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Smartphone apps to get yourself organised
It won't be long now before we leave the gloom of January behind us. But what of those new years resolutions? If they've proved a challenge to maintain, then perhaps you need some help from your phone. Read on to find out how you can make 2011 count!
£2.99 | iTunes
If you've got lots of resolutions to keep and activities you want to get round to in 2011, you need a To Do List manager. BusyToDo is a great one for your iPhone. It syncs with iCal on the Mac, the MobileMe calendar and Busy Cal (the iCal replacement from the makers of BusyTo Do), allows you to set due date, priority, location, URL, notes and alarms for every task and has really simple task tagging. BusyToDo also has a really lovely user interface which beats the more utilitarian apps out there.
£free | iTunes
Dropbox is a free place to store your documents and files online. With a free account you get 2GB of storage which is immediately accessible on any computer desktop and on your iPhone through the Dropbox app. Simple to use and a must have for someone trying to get organised. Get your partner to sign up to Dropbox too and you can easily share to do lists, shopping lists and other documents and files related to your new year projects.
£1.79 | iTunes
Now you have Dropbox to put your project files and documents in, here's a great text editor for editing files directly from your iPhone and saving them to both your iPhone's memory and to your dropbox so you can access them from any computer. This is a brilliant new year's app because you can stay organised using just your phone and the cloud.
Reminder Note Pro
£0.59 | iTunes
There are many note taking apps for the iPhone (including the preloaded Notes app) but Reminder Note Pro is particularly good because it allows you to sketch a note to yourself using your finger then quickly set an alarm. Just scrawl the thought you need to come back to, set and alarm and you'll be reminded in time. No more forgotten presents or missed appointments!
£1.79 | iTunes
The preloaded Calendar on the iPhone is great but if you want to take your organisation to the next level, Calvetica is even better. It'll sync with Exchange (great for getting your work calendars on your phone), MobileMe and Google Calendar (good for keeping up with shared calendars you're using for projects), has a cleaner UI than the Apple Calendar app and a series of clever ways to notify you about upcoming events.
£free | www.dropbox.com
OK, so we included Dropbox in the iPhone apps list but Dropbox on Android is just as good as its iOS cousin with the ability to access music, video and other files stored in your Dropbox from your phone. As well as making it easy to access documents you created on your laptop or desktop, Dropbox is a good way of expanding your phone's storage capacity. Fill your Dropbox up with music and you can access it directly from your Android device (just make sure you don't hammer your data allowance).
£free | AndroLib
CamCard Lite is a great way to supercharge your networking. When you get given a business card, snap it using your Android phone camera and CamCard Lite will detect the information on the card and automatically add it to your Android phone contacts. It's a really handy app and puts an end to losing cards or leaving them in your wallet to get all battered and dog-eared.
£free | AndroLib
Google Docs is a great free service for collaborating on projects, editing documents online and sharing them. GDocs lets you access your Google docs, view and edit them and sync new documents to your Google Docs account. You can also import and export documents in a range of formats.
£free | Springpadit.com
Rather than creating an old-fashioned paper notebook to organise your thoughts and plans use Springpad, as it'll let you store notes, pictures and audio and also pull information from other services like Twitter and Facebook. You can also set notifications and alarms to make sure you get all those plans finished.
£free | Slidescreenhome.com
If you like to see all your vital information at a glance, SideScreen is a great Android app to use. It turns the homescreen of your Android phone into an all-purpose information display which puts your text messages, phone calls, Gmail inbox, calendar, stock market data, Twitter and Facebook messages into a clear hierarchy.
Remember The Milk
£free | Remember The Milk
A great task-management app with a quirky name, Remember The Milk links in with the service's web interface to help you check off tasks, organise them and set up alerts using your Android device's GPS to remind you of tasks when you're near a particular location. There are free Remember The Milk accounts as well as a $25 a year subscription to access the full set of features.
Windows Phone 7
£free | homepipe.net
Windows Phone 7 remote access apps aren't that common yet but HomePipe does the job well. It allows you to get at the contents of a folder on your computer's desktop wherever you are. Handy for grabbing photos, videos and pretty much any other type of file you're after.
£free | henry-chong.com
This is an absolutely briliant little Windows Phone 7 app. It turns your to do list into a role-playing game so that every time you tick off a task you get points. As you add more points you improve your character's standing in the game. The longer a task takes to complete, the more points you get for doing it.
