There is now two clear leaders in the market for smart phones – Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android. Both are amazing platforms. Their strength comes from their ability to have any number of additional applications (apps) intalled. This is made incredibly easy with the iPhone App Store and the Android Marketplace. It also helps that apps are mostly free or only a few dollars.
As it turns out, I’m an iPhone person. In fact, I’ve gone just about completely Apple with everything. I’d like to share with you my favourite iPhone apps and how and why I use them for productivity.
Wunderlist is simply task management. And that’s what makes it great – it’s so simple. I fire up the app, pick the list I want to add a task two and simple type in the task. If I want to I can easily add reminders and due dates after the task has been added. Wunderlist let’s me “star” a task to clearly mark it as a high priority and it moves these tasks to the top of the list.
It goes where I go too. While I’m out and about I use Wunderlist from my iPhone. When any change is made, the app will synchronise my lists up to the Wunderlist service. That means that when I’m at my desk I can use Wunderlist and keep my task list open and in front of me. Also, if I’m at a computer that isn’t my normal on, I can jump on to the Wunderlist web app and again all my lists and tasks are there for me.
There are a ton of “todo” and “task” management tools out there for iPhone. I’ve tried a whole bunch and I always end up coming back to Wunderlist. It’s just so simple, and synchronises with all my other devices (Mac, Windows, web, iPad and more) via the Cloud. Beautiful!
Oh, did I mention that it’s free? Get it from the iTunes App Store or Wunderlist.com.
I keep going on about Evernote, but that’s because I love it, and you should too. There’s no simple way to describe what Evernote is or what it does, except that is and does everything. It’s your dream journal, diary, cookbook, photo album, research diary, sticky notes, filing cabinet, scribble pad, etc. Everything.
If i had a good idea that i wanted to explore Prior to using Evernote, I would try to make “mental note” to think about it again when I had more time. Apparently I had forgotten how forgetful I was and the idea was never pondered again. Now, using Evernote, any idea or thought I get, at any time, gets quickly entered in my iPhone either by typing it in, or recording me speaking it. It takes all of about 10 seconds and I’ve instantly captured that idea forever.
Also, just like Wunderlist, Evernote syncs my thoughts and memories to every other device I have. Imagine doing research for a new project on the web at your desk, clipping (storing) some useful web pages into Evernote to be further reviewed and then easily being able to review, and even edit, those clipped web pages from your phone or iPad!
Just today I was in a meeting and the discussion was getting pretty technical. My handwriting is terrible at best and I can hardly read it. So, having my iPad on the table, I fired up Evernote, created a new note and hit the “record audio” button. At the end of the meeting I had the entire conversation captured allowing me to review it and hone in on key areas, and even assess people tone of voice looking for points of interest!
There is a big philosophy surrounding the Getting Things Done methodology presented by the David Allen Co. GTD is a big scary monster when you’re first presented with it, but Evernote makes it easy because it works the way you want it to, not the way some tools or methods force you too. Check out Daniel Gold’s unofficial guide to getting things done with Evernote for a practical guide on helping you setup and maintain a productive life with Evernote.
Oh, did I mention it’s free? Go get it from the iTunes App Store or Evernote.com.
There is just so much content out there on the Internet that it’s hard to keep up. I follow a whole bunch of blogs many of which post a few times a week. Between working, writing and being with my family I would never have time to read all the blog articles that I want to. Enter feedly.
feedly shows you the latest content from all the blogs you subscribe to and arranges them a bit like a magazine and in a way that shows me the articles I’m most interested in first. It keeps the whole experience clean and free from distractions and makes browsing articles and headlines a joy.
With feedly I can easily get to the articles that are most relevant to me when I have the time to enjoy them. It synchronises with my Google Reader account so I can manage my subscriptions like I always have and easily enjoy them on the go. It also has a web app so you can read from your desk. The iPhone app is great, but I do like the iPad app just a little bit more, probably just due to the larger screen.
Oh, did I mention it’s free? Get it now from the iTunes App Store or feedly.com.
I hate bills. But I hate it more if I miss a due date and get chased with phone calls and late fees. BillMinder tracks all my upcoming bills and reminds me twice before a bill is due.
As soon as I get a bill I do two things.
- Enter the details into BillMinder – this takes about 30 seconds
- Take a photo of the bill and file it in Evernote
BillMinder also supports recurring bills and even automatic payments. It lets you store your account numbers and contact details for each company that is billing you. And, it backs up your bill info to the Cloud. That means it stays in sync between the iPhone and iPad apps.
The BillMinder app categorises each bill/account I can view reports on bills paid over the last few months and look at what categories are costing me the most. But better than this, I can get a month view of when bills are due and what the total cost of the month is expected to be. This is always an eye opener.
This app isn’t free, but I recommend it. Get it from the iTunes App Store or billminderapp.com.
There a many apps around and many that tackle tasks, notes, rss and bills. I’ve personally tried a number of each of them and have found these to be the best. If you’re an iPhone, iPad or Mac user like me, I would highly recommend giving these apps a try.
What’s your favourite app to be productive on the go? Leave your thoughts below.