We live so much of our lives through our phones these days. There’s no escaping them. To stay productive we need to integrate our phones into our productivity. The reality is if we do not program our lives they will be programmed for us by people who are clear on what they want. Part of programming is controlling the environment and your mobile device is an environment. So to set up your mobile device as an environment that contributes to success, productivity and an all-around healthy life here are the apps you must have on your phone. This is a list of apps by function with recommendations thrown in there.


Note-taking is very important because keeping track of things is about 50% of success. I may exaggerate but it is important. You need to have some sort of note-taking app on your phone. These apps have developed into something else and include voice recording so you can just record if you don’t have time to type. I think we are at a stage where all phones come with note apps and that is enough for the beginner user however the more experienced user may prefer apps like Evernote, Onenote and Notion among others which are cross-platform making notes taken on your phone automatically available on your laptop, desktop or tablet even if they use different operating systems.


You need some sort of planner calendar and do app on your phone. Across the length and breadth of mobile devices, some built-in to-do apps and planners are more than adequate where others lack. This depends on you and what you have planned. The same goes for the to-do or reminders app that comes with your phone. You may have a good built-in one but some may feel limited in usage. You might want things like to-do items that renew every morning or the automatic addition of things from the calendar to your to-do list. There are many options out there so take time to find the best for you.

Podcast app

Learning is an important part of growth and one of the best ways to learn in the modern is through podcasts. Now podcasts vary widely in their content and purpose but if you want to learn more about something there is not only a podcast that has discussed it but one that is dedicated to it. There are so many ways to get podcasts but using some kind of podcast app works best as episodes are updated. So whether you use built-in apps like Apple Podcasts or add ons like Spotify, Sasai, Google podcasts and more just make sure you have a podcast app and use it.


I could’ve mentioned this one among the podcast apps, YouTube is becoming a home to many podcasts but it goes so far beyond that. YouTube is the King of long-form video and is also dabbling in the short video. You can learn a lot through youtube videos. There are videos on a host of educational subjects and the creators take their craft seriously. I love youtube because I can mix between news, educational videos and podcasts easily.

Expense tracker

Getting on top of your finances is a part of getting better in life and if your finances are good they can always be improved. I find tracking your expenditure helps a lot and having an expense tracker on your mobile device is one of the best ways to do this. By having it with you can make note of expenses immediately or at the end of the day. You can record from multiple sources such as cash, bank, mobile and foreign currency accounts. My top pick for this is Spending Tracker which is incredibly simple. It records both income and expenditure but can also separate personal and business expenditure for your side hustle or small business.

Time tracker

Time is money and if you think tracking money is important then you will agree that tracking time is important. While tracking how many hours you have spent working is a great place to start I find time tracking useful for some of the work I do as it helps me identify how long it takes me to do some types of work and how much I can charge for that type of work. These days your phone comes with an automatic time tracker to help you keep track of how you spend your time. These are ok for the beginner. If you want to use this seriously consider Rescue Time. This application tracks your usage across devices and platforms and helps to keep track of all the time you spent on all devices all day or however long a task lasts.