I am always keen to discover new ways that technology can help improve my time management and productivity as these are critical to my business success.
As we are all aware, mobility has changed our everyday lives and we are “permanently on”. Smartphones and other mobile devices have taken over and ultimately altered the way we communicate – personal and business-wise – making it essential to look to apps that achieve increased productivity and better time management.
And as I am an avid user of my iPhone and Pad for work, I can attest that apps can make a big difference. And through the years of using a variety of apps, there are things I look for in a powerful app:
• Versatility – being available on all my devices, especially mobile e.g. Evernote, Skype, Podcasts, mSecure
• Integration – apps that work with other apps e.g. I am using Trello, Evernote and Dropbox as my primary data storage and task management apps. I am looking for other apps that will work with them e.g. Penultimate, CloudMagic, Keynote, etc.
• Service – apps that provide a real service by accumulating and/or customisinginformation – TripIt, Oz Weather, mSecure
• Portability – apps that allow me to carry and wide range of resources with me in a convenient format reducing clutter and volume e.g. Kindle, Podcasts, Audible, Evernote, Newstand
Based on this criteria, my top productivity apps are:
• Evernote – most amazing tool for storing and organising all your information no matter what format you need – Office, PDF, audio, video, webpages, text, voice, etc.
I use it to store everything except my main Office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) for which I still use conventional file storage mechanisms. All my resource materials and information is stored in Evernote. The best thing is that it is available on all my devices: desktop, iPad, iPhone and web – seriously good. I have the premium business version as it facilitates better communication with my Team.
• Trello – Provides Visual Task Management and Collaboration for me and the Team, a great tool that I use to manage all my tasks. Free for the basic version.
• CloudMagic – An email app for use on my iOS devices. A simple logic and flow, and it integrates seamlessly with Evernote and Trello. Free as well!
• Docs 2 Go & DropBox – apps for mobile data storage and file access. They enable me to easily transfer files between my desktop and my iPad. Invaluable.
• Pages, Keynote and Numbers – Apple’s in-house apps for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations on your iOS device. Makes it easier to access documents and presentations with you wherever you go.
• Penultimate – It allows me to write on my iPad with a stylus. Integrates with Evernote.
• TripIt – If you travel you must use this! TripIt automatically creates and coordinates all my travel details into online itineraries and then monitors then for changes! It links to Calendar apps seamlessly loading my travel plans into my calendar.
• Oz Weather – A great weather app. Very handy.
• Kindle (and IBook) – Apps for business books on the run.
• Podcasts – I use it to download great topics for learning on the go. I listen to them in the car. I have also just started using Audible for listening to books (jury is still out on this!).
• Newstand – I read “the Australian” newspaper and subscribe to my favourite magazines (like Top Gear) and can view them on my iPad. Very handy when I travel.
• Skype and VSee – For communication – free mobile video conference calls. App versions are great.
• mSecure – Password storage – a must have – a great app that is available and syncs across all your devices storing my Usernames and passwords.
• LinkedIn – Probably the only social media app that I like. I prefer the iPad version to the desktop version.
• Hootsuite – Social media posts made easy. iOS version is full-featured and easy to use.
• Calendar and CRM apps – Make sure your calendar and/or CRM have great app versions that enable you to seamlessly operate on a mobile business. I use the Apple Calendar app and Zoho.
There are a range of other quality apps that I use that are specific to my industry, occupation and interests. You should know the apps that are relevant to you and your business. And there are many versions of the apps above with similar functionality (or better) – what are your top productivity apps? Why?