With the ever increasing number of apps on the smart phone and tablet market, it’s almost impossible to stay on top of the latest ‘must have’ apps. We get bogged down in app download overload, cluttering our phones with redundant and rarely used applications. So, how do you decide which ones will actually make your working life easier and more productive?
My advice would be to first consider the most important factors when you’re looking for apps to help simplify your life and work. Get the essentials and familiarise yourself with their features and functionality. Once you’re comfortable using them, you can add to your collection as necessary.
The key perhaps to becoming more successful lies in our efficiency. In other words, how well do we utilise our time and resources in order to achieve an intended result or purpose. Thus, when choosing the most useful apps, the question we need to ask ourselves is ‘What core tasks do I perform on a regular basis?’
There are 5 basic categories of App that everyone who works in business or an office environment should have on their smartphones or tablets.
- 1. General organisation
- Storage – so that documents can be accessed via the Cloud
- 3. Personal & business contact information sharing
- 4. Document viewing and editing
- 5. Comprehensive To Do and Task manager
The following 4 essential apps will help you to achieve optimum productivity and should make your working life simpler and easier:
This is one of my favorite apps because it’s free and helps you “Remember everything.” Evernote enables you to keep all your documents and files perfectly synced and accessible from any device with Evernote installed.
- Once you have created a new ‘note’ you can add photos, audio and annotations. You can also install Web Clipper which is a browser extension that allows you to save text, images, links and entire web pages.
- From a business perspective it is excellent for collecting information for projects, sharing & collaborating with friends and even planning trips and itineraries.
- Evernote is also great for keeping an organised record of personal activities in the style of a diary or journal. For instance if you are want to remember a particular day or event, you can start a new note, add photos, audio, tags and descriptions. Your note will then be available from anywhere. All you need to do is login to your account using any computer or hand held device. You can also quickly publish to social networks including Facebook.
In some ways Dropbox is similar to Evernote because it is essentially an online storage system. It doesn’t have the same features as Evernote but in terms of pure storage it’s extremely useful for synchronising and sharing documents and files.
Simply download Dropbox onto your computer and hand held devices. Then just ‘drop’ your files into Dropbox. You’ll then be able to access and synchronise your files from anywhere.
The reason I’ve included it is because:
- It’s very simple to use and you can choose how much storage you need.
- A free account gives you up to 18GB of storage (2GB plus 500MB for every person that you refer to Dropbox) which is plenty to get you started.
3. Bump for iPhone and Android
Bump is a fantastic app that’s so good it’s almost fun! In a nutshell, you can share photos, contact information and applications simply by bumping 2 phones together that have the App installed.
That’s it! It’s a great way to break the ice if you want to share contact or business information at business meetings, tradeshows or exhibitions.
4. Quickoffice Pro / Quickoffice Pro HD
You will almost certainly need some way to read and edit standard documents such as PDF, Word and Excel files on the go. If you want a really good suite of tools you are probably going to have to pay for this app.
There are a number of applications on the market that will allow you to view and edit files. Currently, Quickoffice is getting good reviews and also provides integrated access with Dropbox and Evernote.
- Quickoffice Pro allows you to create, edit, access and share Microsoft documents anywhere. These include Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations.
- Quickoffice Pro HD has all of the capabilities of Pro but with added features like advanced editing, SmartTouch ™ technology and advance file management.
Photo credit: getapp.com