You’ve got sticky notes everywhere, phone alarms going off left and right, and a whole mouse-scroll of unanswered emails. But don’t worry, it’s a system — right?
Well, what if we told you we could improve upon that system? And hey, no judgment — we’ve all got packed to-do lists, crazy schedules, and one-too-many indecipherable notes on our desks. Fortunately, all that can change with just a little tech intervention.
If you’re looking for a way to stay more organized, increase your efficiency, and maybe even have time to enjoy a guilt-free bubble bath every once in a while — these are the six apps you need.
Any.do is the perfect “everything app” for your work and personal life. Make lists, add location-based or “moment” reminders, and keep your schedule on track with calendars. You can even enter new task or calendar items with a super slick voice-entry feature.
In a work environment, it’s easy to share lists and calendars, pass tasks on to others, or send attachments or notes to specific users. For keeping all your calendars in sync, integration with your PC or tablet calendar is available as well. Choose from either a free or paid version of Any.do.
For everything in one place (and the integration of nearly all communication and productivity features imaginable), Evernote’s your go-to. This app allows users to take notes, pictures, video, audio, and more and upload them into “notebooks” on the cloud. Syncing between devices is easy, and sharing specific notebooks, notes, pictures, or other media with individual users or groups is a breeze as well.
Competitors of Evernote include Google Keep and OneNote — both of which are great apps. But even Evernote’s free version, with a monthly upload capacity of 60MB, is the clear winner here. It’s like having your personal organizer, bulletin board, phone, and PC all in one place — accessible from anywhere.
If you like having a physical bulletin board in your office, you’ll love Trello — it’s essentially the same thing in digital form. Customize your board for any type of use: task listing, making notes, keeping reminders, and more.
The simple drag-and-drop format allows you to add any type of “cards” you want to various “lists.” For example, make a list of layout concepts for an upcoming event, and ad cards in the form of pictures, blueprints, notes, lists, and more. Then, share this list with other users who can edit your ideas or add to the brainstorming.
For the best in team coordination tools, Basecamp always ranks high. This management tool allows any number of users to enter a project together, and from there, it’s as if you’re in the same room collaborating.
Direct messaging or “Campfire” sessions (for collaboration among groups) offer real-time communication, and a centralized schedule keeps everyone on the same page without those, “What’s going on today again!?” emails. Basecamp even has plenty of room for to-do lists, file and document storage, and client feedback that’s separate from your internal group’s content. Bonus Feature: Put notification enabling on a schedule so that when work’s done for the day, you’re not getting constantly “pinged.”
One of the best ways to stay more productive is to start dictating long emails, reports, and other copy. It’s faster, saves your fingers, and these days, it’s pretty darn accurate. Of course, your iPhone has its own dictation feature (hi, Siri) as do Android phones (hello, Google Voice Typing). But for serious dictation with almost no errors and continuous recording, try Dragon Dictation.
This is software that’s simple to use, adapts to your speaking style, records for as long as you want, and is available in many languages. Like its PC precursor, the Dragon Dictation app is just about the best there is in voice recognition.
You wouldn’t think sending quick emails and texts from your phone would take up too much of your time — after all, they’re usually just a few sentences long. But you’d be surprised at how much time you can spend typing out pat phrases you say all the time, wondering about your spelling, and trying to fix errors at the beginning of your email with that tiny little cursor. Save time with an app like SwiftKey.
Like Dragon Dictation, SwiftKey essentially saves you typing time, but in a different way. It allows you to customize your keyboard to fit your personal pat phrases, communication quirks, and overall typing tendencies. You’ll learn to love the predictive typing feature and autocorrect, which learns your go-to phrases and accurately edits your content as you go.
Interested in learning more about improving productivity and efficiency, networking with other female professionals, and taking your career to the next level? Consider joining the National Association of Professional Women! Head here for more information.