Posts Tagged ‘ apps ’

Tech Tools Productivity Experts Can’t Live Without


Ever wonder which tools super-productive and super-organized people use to get things done? Fast Company contacted 10 productivity experts, and asked them which apps or tech tools help them get through their day.

Here’s a dozen tools they recommend you check out:

1. Android Wear

Smartwatches are the biggest upcoming innovation for productivity, especially to-do lists, says Amir Salihefendic, CEO and founder of the task-management app Todoist. While they don’t provide much new functionality over smartphones, Android Wear devices, which start at $199, make things faster to process because you can quickly add tasks using only your voice, says Salihefendic.

“They also make reminders more powerful since you can complete or postpone them without lifting your phone from your pocket and unlocking it—you just need to look at your wrist,” he says.

2. Post-it Plus

Digital lifestyle expert and Today show tech contributor Carley Knobloch says brainstorming with her team is easier when she uses Post-it Plus, a free app for Apple devices that works with paper Post-it Notes, allowing you to manage them digitally.

“Capture all of your Post-its in one photo, and the app breaks them up and makes them reorganizable and sharable,” she says. “It’s brilliant.”

3. Sunrise

Knobloch also likes the free calendar app Sunrise, which has features that streamline activities, such as automatically dialing into a conference call. The app also imports photos of people your contacts via their social media profiles.

“When I’m on a conference call, I can see all their faces [on my calendar],” says Knobloch. “And its clean intuitive interface makes it a pleasure to use.”

4. Uskape

Claire Burge, owner of Get Organised Ireland, gave up email two years ago because it dampered her productivity. “I’m always in search of a solution that organizes my work and takes the emphasis away from the inbox,” she says.

Burge recently started using Uskape, an app currently in beta testing, which integrates all of her work in one place, including once siloed apps like email and Evernote.

“Now I can see my workflow in one connected workspace; it’s much easier to know where all of my projects stand,” she says.

5. Slack

Omer Perchik, founder of the task-management app Any.do likes to streamline communication with his team by using Slack, a free tool that eliminates the need for internal emails. It includes features such as group and private messaging, inline images and videos, rich link summaries, and notifications.

Slack integrates with Twitter, Dropbox, and Google Drive, and automatically syncs between your computer, smartphone, and tablet.

6. Noisli

Perchik also likes Noisli, a $1.99 app for Apple devices that offers background sounds you can use while you work. The app identifies noises that help with productivity or relaxation. For example, sounds that can help you focus include rain, wind, a campfire, and a fan.

“Noisli helps me eliminate distractions at work,” says Perchik. “White noises help me stay concentrated and productive.”

7. Jamie’s To Do

While a lot of apps out there help you keep track of tasks, Peter Walsh, author of Lighten Up: Love What You Have, Have What You Need, Be Happier With Less (Free Press; 2012), has a new favorite: Jamie’s To Do. Available for Apple devices, the free app organizes your to-do list with an easy-to-use layout that doesn’t overcomplicate the process, says Walsh.

“You can easily identify tasks you need to do and their level of priority,” he says. “And you get a really satisfying feeling when you’ve crossed an item off your list.”

Jamie’s To Do was created by an app developer who was impressed with his wife’s organizing skills, and its design is based on her process. “Could there be a more modern take on the classic love letter?” asks Walsh.

8. Eternity Time Log

To be more productive, it helps to know how you’re spending your time, says Julie Morgenstern, author of Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life: a Four-Step Guide to Getting Unstuck (Touchstone; 2009). She recommends using Eternity Time Log, a time-tracking app for Apple devices. The lite version is free, while the full app, which includes more categories and functions, is $14.99.

“It measures how much time you work versus personal time, and how much time you’re doing proactive work versus things like interruptions,” says Morgenstern. “You get a report each week, so you can no longer say, ‘I don’t know where the time goes.’”

9. Alarmed

Peggy Duncan, author of Time Management Memory Jogger (GOAL/QPC; 2011), says she likes to use her brain for thinking and external cues to help her remember. Alarmed, a free app for Apple devices, does just that. Like a customizable alarm clock, Alarmed lets you set single and recurring reminders, as well as add custom text, lead time, and snooze features.

“This app was built with time management in mind,” says Duncan.

10. Timeful

Gary Keller, author of The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results (Bard Press; 2013), is an advocate of time-blocking tasks to get them done. “Simply put, you make regular appointments with yourself to do your most important work,” he says.

He uses the free app Timeful as a way to time-block and organize his day. Timeful, which is currently available for Apple devices and will soon release web-based and Android versions, helps prioritize your daily activities.

If there’s a scheduling conflict when adding an activity to your calendar, for example, the app will suggest another time based on your personal routine. You can also enter habits you wish to build, such as dedicating a few hours each morning to making sales calls, says Keller, who is also cofounder and chairman of Keller Williams Realty. “Timeful proactively suggests times to do that task, tracks your progress, and reminds you when it’s time to get to work,” he says.

