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The Only Apps Every Entrepreneur Will Ever Need To Be Highly Productive

The Only Apps Every Entrepreneur Will Ever Need To Be Highly Productive

If you are an entrepreneur, then you are aware of the importance of time management. There are only 24 hours in a day, which means you must manage your hours properly to be able to get a lot of work done. With so much on your shoulders, you need to get organized. How do you achieve that? You do it by becoming tech-savvy and incorporating productivity apps to help you remain on the right track. Below are 13 essential productivity apps for entrepreneurs.

1. Evernote/ Wunderlist

evernote_app

    Evernote makes it on the list because of one simple reason, besides being your little note book for scribbling your thoughts: Its freeware version is available for Web, iOS and Android. Stay organized across all your devices. Sync files, save Web pages, capture photos, create to-do lists and record voice reminders. What more do you need? Apart from all this, you can also search your tasks on the go.

    Wunderlist is a similar app. It helps you capture ideas and tasks. It works both on iPhone/iPad and the Web.

    2. Drop Box

    dropbox basic

      Drop Box delivers instant connectivity and enables the sharing of photos, documents and videos with any laptop or mobile device through the free cloud-based file-storing service. This app is extremely handy for sharing files with your team, which prevents back-and-forth emailing. With the version control feature, you have a convenient way of sharing the latest version with your team.

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      3. Audible

      MS_OAOD_AudibleLogo

        Ever wondered where entrepreneurs get their ideas from? Surely, they aren’t born with them! Any established entrepreneur you come across is probably very well-read. Hint: Take a chance at reading books and gaining knowledge to spruce up your mind. To help you do just that on the go, try Audible. It lets you listen to books without having to actually focus on reading while you are out travelling or just doing chores.

        4. TripIt

        tripit iphone

          Being an entrepreneur means a lot of travelling. It gets hard to keep track of travelling schedules and bookings. With TripIt you no longer have to worry, because it organizes your travels by forwarding your booking confirmations to an email address.

          5. Lastpass

          Lastpass2

            “Errr…so what was the password?” With so many things on your mind, it can be cumbersome to remember passwords that are usually a combination of various letters and numbers. With a freeware version available for PCs and Macs, Lastpass is your personal-password manager, and form filler, that frees you from remembering your passwords. It costs $12 for the premium version that is available to download on your mobile device.

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            6. Any.Do

            The Any.do App

              Want to enter tasks on your iPhone? Use Any.Do. With its simple interface, you can add tasks either by speech or typing. If you’re logged on to your Facebook account, you can even share tasks with your contacts. Want to be alerted about a task? Add an alarm, and highlight it so that it takes precedence over other tasks. You can also add further notes and put them in a personal or work folder. The app also allows syncing with other devices to make sure you are always at the top of your game.

              7. CamCard

              CamCard-Business

                Entrepreneurs attend several conferences during the year where they meet useful contacts. Exchanging business cards is the norm in conferences, but it is also very easy to lose a business card and, ultimately, a  business prospect! Don’t let this happen to you. With CamCard, you can take a picture of your business card and have all the details automatically uploaded into your phone contacts and other email accounts. Because of its accuracy, you can be assured of flawless scanning. The best part is that you can sync data across other devices too. The app is usually free for iPhone, but its cost on other mobile phones is $3.26.

                8. Flowdock

                Flowdock

                  A mix of chat and inbox tools, Flowdock is a convenient way of collaborating with team members on various projects. The best part is that the app works on most browsers and mobile platforms, and it gives you features such as drag and drop, file uploads and activity streams. Your team members can get instant updates about any change on the project to which they can respond through chat messages.

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                  9. Instapaper

                  instapaper-for-android

                    The Internet is filled with blogs and articles. Amp up your creativity by reading new posts at a time that suits you. Through Instapaper, you can save an interesting article to read at a more convenient time and in a reader-friendly format.

                    10. CloudOn – Microsoft Office

                    CloudOn

                      Although Microsoft offers its Office suit through iOS, you cannot really use it unless you pay for a subscription for Office 365. With a Windows phone, Office Mobile is free. So the best option for iPhone users, who want to write Word documents, make spreadsheets or work on important PowerPoint presentations, is CloudOn. The app is free and can be integrated with Dropbox, Google Drive or Skydrive to enable access of stored documents in the cloud.

                      11. Expensify

                      Expensify

                        While travelling, you probably want to keep your receipts to claim office expenses once you get home. But why go through the hassle of keeping all these receipts when a smart phone can do the same for you? By using your phone’s camera, you can take pictures of your receipts as a digital record in a chronological order. Expensify also lets you log mileage, meal expenses and other business-related travel costs.

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                        12. Recruiterbox

                        RecuriterBox

                          Screening through resumes and tracking applicants can be cumbersome. You want to hire the best possible people for your company without wasting too much time scanning resumes. So use Recruiterbox to help you perform these tasks; the app helps you manage the entire hiring process. This allows you to spend more time hiring instead of doing manual paper-work sorting out resumes. The app is online, so it receives all resumes in one place and tracks each candidate’s progress through application stages.

