If you’re in a perpetual state of on-the-go, and you need as much help as you can get from your Android phone, a set of widgets might be just the thing for you. Of course, what you do might dictate the types of widgets you add, so I’ve come up with a short list of widgets that anyone could benefit from. These widgets are a combination of pre-installed applications and those found on the Google Play Store. I’ve tried to curate this list so it’s a bare minimum of helpful tools (instead of bombarding you), so you can simply add them and enjoy a bit less stress in your busy day.
The only thing you need to make use of these widgets is either an Android phone or tablet. Each of these widgets can be added by long-pressing an empty spot on the home screen, tapping Widgets, locate the widget in question, and then dragging and dropping the widget onto a location on your home screen. With that said, let’s get to the widgets.
Event Flow Calendar
Although you could use the widget from the default Google Calendar app, you might want to work with an app that includes a few more features. One of the best on the market is the Event Flow Calendar. This event-driven widget does one thing and does it incredibly well—displays upcoming events from your calendar. Event Flow can be downloaded for free, or you can unlock extra features for $0.99.
With the free version, you can display events from as many calendars as you like, customize the theme, show calendar color, show multi-day events, show all-day events and define the period for events. The Premium version allows you to customize options like header configuration, font, text density, round corners, day separator, colors and more.
Event Flow Calendar is as elegant an event widget as you’ll find on the market.
If you’re looking for the single best list manager, Any.do is what you want. Although Google Keep does a fine job, it cannot compare to Any.do. Not only does Any.do display your tasks, it will also include your calendar, so you can make this your all-in-one calendar/task widget. It’s the task feature that stands out with Any.do, and the widget allows you to add new tasks either manually or using voice.
With Any.do, you can add a comprehensive widget, or a much more compact option that only includes a single line entry, that you can scroll through with a tap.
If your list is run back tasks and events, the Any.do widget should be considered a must-use.
I depend on timers, for so many things. For daily usage, I simply use the built-in Clock tool, which has a great timer. Unfortunately, the default Clock app doesn’t include widgets for the timers, so I have to turn elsewhere. One simple solution for this is Time Until. This widget doesn’t offer a lot of features. Time Until does one thing and does it well—it displays a countdown to an event.
With Time Until, you can either create countdowns within the app itself or from the Android widget selector. Either way, you can add multiple times to your home screen, which makes it easy for you to know how much time you have to an event.
This isn’t the most beautiful widget you’ll find, but it is the most user-friendly and tackles the task at hand quite well.
Every on-the-go person could use this built-in widget. Instead of having to go through the Gmail app to read or compose a quick email, just add the Gmail widget. With this on your home screen, you can quickly scroll through your inbox and, with a tap of a button, compose a new email.
Although it is handy to be able to view your Inbox, it’s that Compose button that makes this widget really handy. For anyone who depends on email communication, this widget should be considered a must-add to your home screen. If you have multiple accounts configured in the Gmail app, you can add a widget for each, so you don’t miss out on any correspondence.
The only caveat to the widget is that when you use the Quick Compose feature, after sending the email, you’ll find yourself in the Gmail app (instead of your home screen).
Google Maps Traffic
If part of your daily grind is driving, then you know how important it is to get a quick idea of how bad traffic is—especially if you work in a busy city or part of town. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to add the Google Maps Traffic widget to your home screen. This isn’t so much a widget as it is a shortcut to open Google Maps in the Traffic section of the app. With a single tap, you’ll get instant access to a traffic report of your area.
Unfortunately, that’s all you can do with the Google Maps Traffic widget, but for anyone who always needs to know the best route to get from point A to point B, this tool could be a time saver.