11. PaperKarma

To reduce the amount of mail she receives and has to process, Maura Thomas, author of Personal Productivity Secrets (Wiley; 2012), uses the free app PaperKarma, available or Apple and Android devices, which creates a central location from which you can unsubscribe and halt delivery of unwanted mail.

“It’s great for reducing the clutter and ideally, saving lots of trees,” says Thomas. “PaperKarma also helps harness the collective preferences of individual consumers and communicates those preferences to corporations.”

12. Skitch

If you ever wished you could manipulate an image, you can with Skitch, a free app that is integrated with Evernote. Alexandra Samuel, author of Work Smarter, Rule Your Email (Harvard Business Review Press; 2014), uses the tool to share ideas with her team. Once available only for Apple devices, the app was recently released for Windows.

“I use Skitch for everything from quickly communicating website glitches to making quick images to uploading to social networks to annotative documents,” says Samuel. “Just yesterday captured a screenshot of the thumbnail view of a PowerPoint deck, and used Skitch’s built-in annotation to indicate all the changes I needed our designer to make to the slides.”

 

6 Apps That Will Help You Save More Than Your Parents


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Saving and investing your money used to be a hard chore that people actually hated doing, but now as tech keeps evolving it is becoming almost fun.

Acorns is an app that invests your spare change from everyday transactions into your very own diversified portfolio. You can easily get started in minutes: anytime, anywhere.·A simple and intelligent automatic investment system not only helps you invest regularly but also optimizes your investment through diversification and automatic re-balancing.

In other words, we buy low and sell high without you having to keep an eye on things. Acorns protects your information, prevents unauthorized account access, and notifies you of unusual activity. No commissions, ever. It’s always free to move your money into and out of Acorns. Using Acorns for a year costs less than what most traditional brokerages charge for just two trades. Once you invest, Acorns is only $1 per month for accounts under $5,000 and 0.25% of the account balance per year for accounts of $5,000 or more.


 

Wealthfront

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Wealthfront makes it easy for anyone to get access to world-class, long-term investment management, at a super low-cost. Within 5 minutes and a few taps, the automated investment service goes right to work, monitoring your investment portfolio around the clock and taking action as soon as an opportunity arises. Whether you’re investing for retirement or a different long-term goal, Wealthfront automatically rebalances your portfolio and reinvests your dividends, and every trade is commission-free.


SIMPLE

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Simple offers awesome support, simplified budgeting tools, and most importantly, financial peace of mind. We believe you should be proud of your bank. With Simple, you get a stylish Simple Visa® Card, no surprise fees, and powerful budgeting and savings tools built right into your account—all accessible via web, iPhone, and Android. You’ll never miss your bank branch—there’s so much you can do right from your computer, iPhone, or Android. Control of your account is in your hands, wherever you go.


 

Betterment

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 8.27.16 PMBetterment is the largest, fastest-growing automated investing service, helping people to better manage, protect, and grow their wealth. Use Betterment’s smarter technology to manage your investments in a customized, globally-diversified portfolio. The Betterment portfolio is designed to achieve optimal returns at every level of risk. Through diversification, automated rebalancing, better behavior, and lower fees, Betterment customers can expect 4.30% higher returns than a typical DIY investor.


 

 

RobinHood

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 8.30.14 PM 1In the stock market, a fraction of a second can mean the difference between a profit and a loss. Our team has built low-latency trading systems used by some of the world’s largest financial institutions, and we’re bringing that expertise to Robinhood.

As a Robinhood customer, your self-directed orders will receive the best possible trade execution. We cut out the fat that makes other brokerages costly — hundreds of storefront locations and manual account management. Robinhood notifies you in advance of scheduled events — like earnings, dividends, or splits, so you can get up-to-date information at the right time.


 

BillGuardScreen Shot 2015-06-10 at 8.37.45 PM

BillGuard is the fastest, easiest and most elegant way to manage personal finances. It helps you stay on top of your spending, lower your bills at your favorite places, and protect your cards from unwanted charges. Take control of your money by seeing your spending by category over time like you’ve never seen it before. Make things fun by competing with yourself month over month.

Apps that will make travelling so much easier


With my Australia tour about to kick off in the middle of June, I know what a pain in the bottom planning a trip can be. These apps however are great tools to help manage your travel plans and activities. I’ll for sure download some of them! Check them out below!

1. Roadtrippers

Roadtrippers is a must-have for anyone planning a road trip in the United States. You enter where you want to go, make selections depending on what you want to see (natural wonders! weird stuff!), and the app will create a customized map for you.

2. Hotel Tonight

Get last-minute discounts on top-rated hotels using Hotel Tonight. You can only book a week in advance, so it’s not the best option for a long-planned family vacation…but for a fun, spur-of-the-moment getaway? Perfect.