                          13. Skype

                          Skype

                            Probably the most effective method for remaining in touch with all your employees, Skype has become an office norm for instant communication and connectivity. With its app version available for mobile phones, connectivity has taken a new form by allowing entrepreneurs to schedule and attend important business conference calls on the go.

                            By using these productivity apps, you have a better chance of organizing a systematic approach for performing tasks. There are many entrepreneurs who are striving for success. However, only a few stand apart on the basis of their work ethic and capacity to grow by incorporating smart apps in their routine. Allow yourself a competitive edge by incorporating these handy productivity apps to enhance your company’s growth.

                            Are you using any of the apps listed above? Do you know any other apps that are essential for entrepreneurs? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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                            Last Updated on January 2, 2019

                            Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress

                            Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress

                            The end of the year is the time when everyone tries to give you advice on how to live healthier, look better, and earn more money.

                            It’s understandable if you find yourself lost among all the tips and opinions. Sometimes you no longer know what you truly want to achieve next year – and what’s just imposed by society.

                            To help you out, we’ve made this article about the things you should remove from your new year’s resolution list – instead of adding to it – to make your daily life more harmonious and peaceful.

                            So just make sure you cross these off your New Year’s to-do list – your body, mind and soul will be thankful.

                            1. Stop Buying Meaningless Gifts

                            We all know the sense of obligation – when we have to buy a gift for an event or celebration that’s already tomorrow, but we still have no idea of what to give.

                            Take these tips close to heart for all upcoming holidays, including birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc.:

                            Stop focusing on the material objects

                            Instead of focusing on what material object to give, think about the emotion you want to evoke[1] in the gift recipient, and then pick a symbolic gift that can support or represent that emotion. For example, you can gift coziness by presenting a “comfort set” with warm socks, tea, candles, etc. Or give motivation by presenting a beautiful planner or notebook.

                            Plan gifts in advance

                            We know this is easier said than done. But if you try to plan which gifts you’ll need in the upcoming months (try making a list three or four times a year), ideas will more likely come to mind and you’ll avoid that last-minute shopping. Not to mention, you’ll be able to keep an eye on sales to get the best prices.

                            Suggest a better way

                            If you’re tired of exchanging gifts for birthdays and holidays, initiate a different approach. For example, draw names among family members and agree that each one only buys a present to that one person they got. Alternatively, you can agree not to share gifts among adults, and only give presents to kids of the family. Or, ask friends to donate to charity instead of buying a gift for you.

                            Go for common experiences instead of exchanging gifts

                            You can agree (with your partner or the extended family) to go on a common trip, dinner or another activity, instead of spending money on gifts.

                            Sometimes you’ll have to be the one who initiates breaking the rules that have been accepted in the family for years. But if you suspect that you’re not the only one in the group who’s tired of gift-hunting, you’ll surely find support for your suggestions.

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                            2. Don’t Exaggerate with Diets and Fitness Resolutions

                            It’s no secret that TV shows, article headlines, and ads (not to mention our healthy diet-obsessed friends) make us feel like we need to look better, slimmer and younger than we actually are. But going on yet another diet or starting a fitness plan with the wrong motivation rarely leads to great results.

                            If you are like many people, you have probably signed up for an annual gym membership at least once in your life – only to drop it one month later.

                            How do you balance a good resolution for a healthier life without pushing yourself into commitments that won’t last?

                            Here’s what you can do:

                            Set a healthier pattern

                            For example, do meat-free Mondays or reduce meat consumption to three days per week (less saturated fat for you and better for the environment). Or choose to eat only healthy food at least three days a week or only on weekdays (e.g. make sure your meals contain vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy products, and protein). This way you’ll already have a healthier diet while still being able to treat yourself with a snack on weekends or parties.

                            Get a fitness watch

                            Fitness watches like Fitbit or MiBand are tiny accessories that will count your steps, calories burnt and will serve as an excellent motivator to move – or to take the stairs instead of the elevator.

                            Find a physical activity that you enjoy

                            Even if you are not that fond of doing sports, you can definitely find an activity that you’d do with pleasure. Think about what you’d like – from taking up Nordic walking to pilates or even exercising at home.

                            Try intermittent fasting

                            This is an alternating cycles of fasting and eating. For example, stop eating at 8 pm and restart not sooner than 12 hours later. This approach has been proven to have numerous health benefits, in addition to weight loss.

                            Skip cabs or driving to work and opt for cycling or walking instead

                            You’ll burn calories, breathe some fresh air, and save money – win-win!

                            3. Put a Cap on Your Daily To-Do List

                            In today’s busy world, planning your day in a stress-free way is actually an art in itself. It’s natural to want to be a loving parent, a diligent employee, an active member of the local community and probably several other individual roles.

