There are so many apps out there to make your work life easier. They can help you focus on your work, communicate with colleagues, manage your workload, track cumbersome numbers, share digital documents, and even improve your mental health.
The trick is knowing what’s out there, so we asked working professionals for their personal, tried-and-true app recommendations.
We can get so much done at work if we eliminate distractions and focus. It’s a tall order in today’s over-stimulated world, so luckily there are apps to help.
When you’re working on your phone or computer, it always feels like you’re bombarded with the most alluring videos, tweets, image, news articles, websites, etc. Instead of getting sucked into these distractions, file them away in your virtual back pocket. Don’t worry! They’ll be there during your lunch break.
If you put away phone distractions, you can accomplish a lot. Forest is an app to help you ignore your phone and focus on a task for 30 minutes. If you don’t get on your phone during those 30 minutes, you grow a virtual tree. If you use your phone during those 30 minutes, you kill the tree. Plant trees and get things done? Best app ever.
Clever communication apps and software make on-the-go work life easy. Keep in touch with your coworkers—no matter where you are!
If I had a penny for the number of times Slack appears on business app lists, I could quit my day job. This messaging app can do just about any type of real-time communication you’ll need to stay in touch with your coworkers.
“I use Slack for work, family, and friends. It makes life easier in so many different ways.”
—JJ Steadman, Young Living Essential Oils
Most of today’s workforce don’t sit at their desk from 8-5. If you’re on the move a lot, use Jive Mobile. It’s the best Hosted VoIP mobile app on the market. While you’re out of the office, you can access your business phone from your cell phone to make calls, send messages, and conference with coworkers and clients. Now you can take work calls outside of your office without surrendering your personal cell phone number to clients.
Half the battle of work is knowing, organizing, and scheduling all of your tasks. If you’re not naturally born with this organizational ability, there are apps to help you keep on top of your work load.
Todoist keeps your work life organized by allowing you to create tasks, projects, sub projects, due dates, priorities, comments, reminders, labels, etc. It has extensions for 10+ platforms, so no matter where you are, you’re synced-in and informed. You can also share and assign tasks coworkers. In Todoist’s words, “share projects, delegate tasks and discuss details—on any device or platform.”
Zendone is more than an app—it’s a way of life. Literally. This task manager app is based on David Allen’s methodology of Getting Things Done (GTD).
“Zendon is one of my all time favorites apps. It’s particularly applicable if you’ve read Getting Things Done.”
—Sterling Snow, Jive
A scheduling apps can make our work life significantly better. With the right app, it will feel like you have a full-time personal assistant.
Your schedule app needs to sync with all of the other programs you use at work. This is one of the reasons JoLayna Arndt recommends Pocket Informant.
“Pocket Informant is a great calendar and task management app. The tasks can be prioritized using the FranklinCovey or Getting Things Done method. I combine my work (outlook) and personal (gmail) calendars into the app. My favorite feature is being able to see a month or week at a glance on my phone with events shown by colored categories.”
—JoLayna Arndt, JLK Rosenberger LLP CPAs
It seems like once a week there is a conference room mishap. With EventBoard, you can lower your stress level and better utilize your company work space.
“It connects to major calendar apps and populates scheduled meetings. This allows employees to see which meetings occur at what time and lets them book new ones immediately.”
—Jordan Foutz, eLearning Brothers
Here are two apps to help you straddle the awkward, liminal space between virtual and physical documentation in the workforce.
Too often you need a physical document turned into a digital document. If you don’t have a scanner in your office, don’t take a wonky picture to get the job done. Scanner Pro is an app that scans and transforms documents into “clean and professional” PDFs.
Today’s equivalent to “does anyone have a pen,” is “does anyone have an app to sign digital documents.” Here’s a simple solution.
“But who’s counting?” Well . . . someone needs to count. And with these apps, luckily it’s not you counting. Here are some workplace apps that help you keep track of pesky numbers.
I used to take pictures of my mileage to keep track of work travel. It wasn’t very successful. I wish I had know about MileIQ.
“I have never bothered to track and deduct mileage on my taxes before I got the MilelQ app. The premium upgrade is super worth it too. It’s great for small business owners.”
Reimbursements can be tedious. Now you can use Expensify to make the process digital, quick, and easy.
“Expensify is a great app for keeping track of all of my expenses, and it makes submitting my reports a breeze.”
Cloud technology is a major advantage for sharing and storing documents because it makes information accessible. It’s especially helpful for more mobile workers.
Dropbox is a household name. Whether you prefer Dropbox or another app, make sure you use an app that provides a secure cloud-based solution to share and store documents.
Sales people, designers, researchers, and many other professionals use Evernote to organize and annotate documents, images, files, and web searches. Their tagline calls this app your “second brain”: it will “capture, organize, and share notes from anywhere so your best ideas are always with you and always in sync.”
In order to do your job well, you need a healthy mind.
Headspace offers quick and scientifically proven techniques to reduce your work stress and anxiety. This app lets you do quick meditation any where and any time. If you have a project or coworker that’s making your hyperventilate, take your phone into a quiet space for a few minutes and gain some healthy perspective.
So far, a lot of the apps we’ve mentioned manage your individual schedule, workload, and communication. There are also apps available that provide employees with a macro view of the company.
This app helps your company “grow” by helping your employees realize your company’s vision. It provides important data and metrics in a digestible and clean way.
“It’s a great dashboarding tool. It gives all of our teams visibility into their projects and performance.”
—Bryan Phelps, Big Leap
We’ve given you a lot of business apps to help make your work life easier. How do you keep all these apps synced? Well, no surprises here, there’s an app for that too.
Zapier is compatible with 750 apps. Out of the 16 apps we’ve recommended, Zapier syncs Evernote, Dropbox, Expensify, Todoist, Slack, and Pocket. As you can see, Zapier promises to “connect your apps and automate workflows” as it “moves info between your web apps automatically, so you can focus on your most important work.”
“Zapier is like IFTTT for business apps. It automates easy tasks and saves so much time for us.”
—Bryan Phelps, Big Leap
At Jive Communications, we believe in making your work life easier. Our company works hard to make the would-be headaches of a business phone system, easy and simple. To minimize stress and maximize your time so you can focus on what you do best, download these apps. You can thank me later.