Busy professionals are always in search of ways to squeeze more juice from the lemon. At CaptureApps, we preach that you can’t really multi-task and get more done. But you can find tools (software, apps) or change habits (e.g., deep work, having better meetings) that boost your productivity. You probably already use Uber and Instagram for personal and business purposes. And perhaps you use of some of these productivity apps for busy professionals already, but if you don’t, check them out.
To easily and effectively track individual or team projects, we love Trello. Based on Japanese kanban methods, Trello is modeled like Post-It notes on a wall. You can group, stack, move and remove them quickly. You can assign tasks, set reminders and attach files. Sure, there are hundreds of project management sites, but we like the simplicity. We invite folks all the time and watch them start using it in their work, which proves its contagion!
One of the fastest growing startups ever is the company that created Slack. Their ownership of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) makes them an easy tool for companies to integrate into their teams. Slack is basically unified messaging on steroids. You can have live chats, share screens & images, create channels at will and make your team more communicative. The downside is distraction – it’s worth setting some team expectations & guidelines so that the messages don’t become the work.
Even though there are a plethora of options for big, accessible storage, we still love Dropbox. It’s hard to imagine not having multi-device access to share files with colleagues and friends. What was once a radical, “risky” concept is now baseline for getting things done. Like access to the internet itself, accessing your important (or even not-so-important) files from anywhere sure makes you more productive.
One of the best secret productivity apps for busy professionals is Scanner Mini, which lets you scan documents with your smartphone. We love taking a picture of a document instead of loading the scanner, especially when we’re out in the real world.
One recipe for personal productivity success is IFTTT. Although a bit geeky, you can create shortcuts between popular applications like Google Docs, Twitter, Instagram, your CRM, and email that remove the need to type or do anything. Its automation feels like having a smart assistant. It would be pretty easy to capture 10 minutes a day with IFTTT alone.
We love the Pomodoro Method. If you want to bolster your focus & productivity quickly, use it. While writing this article right now, I am using BeFocused to make sure I stay on task for at least 25 minutes. It works, full stop. You’ll get so much more done if you shut off the beeps & bells and do deep work for longer stretches.
Yes, bookmarks are still a good thing. Why email yourself a link when you can shove the link in your Pocket? We read so much – blogs, books, news, entertainment – and when we’re on the job, it’s nice to be able to tuck a story away for when the time is better to dig in deeper. Pocket runs on your phone or computer, so you log items once and can read anywhere.
It’s amazing how large the podcast revolution has become. You can get an education anywhere – we love using Overcast to manage our podcasts. Its flashback and flash-forward features help us get to the good parts, and the player is excellent.
Schlep & Fetch
If you have Schlep & Fetch in your city (note, it’s not everywhere, so find someone like them in your city), it’s a company that can save you time and legwork. It’s a courier service, perhaps like Uber for your stuff. Forget your power cord for the important presentation? Call Schlep & Fetch. Need food delivered to your breakfast meeting? Call Schlep & Fetch. Need to bet those documents over to the client by noon? Call Schlep & Fetch.
When it comes to online shopping, Amazon is clearly the king. We love the app for when we’re out in the field and someone mentions something we need to get. Rather than making a note and finding the item later, we can just find it in Amazon at that moment. “Is this the one?”. Boom, ordered!
Productivity Apps for Busy Professionals
Shaving a few minutes off your day here and there creates a long term benefit; it all adds up. Saving 10 minutes per day over the course of a year is like getting back 5 full days. Vacation? A week of other tasks completed that you never seem to get to? You get the choice. Consider the cumulative benefit to your end results by employing the right productivity apps.