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How to turn your personal phone into the most productive work device

A smartphone can be both your best friend and a major source of distraction – how can you turn yours into a lean, mean productivity machine?

There are now countless mobile apps available to help you and your business become more productive, designed for everything from note taking and organisation, to concentration and communication.

But whilst they can be fantastic tools to increase productivity, they also offer a great many opportunities for distraction; what with permanent access to social media, news, dating apps, mobile games and countless other ways to waste our time. Some studies estimate it can take up to as long as 25 minutes to refocus after being distracted!

So, how can you optimise your phone for productivity and ensure it is a friend and not a foe when it comes to getting the job done?

There are so many different apps to download and learn how to use that exploring them can turn into an endless adventure of procrastination in itself. To ensure you don’t get lost in the jungle of mobile downloads, we’ve rounded up the essential apps you should use to turn your personal phone into the most productive device.

Apps for concentration

A focused mind is a productive mind, but we live in an increasingly distracting world. How can you ensure you concentrate on the task at hand?

  • Freedom the mobile app that can block websites, apps or even the whole internet for a set time, so you can focus on the task at hand. Its locked mode prevents you from modifying sessions whilst you’re working
  • Headspace – sometimes the best thing for concentration is to take a short break from work. Headspace offers guided meditation sessions and mindfulness services to help you clear your head, decrease stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms and increase wellbeing

Communication apps and data sharing apps

Communication between you and your employees is key to staying on top when you’re out and about, enabling you to update each other on progress and share important information.

  • Slack – an acronym for Searchable Log of All Conversations and Knowledge, Slack is a cloud-based communication and collaboration tool. It’s chat rooms are organised by topics and everything is searchable
  • WorkMobile – an app for field-based data collection that offers an alternative to paper-based systems. Users can build forms, and capture and attach digital signatures, photographs, and GPS locations. Documents can be stored, barcodes created and the software integrates with third party systems

Organisation apps and productivity apps

Keeping track of what you’re doing and when is essential for time management. You can have so much rushing around in your head at any one time, trying to keep a mental calendar of your schedule with your busy brain is bound to result in you forgetting something important. So why not outsource this task to your phone?

  • Evernote – describing itself as a “second brain”, this widely used app helps you capture, organise and share notes across all your devices in cloud notebooks. Notes can be enhanced with links, checklists, tables, attachments and audio recordings
  • Fantastical 2 – a paid for iOS calendar app that uses ‘natural language’ to automatically create repeating reminders from what you write or dictate. It can sync with other devices

Accounting apps

Getting financial admin done whilst on the road can save you a lot of time down the line and there are plenty of apps to help you do it. Whether it's expenses, payments or invoices, here are the best accounting mobile apps.

  • Sage One – cloud-based accounting software designed specifically for small businesses, that integrates invoicing, banking and payroll and keeps on top of legislation such as changes to VAT and auto-enrolment
  • PayPal Here a free payments system for entrepreneurs that need to take payments on the road, with the money deposited directly into your PayPal account. The card reader costs £75 and there is a charge of 2.75% per transaction

Vodafone offers a range of business plans including the popular Business Premier – which includes damage insurance with four-hour phone replacement, a UK-based Prime Contact and a choice of data options to use at home or abroad. To find out more about the latest business offers call 08080 044603 or visit

Henry Williams
Henry Williams

Henry has been writing for since 2015, covering everything from business finance and web builders to tax and red tape. He’s also contributed to many of our industry-renowned annual indexes, including Startups 100 and Young Guns, and created a number of the site’s popular how to guides. Before joining the team, he reviewed films for a culture website, and still harbours ambitions of being a screenwriter.


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