Last week, we discussed the reasons why it was very important to allow employees to use Social Media and the benefits a company could accrue if these employees were trained to become an army of advocates online. With all of these freedoms comes the responsibility of using these technological advancements prudently. This week I discuss some Smartphone applications that can help us become more efficient in our day to day tasks as employers and employees.
Smartphones have transformed the way we communicate and the role communication devices play in our lives. With technologies constantly advancing (MTN just introduced 4g), Smartphones have become an indispensable tool in our lives.
Smartphones can be time-consuming distractions from the reality of everyday life. However they can also be leveraged to improve our lifestyles. For the busy worker (employer or employee), there are numerous productivity apps such as calendars, to-do lists, reminders, cloud storage and note-taking apps available to help manage hectic schedules. Let us review two productivity apps that will help us with managing and organizing work better.
Any.do is a free task management application available on iPhone, Android, and the Web. These platforms can be synced making access to the needed information to get tasks completed easy. Any.do is a calendar, a notepad, a board for post its or sticky notes, a project management tool for small teams, your daily scheduler, and overall a simple and useful organizer. You can use Any.do to capture ideas, make check lists and keep track of everything you need and want to-do. With Any.do you can easily share your check lists and tasks with anyone to get more done, faster.
Features and uses
Here are some of the features and uses of Any.do
- Daily Planner: The Any.do “Moment” feature is a daily planner which gives you a quick and fun rundown of the day’s tasks, so you can simply prioritize without hassle.
- Share and Delegate: You can share tasks and lists to get a group on the same page. Share your to-do’s with family, friends and colleagues to facilitate teamwork.
- Upload Files: Attach almost any type of file to your tasks and view them from any device.
- Sync across devices: Your tasks are synced across your devices so you can access them always anytime, on every device.
- Notes: Add notes to your tasks to make sure you have everything you need to complete the task.
- Subtasks: Make it useful by adding sub-tasks, notes & file attachments. Use this to break big projects into small tasks.
- List management: Create and organize lists to help you stay on top of everything.
- Comments: Add comments and get updates, all in one place, synced across all your devices.
- Reminders: You can choose time and location based reminders. With this feature, you will get reminded at the right time or place. It also has alarms for time sensitive reminders
- Action shortcuts: Call, text, email, buy or even book your trip, all from within Any.do without leaving the app.
- Notifications: With the new notification center you will easily stay updated and on track.
- Advanced recurring tasks: Customize your repeating tasks for example, every 2nd weekend or first Tuesday of the month.
- Integrated speech recognition: Make voice notes and create tasks by using the in app microphone.
- Flexible navigation: Tap and hold on tasks to drag and dropto plan your agenda, and set alarms to stay on track. You can also swipe to complete, and shake to remove when you have completed a task.
- Email tasks: you can also add a to-do to the app by email by forwarding firstname.lastname@example.org
It is also possible to print, export and sync with many Google services to help you manage your day. Download Any.do and keep focused on your goals for the day with all these cool features.
Visit the Google Playstore (web or mobile) or the App store for iOS. Download the app. Log in with Facebook, Google or your email and try it out.
Evernote is another free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts and images in many different ways. You can store your ideas with voice, notes or images. You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments and share your files with friends.
Evernote provides one workspace to make notes, organize them and present your ideas in a systematic way. It provides cross-platform note taking services which makes it incredibly easy to create and manage notes across devices. It allows the user to upload images, audio and videos besides taking notes. The app offers excellent formatting and organization features that make it one of the best apps for collecting notes. It is easy to present your work to colleagues while it is taking shape as Evernote allows you to build a screen-friendly layout of your notes.
Some ways in which Evernote can be used are under listed below:
Evernote gives you the tools you need to keep your work effortlessly organized:
Write, collect and capture ideas as searchable notes, notebooks, checklists and to-do lists
• Take notes in a variety of formats, including: text, sketches, photos, audio, video, PDFs, web clippings and more
• Use camera capture to easily scan and comment on pieces of paper, including printed documents, business cards, handwriting and sketches
• Attach Microsoft Office docs, PDFs and photos
• Organize your receipts, bills and invoices
• Use Evernote as a digital notepad and easy-to-format word processor for all your thoughts as they come
Evernote gives you the ability to sync and comment on content across all devices:
Sync everything automatically across any computer, phone or tablet
• Start your task working on one device and continue on another without ever missing a beat
Evernote gives you the tools to share, discuss and collaborate productively with others:
• Create, share and discuss with the people who help get your work done, all in one app
• Search within pictures and annotate images to give quick feedback
• Get inspired and brainstorm creative ideas with your team by working collaboratively in the same documents
Every day life applications
- Make personal checklists to keep your thoughts organized
• Set reminders to keep on top of activities and write to-do lists
• Gather, capture and store every thought you need to stay productive
• Plan events such as holidays, weddings or parties
Uses in Business
Create agendas, write memos and craft presentations
• Annotate documents with comments and thoughts during team meetings, then share with colleagues
• Get your projects underway faster and maximize productivity by letting multiple participants access and work on different aspects alongside each other
Keep up with lecture notes so you don’t miss a vital thought
• Clip and highlight articles from the web for academic research
• Access and highlight searchable documents
• Plan and collaborate for better academic group work
• Discuss and annotate notes and drafts
Source: Google Playstore
David Allen, in his popular book “Getting Things Done,” outlines a technique, which is simply this: When a task arises that you know you can complete in two minutes or less, do it immediately.
Often there is an app or tool that can help us complete tasks more efficiently and stay organized as we navigate through our daily journeys. Try these new apps and see how they impact your productivity. Drop a comment below, I will be happy to know how it is working for you.