There are always new and exciting productivity apps being launched and recently, I’ve been on a mission to try as many as I can to compare them to the collection of my daily helpful apps. Since there are so many new apps released from all around the world every day, I like to take a few weeks every 3-4 months to see if I find something so awesome, it ends up replacing a long-time favorite of mine.
I also like to try new buzz apps to see if they’re worth giving a shout out to, so that any of you who might be on the lookout for something new to try but don’t have the time for quarterly checks, the info I offer can help you make such a decision. Some of these Productivity Apps are ones that I use on a daily basis and have helped save my butt on several occasions!
Buffer – Social Media / Content Management
I cannot say enough about Buffer, I love it. I love the people who created Buffer, what a stellar team!! Now about the functionality of my “lifesaver”…I can schedule compelling written and visual content on multiple Twitter accounts, multiple Facebook Pages, Google +, LinkedIn and Pinterest! Each individual account has its own set of schedule times and its own queue (when they’re empty, you get a courtesy email) loaded with relevant content for just that account. Each account allows up to 15 RSS feeds BUT if you like an article from a feed in one of your other accounts that you think 2-3 of your other audiences would also enjoy, you can just click on those account icons (see photo), all of which show up at the top of every single post that you create! Buffer’s focus is to support your productivity with its easy-to-use multi-scheduling options and offers “suggestions” based on your accounts related RSS feeds, in case your feeds are running a little low!
Dragon Mobile Assistant – Virtual Assistant
Using voice recognition software has become so commonplace that you shouldn’t feel too strange asking your phone questions in public anymore! Dragon is for Android what Siri is for Apple. It’s very straightforward, no big frills (yet!) and it actually recognizes what you’re saying (unlike a similar app, simply called Assistant, that I spent $15 on and is the worst app with 15% voice recognition?!), lets you ask it to carry out a variety of tasks for you, including setting reminders, searching the Internet asking for the current weather and directions to where you’re going (don’t get confused though, this assistant is merely virtual….no need to but it a coffee, like in the photo!). Also, it has a “driver” mode for hands free which is safe, legal and just plain thoughtful.
Parsely – Content Marketing Strategy
To my fellow writers, we all know about the importance of content marketing. Earlier today I was putting together a marketing campaign and of course, writing content for this purpose. Parsely is a handy-dandy app that lets me know how the content marketing is coming across, audience response, what my ROI (return on investment) is. Love it! This app literally gives you the data to find the content strategies that are working and those that are not, supporting your overall productivity. This means that you have more time to focus your energy on the strategies that are working much quicker and easier, thus allowing for a higher ROI from a particular campaign.
Trello / Kanban Flow – Project Management
Based on the Kanban method adopted from Toyota, both Trello and the less popular but pretty cool new app (and the one that I use) Kanban Flow, both allow you to visually track projects with “cards” that you can drag/drop from one column to the next. Each of the Kanban offspring offer easy-to-navigate functionality for development teams but I have to throw in an extra nod to Kanban Flow which has helped with my general productivity level more than most apps I use in a single day….it’s has a timer! You can manually punch in how long you’d like to give yourself on a certain task, say 45 min. After you click on the task card in its column the timer starts running and when your time’s up, it automatically schedules you a break!
Focus@Will – Neurologically Enhanced Music
Distraction is a major challenge facing a lot of people while working but Focus@Will has designed musical playlists specifically to bolster creativity, and improve focus and overall productivity. “For example, when you listen to music, sound waves hit your eardrum, are transferred to the cochlea in your inner ear, where microscopic cells called hair cells are made to vibrate. The movement of the hair cells turns the mechanical energy of the wave into chemical signals that stimulate auditory nerves to fire action potentials,” as seen on their site. Apparently, part of the trick is occupying your brain just enough to let you work. I’m listening to one of their neurologically generated music stations called “ambient” now and its great music that actually calms me (which is how I stay focused)!
Pocket – Save for Later
Pocket is an easy “save for later” app, like “pinning” but instead, it’s being saved straight onto the app on your phone or browser. You can also install a Pocket icon onto your Chrome Bookmark Bar and when you see an article, an image, video, etc, you just click “save to pocket” and it’s ready to access there on your phone. It’s handy, easy to make adjustments are perfect for when I check it at the end of the day and I realize how many ideas I have to write about or share the next day! I don’t even realize how many things I’m saving throughout the day because I just send it directly to my Pocket. No muss, no fuss.
Layout – Design (from Instagram)
Want to take a picture and tweak it before you send it to Instagram? Layout was created by the people who brought us Instagram and allows us to take one picture, multiply it within several layouts or mirror it! You can also load multiple pictures onto one multi-squared layout. Mix & match several different pictures onto one layout design (think of the 9 unique squares, each with a different person’s face, on the Brady Bunch opening sequence) and you’ve just shared 9 pieces of visual content in 1 step….not bad!
Sunrise – Calendar
I don’t know about you but I have 5 Gmail accounts, then a few email accounts through my website. I can get access to ALL of these as they filter into my time-saving, user-friendly Sunrise. With beautiful color coordination, I can easily identify which calendar a particular event is being displayed from. This calendar connects to all major calendar services (and some, not-so-major!), allowing me to sort through a single place for all of my emails and events, helping to ensure another successful day!