Mike Ianiri of Equinox looks at 8 apps and tools to help you become more productive in your working life…
Would you like to save yourself some time and improve your productivity? If the answer is yes – and let’s face it, it probably is – there are apps just waiting for you to download.
There is a huge choice and you need to find them in the even larger pool of apps available. According to Statista, there are 2.1 million apps available from the Google app store, 1.8 million from Apple and 669K from Microsoft.
Here’s the question: which are the ones that will really make a difference to you and help you become more productive? We’ve done the testing and reviewing to help make your life easier.
You know when you’ve been doing “stuff” but not really sure what you’ve done and all of a sudden two hours have gone past. You’ve probably been deep-diving into your favourite websites and apps. RescueTime will help you stop losing that time. It can’t get it back for you though!
By showing you what sites and apps are using up all your time, you can make the decision to stop visiting them. On the paid version ($72 per year), it will even block those sites to keep you away from temptation.
This is the app you didn’t know you needed and will have your productivity levels skyrocketing in no time.
Timesheets are a necessary evil, particularly if you are consulting or charge based on your time. Toggl is an online timesheet for just you or for your team. It integrates with many of the online project management tools out there, such as Basecamp, Asana and Trello.
Not only is it incredibly easy to use, but it has also built in idling detector to track those moments where your mind is elsewhere; that way the time your clocking is actually accurate. This saves you from having to rack your brain trying to think of what hours you spent doing what work.
Carrying two phones around – one for personal and one for business use – is annoying. It often leads to carrying two lots of cables and they take up all your pocket/bag space. You’ve also got to remember which one is which and answer it accordingly.
With Re:Call, this goes away. You can add a second number to your phone, separate all the data and do away with all the hassles of carrying two phones. This app allows you to keep your existing business number and mobile carrier while giving you the freedom of the ‘Do not disturb’ function for when you’re out of office. Re:Call allows safe and secure messaging from the phone of your choice while keeping your phonebooks and voicemails separate.
Not exactly an app, but it is an alternative solution to Re:Call. It also works on whatever endpoint device you wish to partition. With Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) a popular way of allowing people to choose their preferred phone, it is increasingly necessary to provide the business with data protection.
If someone loses their device or they leave the business, there is valuable corporate data on that phone that you don’t want anyone else to get hold of. InTune allows you to separate and, if necessary, remotely wipe that data. This helps provide your employees with a much more stress-free user experience while knowing that your company’s data is safe and sound.
Remember the days of having to print a contract at the office, take it to the client and get them to sign it? You then had to get it back to the office for processing. All a big faff, especially if you had commission payments riding on that contract.
With Hellosign, all that goes away. You simply send them to add Hellosign to a document and your client can sign quickly, easily and digitally. It works with Gsuite, OneDrive, Dropbox, Salesforce and many others. Hellosign is an app that allows modern enterprises to optimise their time while still delivering professional and consistently branded documents.
If you’re not quite ready for Hellosign, or simply need a PDF or image of something when out and about, have a look at camscanner. Quick and easy, you simply take a photo and camscanner asks whether you want a JPEG or PDF. You can then share it through all your normal channels, including email, Whatsapp, Evernote and even send it directly to your OneDrive or Google Drive.
Camscanner is also great for on-the-go image to text conversions (16 different languages supported) while printing wirelessly and faxing globally. What more could you ask for?
If you need a To Do list to keep you on the straight and narrow, this is for you. You simply add your tasks, including deadlines and timings, and it will keep you on track. It integrates with Slack, with many calendars, and even Alexa. You can also add your colleagues – up to five of you – for free.
ToDoist allows you to keep all your dates, no matter how big or small, in one place. That way, you can focus on the important things with the confidence you’re not forgetting anything.
Cloze is an amalgamator, in that it pulls together all your interactions, so you never forget where you’ve got to with someone. It learns who is important to you and gives you reminders accordingly. We all know that pressing stress you feel when you’re busy and wondering if you’re forgetting something.
Need to remember the last email you sent to someone, when their birthday is or what their last comment was on Twitter? This is what Cloze does. It’s like having a personal assistant right in your pocket, just without the coffee runs or answered phone calls.
There are lots of apps out there for video conferencing. Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts are some of the most popular, but there are lots more. What’s more, you no longer need your PC and a webcam; you simply use your phone. You can now make those conference calls from wherever you are, saving huge amounts of time either getting to a physical meeting or even to your PC.
Mike Ianiri is Director of independent telecoms brokerage Equinox. Mike works with companies, charities and other organisations to help them choose the right telecoms packages. www.equinoxcomms.co.uk