10 Great Productivity Apps To Help You Save Time

Time-Savers That Are A Download Away

From your daily commute to taking notes during staff meetings, here are 10 apps for Android and iOS platforms that will give you back one of the more precious commodities: time.

Free Time For iPhone

This app will help you grab control of time that you haven’t yet allocated to meetings, doctor visits or other tasks. Free Time, a 99-cent download by Two-Fourteen Software, will show you when and where you have blocks of free time based on your iPhone calendar -- and point you to the best places to carve out that extra hour for "me time." It's simple and it works.


Still the gold standard of note-taking and synchronization apps, Evernote's audio-note-taking feature is a simple way to use your morning and evening commutes to dictate lengthier memos; synchronize hand-written notes between PC and mobile device; and organize your data while on the go. And it's still a free app and service on iOS, Android and the Web.

Chrome Sync Pro For iOS

If you do a fair amount of work on your PC or Mac using the Google Chrome browser, Chrome Sync Pro will simply save you time navigating to not just your bookmarks, but sites stored in your Google history. This will shave significant time off what you spend on the mobile Web.

Firefox Home For iPhone

A little kludgier than Chrome Sync, Firefox Home, too, allows you to bring your browser bookmarks, open tabs and surfing history with you on the mobile Web. Firefox Home isn't a Mozilla browser but, combined with Firefox Sync, it allows continuity between PC, Mac and iPhone that will save much time fumbling for a URL or bookmark.

Reminders For iPad And iPhone

A native app in iOS 5, Reminders will sync between Mac, PC, iPhone and iPad using Apple's iCloud service -- and you can even use the Siri Artificial Intelligence app to dictate tasks directly into Reminders without typing. With pop-up alerts to keep your day on track between tasks, Reminders, used correctly, could save you an hour on any given day.

Tom Tom For iPhone

One of the best time-saver apps ever, Tom Tom for iPhone brings GPS navigation and traffic-monitoring service right to you wherever you are. A $59.99 download from the Apple iTunes App Store, with the traffic service extra, it's expensive but worth it for anyone who drives in high-traffic areas.

SpeedTest.Net For iOS And Android

Whether you're grappling with bad hotel Wi-Fi, a corporate network with bandwidth issues or need to choose between the best-performing of several hot spots, SpeedTest.Net, a free download from Ookla, will give you current upload and download network bandwidth speeds for your device. This app, an extension of its free Web-based service, could save you valuable time you might otherwise waste on a painfully slow connection.

Business Card Reader Lite For Android

We've spotlighted Business Card Reader Lite before because we like it. Not only does this app scan the card and convert the data into highly accurate text, it integrates it into your contact application of choice. You then have the option of "looking the contact up" on Facebook.

If you want to pay $9.99 for the full version, you receive additional features including the ability to look up a contact on LinkedIn or Twitter, an address search on Google Maps and the ability to recognize multiple languages.

AndroZip File Reader For Android

If you do any amount of work regularly on an Android device, you'll know that there is no great, native method for navigating the file system to find a file or data you need. For that, you’ll need a navigation app and we like AndroZip File Reader. It supports ZIP, encrypted ZIP, RAR, TAR, GZIP and BZIP2 -- and once installed is just a breeze to find what you're looking for on the device.

HopStop For iOS And Android

For anyone who has to commute or travel in any one of dozens of metropolitan areas in North America, HopStop is a time-saver and an absolute must. This app, based on its free Web service, will quickly calculate the fastest or easiest route to walk, drive or take mass transit to get from one location to another -- and it provides you alternatives if you don't like the initial directions it provides. A free download, this is a go-to for commuters or travelers tired of wasting time getting lost.