News: The 12 Best Android Widgets for Getting Things Done

The 12 Best Android Widgets for Getting Things Done

For people that like to get things done, Android's home screen widgets are almost indispensable. Rather than packing your launcher with a bunch of icons, you can utilize widgets to get quick information in a beautiful package or provide one-tap access to a particular functionality within your apps.

Most widgets you'll find through a quick search will be for controlling music or viewing weather, but these are obviously in abundance, which means you shouldn't have any trouble finding one you like. So instead, I'll cover some of the best widgets that focus mainly on getting stuff done, and hopefully, your productivity levels will skyrocket as a result.

#1: Event Flow - Calendars

Event Flow is a highly customizable calendar widget that hooks into your existing Android system calendar to display upcoming events in one of two formats: Either a schedule view that shows your next appointments, or a month view that gives you 30+ days at a time.

There are eight themes available, and each preset can be customized even further with a robust set of options, so you can get a nice look going with your easy-to-view schedule. You can unlock all themes and configurations with an in-app purchase of $0.99.

Event Flow Quick Facts

  • Available Widgets: 3x3 (agenda or month view)
  • Theme Options: 8 themes with customizable options
  • Price to Unlock All Features: $0.99

#2: Power Toggles - System Settings

With over 5 million installs, Power Toggles is definitely a fan favorite. This widget is about as powerful as it gets, considering that you can adjust almost any system setting at the tap of a button, and even assign long-press actions to each of your toggles.

There are two widgets available — a 1x1 folder and a 4x1 strip — and the former is highly customizable with a wide array of theming options. If you like to keep a tight rein on battery-draining settings like GPS and account sync, then Power Toggles is the way to go.

Power Toggles Quick Facts

  • Available Widgets: 4x1, 1x1 (Folder)
  • Theme Options: 9 colors, background transparency, and more
  • Price to Unlock All Features: Free

#3: HD Widgets - General Information

For an all-in-one widget option, HD Widgets provides almost all the information you could ever need in a highly customizable and theme-ready package. The base app will only cost you $0.99, but there are a few external theme packages that you can purchase through the app.

To give you a few examples of what HD Widgets can do, it has over a dozen widget sizes that can each be configured to show different information. There are options for time, date, system indicators, toggle switches, and even custom weather data, and each of these bits of information can be assigned to launch any app of your choosing when you tap them. In all, it's one of the most robust widgets available, which makes it my personal favorite.

HD Widgets Quick Facts

  • Available Widgets: 1x1, 1x2, 1x4, 2x1, 2x2, 3x5, 4x1, 4x2, and more
  • Theme Options: Dozens of layouts, colors, and more
  • Price to Unlock All Features: $0.99

#4: Zooper Widget - General Information

Zooper Widget is similar to HD Widgets because of its all-in-one appeal, but there's more of a learning curve with this one. If you're willing to get past that, however, you'll be rewarded with what's likely the most customizable widget system available for Android, period.

The free version of Zooper has plenty of options, but we'd recommend getting Zooper Pro for $2.99. Once you've done that, there are plenty of Zooper themes that you can install from the Play Store, and though many have a minimalistic text-based style, you can adjust virtually every aspect of the interface to fit your tastes.

Zooper Widget Quick Facts

  • Available Widgets: 1x2, 1x3, 1x4, 1x5, 2x2, 2x3, 2x4, 2x5, 3x2, and more
  • Theme Options: Virtually endless
  • Price to Unlock All Features: $2.99

#5: Time It - Time Keeper

If you want to keep track of the time you spend on different activities throughout your day, Time It is the way to go. There are three different widget sizes, though the largest one requires the pro version of Time It, which will run you $1.49.

Each widget comes with adjustable transparency, but they all offer the same basic functionality — simply tap the play/pause button to start timing an activity, then tap it again to stop. Once you've done that, the main app will pop up, where you can categorize and save your activity for future viewing.

Time It Quick Facts

  • Available Widgets: 1x1, 2x1, 3x3 (pro only)
  • Theme Options: Transparency only
  • Price to Unlock All Features: $1.49

#6: More Shortcuts - App Activities

The different screens, menus, and actions that can be performed within an app are called activities. An app called More Shortcuts will let you create quick links to these activities and place a custom icon on your home screen, which lets you jump straight to the exact thing you wanted to do in an app.

There's only one widget offered by More Shortcuts, but it's about as useful as it gets. Just add it to your home screen, then pick any action — this could range from writing a new email to toggling your phone's flashlight on and off. Once you've done that, you can choose a name for the shortcut and repeat the process all over again if you'd like to add more direct links to your favorite app activities.

