8 ways to turn Android into a productivity powerhouse

Android now accounts for the vast majority of commercial smartphone shipments, according to market intelligence firm IDC, with more than two-thirds of all global enterprise-oriented purchases in the first quarter of 2017. Out of the box, though, a typical Android phone is anything but optimized for productivity.

Power up most popular phones, and you’ll find ineffective home screens, mediocre keyboards and all sorts of untapped potential. But all it takes is a little tweaking to go from unrefined gizmo to finely tuned work companion.

Follow these eight steps, and your Android phone will be primed for productivity and ready for business.

1. Optimize your home screen

One of the simplest and most impactful ways to improve your phone’s effectiveness is to focus on its foundation: the home screen. Your home screen is the first thing you see when you unlock your device, and it’s the launching point for practically everything you do. Yet for most people, it’s a cluttered and inefficient mess — and that, suffice it to say, is counterproductive.

It helps to think of your home screen as a toolbox. If you were preparing to perform a home repair job, you’d want to be able to find the tools you use the most with a minimal amount of thought and effort. Were your toolbox a disorganized mess, you’d waste valuable time digging around every time you opened it.

Your home screen is no different. And unlike iOS, Android doesn’t limit you to a static grid of square icons. You can lay things out in any way that works best for you, employing a mix of app shortcuts, widgets and — critically — blank space.

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