6 awesome apps to help you work more efficiently
You probably use a variety of apps in your daily life, whether it's to track family schedules, play mindless games or make grocery lists. What you might not have considered is that there are many apps out there that can help you out at work -- to save you time or share information with your team. In fact, there may be apps that you already use for your personal life and hadn't thought about using for work.
1. Notes or Drafts (iOS)
On your iPhone or iPad, you have a basic Notes app that allows you to jot down reminders or quick thoughts that you don't want to lose track of. If you're on a plane or you are sitting on the subway heading to work and thinking about an email you need to write, you can start it in Notes. When you're at your computer, you can quickly export it to an actual email and hit send.
The Drafts app is similar in that you can also use it to record and share text. You can export your text to a variety of social media sites, your calendar, Dropbox or Google Drive.
Are you a list-maker? If you often lose your paper lists, it may be time to start using your phone or tablet. You can create multiple shareable lists, categorizing them by type, such as work, family, travel and private. Not only can other users of your list add to and subtract from the list when items are completed, you can chat with other list users in order to annotate it with key information or reminders.
3. iOS 9 Proactive and Google Now
Most people are familiar with Siri, which you can direct to assist with your burning questions. These predictive assistant apps remind you of tasks. They not only remind you of your next meeting, but also tell you how long it will take to get to your next appointment based on traffic. Google Now will scan your email to pull your travel information and alert you to delays or cancellations, as well as allow you to check in for flights.
4. Scanner Pro and PDF Pen
If you're tired of spending loads of time at the old-school scanner at work and remembering just how it works, these apps allow you to quickly scan documents. By using your device, you can scan the document and easily send it as an email. Other export options include uploading the file to Dropbox, Google Drive or an iCloud drive.
Most of us have a stack of business cards sitting on our desks waiting to be entered into the contacts file. There's an easier way to do it now, and you don't need a special card scanner device. The CamCard app lets you scan them with your phone or tablet. The app categorizes the contacts for you and automatically generates the phone number, email, business and person's name. It recognizes 17 languages, so global business travelers will find this useful.
For the frequent traveler, it's hard to keep track of business expenses because of all of the pesky receipts you have to keep. This app allows you to track time, miles, receipts and invoices. You can scan receipts as you get them and it will pull the necessary information into your records. Even if you can't get a signal while driving and tracking miles, it will function offline and save the information for upload later.
If you're looking for apps to do other functions that could save you time or headaches at work and you have an iPhone, iPad or Macintosh computer, check out The Sweet Setup, which recommends apps by category to help will all kinds of things -- from the office to productivity to calendars. If you're an Android user, you can check PC Magazine to find suggested productivity apps for 2016.
Most of us constantly ask, "Where did the day go?" If you sit back and think about what is taking up most of your time, you might find that a little bit of technology could help you save time and enable you to get more work done. Chances are, there's an app for that -- maybe not for everything -- but for more than you might realize.
Copyright 2015 U.S. News & World Report
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