12 best iPhone & iPad apps for organising your life

The app store is packed with apps that claim to make you more productive, but which of them will help you get stuff done, and which are just one more distraction? These are the best iOS productivity apps to help you organise your life.

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  • forest Forest
  • streaks Streaks
  • loyalive Loyalive
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Best iOS productivity apps

What's the point in carrying a tiny supercomputer round in your pocket all day if you're not going to use it to make yourself a bit more productive? iPhones and iPads are great at keeping us busy with distractions like games or the latest Netflix series, but you can also use them to give yourself a bit more time in the day to enjoy those distractions. These are a few apps that might help you do just that.

Read next: The best free iPhone apps

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Next Prev todoist iphone

What's the point in carrying a tiny supercomputer round in your pocket all day if you're not going to use it to make yourself a bit more productive? iPhones and iPads are great at keeping us busy with distractions like games or the latest Netflix series, but you can also use them to give yourself a bit more time in the day to enjoy those distractions. These are a few apps that might help you do just that.

Read next: The best free iPhone apps

 

Best iOS productivity apps: Evernote

Free
Get Evernote from the App Store

If you’re looking to up your note-taking game, Evernote is still the best place to start. You can take notes in a variety of different formats (including images), sync them across your devices, share them, and search within them to quickly find what you’re looking for. The big benefit Evernote has over the competition is that it integrates with a whole host of other apps and services, helping it fit play nicely with the rest of your workflow.

The app is free by default, but you’ll want to upgrade to either the Plus or Premium plan if you need to sync to more than two devices, up your storage, or add features like offline access or searching and annotating PDFs.

 

Best iOS productivity apps: Spendee

Free
Get Spendee from the App Store

As the name might suggest, Spendee is a budgeting app that can help you manage your personal finances. All of your spending habits are displayed in a selection of attractive graphs and charts, and it can handle multiple currencies for when you travel abroad too. Everything is then synced across multiple devices, including a browser version and an Apple Watch app.

If you pick up the paid premium version for £1.49 a month, then you can create and manage multiple wallets and budgets, including shared ones - in case you have communal spending with your family or flatmates.

 

Best iOS productivity apps: Todoist

Free
Get Todoist from the App Store

There are plenty of to-do list apps out there (and a couple more in this list), but Todoist is one of the classics, and it’s still got plenty going for it. It’s available across more than ten different platforms, so you can track what you have to get done across just about every device you own, online and offline.

Tasks can be broken down into sub-tasks, shared with other users for collaborative progress, colour-coded for different priority levels, and set to recur, while paid add-ons include attachments, reminders, labels, and filters. Throw in the attractive, minimalist design, and it’s easy to see why Todoist has stuck around for so long.

 

Best iOS productivity apps: Google Docs

Free
Get Google Docs from the App Store

OK, sure, we’re not exactly pushing the boat out by recommending Google Docs here, but there’s good reason for that. For one thing, Google’s online Office equivalents are among the most fully-featured out there, and for the most part you can happily shift all of your writing, spreadsheets, and presentations onto the system without losing any functionality.

But the other big advantage is Google itself. It means Docs is fully integrated into the rest of the Google ecosystem, ideal if you already use Gmail or any other Google platforms. It also means there’s a good chance you already have Docs in your office, and that a lot of the other productivity apps on this list will integrate with Docs, which should help to keep your life a bit more streamlined - which is probably the reason you’re here.

 

Best iOS productivity apps: Forest

£0.79
Get Forest from the App Store

In the straightforward sense, Forest doesn’t really do anything. It doesn’t let you take notes, plan your calendar, share documents, or anything like that. But it could, in theory, help you get better at doing all of those things.

The idea is pretty simple. If you want to get on with some task, you plant a tree within the app. If you can stay in Forest for a set period of time, the tree will grow. If you get distracted and open Facebook, it will wither and die. The more successfully you work and resist distractions, the bigger your virtual forest. Sure, it’s a bit silly, but we’ve heard of worse ways to keep yourself motivated.

Read next: iPhone-only apps to make Android users jealous

 

Best iOS productivity apps: Streaks

£2.99
Get Streaks from the App Store

Streaks is another app that doesn’t directly let you do anything that you couldn’t do before, but should help you form the habits you need to just be a bit more productive in general. You choose up to six tasks that you want to be regular habits. Complete one, and you extend your streak. Fail to, and it resets. It’s that simple.

