Freelancers are always working. There is usually something that needs to be done, be it an email that needs sending or research for a project that you should be working on. If you are a freelancer with an Android phone, you can easily manage your day and some of your work flow while you are away from your desk.
Below are a bunch of free or low-cost Android applications to better help you manage your daily to-dos. While these applications are a few of hundreds of thousands available, the applications in this list have been chosen for their ease of use and/or integration with programs and web services you may already be using.
Business Calendar is my Android calendar of choice. Some of the features that won me over are the easily adjustable calendar views. To get from month view to week view, just swipe your finger over that week.
Want to expand or shrink the number of days in week view, use the slider at the bottom of the screen. Also at the bottom of the screen, you can see all of the calendars synced to your phone. The calendars can be hidden by touching the calendar name.
The free version offers 75% of the functionality of the paid app. The paid app offers different widget options and (the reason I bought it) drag and drop appointment changes.
Calengoo is a very popular calendar among business folks. While there is no free or lite version, you get many super cool features. Drag and drop appointment management, widgets, icons to better differentiate events. Calengoo lets you send an event or a whole calendar as an ICS file so others can easily import events to their calendar application.
Syncing your Google Tasks is unique to most calendar applications. In most cases you will need a separate task application like the task apps listed next.
Tasks n Todos is a very easy to use to-do list application for Android. You can drag and drop to rearrange lists. There is a backup function so you can save your tasks to your SD card. There is voice input for the tasks easily accessible from the bottom of the tasks screen. There is a handy option to add pictures or even maps to a task.
Astrid is a wildly popular task management application for Android devices and also iPhones. Astrid is a little different because you can access Astrid from the web as well as through your mobile app. A cool feature is being able to forward emails from your synced Gmail address and turn them into a task.
For a fee, you can get add-ons for Local and what they call the Astrid Power Pack. The power pack gives you different widget choices and adds voice input.
Box is an application that is growing on me. I have to admit I only downloaded it initially because they are giving Android users 50gb free. I am liking the way it fits my basic mobile backup and sharing.
Dropbox is the go-to cloud storage for many people, myself included. There are a ton of add-on applications when you use the Windows desktop program. Aside from the potential additions, Dropbox just added instant upload of camera pictures and videos.
Hootsuite is used by a lot of companies and individuals alike. The main feature that separates Hootsuite for Android over most of the others is scheduling updates. You can set an update to Tweet and post to Facebook and other networks hours, days or months down the road. You can also set up what would be columns in the web version to track a hashtag while on your phone.
If you just want to use an app for Twitter, Tweetcaster is great. Accessing multiple Twitter accounts, the strong search function and having access to manipulate your Twitter lists are all advantages over many other Twitter only apps. The paid version lets you access Facebook features too.
On the phone
9. Google Voice
Google Voice is basically a Gmail inbox for your phone. You can SMS and receive your voicemail from a separate Google Voice number right on your Android phone. Having a separate “office”number is handy to have. Then you aren’t giving your mobile out to all of your clients.
Google voice will transcribe your voicemails and also offers a send to SPAM feature for those people who just wont stop calling.
Call Reminder Notes is an app for the forgetful. If you have ever called someone and forgot why you called them, this Android application is for you. Set reminders to call someone in your contact list at a specific time or set a reminder note to pop up on the screen next time you talk to them. Either way, your phone usage will be more productive.
Many people are so accustomed to sending a quick text message if they need a quick simple response. When you have a few people texting you every hour, it is a big distraction. Txt Msg Away Message will auto reply to the sender with a canned response letting them know you are working. You can have several canned replies, all for different occasions.
12. SMS Backup +
SMS Backup + is a great way to back up your text messages. In the settings, you can choose to have all of your messages back up automatically as often as every 30 minutes and incoming messages as quickly as 1 minute after they arrive.
The coolest part is, the messages and call log back up to your Gmail account. They are added to a label for easy access later. All of the times and attachments will show up, so will the duration of the calls.
Evernote is a fantastic note taking application with a ton of options. It is more like an information catch-all. You can upload files and images and be able to access them later. One of the coolest features, in my opinion, is the ability to search for text within an image. This means, you can take a picture of a business card and use Evernote to search for any bit of information on that card.
Starting to use ColorNote is a smooth transition for people who are Post it note addicts. The application works pretty much how you would use a paper sticky note. There are widgets you can paste you your screen. The widgets let you add a note fast.
Changing the color of the notes makes it easier to separate the notes by topics or information on the note.
Expensify lets you handle items that would normally be a pain in the neck to manage… your expense report and receipts. When you buy something, instead of carrying that receipt trying to remember to log it in your financials for 3 days before you lose it, you can snap a picture of it. Uploading the receipt image and associating the receipt with a particular project.
Another good feature is the mileage tracker. Tracking your travel mileage is one place where most people fail to keep good records. There are 3 options, the easiest is to let the GPS track your route.
Square is one of the most popular payment taking applications out there. Plug in a card reader into the headphone jack of your Android phone and swipe their credit card. The funds will take a couple of days to land in your bank account. If you do on-site work for clients, accepting payment on the spot is a must have.
In the end, a tool is only useful if you use it. While you may have an Android phone for other reasons, you can sure make your life easier by adding a few applications to better manage your activities during the day.
What applications do you have on your Android to better manage your busy day?
Trevor is a freelance writer covering topics ranging from the Android OS to free web and desktop applications. When he is not writing about mobile productivity, he is a mobile productivity trainer for the busiest of all mobile users, working women.