Often you’ll hear folks bemoan the amount of time they waste on their phones. However, instead of spending it refreshing social media, or idly browsing websites, there are tons of apps that can help you free up time by making you more productive and efficient – and, in many cases, more affluent.

Whether it’s tracking your spending, staying on top of your tasks and goals or streamlining your time, here are eight great apps to put your phone to work on your behalf:


Email yourself


Me Mail app

Price: £1.49

Operating system: iOS

Our email accounts are often the sole repositories for stuff we need to do: attend this appointment, catch up with this friend, share these photos, and so on. So why don’t we use it for personal reminders? MeMail is the answer, allowing you to quickly and easily send memos to a pre-set email address. Once set up, all you need to do is open, type and hit send. Email To Self (60p), for Android, does a fine job also.


Easy to-do lists


Any Do app

Price: Free

Operating system: iOS, Android

This free app can replace that scrap of scrawled-on paper shoved in your pocket. It has a clear design, the opportunity to easily categorise tasks and, best of all, the ability to collaborate on lists and share tasks with the family, delegating to ensure both of you don’t stop to pick up milk on the way home.

[Related story: 12 ways your smartphone can save you money]

Manage expenses


Shoeboxed app

Price: Free

Operating system: iOS, Android

This aptly-named solution makes it easy to keep track of your spending and organise and categorise your expenses and mileage without worrying about saving pesky paper receipts (in a shoebox). All you need to do is take a snap of the receipt and the app will extract all of the data. You can even generate your own expense reports that can be forwarded to the finance team at work.


Plan your time


Timely app
Price: Free

Operating system: iOS

Despite what the Rolling Stones would have you believe, tiiiiiii-i-ime is rarely on your side. This scheduling app allows you to allocate chunks of time to particular tasks. It’ll integrate your personal calendar and will sync with the desktop version. If you’re planning on being more productive and restoring the work life balance in 2016, then this is an essential app. Unfortunately, it’s only available on iOS, Android users should try TimeTune, which does a similar job.


Manage your BT account



My BT app update screens March 2017

Price: Free

Operating system: Android,  iOS or text 'MyBT' to 81192 to get a download link

The award winning* My BT app makes it easy to manage your BT account, and get a helping hand if you need it. The app has just been updated and you can check usage for all BT’s products including landline, broadband, TV and BT Mobile.

Check your latest BT bill and download it as a PDF, track your orders, change your engineer appointment and view your package from the convenience of your phone. If you have a problem with your BT service, you can check the real-time status of BT services in your area and restart your BT Home Hub remotely.

You’ll be asked set up a PIN the first time you log in to the app, making it easier for you to log in when you come back – it’s the fastest way to access your BT account. You can also contact BT via the app. 

Find out more about the MyBT app.

* In November 2015, the My BT app won a Silver award at the Digital Experience awards for the excellent customer service experience it provides


Manage your money

MoneyWiz 2

MoneyWiz 2

Price: Free (with in app purchases)/£4

Operating system: iOS, Android

With all of your bills in one place, all of your accounts synced, a full rundown of your transaction history and easy access to financial reports, MoneyWiz 2 offers a complete picture of your financial health. It can help you plan to get out of debt and forecast how much you have to pay out until that long-awaited January pay cheque lands in your account.

Change energy supplier

Voltz – Energy Switching App

Voltz app

Price: Free

Website: iOS, Android

A whopping 80% of UK households overpay for their energy bills, mainly because of the perceived hassle of switching providers. Voltz makes the process simple by alerting you to deals and showing you how much you can save. Then, all you need to do is enter a few details and the company behind the app will handle the switch for you.


Track your spending

Spending Tracker

Spending tracker

Price: Free

Operating system: iOS, Android

When all you have to do is swipe your card or hold your phone next to a reader, staying on a budget can be hard. The straightforward Spending Tracker app helps you out by logging your transactions and assigning them to pre-set budgets for travel, entertainment, groceries and more. Remaining budget can also be carried over into the next period… Now there’s some incentive!

[Related story: What to do if you crack your smartphones screen]

Break bad habits

Habit List

Habit List app sceenshot

Price: Free

Operating system: iOS

For so many of us, January is about creating new good habits and ditching old bad ones. Habit List offers motivation to stick to them, by encouraging you to develop ‘streaks’ over time, representing how many days in a row you stuck to your vow. Whether it’s exercising more often, waking up earlier, drinking more water, reading a book a week, or even giving up smoking, Habit List offers a great visual aid of the progress towards your goals. GoalTracker does a similar job for Android users.


Are there any organisational apps you’d like to recommend to other BT.com readers? Let us know in the Comments section below.

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