5 Must Have iPhone Productivity Apps

| News

Your iPhone is a powerhouse do-it-all office in your pocket right out of the box, but it can do so much more with the right apps. In fact, when you find the right apps, your iPhone feels down right hobbled if they aren't installed. That's exactly how I if these five apps aren't on my iPhone.

1Password If you spend much time online, you'll have at least a handfull of passwords and login names you need to keep track of for the sites you visit. 1Password from AgileBits manages all of those logins for you, makes it easy to use unique and hard to crack passwords for the sites you visit, and when you're in the app it can auto-fill site logins for you, too. It also holds other information you want to keeps secure such as bank account and credit card numbers, plus it can use your Dropbox or iCloud account to sync with 1Password on your Mac so you always have quick access to your passwords no matter which device you're using. 1Password is priced at US$17.99 and also supports the iPad.

1Password for the iPhone and iPad manages all of your passwords and logins1Password for the iPhone and iPad manages all of your passwords and logins

OmniFocus Apple's Reminders is a nice little to-do list app, but if you're looking for a serious task manager and organizer, it's The Omni Group's OmniFocus. It handles to-do lists without breaking a sweat, supports categories for organizing your projects, can give location-based reminders, shows a quick overview of your daily appointments, and syncs with OmniFocus on other iOS devices as well as your Mac. It's priced at US$19.99 for the iPhone, and $39.99 for the iPad.

OmniFocus handles all of your tasks without breaking a sweatOmniFocus handles all of your tasks without breaking a sweat

TextExpander touch Even though the iPhone's on-screen keyboard is handy, it isn't always the most efficient way to type information. To that end, Smile Software brought its popular Textexpander from the Mac to the iPhone as TextExpander touch. Just like on the Mac, you can type abbreviations that expand into full words or phrases, saving you lots of time and effort when you have stuff you need to type more than once. The Smile team made it easy for other developers to include TextExpander touch support in their apps, and you can sync your snippet library between your Mac and iPhone or iPad, too. TextExpander touch costs $4.99

Use TextExpander to avoid typing the same things over and overUse TextExpander to avoid typing the same things over and over

GoodReader If you use any cloud storage service, like Dropbox or Google Drive, you probably want to get at some of your files when you aren't sitting in front of your computer, and that's where GoodReader has you covered. It can access a surprisingly long list of online storage services, lets you upload and download files from your iPhone, and even includes built-in support for viewing many file formats. As if that isn't enough, GoodReader is a handy PDF reader and annotation app, which was actually the app's original purpose. You can pick up GoodReader for $4.99.

GoodReader lets you upload, download, and view your cloud-based filesGoodReader lets you upload, download, and view your cloud-based files

Fantastical Apple's Calendar app is fine, but it isn't as powerful as it could be. Fantastical picks up the slack by letting us use natural language to create events, such as "lunch with Bryan Tuesday" to set up a noon lunch meeting with Bryan for next Tuesday. The events Fantastical creates appear in Calendar, and it sports a handy list view for your appointments that's so much easier than flipping through days or weeks of appointments in Calendar. Fantastical costs $4.99.

Making and viewing events is a breeze with FantasticalMaking and viewing events is a breeze with Fantastical

Of course, there are plenty of other apps for the iPhone to help boost your productivity. These just happen to be the top five that I can't live without. If you have favorite productivity apps that I didn't mention feel free to share in the article comments.

Popular TMO Stories



Good recommendations, Jeff. I did not know that GoodReader has other capabilities (than PDF).  Omnifocus & 1Password seem kinda pricy, but TE Touch & Fantastical are very appealing. Thanks.

Jeff Gamet

Glad to help, ibuck! The funny thing for me is that after using all of these apps I feel like GoodReader, TextExpander, and Fantastical are underpriced. Really. I’d gladly pay more considering how much use I get out of them.


Great article.

I’ve used GoodReader, but since I’ve been using PDF Expert, I haven’t used and other PDF app.

Also, Readdle’s Calendar app is wonderful; it basically is a Google Calnedar app, but imports everything from Apple’s Canendar App as well.

Another useful app is PDF Convertor, also made my Readdle, but I believe that PDF Expert can convert other files to PDF as well after its recent update.

I did download Textexpander, but I find the built in iOS feature of text expansion to be equally good.

I’ve been tempted to buy OmniFocus, but have felt that it is a bit too much for an average joe like myself, and it’s a bit pricey as well. Instead, I’ve been using 2Do, and while not cheap, it’s half the price of OmniFocus, and is more than sufficient for me.

1Password is great.

Just my $0.02!

Darryl F

I’d also recommend CopyTrans Contacts for managing iOS contacts, notes, calendars and messages on a computer: http://www.copytrans.net/copytranscontacts.php

I personally use it to type notes on my iPhone directly from my computer which saves me time considering the physical keyboard and larger screen of my computer.


Hi from Neat! We wanted to comment because we understand how essential it is to have the right tools to enhance productivity and provide simple ways to manage information effectively. NeatCloud and Neat’s mobile app offer useful features beyond remote back-up, such as sync, sharing, collaboration and reporting functionalities, which we believe are key components of a comprehensive cloud-based information management solution. We recently updated our app and our one of our new features is creating instant accurate expense reports after snapping a picture of receipt on your iPhone. A brief video highlighting the features and functions of the app can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-ytOiSpkaA.

Nick Waan

Nice list, thanks. I also use Yaware.TimeTracker (http://timetracker.yaware.com/increase_productivity_26). A good app which automatically measures time and productivity.

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account