Tasks are set to daily by default, but can instead by weekdays-only, or three days a week, or whatever else you can come up with. It also syncs with the iOS Health app to track your steps, heart rate, and more for specific goals. Oh, and it works on the Apple Watch too, to make things even easier.

 

Best iOS productivity apps: Loyalive

Free
Get Loyalive from the App Store

Loyalty cards are one of the strangest minor annoyances of the modern age. Some of them are too good to resist, but before long your wallet or purse is bulging and breaking to fit cards from five supermarkets, three coffee shops, two pharmacies, and your local pub. That’s where Loyalive steps in.

It supports more than 300 loyalty programmes, storing your card details and points for schemes from Nectar to Starbucks, and even letting you know when you reach a reward for each of them. Most importantly, it will generate a barcode for each so that you don’t have to carry the physical card with you - though some users report that this doesn’t work in every store, so you might still want to keep a couple cards on hand just in case.

 

Best iOS productivity apps: IFTTT

Free
Get IFTTT from the App Store

Forgive the unpronounceable name, IFTTT is probably worth it. It stands for ‘If This, Then That’, and it allows users to create ‘applets’ combining the actions of a variety of apps under certain conditions.

You could set your music to start playing when you get home, or to add any Facebook photos you’re tagged in to a specific album, or any number of other combinations. IFTTT claims to work with over 360 apps, and is regularly expanding its selection of triggers and actions so it can automate even more of your life.

 

Best iOS productivity apps: Shoeboxed

30-day free trial, then various subscription levels
Get Shoeboxed from the App Store

There are few elements of modern life more tedious than filing expenses. Thankfully, there’s an app for that. Shoeboxed is pretty simple: it uses your iPhone camera to scan receipts and store digital copies of them, allowing you to get rid of all those crumpled bits of fading paper cluttering up your ‘miscellaneous stuff’ drawer.

The app can use your GPS to track mileage, and receipts are actually scanned and turned into text, rather than just left as photos, for easy use in other software and apps, and it’ll import email receipts from Gmail too. You can even have them printed out and sent in a ‘magic envelope’ to anyone who insists on receiving physical copies.

 

Best iOS productivity apps: Habitica

Free
Get Habitica from the App Store

Habitica is another motivational, habit-forming app - but with a pretty crucial difference. The whole app is 16-bit RPG themed, turning chores and tasks into quests and hopefully making everyday life just a little more epic.

You can set real-world rewards (like getting to watch TV or eat a treat), level up, unlock new gear, and even team up with other people to defeat monsters by generally all being a little more productive in your day-to-day lives. Admittedly, if you don’t know your Final Fantasy from your Chrono Trigger you might not get as much out of it, but for those of us weaned on epic RPGs, it’s a great way to make flossing your teeth every night feel a little less mundane.

Read next: The best iOS games

 

Best iOS productivity apps: 1Password

30-day free trial, then £3.49 per month
Get 1Password from the App Store

Passwords are, frankly, bloody annoying. A necessary evil of the modern world, we’re all stuck either using one password everywhere, with all the obvious security risks that involves, or using different ones on every site and inevitably forgetting them every time we actually need to use them.

1Password is intended to be slice through this particularly modern Gordian knot. It stores passwords for hundreds of websites and apps behind one secure Master Password - or a pin or fingerprint on your iPhone, if you prefer. It’s free for the first 30 days, but has a small monthly fee if you decide you’d like to keep using it beyond that.

 

Best iOS productivity apps: Unroll.me

Free
Get Unroll.me from the App Store

Unroll.me is less about helping you do things, and more about helping you avoid doing things - namely waste your time reading emails you don’t care about. There are two main elements to the app: the first lets you see a list of every mailing list you’re subscribed to, giving you a quick way to unsubscribe from all the emails you started getting when you signed up for that free trial that one time.

The second element is the Rollup, which combines all the emails you do want into one handy digest. Rather than getting bothered throughout the day, you get one email with all of the information you need, letting you spend the rest of your day getting on with what matters - including paying attention to the emails you really care about.

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