3 Productivity apps even app haters will love

Maybe you treat your phone as nothing more than a classic telephone that also happens to have the ability to send texts and emails.

Maybe, to you, apps are at best clutter and at worst interfere with your phone’s basic functions more than the iPhone’s pull-down stock widget. (Average use of that widget: “Let me just find that address real quick…well, the Dow is up.”)

If you’re one of those app-adverse people, that’s okay; this list is for you.

These apps make the three core functions of your phone easier to use and if you try them out and don’t like them, they’re even easier to get rid of than that stock market widget.

Here are a few apps to help you be more productive — not more distracted.

1. Improve your email with Mailbox

Some people absolutely hate it when they can’t hit inbox zero. I have a friend who has confessed to me that he reads a subject line and thinks “Wow, I don’t really don’t want to deal with that right now. I’m going to open that email later and pretend I didn’t see that yet.”

Eventually, procrastinating on reading some messages, and also just straight up ignoring junk mail, can lead to a cluttered inbox. This is an especially bad habit if you rarely remove important information from emails because you assume you’ll be able to find it later. Maybe you can – but only after a lot of time-sucking searching.

Enter Mailbox. Mailbox works with Gmail and iCloud and helps you whip your inbox into shape. It lets you quickly swipe to either send new messages to the archive or the trash. You can read conversations all at one time as if it were a chat log, and it even offers a snooze button for those emails you don’t feel like dealing with right now.

The best part? Mailbox learns from your habits and automates actions based on what you usually do for a given message.

2. Improve your calling with voicemail to text

Maybe it’s a sign of the times, but when someone leaves you a voicemail, don’t you feel like they’ve just dumped a burden on you? It’s like you haven’t received a message; you’ve received a chore.

And the worst part is there is absolutely nothing that can be said in a voicemail that can’t be said with text. In fact, most of the time there’s nothing that can be said in a voicemail that can’t be said with a missed call notification, because I don’t know about you, but 75% of my voicemails are from people just telling me to call them back.

If you dislike sifting through and responding to voicemails, you’ll be extremely pleased to learn that it’s possible to receive voicemails as text emails. Such services automatically transcribe your voicemails and email them to your (now hopefully uncluttered) inbox.

3. Improve your texting with WhatsApp

WhatsApp, if you don’t already know, is a third-party texting service. The main advantage of Whatsapp in a business setting is its group messaging capabilities.

Its Broadcast Message feature allows you to bring up all of your contacts and select people for a mass text. Okay, nothing particularly groundbreaking there — but then you can look back over the group message and list just the locations of the media added to the group message by every member. If you use your texts as a means of storing important information, then this feature can prove to be invaluable.

Even if you’re someone who isn’t a huge fan of apps, these three can improve how your manage calls, texts and emails. They’re definitely worth a try and, chances are, you’ll find that at least one of them significantly improves your productivity.

What other apps help you streamline your work? Tell me in the comments section below!

Image: Kaboompics

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