More Shortcuts Quick Facts

  • Available Widgets: 1x1
  • Theme Options: Custom Labels
  • Price to Unlock All Features: Free

#7: Volume Control + - Volume Levels

Over the years, Android's volume menu has seen several redesigns, but not all of these have been welcome changes. So depending on your Android version, you may want an easier way to adjust volume levels, and that's where Volume Control + comes into play.

A free version of this app is available, but to use the handy home screen widgets, you'll need to purchase the pro version for $2.99. You get to pick and choose which system volume levels you want to control, and all volumes can be adjusted by tapping the plus or minus icons on the widget. You can even tap the icon itself to quickly mute a particular volume level, and three different themes are available.

Slider Widget Quick Facts

  • Available Widgets: 1x1, 4x1
  • Theme Options: Light, Dark, or Transparent
  • Price to Unlock All Features: $2.99

#8: Data Status - Mobile Data Usage

Data Status is a Gadget Hacks favorite, considering that we've covered it in the past. The reason we like this app is that it makes it easy to see when you're running the risk of exceeding your monthly mobile data limit, and it does it with style.

The widgets offered by Data Status are just as useful as the main app since they give you detailed information about your data usage right on your home screen, and there are three color options to choose from. The app is free to use for a month — if you like it, it's only a dollar to use it for life.

Data Status Quick Facts

  • Available Widgets: 3x2
  • Theme Options: Blue, Black, or Purple
  • Price to Unlock All Features: $0.99

#9: Google Keep - Notes & To-Do Lists

Google Keep is an invaluable tool for making notes, creating reminders, checking off to-do lists, and much more. Your creations sync across all of your devices, so it's a perfect cross-platform app — but on Android, widgets make it an even better experience.

With the 3x2 widget, you can opt to only show particular types of notes, which are fully interactive even when they're on your home screen. Then, with the 3x1 widget, you'll get instant access to creating new notes, checklists, reminders, or anything else that you'd normally save in Keep.

Google Keep Quick Facts

  • Available Widgets: 3x1 or 3x2
  • Theme Options: Display Custom Categories
  • Price to Unlock All Features: Free

#10: Contextual App Folder - Apps When You Need Them

This next app is a widget, but it's disguised as a regular home screen folder. That's because it uses cues like your current location or the time of day to only display the most relevant apps for what you're doing right now.

After setting up a default folder, you can select triggers like when you connect to a certain Wi-Fi network or Bluetooth device. When one of these trigger events occurs, the contents of your home screen folder will change to display the right apps at the right time. It may sound complicated, but it's really not — plus, we've got a full setup guide for you right here.

Redditastic Quick Facts

  • Available Widgets: 1x1 (folder)
  • Theme Options: None
  • Price to Unlock All Features: Free

#11: SeriesGuide - TV Shows

If you're a TV fan, you definitely want to catch your favorite shows as they air new episodes. SeriesGuide is almost unquestionably the best Android app for tracking shows, and it has an awesome widget to match.

Once you've added your favorite shows to the main app, the widget will list all upcoming episodes so you don't miss out. When you tap one of these episodes, you'll be taken to the overview page, where there's lots of useful information. To unlock additional widgets, themes, and more, you can pay $1.99/year or a one-time fee of $5.49, though most users will be fine with the free version.

SeriesGuide Quick Facts

  • Available Widgets: 4x2
  • Theme Options: Light, Dark, or SeriesGuide Dark
  • Price to Unlock All Features: $2.49/year or $5.49/life

#12: Palabre - RSS Feeds

Palabre is already an awesome RSS and Feedly reader that presents the latest news in a beautiful, mobile-friendly format. The widgets it offers follow those same principles, and in doing so, make the app even more of a joy to use.

You can select any subscription to display in one of three different widget formats, then when you see an interesting article, just tap it to view the site in Palabre's Material Design reader interface. It's truly a one stop shop for all of your news needs, so what better place to have it than your home screen?

Palabre Quick Facts

  • Available Widgets: 1x1, 4x2, 4x4
  • Theme Options: Unique look for each of the 3 widgets
  • Price to Unlock All Features: $2.49 to remove ads

Which of these widgets have you added to your home screen already? Do you know of any awesome productivity widgets we didn't mention here? Let us know in the comment section below.

Cover image and screenshots by Dallas Thomas/Gadget Hacks

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