket or turning on smartlights when you step through the door. It even allows tasks to be combined to create a knock-on effect that’ll save time and effort.

Available free on iPhone and Android.


We could all do with a chief of staff debriefing before a big meeting, but until we take office, we’ll settle for Accompany.

By syncing work emails and calendars, the app assembles detailed insights of people and companies using online profiles, social media, financial reports and news stories, which you can look up before the meeting or consult in an executive briefing, emailed the night before.

Available free on iPhone.


For visual learners (or just those that like something pretty to look at), most boring to-do apps won’t cut the mustard.

Droptask takes an optical approach to coordinating projects, with mind-map-style task presentation and colour-coded projects that can work across teams of up to five people on the free version.

Available free on iPhone and Android.


There’s no replacement for a scribbling down a hit-list, sorry, to-do list IRL. However, Moleskine’s leap into the digital world is no less essential.

The notepad maker’s stylish (and feature-packed) calendar app combines iCloud, Facebook and Google data to provide an overarching view of your schedule as well as a heatmap to see when you’re particularly free or busy.

Available on iPhone, priced £4.99.