People often ask me what productivity Apps I use and recommend. It’s been a while since I’ve included a roundup on the blog so as requested, here are some useful Apps with a focus on Personal and Business Productivity.
Apps with a Focus on Personal and Business Productivity
Created by Facebook co-founder, Dustin Moskovits, and fellow Facebook associate Justin Rosenstein, Asana allows teams to track their work through project and task assignments that have the ability to feature notes, comments, attachments, and tags without having to use personal email to communicate. Instead, when changes are made to projects by team members, a message is sent to the project manager’s inbox through Asana’s internal messaging system.
Since its inception in 2004, Basecamp has seen two new product launches in 2012 and 2015 of Basecamp 2 and Basecamp 3, respectively. This platform stores and organizes your work in one place through the use of team message boards and comment threads, real-time chat, automatic check-ins, to-do lists, document and file storage, a centralized schedule, reports, and a very handy search feature for digging up old docs.
This multiplatform app comes in free or upgraded paid version. Evernote is best for note-taking, organizing, and archiving. Users create “notes” which can come in the form of formatted text, a webpage or excerpt, photograph, voice memo, or even a handwritten “ink” note. Notes can also includes attachments; be annotated, tagged, edited, commented on, or searched; and are exported as a page in a notebook.
For the bookworm in all of us. Goodreads is an Amazon company through which “social cataloging” allows users to search and save books and reading lists. The platform is heavily driven by the use of its members who can create group book suggestions, blogs, polls, and discussion threads; generate library catalogs, and search through the Goodreads ever-growing database of books and reviews.
Whether you are using it for business or personal purposes, Google Drive is a great option for accessible, user-friendly cloud storage. Google Drive features Google Sheets, Docs, Powerpoints, and a variety of templates that can be stored and edited by those they are shared with. Alternatively, users can upload their own files and images to the drive. One of selling points of Google Drive is that it is relatively low-maintenance and can be customized to meet the unique needs of each user through a variety of add-ons that can be downloaded from the Google App store.
Few things are more frustrating than arriving at the grocery store only to realize you have forgotten the grocery list on the kitchen counter. Our Groceries is a free mobile app that will save you this grief by saving your grocery list to your smart phone or web browser. Features include a drag-and-drop component to allow you to move items on your list based on the layout of your grocery store, a tap function to delete list items, and optional categories to organize your list into aisles or food types.
Internet security is a growing concern these days especially when every platform we use requires a login and password access. LastPass is a secure platform that uses a master password that only the user, not even LastPass, has access to in order to safely store their passwords. Additional features include cross-browser synchronization, secure password generation, password encryption, form filling, importing/exporting of passwords, portable access, fingerprint identification, and credit monitoring.
This app is great for all women whether you have a pesky period or are trying to conceive or simply want to track your menstrual cycle. Ovuview uses features like cycle statistics, tracking and reporting of temperature and symptoms, calendars, fertility awareness methods, and more to help women maximize chances of pregnancy, avoid pregnancy, track weight gain, headaches, and other PMS-related symptoms, and conveniently chart their cycle on their phones.
Prezi is a cloud-based service that allows users to create professional level presentations with great ease. Unlike Powerpoint, Prezi utilizes a single canvas that can be zoomed in and out on to a single group of text or images making for a very dynamic presentation. The freeform design also allows Prezi to be used effectively as a collaborative whiteboard, great for teamwork in the office or with clients.
RescueTimeBecause we have all fallen into the great abyss that is Facebook or Wikipedia or Buzzfeed. RescueTime monitors and tracks how you use your time on the internet. Reports are then generated that allow you to see just how productive, or not, you are being. For a slightly pricey premium upgrade, RescueTime will also track phone calls, breaks, meetings and even send you notification reminding users to get back on track.
The name is more than just ironic. Slack is actually an acronym that stands for Searchable Log of All Converstaion and Knowledge. The cloud-based software allows for highly effective team collaboration through features like topic-centered conversation, private and direct messaging, task and project management, file storage and sharing, and a search feature. Additionally Slack also conveniently integrates with other platforms including Dropbox, Google Drive, Trello, and and GitHub to name a few.
Whether it’s flashy ads or Facebook notifications, the internet often feels like it built as one huge distraction. Stayfocusd was designed to help users do just that – stay focused. The app has highly customizable features that block time-wasting websites, impose time limits on certain sites, and set times of day or days of the week to allow for a a quick web surfing indulgence or two.
For Android users, SwiftKey swaps out your traditional keyboard for a smarter, more user-friendly keyboard. This multilingual app allows your fingers to glide over the board and tracks your conversational habits to better predict what you are going to type. If you choose to, upon installation you can give SwiftKey access to your social media accounts to even better understand your typing behavior.
To-Do’ist is much more than an app to stores lists. The app is functional across multiple platforms, devices, inboxes, and browsers and includes a number of features that allow users to share lists, collaborate on lists, set notifications and reminders, make comments, form sub-tasks and sub-projects, give priority to certain tasks and lists, and organize with labels and filters. On top of it all, To-Do’ist also tracks your activity and produces visual reports to help you gage how most effectively manage your tasks.
Trello is a web-based project management tool that can be used on both a professional and personal capacity. Boards represent projects which contain task lists. Within each list are cards that, using the drag-and-drop method, can be passed from list to list or reassigned to different users. This system is meant to mirror the flow of projects from idea to implementation.
Whether you signed up for them on purpose or not, subscription emails and newsletters have a tendency to muck up our inboxes and distract us from the more meaningful messages that should take priority. Unroll.Me solves this issue by consolidating your subscription services into a manageable summary. This way instead of receiving 20+ newsletters a day users of Unroll.Me get one much more digestible email.
Microsoft To-Do, (formerly Wunderlist see alternatives here)
Similar to To-Do’ist, take task management and personal productivity to a new level. Features include sorting lists into folders, list-sharing and collaborating, synchronization across multiple devices and with Microsoft Office, notes and comments, reminder and due date notifications, mail and print functions, and an add-to feature that can turn things you run across on the web into actionable items.
Do you use any of these Apps? If so I’d love to hear what you think and if there are others I’ve missed, please include them in the comments below. Happy Apping!