8 brilliant apps to turn your mobile into a personal organiser

Back in the day, carrying around a personal organiser like a Filofax said you meant business. But it’s not the ‘80s or ‘90s anymore. These days the thinking is that anything those book-like paper binders can do, a touchscreen device can do better. And if you’ve got a smartphone, you have the ability to turn it into a digital organiser that can make you more productive and efficient, not just in work but in life – and in a way that the old-school option simply can’t compete with.

Below, we’ve cherry-picked the eight best apps that can help you get to mobile efficiency nirvana. They won’t help you look the business, but they should mean you get more business done than ever before.


Price: Free | Platform: iOS, Android

What’s inside every single personal organiser worth its leather covering? A diary. Not the kind for personal thoughts and feelings; more like a cross between a planner and a calendar for tracking meetings, birthdays and events. While Android and iOS devices come with a basic calendar, you’d be better off with Sunrise.

Free, and available on iOS and Android, not only does it do everything your built-in option can, but it also syncs with Google Calendar, iCloud, Microsoft Exchange and even your Facebook events and birthdays. So no matter if you use Google for personal shindigs and Exchange for work, you can see everything you’re due to be doing on one device. Plus it can draw upon the power of Google Maps to get you to your appointments, parties, and conferences on time.

You’ll never miss, or be late for, a meeting again.

Google Drive

Price: Free | Platform: iOS, Android mobile with coffee best apps

 Source: Jan Vašek, Stocksnap

While people with personal organisers might use a USB stick to keep all their important Word and Excel files with them while they’re on the go – or, more cumbersome yet, print them off and stuff them inside their handheld planner – Google Drive completely negates the need for any of that.

You can create, save, share, and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations as easily in the office as you can on the train or while you’re waiting for a doctor’s appointment. And we don’t need to point out how much of a time-saver that is.

It integrates with Gmail seamlessly, letting you easily open and send attachments using Drive, plus it’s good for saving photos, videos, audio clips, and pretty much anything else you might want to access on the go.

CamCard Free

Price: Free | Platform: iOS, Android

CamCard Free gives you an electronic way to store all the business cards that so often fill wallets, pockets, and those plastic display sleeves you can get for personal organisers. You simply use the app to scan a business card then it reads the name along with the numbers and email addresses to create a digital entry you can easily access at the touch of a screen.

If you don’t have any of your own business cards to hand, it even lets you exchange ‘e-cards’. Although it caps the amount of cards you can scan at 200, there’s a paid version of the app which doesn’t restrict you. Ready to say goodbye to misplacing that great new contact’s details?

paper and phone - brilliant apps

                                                                          Source: Pixabay


Price: Free | Platform: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry

Although there are yearly payment options, the gratis version of Evernote will probably be enough for most users. Essentially a palm-sized digital notebook that also happily saves PDFs, images and the like, it also syncs with its desktop companion so you keep all those ideas and notes in a single place that’s just as accessible from your pocket as your office chair.

The two levels of paid options let you do things like access things offline, automatically turn notes into presentations, and even scan business cards like our CamCard Free selection.

Evernote will give you a good shot at going truly paperless, and free you from that sinking realisation that you left your notebook at home minutes before an important meeting starts.


Price: Free | Platform: iOS, Android, Windows Phone

Using pen and paper to track your finances? If you’ve got a smartphone there’s no need. Mint can do all that for you, even using your bank account, credit cards and other outgoings to give you a complete view of your monetary health automatically.

It can even give you savings tips just by watching how you spend, and tell you how long it’ll take to save up enough money for a big purchase. If that isn’t efficient and productive, we don’t know what is.

Google Now

Price: Free | Platform: iOS, Android

This is about as close to a personal assistant as you can get – and you can’t get much more organised than having your very own lackey. Google Now automatically tells you all kinds of information you want to know without you lifting a finger, like the traffic for your daily commute, a recipe you might like, or what attractions are near you. Using your location, it will remind you to do things in a certain place, like buying a Mother’s Day card when you’re near the right shop.

The idea is that it prevents you having to do a Google search by predicting the kinds of information and news you might want based on your habits and interests. In a nutshell, it makes it quick to do the things you want.


Price: Free | Platform: iOS, Android, Windows Phone

No personal organiser has ever got away without being home for a to-do list or three. But what if that to-do list could actually remind you to get all those things done? This could mean you never again forget that you need to buy car tax, or feed the neighbours’ cat while they’re away.

Wunderlist does that and more, notifying you on your phone and via email about all the stuff that needs doing. It even works in reverse: if you aren’t near your phone you can send actions to Wunderlist for it to remind you about later.


Price: Free | Platform: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry

Writing all your passwords on a piece of paper, as you might do with a hardcopy personal organiser, obviously isn’t secure. If you misplace it you’ll have to race to change all your important log-in information or you run the risk of someone with dishonourable intentions getting into your email, online banking, and all your other important accounts – doesn’t sound like an ideal use of your time to us.

Instead, you want LastPass. As well as generating and remembering super-secure new passwords if you want it to, it saves your log-in information for all the sites you visit in one protected place, keeping them safely encrypted and hidden behind one LastPass account. You can even install it on your desktop browser where it will do exactly the same thing for you, meaning your passwords can be backed up wherever you go online.


Why juggle a phone and a personal organiser, notepad, diary and everything else as you go from place to place? Streamline with the apps we’ve listed and reap the rewards of convenience and productivity.

Main image source: Pixabay