In my never-ending quest for efficiency and organization I download and test productivity apps quite often (maybe a little too often). These are the apps which are helping me to get things done.
For a long time my go-to note taking app was Evernote, but earlier this year I switched full time to Apple Notes. It’s fast and free, I like the way it does searches, and because it’s an Apple app it works really well with Apple hardware and software.
Some Apple Notes features I like best:
- iCloud storage that quickly syncs across all my devices
- Pinned notes stick to the top of the note stack
- Subfolders and shared folders
- Emoji in the title of a note
- Document scanning
Note: This video explains how to export Evernote notes to Apple Notes.
When I have a few extra minutes and I want something to read I open Pocket, which acts as a catch-all “read it later” for articles I’ve found while browsing on my phone or laptop. When you open Pocket you see a list of your saved articles stripped down to simple text.
The number of features available in Pocket is long so check out PC Magazine’s roundup.
Buffer and Hootsuite
If you share to social media more than once a day, apps like Buffer and Hootsuite will help you schedule posts. If you manage more than a few accounts don’t be afraid to save a few dollars by downloading both of these free apps and splitting your scheduled posts between them.
Dropbox and Google Drive
Every blog post, every PDF, every photo, every audio file, every digital thing I own is backed up in real-time to the cloud in Dropbox or Google Drive. Dropbox is my top choice with Google Drive a nice addition if you use Google Docs, Sheets, etc.
The idea behind password management apps like Dashlane is simple: Store all of your passwords behind one very strong master password. With the app and browser extensions installed you have the option to fill in username and password fields using Dashlane.
Many of us use our email inbox as a catch-all for any number of digital things. When I don’t want to send something to Pocket or Apple Notes I use Email Me to send it to my email.
Lots of apps will take what you’ve said and convert it to text, but a dedicated app like Rev is designed for better transcription of long-form content. Open the app, tap ‘Record’ and when you’ve finished the audio is anonymously uploaded to a Rev human for accurate transcription. For a quarter of the price you can also let Rev’s computers transcribe your audio.
Pocket Casts has every feature I need in a podcast app — my favorites being offline listening and “up next,” which lets me build a continuous playlist. I can even add non-podcast audio files to Pocket Casts.
If you do quite a bit of emailing or writing I highly recommend TextExpander to create keyboard shortcuts for often-used words, phrases and even entire emails (think customer support emails, or generic emails you often write for listeners). For example, when I want to send a new subscriber a “welcome” email I type @welcome and the entire email is created — all I need to do is fill in their name. TextExpander’s feature list is long and once you’ve created a handful of shortcuts you’ll wonder how you got by without it.