With thousands of apps at your fingertips it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Most people quickly realize they have no use for 9 out of 10 apps available in the marketplace. In this complex world of productivity tools, social media, reminders, and mobile access, each of us discovers a select group of apps that become a key component in our lives and life without them seems unbearable.
When you’re not scrolling through pictures of your ex on Facebook or begging friends to help harvest your farm, there is a wide selection of apps for business, productivity, and organization. It’s time to get down to business and there are different apps for different chaps, so my favorites won’t suit everyone but I encourage you to test them and share your own favorites below.
- Dropbox – store pictures, phone/security backups, passwords, team files, you name it. I have to rank Dropbox over Evernote because of all the bonus space I’ve earned. (50 Gigs – boom!)
- Evernote – keep notes organized, tag/label items you’ll need in the future, or bookmark articles to read later. View/Edit/Save material to your Evernote account while logged-in using any browser or access the same material while you’re away from your desk using a phone or tablet.
- Skype – inexpensive international calling from anywhere you have an internet connection.
- Google Voice – can’t get messages while you’re out of the office? Use Google Voice to have voicemails transcribed and delivered to your email inbox. Similar to Skype, Google Voice also offers inexpensive international calls.
- Whats App Messenger – send text messages to any phone anywhere across the globe for free!
- TripIt – email flight, hotel, car rental, or any other confirmation to TripIt and the information will be neatly organized into a trip itinerary. Stop carrying copies of your confirmations everywhere you go. Download the TripIt app and have your itinerary at your fingertips.
- Kayak – my favorite app and website for searching flights. Easily select your criteria and within seconds you have a list of all flights from most major airlines.
- Uber – refuse to fight for a cab? Limited budget but want to show up for your meeting in style? Go Uber! Uber will signal a cab, towncar, or van (set your own preferences) and using the magic of GPS your ride will pick you up at your current location for a small surcharge. You’ll never hail a taxi again!
There are several other apps that help me get through the work day, but the aforementioned list should be part of everyone’s bag of tricks. Commit to using a couple of the apps on my list for the next week and let me know how it goes. Is there an app I need in my life? Let me know in the comments section below.
Landing in Chicago at 7:00 Monday morning on the red-eye from Las Vegas sounded like the worst idea in the world. Tack on a 90-minute rush hour taxi communte from O’Hare to the Hard Rock Hotel in downtown Chicago and one may think I was intentionally torturing myself. Fast forward to Monday afternoon and my travel nightmare seemed like a distant memory thanks to the buzz surrounding the Original Gourmet booth at McCormick Place for the NCA Sweets and Snacks Expo.
Guests posed for pictures with the Lollipop Queen. The OGFC team redefined perceptions of the lollipop category for thousands of visitors that stopped by booth #571. Guests left with an understanding why Original Gourmet Lollipops truly are the “World’s Best Lollipops”!
Original Gourmet Food Co. booth at NCA Sweets and Snacks Expo
Post-Its, written lists, bookmarking, color-coding, email reminders – I’ve tried them all. An early lesson on productivity taught me the importance of using a system. Whether it’s losing a Post-It, too many lists, or disorganized bookmarks, every system has its pitfalls. Evernote is my savior.
I’m still an amateur ‘Evernoter’ so the veterans may know more tricks to maximize the effectiveness of this application. Share your great ideas in the comment section below! For starters, it takes 2 minutes to download the app and set up a new account. Start a new ‘note’ and you’ll see that you can ‘tag’ each item you save. Tags are a great way to link notes that share a common thread. Consistently using tags will help you find the information you’re looking for among all your notes. Take organization a step further with ‘notebooks’ that group notes under a single topic or project. The functionality is limitless, but my basic uses include:
- Food shopping lists
- Saving websites to visit later
- A notepad for my occasional strokes of genius
- Consolidating content and materials that I plan to use in the near future
- Project management – using different notebooks for each
I’ve even started using IFTTT to backup my notes in Dropbox and take advantage of all that free storage I own. With everything organized, tagged, and backed up, now I can devote more time to managing my fantasy football team that is in a tie for 1st place. Who knew a couples fantasy football league could be so fun?
You can provide me with a list of reasons, “bigger screen, it’s thinner, new colors, or 4G,” but we know the truth: you’re an Apple addict! What does that even mean Dan? You know exactly what it means. Before you can test the product or read reviews you’ll wait in line for hours to pre-order the new iPhone5 because you need it. Apple does an exceptional job protecting it’s brand and keeps loyal customers begging for more.
I am the proud new owner of a Samsung Galaxy S3. Friends with iPhones see my phone and ask, “what phone is that?” Part of them feels guilty if they like a product that doesn’t bear the signature Apple logo. It’s like going to the beach, you don’t want to look but everyone is curious. It’s time for Apple addicts to stop denying their addiction. Acknowledging the problem is the first step! Maybe I’ll start a 12-step “Apple Recovery Program”. It should be easy to find new members – they’re swarming every Apple store right now.