August 26, 2015

The Best Productivity App

Let’s talk for a minute about productivity apps. These are apps designed to help you operate more efficiently in your personal or business life. There are a lot of them out there. Search “Productivity” on the App Store and you will get over 100 results. You could spend all day reading reviews or visiting websites just to understand them. How productive is that?

What do these apps do? Productivity is a somewhat amorphous term. It encompasses everything from managing social media to generating grocery lists. Generally, most apps fit into several broad categories. While there is crossover within apps, productivity apps help you manage the following:

 

    • Distractions/Time
    • To-Do Lists or Tasks
    • Projects
    • Calendar
    • Email
    • Collaboration
    • File Storage
    • Passwords

We could even expand this list to include marketing, contact relationship management, social media management, video marketing, and newsletters. As such, they handle many functions.

Some apps are mobile-only, others sync with your desktop or laptops. Some apps are free, some are paid subscriptions, and some have both free and paid premium versions. Many of the paid apps offer a limited free trial.

To sort through the clutter, think about where you really need help. If you have to-do lists in notebooks, on post-its, and scattered on scraps of paper, perhaps a task manager that consolidates all your lists and syncs with your computer and phone is the answer. Do you find yourself wandering on Facebook instead of writing your blog (hmmm)? Try an app that minimizes online distractions. Are you running a business, small or large, and need to easily collaborate on projects? Choose a project management app. If you need help with a little of this and a little of that, pick out a few different apps, or a comprehensive, all-in-one.

Once you’ve identified your weakest area, go online. Be clear about your criteria. Narrow your search and look for reviews. Read more than one and look for commonalities. Don’t be afraid of the 800 pound gorillas or shy away from the upstarts. Then test drive a few. Start with the free apps or those with free trials. What’s the learning curve? Do you like the display? Is it easy to enter and edit data? How easily can you reach customer support? Are they responsive? Do they answer your questions?

Use your choice for a week or two and see how comfortable you feel. If it remains an unopened icon on your home screen, it’s not for you. Because…

The best productivity app is the one you USE!

 

You knew that, didn’t you?  What works for me may not work for you. Your friend’s favorite app may sit undisturbed on your phone. It really doesn’t matter which one you choose because if you USE it, it is the best app for you.

 

 

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