The 9 Best Productivity Apps for iPhone and iPad

These iPhone and iPad apps will help you save time and get more done

Apple's iPhone and iPad can really be a time sink with all of the addictive social media apps and video games, but there are also quite a few that are designed to help you spend your time better, be more efficient at managing your resources, and most of all be more productive in both your home life and at work.

Here are 10 of the best iOS productivity apps that can help you reclaim your day so you have more time to relax or maybe even add more items to your to-do list to work on.

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Best iOS App For iPhone Addiction: Forest

Forest productivity iOS app on iPhone.
What We Like
  • Gamification that will stop you playing games.

  • Clean design and user-interface.

  • The group option is a fantastic idea.

What We Don't Like
  • Takes a long time to get enough coins to buy your first alternative tree.

  • Dead trees in your forest are a bit of a downer.

  • Too many quirky trees and not enough real species in the store.

Forest is a fantastic app for iOS devices that rewards you for not opening other apps or reading messages for a set amount of time. When you need to focus on a task, you simply select the number of minutes you want to stay away from your phone by dragging your finger around the circle icon on the app's home screen. When you're ready, tap Plant and watch a digital tree grow until the timer runs out.

If you open another app before the timer's finished counting down, your tree dies and its carcass materializes in your digital garden, creating a negative association with the effects of procrastination. If you manage to stay away from other apps for the set time, you'll receive a notification and be immediately rewarded with a new, healthy, tree. You'll also get a few digital coins you can save up to purchase other types of tree species.

Forest is incredibly simple but it's just as addictive and weirdly rewarding to use, especially when you begin earning enough coins to unlock more interesting trees like the ginkgo and cherry blossom varieties. Perfect for those who find themselves checking Instagram and Facebook every 10 minutes when they should be working.

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Best Task Management App: Microsoft To-Do

Microsoft To-Do productivity app on iPhone.
What We Like
  • Completey free app loaded with features.

  • Also available on Android and Windows 10.

  • Data syncs between all other app versions.

What We Don't Like
  • The dynamically generated lists can be very confusing.

  • Editing an item's due date can be fiddly.

  • The app's themes are extremely forgettable.

Microsoft To-Do is a task management app that's available on iOS, Android, and Windows 10 devices. At first glance, To-Do looks like a basic list tool but it features a good number of impressive features under the hood that let you add additional details to each list item, set reminders, add due dates and times, and track the progress of each task through the use of sub-tasks.

Something more tech-savvy individuals will appreciate is the use of smart lists that automatically populate with task items marked for certain days or ranked by levels of importance. These can be a bit confusing though and most users will find themselves simply making and managing their own basic list of tasks which they can check off one-by-one.

Microsoft To-Do also has a web version which can be accessed via the To-Do website and finctions almost exactly like the apps. This can be very useful when using a device that you can't install apps on like a work phone or computer.

The most impressive feature of Microsoft To-Do is how it syncs all information between other versions of the app which means that you can create lists on your Windows 10 computer, edit them on your iPad, and later check them off on your iPhone.

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Best Card Mangement iOS App: Stocard

Stocard membership card app on iPhone.
What We Like
  • Fast access to all of your membership cards.

  • Takes less than a second to add new cards.

  • Automatic brightness feature.

What We Don't Like
  • Offers feature isn't very useful.

  • Doesn't work on iPad.

  • Doesn't work with credit or debit cards.

If you find yourself wasting a lot of time at home, in the office, and at the shops looking through your wallet or purse for the correct membership card, the iOS Stocard app is exactly what you need.

This free app uses the iPhone's camera to scan your cards and create digital copies of them within the app in less than a second. These digital versions can then be used in place of your plastic and cardboard physical ones next time you need them simply by opening the app and tapping on the relevant card.

Stocard automatically increases the screen brightness to make the digital barcodes easier to read by barcode scanners on location and the app can also be used to find your membership numbers quickly when you're doing online shopping or booking.

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Best iOS App For Multiple Device Productivity: Continue on PC

Continue on PC iOS app on iPhone.
What We Like
  • Very easy to use and works well.

  • You no longer need to email links to yourself.

What We Don't Like
  • It's a great feature but it's only one feature.

  • Only works with Windows 10 computers.

Continue on PC is a brilliant productivity app created by Microsoft that lets you quickly and easily open the web page you're currently looking at on your iPhone or iPad on your Windows 10 device.

This app is completely free and, once downloaded and installed, automatically adds a new option to the iOS share menu that sends whatever page you're viewing to whichever Windows 10 device you have selected.

If you tap your device's name during the sharing process, your device will immediately open Microsoft Edge and load the page. If you tap Continue later, your Windows 10 PC or tablet will give you a reminder to open the page the next time you turn it on. With Continue on PC installed on your iOS device, you won't have to email yourself links ever again.

