My Favorite Apps For Boosting Productivity From My Phone [By John Marshall]

It’s 2014 and the majority of us have smartphones.  Unfortunately we hardly use our phones to their fullest potential.  It is a computer that is pocket sized (or larger if you’re a phablet user) and it can make your life better or worse. Here are some of the apps I use to make sure I am smart when I use my smartphone. In no particular order:

Mailbox

When I bought my phone, one of the first things that I did was connect my email to it… HORRIBLE IDEA.  I became inundated with email and missed the important ones while having to read through all of my junk mail.  The solution for taming my email inbox came in the form of an app called “Mailbox”.  With this app I am able to quickly read through important email and act upon the ones that are critical.  For the emails that I need to respond to later I can delay them for a predetermined amount of time.  The “Mailbox” app has several useful functions, but one drawback is that you need to have a gmail account to use it.  The answer to this is using gmails alias function.  Below are links to the mailbox app, and how to set up gmail with your other email accounts: http://www.mailboxapp.com

GMAIL for Mobile (Sorry Outlook…not really).

While many institutions and organizations are converting to gmail for email management, most of us are still tied to Outlook for better or for worse. This doesn’t have to be the case on your phone, however. I won’t get into it here, but check out the following link to learn how you can leverage the Gmail app on your mobile device.

SIDE NOTE: Are you a nonprofit? Why aren’t you leveraging Google for Nonprofits for FREE! Email Joed on how we can set you up in no time.

Using Gmail to send from different email addresses

EVERNOTE

Even though I may not be at my desk, my brain doesn’t  stop thinking about current projects, future projects, or things that could have been done better.  Lucky for me there’s an app for that.  I use the app “Evernote” to capture all of my ideas, in many different forms.  I can type notes, take pictures of jotted down thoughts, or take snaps from online and add them to a notebook.  “Evernote” can be accessed from anywhere, whether it be your phone, your computer, or someone else’s computer thanks to its web interface.  It’s a great app so check it out: https://www.evernote.com

 

1Password

Another app that I use on my phone is “1Password”.  This app allows me to not have to rely on my memory to recall all of my passwords.  Time after time I have forgotten the passwords for different websites, accessing my email, and even my own webpage.  Thanks to this app I no longer have to keep track of each password, I just enter it into the app and I can access each website directly and have the password automatically loaded in.

https://agilebits.com/onepassword

MINT (Budget/Financial Reporting)

One of my favorite apps that also involves one of my least favorite activities is “Mint”.  This app handles ALL of my financial budgeting.  This is great if you don’t want to rely on your book keeper or finance person to see basic reports at a glance!

To set it up, all you have to do is enter your bank account information, and it pulls in all of your transactions.  I can set a budget for any possible type of spending I can think of, and at a glance I can see how well (or how poorly) I’m doing with regards to sticking to my plan.

Sidenote:  “Mint” can even keep track of your credit score as well as your retirement accounts. – https://www.mint.com

Because of the sensitivity of the information located in both “Mint” and “1Password” they are password protected themselves. If you happen to be an owner of a smartphone with a fingerprint scanner you can just use the press of a finger to access all of your sensitive information.

Checkmark (iphone only)

Finally, my favorite iPhone specific app that helps keep me on track throughout the day is “Checkmark”.  Ever walk right by someone’s building or department and as soon as you get to your desk, realize you needed to stop by for something? Well, that hapens more than I would like to admit. Well this app can be PERFECT for your events/operations person.

This app not only allows me to set reminders for myself, but it allows me to set location specific reminders.  I don’t need to be reminded to pick up a flash drive when I’m out at the movies, but when I’m driving past Staples or Best Buy, that is an optimal time to be reminded.  Perhaps you need to update your webpage, but you can only do that while at work, then you can set a work specific reminder.  “Checkmark” is a very flexible app that will help you keep track of your many tasks and with it you can keep your mind free of worry.

With a combination of these apps I have the ability to stay ahead of my work, instead of falling behind in this fast paced world. This blog post isn’t over. We want to hear from you and add some more apps. What are some of the ways you stay productive on your phone? Leave a comment and share!

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