The Best of 2013: 12 Awesome Productivity AppsTuesday, December 17, 2013
As a busy, on-the-go CEO, I’m always on the lookout for ways to maximize my time. Over the past year, I’ve tried out dozens of mobile apps and online tools, in search of the very best. Now that the year is drawing to a close, I’d like to share with you my 12 favorite productivity tools. Whether you’re a CEO, a marketing director, or even a college intern, I’m positive you’ll find something in this list that will make your job a whole lot easier!
Evernote is the ultimate note-taking app for busy CEOs and professionals. You can take meeting notes, build to-do lists, create presentations, snap photos, save web articles, and organize all of your saved items into different, custom notebooks within the Evernote app. You can tag notes so they are easy to find later. You can even integrate Evernote with Google Chrome, so the web articles you’ve saved in Evernote will appear in your search results. Best of all, you can sync your notes across all of your devices and access them on the go!
Even with Google’s useful new email sorting, receiving hundreds of subscription emails a day can be overwhelming. Unroll.me is a free tool that helps keep your inbox clean by combining all of your subscription emails into one daily digest.
It couldn’t be any easier: You visit unroll.me, provide your email address, and wait while the app compiles a list of your subscriptions. Then you can go down the list, choosing whether to add each subscription to your daily “rollup” or to unsubscribe.
Instead of receiving hundreds of subscription emails each day, you’ll receive a single, manageable “rollup.”
Cardmunch is an iPhone app that scans business cards and automatically creates a Contact in your phone. Cardmunch integrates with LinkedIn, allowing you to view a contact’s profile, see connections you have in common, and connect in one click.
Dropbox is a file hosting service that allows users to upload files to the Internet and then access those files from any web browsing device—another computer, a smartphone, a tablet, etc.
When you sign up for the service and download the software, a folder called “Dropbox” will appear on your computer. Any files you save to this folder will be automatically uploaded to your online Dropbox account. Likewise, any files you upload directly to your online Dropbox account will automatically appear in your desktop “Dropbox” folder.
The easy synchronization of Dropbox makes it extremely useful for backing up important files and sharing files with other members of your team.
For frequent flyers, Tripit is a very helpful service. Once you’ve signed up, all you have to do is forward your travel confirmation emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tripit will put together a travel itinerary that can be accessed by your mobile device, shared with coworkers, and customized with maps and directions.
CamScanner is an app that turns your tablet or smartphone into a scanner, allowing you to turn any hard copy of a document into a digital document.
To scan a document, you simply take a picture of the item, then use CamScanner to crop and enhance the image. You can store the file, email the scanned image as a PDF or JPG, and add notes to your documents.
This app can be useful for scanning receipts and sending signed documents while you’re on the road.
Instapaper is my favorite “read later” bookmarking tool. It’s great for compiling articles I find throughout the work week, and coming back to read them during the weekend or when I’m travelling.
To set it up, you create an account and add the Instapaper “bookmarklet” button to your web browser. When you come across an interesting article, but don’t have time to read it then and there, you can click the Instapaper bookmarklet to add it to your account.
Instapaper will compile all of these articles into a sort of digital newspaper, which can be accessed on any computer or mobile device, simply by logging into your account.
Buffer is the tool we use here at Accrisoft to share links on multiple social media platforms (particularly Twitter) and track the clicks we receive. After you create an account and sync it with your Twitter account, “Buffer” will appear as an option next to your “Tweet” button. Clicking “Buffer” allows you to schedule what time your tweet will post and creates a shortened link that will be tracked in your Buffer analytics.
This is the perfect tool for small or single-person marketing departments. Piktochart makes it easy for non-designers to design and create professional-looking infographics for free. Simply choose your template, input your data, and voilá—a beautiful infographic!
When you sync Evercontact with your email account, this tool will automatically analyze signatures in your emails to create new contacts and keep their information up to date. This service is available for synchronization with Gmail, Outlook, Salesforce and other address books and CRMs.
This is a great tool because it runs in the background, requiring no work on your part.
join.me is a “ridiculously simple” screen sharing and meeting tool. This is a great tool for giving presentations and training sessions to one person or a group of people, from a remote location. The free version of join.me allows 10 participants to join a meeting, while the paid version allows up to 250 meeting participants and lets you to record the session.
If you use a PC, you know how frustrating it can be to grab a screenshot of whatever is on your computer screen. Jing is a free solution—in addition to capturing the exact image you want from your computer screen, you can also create short videos of your screen. This tool can be valuable for demonstrating how to perform certain actions on your website—how to go through the process of making a donation, for example.
BONUS: Accrisoft Freedom CMS
I know I said 12, but I couldn’t not mention my favorite tool of all. Here at Accrisoft, we build all of our customers’ websites using Accrisoft Freedom Content Management System (CMS), a software developed by our sister company.
Accrisoft Freedom makes it easy for even the most non-technical users to update and manage their website. Because the software is being constantly developed, frequent updates provide you with the latest in digital marketing capabilities. These capabilities, which come included with your website at no additional charge, include a blogging platform, email marketing software and, in the latest version, a dashboard for viewing website analytics and identifying organizations that visit your site. Accrisoft Freedom CMS can also be used to develop robust membership directories and online stores.
Contact us to learn more about building a website with Accrisoft Freedom CMS.
I’m always on the lookout for apps and web tools that will increase my productivity and keep my life more organized, and I’d love to know what apps you have found to be most useful.
What’s your favorite productivity app? Share in the comments section below!