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Top Ten Android Productivity Apps for the Holidays

[MobilePRwire] – The Holidays—the month and a half long stretch of food and family fenced in by Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. To make your holidays both easier and more productive Appspire has put together a list of the top ten android productivity apps to help you navigate the holiday madness.

The Holidays—the month and a half long stretch of food and family fenced in by Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. What a treacherous time sink, from which everyone comes stumbling (sometimes literally) and wondering why they haven’t gotten anything done since mid-November (or Halloween, if we’re being honest with ourselves).

Thanksgiving is already a belt-busting memory, but we still have enough parties and dinners and visits and flights and meals and shopping and wrapping ahead of us that the old fashion pen and paper to-do list might not cut it. To make your holidays both easier and more productive Appspire has put together a list of the top ten productivity apps to help you navigate the holiday madness.

1) Barcode Scanner – “But I don’t have a store,” you think to yourself, “this won’t help me.” Think again! Imagine the line of Christmas shoppers stretching ahead of you at the mall, your overflowing cart jutting out like Santa’s cookie-filled belly, the screaming children, the testy, underpaid shop employees—and all you want is to check the price on the Transforming Geisha Bobble-head Doll Accessory kit (not a real toy) for your niece. Barcode Scanner—Viola! Not only will it give you the price on the toy you found miss-shelved with kitchen utensils, it will tell you where else you can buy it and for how much. It can even store product info for later reference and show reviews, so you’ll know, pre-purchase, if Geisha’s bobble-head hairband will keep falling off. You’ve just saved enough time with this app to actually use the next nine.

2) Two and three are obvious and interchangeable. Dropbox and Googledocs. You may already use these both on your Mac or PC and understand the way in which they have completely enveloped your life. If not, pull up a chair and I’ll tell you. Dropbox is an easy file-sharing tool that allows you to save your documents, photos, and music while you’re at home and then access it when you get to work, thus proving to management that you do get things done when you work from home. Unimpressed? Your cousin’s sweet band is releasing an album of ironic Christmas songs and uses Dropbox. What’s that? She could burn it to a CD and then go to the post office and then mail it to you, and then it will get lost or broken and then you can finally give in and get drop box? Still, I understand your resistance, you don’t see the need. But your boss does, so … you should probably get it.

3) Googledocs lets you create a holiday shopping list and share it with anyone, from anywhere. And not just share, but update, and change at any time. “How is this different from Dropbox?” You may ask. With Googledocs you could take the awesome, but boring, color-coded spreadsheet your co-worker put in Dropbox and re-label everything so you can track how seriously the season is affecting your bank account, and share it with your spouse in real time. True holiday cheer to follow.

4) Totenotes is for those of you who have to schedule more than hall-decking and snowball fights. This android app has been featured on Cnet and does what you should be doing—taking notes about your business phone calls—or even the call you get on the way home from the grocery store, when your sister tells you to go back to the grocery store because she’s thought of more stuff for you to get. You won’t admit it to yourself then, but no matter how many times you tell yourself, “Marshmallows, maple syrup, marmalade; marshmallows, maple syrup, marmalade…” you will end up at the register with towels, Tylenol, and toothpaste. That is, unless you’ve got Totenotes. Totenotes will ask you at the end of your call if you want to record a note. Say yes and your recorded note, “Marshmallows, maple syrup, marmalade,” (or, you know, “Call Steve back about multimillion dollar development project”) will be sent to your e-mail as an MP3 and a typed transcription. All the other note-taking apps are useless unless you remember to make your notes!

5) Mint.com’s personal finance app can keep you grounded when you start getting nervous about holiday spending, business spending, or plain old everyday spending. The user-friendly app helps you budget and track spending literally at your fingertips. Do you leave big tips when you’ve had too much eggnog? Mint.com will automatically track transactions with your account, or you can enter transactions manually to keep tabs on cash spending.

6) Remember The Milk seems like a good follow-up to Totenotes. Now that you’ve recorded info for later reference, you can use Remember The Milk to organize and prioritize. Do you get a calendar every year for Christmas from your parents? Of course you do. And is it still in its packaging in your desk next to the one from 1996 with pictures of the Dancing Baby? That’s what I thought. Because Remember The Milk is on your phone, which is probably in your hand or pocket 90% of the day, you can actually use it to reference important to-do items, shopping lists, and project ideas. Check off items on the go, and set them to recur as frequently as the activity they’re reminding you of. Remember: Trash goes out every week. You get paid every other Thursday. Your mother is still calling; you are still going to call her back.

7) Voice Recorder. Maybe your family is still telling you that, because you’re a writer, you need to record the family’s stories and write a book that will interest only them. Part of what is coming between you and that project is that you don’t want to do it; the other part is you don’t have a voice recorder and don’t want to spend $30 on the very cheapest one you can find which still requires little tapes that you know you’ll lose. If you have an Android, half of your problems are solved. Voice Recorder will allow you to record everyone’s stories, even that one about the time you (as a two-year-old) pooped your pants in the mall’s Christmas Town display. After the holidays are over the family will be appeased for a few years while you tell them you’re working on the “manuscript” and you can still use the app to record lectures, business meetings, and on-the-go ideas. When they keep bugging you, tell them to get Googledocs, enter the transcriptions and let them get in there and do it themselves. If you’re not already sold, what if I told you that you can use the recordings as ringtones?

8) In a way, Scan to PDF is number one. If you ever have to deal with bureaucracy—and if you live in a world with cell phones, I’m sure you do—you have probably had a dozen panicked moments where your scanner suddenly stopped working with only two hours left to email an application to entity X before they steal your first born instead of considering your application for approval. So you drive (no, your car is in the shop), you walk to Kinkos in the rain with your soggy document, only to find that today they are closed for team building exercises. You bitterly watch a girl in a polo shirt fall off of a table into the arms of her polo-wearing co-workers, until you remember you now have one hour to send the document, which is disintegrating in your hand. You run home, take a blurry photo of it, save it as a JPEG, so that you can convert it in another program to PDF, and then e-mail the poorly-lit crooked image to entity X. If only you had Scan to PDF just one of these times Entities T-Z would not be claiming all of your children! So how does this app solve that problem? That can be described in one short fragmented sentence: Turn phone to scanner! Babies saved.

9) Springpad–While this is, in many ways, a note/scheduling app, it does a lot more than that. Springboard is more like a super-agenda tracker. Organize your grocery list, to-do list, and holiday shopping list, let the app do everything else; like find a great deal on Christmas sweaters, or a coupon for office supplies, or a price drop on the large, expensive textbook for your class next semester that you will, of course, never use anyway. Receive relevant news, reminders, deals, and updates. Think of it as Santa’s electronic Magic Button.

10) ColorNote is a stripped-down version of some of the note-taking apps listed above. Maybe all the bright Christmas lights are making you feel like you need to organize gift lists into a rainbow array of good cheer. This easy app will send you reminders or let you reuse tried and true to-do lists over and over again. Simplicity can be beautiful.

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