10 best Windows Phone apps for staying productive

Here are the coolest Windows Phone apps we could find for business-related tasks like scanning documents, backing up files to the cloud, and analyzing Web traffic

Windows Phone apps

Watch out iPhone, the Windows Phone Marketplace now has 50,000 apps, and new smartphones from Nokia and HTC are generating serious buzz. We gathered the best apps we could find that take advantage of the Windows Phone Metro UI and that are guaranteed to keep you productive in and out of work.

Phonealytics

As Web traffic analysis becomes a more integral part of most jobs, Google Analytics has stepped up as a popular Web traffic data cruncher. Phonealytics is a free Google Analytics app with some cool at-a-glance features, including stats on search engines and keywords, lists of referring domains, and, of course, fancy charts. Phonealytics is free, but there is a version for $1.99 that features a live Windows Phone tile that automatically updates your Web traffic.

Office Mobile 2010

One app exclusive to Windows Phone is Office Mobile 2010. It's free (though requires a sign-in) and comes with the smartphone -- no download required. You can view and edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote docs with all the essential tools at your disposal. Office Mobile also includes SharePoint Workspace, which allows you to view, edit, and download documents stored on your company's SharePoint server.

Evernote

Evernote is a popular note-taking app for everything from brainstorming on a work project to jotting down birthday gift ideas. When simple words on a screen are not enough, Evernote lets you attach a photo or audio snippet to your notes. It then synchronizes your notes instantly from your phone to the Web. Windows Phone bolsters Evernote by letting you pin a tile to the start screen and create new notes right from the tile. Also, you can pin any note, notebook, photo, or audio snippet to the start screen.

SkyDrive

With the recent Windows Phone 7.5 update, aka "Mango," Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud storage service was built into the Office and Pictures hubs to back up photos and documents. But the free SkyDrive app unveiled last December for Windows Phone (and also for iOS) goes further, adding such features as sharing links to folders and files, creating folders, deleting files and folders, and browsing your entire SkyDrive.

Handyscan

Ever need to quickly scan a document but you didn't have a scanner handy? Enter Handyscan, a document scanner app available only on Windows Phone that allows you to scan receipts, contracts, expense reports, invoices, business cards, and more using the phone's camera. You can then send the docs by email or back them up to the cloud (Dropbox, Microsoft SkyDrive, etc.). A paid version ($2.99) lets you convert scanned files to PDF.

eWallet Go

For all of you who still have your passwords written on a piece of paper, it's time to lay down $4.99 for eWalletGo on your Windows Phone. It's a tad pricey, but it's worth it to have an app that securely stores usernames, passwords, and credit card and account information. This is information that's easy to leave exposed, both physically and digitally. eWallet Go has categories like Work, Passwords, Credit Cards, and Websites to keep info organized, and your e-wallet is protected by 256-bit AES encryption.

My Trips

My Trips is an excellent companion app to TripIt.com, and it offers more features than the TripIt app. This app will set you back $1.99, but in return you get a capable travel app that shows you a list of your upcoming trips, as well as flight, hotel, and car rental information, departure and arrival dates and times, and confirmation numbers. After you've synced My Trips with your TripIt.com account, My Trips works offline, which is handy if you're in mid-air with no Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity.

Lync 2010 for Windows Phone

Lync 2010 for Windows Phone, released last December, is a free app that brings the unified communications features of the Microsoft Lync platform to your smartphone. This includes presence, instant messaging, audio and video conferencing, and VoIP calls. Lync 2010 Mobile is available now only on Windows Phone, but versions for iOS and Android are in the works. Note: This is an enterprise app and is not for consumers. It requires a Lync Server or Office365/Lync Online account.

Boxfiles for Dropbox

Although the SkyDrive app is now built into Windows Phones, the cloud storage service Dropbox is more popular than SkyDrive. With no Dropbox app on Windows Phone, what are hungry Dropbox users to do? The free Boxfiles for Dropbox app fills this gap, allowing users to move all types of files (documents, songs, videos, pictures) to and from Dropbox using their Windows Phone. You can also email links to Dropbox files and folders and pin folders to the phone's start screen. Boxfiles for Dropbox is free, but a $1.29 version includes integration with SkyDrive.

Adobe Reader

Windows Phones come with Office 2010 Mobile installed, but if you need to read a PDF, Office won't help. You will need the free Adobe Reader app. This app for PDFs, so common in the corporate world, lends itself well to the Windows Phone Metro design with its big fonts and full use of a large phone screen. The Adobe Reader app allows Windows Phone users to open PDFs as email attachments or as a Web link, renders images in PDFs, and allows multitouch gestures and portrait and landscape views.