It seems that productivity is the new fashion. YouTube is packed with videos on how to do life easier, quicker and slicker. Our phones have become our number one tool in this quest. Essentially we are looking for ways to improve out time management skills. We want to do more in less time with less effort. As our personal and professional lives have become more complex we are increasingly relying on apps to co-ordinate our lives. Working full time as a surgeon, studying, running passion projects on the side and being a busy parent means that I am well acquainted with this battle.
I have drawn on personal experience and compiled a list of the most useful productivity apps I have used in recent times. Investment in even just one of these tools is sure to make you more efficient.
- 1. Documents by Readdle
As an iPhone user this has been the central hub of my phone for several years. With multiple iterations it just seems to get better and better. Essentially it is a very versatile documents manager, with a stunning and fresh appearance. In this app you can open and view most file and media types, manage and create folders, zip and unzip, share files, read and annotate PDFs, read books and more. The best part is that it integrates seamlessly with all cloud services including iCloud, Google Drive and dropbox. I can access my desktop and documents folder on my mac. I use this app daily on both my iPhone and iPad.
2. To Doist
This is the ultimate to do app. It has been downloaded over 10 million times. The intelligent software will interpret and categorize your to do list. For example if you add 7pm dinner at Joeys tomorrow, it will add a 7pm reminder tomorrow and file the task in your social section.
The ToDoist is more than just a list maker. It can also be used to keep your whole team on track. Plan projects and assign responsibility, discuss project details and monitor deadlines all within the app. The basic function of the app comes free, however premium features with cost $36 a month
3. Scanner Pro
This may not be as interesting as other all singing apps, but it is one of the most useful apps I have ever used. It basically does what it says on the tin and does it extremely well. So well that I do not remember the last time I used an actual scanner. This app utilizes your phones camera, to scan documents, turning them in to black and white or colour documents. It has a pretty decent editor in built. The saved PDFs can automatically sync with cloud services allowing you to access the files on your laptop or desktop.
Social media is pretty much mandatory to success for most businesses. It gives companies direct access to their customers. Unfortunately crafting posts, uploading and responding to comments across the different platforms can be time consuming. There are a number of apps available that make posting to social media easier and quicker. This is one of those apps, and it does it very well.
With its fresh interface it’s a pleasure to look at. Essentially it is a social media management tool that allows you to update your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, youtube and linkedIn pages from the same screen without the need to log in to each platform individually. It also allows you to respond to comments.
The real reason people love this app for productivity is because of its scheduling features. You can schedule future posts months in advance. You can schedule hundreds of messages then monitor as the app makes automatic posts.
This is such a powerful app, and I will struggle to do it justice in a short blog post. This is an extremely capable note management system. You can keep a simple to-do list, a lengthy essay or complex project all within your evernote work space. You can create separate notebooks, and even stack them up to create stacks.
The app has an excellent chrome browser extension. This allows you to grap photos, screenshots, links and any other interesting part of an article or web page. You can attach reminders and send emails with access links to individual notes to share with you collegues. There are smart search features, which even allow you to search hand written notes. Notebooks can be synced across devices, allowing access across all of them.
The basic (free) product is very useful, however premium options do markedly transform this apps capability. For me greater storage, more synced devices and offline access was worth the upgrade.