Quick smart: 10 best time-saving apps

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Do you struggle to fit everything into your day? These 10 apps will save time on all sorts of tasks, freeing up hours in your hectic schedule

1. Swipetimes time tracker pro

Want to know where your precious time goes? Much like a budget planner shows you where you're hard-earned cash is going, this app tracks how long you spend on individual tasks or activities. It then presents you the information in a digestible way (like bright and simple pie charts) so you can work out what you need to change to live a more efficient life.

£1.50, play.google.com

2. idealo price comparison

These days, with so many online retailers, you can spend ages trawling the web to find the best deal. This app aims to put an end to all that. You type in what you're looking for - or better still, scan a barcode if you're our shopping and want to know if you can get something cheaper online - and it will search 14,000 online shops, including the likes of Amazon, Tesco Direct, Play.com, Argos and Debenhams, for the best deal. It will give you detailed product info and expert and user reviews too. The list of retailers isn't yet exhaustive but it's pretty good and very useful for saving on your pressies at Christmas time.

Free, play.google.com; itunes.apple.com

3. Rail planner live

Train delays can lose you hours. This app will help keep you on top of any problems or last-minute platform changes. You can set up SMS alerts, and it also comes with a handy widget for Android phones so that you can see any timetable changes without even opening the app.

£3.49, play.google.com; £3.99, itunes.apple.com

4. Swiftkey

Typing on your phone or tablet can be a frustrating process, particularly with the overly-zealous auto-corrects some devices have built in. Swiftkey is described as the “mind reading keyboard” for Android products, adapting to your habits as time goes by. After a period of use, Swiftkey will accurately guess what words you’re likely to use in a sentence to save you typing them yourself - so you’ll spend less time texting and fixing typos.

£2.99, play.google.com

4. idealo price comparison

These days, with so many online retailers, you can spend ages trawling the web to find the best deal. This app aims to put an end to all that. You type in what you're looking for - or better still, scan a barcode if you're our shopping and want to know if you can get something cheaper online - and it will search 14,000 online shops, including the likes of Amazon, Tesco Direct, Play.com, Argos and Debenhams, for the best deal. It will give you detailed product info and expert and user reviews too. The list of retailers isn't yet exhaustive but it's pretty good and very useful for saving on your pressies at Christmas time.

Free, play.google.com; itunes.apple.com

5. Camscanner

This scanning app's perfect for those times when a document needs to be sent now, now. It works using your phone's camera, producing clear, sharp document files to send. From boring admin tasks like for to the more social - like being able to send an easy-to-read version of your grandmother's apple pie recipe to a friend without having to type it out - it'll save you time and stress.

£3.99, play.google.com; £2.99, itunes.apple.com

6. Citymapper

"Citymapper's changed my life," says our arts and entertainment writer Jess. Whether you’re a Londoner or in the Big Smoke for a day trip, the transport system can be confusing. And time-consuming if you pick the wrong route. Thank goodness then for this clever, simple-to-use app. Wherever you want to go, it’ll tell you the quickest route,  show you the transport options, costs and – rather brilliantly— how many calories you’ll burn in the process. You can set it to work or home and it has live bus, rail and tube timetables so you’ll be up to date on any disruptions to services. Also available in New York and they're planning to expand to other cities.

Free, itunes.apple.com; play.google.com

7. Instapaper

Do you have to keep up with the latest news and insight in your industry but rarely have the time to see longer articles through to the end without being interrupted? Instapaper can help. With its simple design, the app's a distraction-free solution that allows you to instantly save articles for reading offline. You can read everything you want, on the go and all in one place- great for cutting down prep time for meetings. Or just having those articles you actually really want to read (like one of our Indy features) at your fingertips, wherever you are.

£1.93, play.google.com; £2.49, itunes.apple.com

8. Camcard

American Psycho's protagonist (and business card fan) Patrick Bateman would have loved this one. Camcard uses your phone’s camera, scanning business cards, adding the information to your phonebook. A must for freelancers and anybody who works in an industry where networking is key. It makes growing and updating your address book super-quick and easy. Perfect for after conferences and the like when you've been collecting cards all day.

free, play.google.com free, itunes.apple.com

9. Pushover

Social networks, email inboxes, to-dos and reminders… modern life requires a surprising amount of micro-management. Pushover unifies all of your notifications, whether they originate from your phone or your computer, and puts them all in one place - very handy.

£3.11, play.google.com; £2.99, itunes.apple.com

10. AA parking

Having a car is very convenient… unless you 're in a busy city and you need to find parking fast. This is a great little app that provides a list of places to park, how much they charge and there's real-time space availability in some places too. No more driving round in circle in new places looking for that elusive space. 

£1.99, play.google.com, itunes.apple.com

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