Whether you're in the office or on the go, the iPhone has become a pocketable workhorse for getting things done. Here are our picks for the best iPhone apps to keep you working productively.
Original Photo by Notepod
Remember the Milk
Writing down your tasks is really only useful if you remember to do them, and that's where Remember the Milk shines. It's not just a to-do list, but it's a to-do list that follows you everywhere you go — through all your devices, via email or SMS, on the web, etc — and doesn't hesitate to bug you when a task's time comes. All your tasks sync nicely through your Remember the Milk account. While the app itself is free, the main disadvantage of Remember the Milk is that it requires a $US25/year subscription if you want to make use of its pro features. Nonetheless, it's still a fantastic task manager and completely free as a basic app. [iTunes App Store]
Alternative task managers: On the iPhone, you'll find nearly as many task management apps as you will fart machines. Fortunately the bar is set a bit higher, and you can find all flavours of task management apps. While there are too many alternatives to name them all, here are a few other great options. There is the GTD system, the $13 Things is a common favourite among iPhone users. (It's companion desktop app is $US50.) If you want to have a little more fun with your tasks, Epic Win ($4) and Dunnit! ($5) both turn task management into a game. TeuxDeux ($4) is a lovely alternative if you're looking for something attractive and simple. Lastly, EgretList ($4) is a pretty powerful task manager with a great interface that emulates a more traditional notebook style.
It's hard to pass up Evernote for taking notes or capturing images or voice notes anywhere, but when it comes to efficiency for plain-text note-taking there's no question that Simplenote takes the cake. It's really the fastest way to take notes on your iPhone, it syncs to the web and to several applications on other desktop and mobile platforms and does it all with elegant simplicity. If you wanted to speed up the whole Evernote mobile process, you could with with FastEver, but that's a $2.49 lost for what Simplenote handles perfectly for free. Evernote is great for more complex notes with rich media involved, but when it just comes to text, there really isn't anything better than Simplenote. [iTunes App Store]
Chrome to iPhone
Chrome to iPhone isn't exactly an app, but more of a bookmark you save to your home screen that works with an excellent, simple Chrome browser extension. All you have to do is install it, visit a URL on your iPhone, save that page to your home screen and you can send links directly to your phone to open in Mobile Safari. Chrome to iPhone is very fast at doing this one thing well. [Google Chrome Extensions Gallery]
If you're looking for more feature-rich apps to help you communicate with your computer, myPhoneDesktop is a good (but somewhat pricey $6) alternative. If you're looking for a similar, free app, give Pastefire a look.
It's no secret we love Dropbox here at Lifehacker. It's an excellent file-syncing app, and so we'd be remiss if we didn't include it here. If you want access to your important files on your iPhone, Dropbox can provide. Anything you sync to Dropbox can be temporarily viewed on your iPhone or saved for later viewing. You're not confined to the Dropbox app either. You can save photos to your library and email a link to any file for sharing with others. There are also many great apps using the Dropbox API, expanding all the things you can do with your Dropbox account on your iPhone. With iOS 4.2 on the horizon, maybe we'll even get wireless printing support from within Dropbox as well. Regardless of how you use it, it's a great way to manage your files and always keep them in sync and backed up. [iTunes App Store]
This is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to iPhone productivity, but the above apps are at the very top of our list when we want to get things done on the go. Got an app you count on when you're ready to turn on your productivity? Let's hear it in the comments.