WinMilk Task Manager
£free | julianapena.com
The WinMilk Task Manager is like Remember The Milk on Android, quite simply it's a to do list app that ties in with the Remember The Milk website, syncing your lists to the web so you needn't worry about losing them. WinMilk Task Manager has a nicely designed UI and works well to give you access to Remember The Milk on your Windows Phone 7 device.
£0.79 | www,appsfuze.com
TouchCall is a really simple but incredibly handy Windows Phone 7 app. You assign six of your most dialled numbers on the app's start page and when you hit the big button, it dials the number. Pin the app to your start page and you've got yourself super-speed dialing. Sure Windows Phone 7's People panel does almost the same job but it's nowhere near as good a timesaver as TouchCall.
£free | www.abobe.com
Being able to read PDFs on your Windows Phone 7 is really handy for catching up on important documents or just reading eBooks (that's the old "I'll read more books this year" resolution sorted). The Adobe Reader app allows you to do just that, though little else. There's pinch to zoom for saving your eyesight and it has both portrait and landscape modes.
£2.39 | Blackberry App World
NotNow makes it easy for you to ignore calls you don't want to answer (instead keeping you focused on your resolutions). But rather than being rude, it allows you to let the caller know you're busy with a text. You can set the app to let callers know you’ll call back or send them any other message you choose.
Adorno! MultiAlarm Pro
£3.19 | Blackberry App World
If you need multiple alarms to remind you of tasks, Adorno! MultiAlarm Pro is a really handy Blackberry app allowing you to set multiple alramrs with specific frequencies and different alarm sounds. You can use the options within the app or any sound or song stored on your Blackberry or on microSD card. There are six different alarm volumes, a vibrate option and the option to stop yourself from ignoring the alarm by allowing reminders for up to 15 minutes until the next alarm.
£free | Blackberry App World
Vlingo is a smart way to speed up common tasks on your Blackberry. The app lets you use voice commands to send emails and texts as well as a vast range of other tasks on your Blackberry. The app links directly into your contacts list which makes sending texts and emails particularly swift.
MilkSync for BlackBerry
£free | Remember The Milk
Yep, it's our (now) good friend Remember The Milk again. The MilkSync for Blackberry app syncs your to do lists from your phone to the Remember The Milk website and vice versa in a simple but effective way. The app is only available to Remember The Milk Pro subscribers but you get a free 15-day trial when you first download it to see if it's worth your while paying. It is.
£free | pocketexpress.com
PocketExpress is a handy information app which gives you super-speedy access to things you need to know, all in one place. It makes it really simple to grab stuff like the local cinema times, find a phone number for a business or do calculations like converting pounds to dollars with a currency converter. The great thing about PocketExpress is how many info services are stuffed into one app.
£9.59 | QuickOffice
There's a free QuickOffice app that comes nestled on many a Symbian S60 phone but it only lets you view documents. To get your hands dirty and actually edit documents on your phone from tiddly text files to full on paunchy Powerpoint presentations you need the full-on QuickOffice. It's not cheap but it's ideal for staying productive on the move.
£free | Dr Jukka
Y-Browser is a killer file manager for Symbian S60 and it's free! It'll ley you move, edit and delete files and folders on you phone and memory card. The UI is quite old school but it works well even on the smallest of Symbian phone screens. Definitely handy if you fling a lot of files around on your phone.
£free | Joiku
This is a really handy Symbian app if you've got a phone packing WiFi and 3G but tend to find yourself in places without a good hotspot available. It'll let you turn your Symbian phone into a mobile WiFi hotspot which you can then connect up to five devices to. Beware though: that kind of magic comes at a price – you'll chew through your data allowance very quickly unless you have a tethering plan in place.
£free | Fring
If you need to stay in touch with lots of people via IM and audio chat, Fring is a great app to use, it supports AIM, ICQ, Google Talk and Yahoo Messenger and will let you make VoIP calls via 3G or WiFi for a price. All those IM accounts in one app is handy on its own without even getting in to the VoIP skills. And it'll help bring some efficiency to your organisation.
£free | Symbian Freeware
With Active Notes, you get a really useful note taking app for your Symbian S60 phone with lots of extra features like the ability to save bookmarks and attach pictures, video and audio as well as linking your notes to specific contacts in your phone book or particular emails.
Do you use your phone to stay organised? Share your favourite organisation apps in the comments below.
Image by alismith44