7 apps that will DOUBLE your productivity in 2014

Katie McHugh Associate Editor
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Smartphones work best when they streamline your life, not complicate it. Forget SnapChat and check out these apps to speed up your workday and take care of the little things.

TEMPO CALENDARDownload this free calendar app, and you’ll never look back. Tempo uses a clean, simple layout to break down your year into agendas, lists, days, weeks and months to help you navigate a busy work and social schedule.  It also syncs your Google calendar, iCal and Facebook events list, so you never forget a birthday or lunch date again. Running late? The app lets you contact attendees to your events to keep them informed, and you can add alerts to help you juggle everything.

POCKET: Saves the articles you want to read and videos you want to see for later. Perfect for a long commute or waiting for an appointment.

EVERNOTE: Every professional should have this program installed on his phone and laptop, and should seriously consider purchasing a Premium account to upload up to 1 GB of data per month and share files. Works well with a host of sub apps, including Evernote Food, which takes the recipes you clip online and formats them into gorgeous files you can check offline. This app thrives as its own ecosystem — use it to take and organize notes.

SPRINGPAD: A beautifully designed compliment to Evernote, this personal assistant app keeps track of everything: Book lists, movies to watch, grocery lists, you name it. Clip a recipe, and it pairs it with the best wine. Add a movie to your favorites, and it gives you showtimes. SpringPad can also save you a chunk of change by pinging you if the price on one of the products on your home improvement wish list drops.

MAILBOX: Fly through your inbox with this archiving app, and enjoy the sight of an empty inbox each evening. Hit the snooze button on emails so you can respond to them when you’re ready, whether it be later that evening or next week. Mailbox archives your mail without deleting it, leaving everything important intact and searchable. It also automatically creates folders and files emails accordingly. If you’re looking to declutter your work life, Mailbox makes all the difference in the world.

FITNESS PAL: If you’re serious about eating well and exercising regularly in 2014, give this simple, free tracking app a shot. It counts your calories, records your meals and workouts, breaks down your weekly intake of nutrients, displays your progress over time and much more. A large community of users will keep you on track. One of the keys to losing weight is to keep track of what you eat by writing down each meal. This app makes what may have been a chore into a quick part of your daily routine.

eBOOK SEARCH PRO: Walking out of Barnes and Noble with a brand new hardcover might give you a warm and fuzzy feeling, but your wallet will thank you for searching for free ebooks and PDFs with this handy app, available for only $0.99. If you’ve been putting off reading the classics, get them — and over 2 million other titles — for free on your Kindle or Nook.

Need some relief? Try living with zero notifications for a week — it will dramatically improve your focus and let you concentrate on work or play without a distracting flash. The average American checks his phone 110 times per day. Don’t be that guy. Make your phone work for you.

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Katie McHugh