3. Hopper

You’ll get your lowest airfares ever thanks to Hopper’s finely tuned price-prediction feature. First it figures out the best time for you fly, then it figures out the best time for you to buy tickets for that flight.

4. Travel Math

If your brain is frazzled at the mere idea of organizing a trip, let Travel Math do all the calculations for you: it’ll measure distances, travel times, budgets—whatever you need to know.

5. Ship Mate

Disney

Cruise crazy? This is the #1 app when it comes to vacations taken on a ship. You can take a look at deck plans, read reviews of the different ports you’ll be stopping at, chat with other people who will be on your ship, and more.

6. CityMaps2Go

If you’re traveling outside your country and have to depend on Wi-Fi for internet, it’s smart to download all the maps you’ll need in advance at CityMaps2Go: they’re stored offline, so you’ll avoid roaming charges.

7. Pack Point

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Pack Point helps you decide what to pack depending on where you’re going, what the weather will be like, and what sort of activities you’ll be participating in.

8. Tripit

Tripit merges your flight, restaurant, hotel, and car rental confirmation emails into one “master itinerary” to keep you organized

9. Roomer

Your daughter is throwing up everywhere and suddenly going on vacation is no longer an option: What do you do about your hotel room? Get rid of it using Roomer. You list your room and wait to hear from someone who wants to take over your reservation — no more losing money on cancellation fees!

10. Jet Lag Rooster

Jet Lag Rooster will tell you how to shift your sleeping schedule in the days before a trip so you won’t be exhausted once you reach your destination.

11. Dude Where’s My Car?

The last thing you want to do when you get back from a trip is wander around the airport parking garage for 30 minutes, exasperatedly searching for your vehicle: Dude Where’s My Car keeps track of *exactly* where you parked and will guide you back to that spot. Plus, it also helps you find parking.

12. Loungebuddy

Did you know that you can use a ton of airport lounges even if you aren’t a first class passenger? Sometimes it’s worth paying a fee if it means getting to wait for your flight in a comfortable spot—Loungebuddy will let you know what your options are at the airport you’re flying out of.

13. My TSA

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Can you bring _____ through airport security? Open up My TSA and you’ll know in an instant. You can also use the app to look up how long the security wait times are at your airport so you’ll be sure to arrive early enough to make your flight.

14. Track My Tour

This app allows your loved ones to “join” you on a trip from the comfort of their homes: they “follow a breadcrumb trail of your tour by visiting the link you sent them,” while you document the most exciting spots you visit as you go—it’s the easiest way to keep people in the loop.

15. Unlike

Unlike

Put together your dream trip itinerary using the guides at Unlike, an app that “connects tastemakers and trendsetters around the globe with unique, essential and inspiring places.”

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16. iTranslate

Providing you with “90+ languages in your pocket,” iTranslate is one of the best translator apps available. If you’re heading to the Netherlands and you can’t speak Dutch, this is a necessity.

17. City Papers

Disney

Find out what’s happening in the city or town you’re visiting using the collection of local newspapers available on the City Papers App: you’ll be able to discover concerts, craft sales, and other events that may not even be listed online.

18. Untappd

When you’re in a new place (for work or on vacation), open up this app and it will give you a list of popular nearby bars *plus* what sorts of beer are on tap there. You want to to find someplace that serves a state-specific microbrew? This is how to hunt a glass of that down.

19. TV Food Maps

If you’re more interested in food tourism than beer tourism, take a gander at TV Food Maps: it’s a guide to restaurants that are featured on popular TV series like Chopped and Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

20. Happy Cow

Depending on what part of the country (or world) you’re in, it can be difficult to find vegan or vegetarian friendly restaurants: When you want some help with your search, browse through the listings on Happy Cow—you’ll find dining establishments with meat-free options all over the world. Lucky me, I can find bacon pretty much everywhere!!

21. LogMeIn

It’s a horrible moment when you realize that you need a file stored on your home computer when you’re 700 (or even just 30) miles away from it: LogMeIn allows you to access (and control) your home computer from anywhere.

22. Vayable

Vayable is a way to discover “unique experiences offered by locals” on your next trip. All of the available options sound so much cooler than traditional city tours: A midnight street food crawl! A guide to the most photogenic places in Paris! DIY seafood with a sea forager!

World’s Largest Ultra-High Definition TV


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Measuring 110 inches from corner to corner, Samsung’s latest ultra-high-definition television is the biggest of its kind and arrives just in time for the new year. Samsung promised that it would be launching a gargantuan 110-inch ultra-high-definition television and that it would be hitting the shelves before the end of the year. The TV, which measures 2.6 x 1.8 meters, officially went on sale in China, the Middle East and ‘select’ European territories.  Samsung’s set doesn’t come with precious stones but it does have gesture controls, voice controls, and Samsung’s “Smart Hub,” which gives you access to online content, photos, video, music, and apps. It also has a quad-core processor, and Samsung’s S-Recommendation service, which tracks your viewing habits and makes viewing recommendations over time.