Over the last ten years, I’ve studied pretty much everything and anything about the concept of time management and productivity. You name it, I’ve probably gone through it. David Allen’s best-selling book, Getting Things Done, check. Brian Tracy’s Time Management Made Simple, check. Darren Hardy’s Insane Productivity, check.
It’s an obsession of mine. To best serve my clients’ needs, I am always on the lookout for new ideas to add to my training. More recently, I’ve been focused on digital products that can help companies increase profitability, reduce costs and enhance efficiency.
CEOs’ time is valuable. They need to devour large amounts of information quickly in order to make informed decisions that could affect the entire organization. Thankfully, we have hundreds of companies out there creating apps to make our lives easier. But which ones are really worth using?
So a few weeks ago, I went into my Batcave and tested out more than 100 apps. In the end, I settled on 11 apps that I think are worth checking out.
Blinklist turns 15 minutes into some of the most productive time around. Blinklist gives you access to over 2000 non-fiction books, summaries it and then allows you to digest it in audio or text form. Whether you’re sitting in your car on the way home or just enjoying your morning coffee, this is a great way to turn so-called dead time, into uber-productive time. Think of it like a digital form of Cliff Notes for business, and a great way to stay one step ahead of your competition.
This is one app I’ve had for years and absolutely love it. I got sick and tired of forgetting what password I used for what site. I had 7 emails alone to deal with. This app has saved me so much time and trouble over the years. I shudder to think how people survive without an app like this. If I could only install one app on this list, this would probably be it.
I know what you’re thinking, Word (or Pages for those Mac users) does this. Trust me, it’s not even remotely similar. If you spend a lot of time writing reports, articles or emails, this is one app you’ll want to install. Grammarly does an amazing job of eliminating mistakes other programs overlook.
If you’ve got shiftworkers at your company, it’s likely that two of your biggest issues are communication and organization. A mentor once told me that he estimated that by having a good system in place for shiftworkers would eliminate up to 50% of wasted time for both managers and employees. Over the years, I’ve found that to be pretty close to accurate. That’s what ShedWool aims to do. It’s also one of the few employee scheduling apps on the market that offers a free version to start with, making it a no-brainer for any company looking to find ways of improving organization and boost productivity.
When you’re going through social media or doing research on a topic, you inevitably find lots of great articles and material. Rather than reading each one as I go, I prefer to bookmark what seems interesting for quick access later. What I love about Instapaper is that when reviewing them through the app is that the ads are taken out, leaving a cleaner, easier read.
It’s the digital age and more and more CEOs are asked to tweet or appear on Facebook Live. Gary Vee is the master at it. Well, Buffer is a great little scheduling app that lets you pre-post your social media posts and release them at a specified time. It’s well known that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts are more active at certain times of the day. This app allows you to take advantage of this, without actually having to be there. It also allows to allocate blocks of time specifically for social media. When it comes to social media management, this is one of the best.
This is one of the newer apps I’ve come across and I love it. Otter is essentially a transcription app, but it focuses on capturing long-form conversation. It’s not always perfect, but it’ll allow you to capture things such as meetings and lectures and turn them into a searchable document. Highly recommended.
There are quite a few mobile scanning apps, but Scanner Pro just seems to have that little bit extra. It allows you scan documents using your phone and turn physical documents into virtual ones, even in poor lighting conditions. A great way to store documents quickly and easily.
Most people have very little idea just how much time they are spending on certain tasks, and unsurprisingly, we are all guilty of spending too much time on things we shouldn’t. This app allows you to see the time you spend on tasks versus the time you spend on distractions. Definitely an app you’ll want to check out if you’re the kind of person that often wonders, “Where did all the time go?”
Management expert and best-selling author Brian Tracy recommends turning your car into “a mobile university.” It’s easy to do with so many great podcasts available. But some podcasts can run an hour or longer, meaning that if you subscribe to a few different channels, it’ll take you time getting through them all. Overcast not only allows you organize your podcast, but speed up them up and cutting down the time needed to get through them. Two thumbs up.
I love my trusty Post-Its, they’re one of my favorite “old school” solutions to getting stuff done. It’s hard to ignore a task that you have posted to your computer screen staring back at you any time you’re at your desk. Google Keep is essentially that for your phone / computer. There are those CEOs that just have so many ideas that they’re hard to keep track of – now you can, digitally.
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