I received a message from one of our readers asking me how I manage to be so productive. First, THANK YOU for that message. What a warm fuzzy to have a client tell me that. Then I started to think about all the tools I use to keep on top of things. I realized quickly that I have a lot of help! Here are some cool apps I use that help me with various aspects of my life.
Action Method – I use this app in conjunction with the desktop application or web-based version to keep all my projects/tasks in order by category and date as well as items I have delegated out to others and it is the absolute key to staying on top of all the projects you have going. I have upgraded to the paid version but you can keep a large number of tasks and projects going with the free version. The app is free and a membership at ActionMethod.com is also free.
Thinking Space – Do you use mind mapping? I do. When I have a new project with lots of pieces I like to sit down and map out all the pieces and the sub-pieces that need to be thought about for that project. I don’t always have those thoughts at my desk and Thinking Space allows me to create or work on these mind maps from anywhere, anytime.
Calendar – Just the basic calendar on my phone. It’s key that this calendar sync with your Outlook or that you at least invite yourself so that the appointment also shows up on your phone. I am in so many places anymore that I literally need to have everything in my calendar with a reminder (ie take a pill; meet a friend; call mentor)
My Fitness Pal – I had a baby last December and I let myself fall out of the gym routine and gained about 20+ lbs. This app has helped me snap back into shape by carefully tracking everything I consume and all the cardio and strength training I do. Seeing how many calories came in/went out each day has helped me lose about 12 lbs and counting. It’s with me all the time and I can also be sure that I’m drinking my 75 ounces of water each day.
Mint.com & my personal bank apps – in conjunction with DebtGoal.com or Payoff.com – My financial well-being is a part of me just as staying on task or staying fit. I like the Mint.com app and my own personal bank app on my phone to always have my $$$ status at hand. I also use DebtGoal.com which has created a plan for me to pay down debts in an accelerated period of time. DebtGoal.com is a paid site, a similar site that is free you can try is Payoff.com – save for your dreams or just get out of debt. It’s important to be fiscally responsible.
TweetCaster – If you know me, you know I like to be social and use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blog regularly. TweetCaster is an app for Twitter I just found and love. I run both Twitter accounts through this app effectively and I’m loving it.
Groupon – For the fun stuff! All this staying on task, eating right and watching my dollars deserves a spa day or a nice Italian meal somewhere and why not stay in check and get it at 50% or less using Groupon? I watch this app daily (and get their updates on my Facebook feed) and when I see a deal that I will certainly use, I buy it and make plans to use it. I put it in my calendar and make sure I don’t let it expire! I have had more facials and massages this way in a year than I had in my entire life before Groupon existed.
Out of Milk – You might have noticed by now that I’m a busy girl and being a mom of four, full time employee and wife means that I also have mouths to feed. I’m the sole grocery shopper of the house! I watch the ads each Tuesday and mark what the menu for the upcoming week will be, using this app I create my grocery list with prices and brands, note if I have a coupon and go shopping. No more of that “Darn, I forgot my list on the counter!” because I have it right there with me, in my phone.
Pandora – When I need to hear some good music without having to listen to the morning DJ or a station that plays the same songs over and over. I have my favorite stations and can hear music that suits me for hours on end.
Amazon Appstore – Did you know Amazon Appstore gives an app away free every day? I check the free app every morning and if it is one I think I’ll like I download for FREE. Can’t beat FREE. My most recent download was Jamie Oliver Twenty Minute Meals, an app that retails for $7.99! It is a wonderful app with great recipes and video instruction and photos with it. Other days the free app is something like Plants vs. Zombies. Point being you have to check it daily.
Convertr – This is a handy tool to keep conversion at your finger times whether you need to convert currency, density, mass, power, temperature, time, torque or volume – it is easily found here.
Southwest Airlines – We use this airline a lot so having check in or flight booking at my fingertips is a time saver.
Dropbox – Keep my most used and current files here and I can get to them anywhere!
Kid Mode (if you let your kids use your smart phone, I do) – This app has saved my kids ages, preferences and more so that when each kid checks in they see games relevant to their age/skill level. The games are educational and it helps on long car rides if I am willing to share my phone.
Netflix – if you have a Netflix account keeping the app on your phone helps to manage that account from anywhere you and your phone happen to be.
ScanLife or a QR Code Scanner – QR Codes are everywhere and we’ll just see more of them so keeping a scanner easily accessible on your phone is helpful to easily scan and see what the QR Code on your shampoo bottle is all about. I don’t know about you, but I’m a curious one.
SoundCloud – Easy breezy recording of audio files. I use this to record cute things my kids say and ideas that pop into my head while I’m driving (pull over and be a safe driver to record your idea). I then send it by email or upload it to SoundCloud and have it available anywhere, anytime. Very handy to capture those baby noises and share with Grandma.
Now to leave you with some cute baby noises via SoundClound of baby Nate.