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Best Productivity App For Group Collaboration: Trello

Trello productivity app on iPhone.
What We Like
  • Most features are completely free.

  • Very easy to add team members and collaborate.

  • Easy syncing between devices.

What We Don't Like
  • More sorting options would be nice.

  • One list per screen is a fairly odd design choice.

Trello is one of the most popular collaboration apps for teams and with good reason. Most of its features are completely free to use, it makes it very easy to add team members and work on projects, and its streamlined design means that you'll never have to spend too long trying to find a specific task.

In Trello, tasks are represented as cards that can be edited and moved within a matter of seconds. Details can be added, due dates assigned, and custom color tags can be added to help define certain projects over others.

For power users, Trello features solid integrations with other services such as Skyscanner, Google Drive, and Slack that add even more functionality and the app also features a good amount of customizability when means you'll be able to get it to look the way you want.

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Best iPhone App For Productive Traveling: Google Maps

Google Maps iOS app on iPhone.
What We Like
  • Completely free to use.

  • Reliable business and transit information.

  • Includes Uber and Lyft options along with public transport.

What We Don't Like
  • GPS is good and generally reliable but isn't perfect.

  • Public transport information is online-only.

Google Maps is an app that everyone needs to be using more, especially those that are looking for a way to save time in their hectic daily lifestyle.

This free app by Google features all of the basic map features you'd expect but also boasts what is arguably the most robust travel solution available. Do you have separate apps for train and bus schedules and do you frequently switch between apps to work out which route is the fastest and cheapest? Google Maps streamlines all of this chaos by displaying not only walking, driving, and public transport options in its search results but also Uber and Lyft prices and times as well.

Google Maps will make you a lot more productive by finding you best route available and saving you time during the search process. Need to find more than the best route? Google Maps also features a robust business search complete with user reviews, photos, and contact information. This app is a must-have for those that hate wasting time.

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Coolest iPhone and iPad App For Staying On Task: FlowTimer

FlowTimer productivity app on iPhone.
What We Like
  • Main feature is simple and effective.

  • Little maintenance required after startup.

  • Bonus check list is a nice extra feature.

What We Don't Like
  • Simple design is very confusing at first.

  • Most custom options require a paid upgrade.

  • List creation is unintuitive.

FlowTimer is productivity app for iPhone and iPad that boasts a streamlined design and back-to-basics approach to time management. Instead of the typical long checklist of items that need to be micromanaged, FlowTimer uses a continuous timer animation that plays through pre-determined blocks dedicated to a 25-minute work session, a 5-minute short break, and a 15-minute-long break.

As each session ends, a chime sounds, followed by the immediate beginning of the next session. This set schedule encourages you to focus on your current task during the work phases while simultaneously preventing you from spending too much time relaxing. Overall, it's a pretty ingenious way to ensure the user maintains a good work/life balance.

In addition to the main timer feature, FlowTimer also contains a simple to-do list feature for free. There are also a variety of customization options and advanced features that can be unlocked by upgrading to the premium version for $4.99 but this isn't necessary to get the most out of this productivity app.

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SocialPilot social media planning app on iPhone.
What We Like
  • Curated content is a phenomenal time-saver.

  • Connects to all major social networks.

  • Several lesser-known social networks also supported.

What We Don't Like
  • Logging in can be a bit buggy at times.

  • App's UI can feel cramped on iPhone.

SocialPilot is one of the best services for managing numerous social media accounts all from one dashboard. This iPhone and iPad app can connect to all of the main social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest and also supports lesser-known ones such as Xing and Vk.

New social media posts can be composed directly within the app with full support for video and image uploading. These can then be scheduled to post to one or many accounts which is a massive time-saver.

What really improves productivity is SocialPilot's curated content feature which collects hundreds of web pages related to a topic you're interested in and allows you to add them to a publish cue for any of your accounts with the push of a button. This feature alone has the potential to free up hours from your weekly or daily work schedule.

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Best-Looking iOS Note-Taking and Drawing App: Flow

Flow iOS note-taking and drawing productivity app
What We Like
  • Create sketches, lists, storyboards, and more.

  • Beautiful design.

  • Create custom drawing tools and gestures.

What We Don't Like
  • After a week, you'll need to pay for a membership.

If you've ever used a Moleskine notebook in real life, you will appreciate Flow by Moleskine, a unique note-taking app that works for sketches, storyboards, drawing tools in more than 900 colors, and plenty of customization options.

Infinite-width documents mean there's no limit to your creativity, and Flow's flexible tools let you mimic a wide variety of art, sketch, and drawing tools.

Download Flow and give it a try for a week. If you'd like to continue, sign up for a membership of $1.99 per month or $11.99 per year. You'll gain cloud storage, a backup system, and even more tools.

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