                            But playing all these roles requires energy and meticulous planning. How not to lose yourself amidst all the appointments and responsibilities? And – most importantly – how to still find time for relaxing and recharging yourself?

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                            These daily planning tips will help you have more stress-free days:

                            Leave bigger intervals between meetings

                            If you schedule too many appointments or chores in a day, you’ll probably end up late at some point, and as a result – more stressed. There are many different reasons why people are late, but poor planning is a major factor too.

                            Plan time to relax

                            As weird as it may sound, you should try and schedule your resting time. For example, if you only have one free evening this week, and a friend tries to squeeze in a meeting, feel free to say no. Don’t feel obliged to specify the reason for your refusal, just say that you are busy.

                            Try to be a little pessimistic

                            We’re often packed with plans or running late for errands because we tend to be overly optimistic – about the traffic, the time it takes to do things, etc. Instead, try an opposite tactic — assume you’ll hit traffic or the meeting will take longer.

                            Try waking up earlier

                            Sometimes even waking up 30 minutes earlier can give you the much-needed head start for several errands of the day. But remember to get enough sleep every night, even if it means going to bed earlier.

                            Plan your day the day before

                            Chances are your day will be much better organized if you pack a lunch and lay out an outfit before going to bed.

                            Designate a time for checking emails and social messages

                            If you start checking your messages between appointments, you risk getting lost in a sea of messages that need replies. Designate a time for this activity or do it in case you arrived early to a meeting.

                            4. Let Go of Unhealthy and Time-Consuming Habits

                            If there’s one thing we should get rid of in the new year, it’s the habits that steal our time, provide instant gratification but don’t offer any value in the long term. Or even worse, leave a negative impact on our health.

                            Here are some common (and pointless) habits along with tips on how to get rid of them:

                            Binge-watching TV series

                            Even if most online television platforms offer you lists of “Best TV Shows to Binge Watch”, being addicted to series is a major time-waster.

                            You can manage this addiction in several ways, for example, watch one episode per day (or a few per week) as a reward, only after you’ve finished an assignment or done a house chore. Or try replacing this habit with exercise or reading a book – this will be hard at first but should stick after a few weeks. You can also try to track how much time you spend on TV or movies – seeing how much of your life you are wasting might urge you to do something about it.

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                            Running on coffee

                            Being a coffee addict is kind of a stylish addiction nowadays, but it’s not that innocent as it may initially seem. Besides addiction being a problem in itself, drinking too much coffee (more than 500-600 mg of caffeine a day) may lead to nervousness, insomnia, an upset stomach, a fast heartbeat, and even muscle tremors.[2]

                            As a solution, try switching to tea or edible coffee – a more sustainable, healthy, and productivity-enhancing alternative. For example, Coffee Pixels are solid coffee bars that generate a more even energy kick throughout the day without the coffee-induced abstinence and dehydration.

                            Procrastination

                            Fighting procrastination requires some serious willpower. If it is a problem in your daily life or work, try ”eating the frog” in the morning – get over your biggest or hardest tasks first, then tackle everything else.

                            Alternatively, use time tracking software to monitor exactly how much time you waste on unproductive actions, websites or apps. Once you know exactly how much time you’re spending unproductively, try to limit your time on social media, for example to just 20 minutes per day.

                            If nothing else works, try bribing yourself — promise yourself to do something fun or pleasant when you finish your assignment.

                            Whichever habit you want to give up, consider using some habits building tools to make a contract with yourself and reward yourself for milestones achieved.

                            5. Stop over-consuming

                            We live in the age of consumerism – huge manufacturers with their promise of a comfortable life on the one hand, and growing environmental threats – that are the direct result of our modern lifestyle – on the other hand. There’s only one solution – try to consume less whenever and wherever you can.

                            Before making additional purchases, ask yourself these questions:

                            • Do I really need it? Did I need it yesterday?
                            • Can’t I buy it used or borrow it from friends?
                            • Can I rent it?
                            • Can I make it myself?
                            • Am I buying the most sustainable version of this product?

                            For example, check if the brand you chose is conscious about the environment, for example, are the products they manufacture energy efficient? Do they try to use less packaging?

                            Also, if you often find yourself buying too many groceries, promise to buy only the amount that fits in one shopping bag (that you bring along). If you often forget to take your shopping bag with you, get yourself a 2-in-1 wallet with a built-in shopping bag for more eco-friendly shopping.

                            6. Learn to Unplug from Your Phone

                            Today’s world is crammed with information, and many people struggle to keep focus on what’s truly important. There’s just too much going on in the world – too much to read, to watch, to know, too many conversations to participate in.

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                            But how to refuse the temptation to check the phone and start using social media in a controlled, not a compulsive way?

                            Some tips for managing your phone-dependency:

                            Spend only a limited amount of battery per day

                            For example, start your day with 50% battery life, and manage your phone usage so that you’ll make it till the evening.

                            Block distracting apps and notifications on your phone and computer

                            Choose one-hour, two-hour or longer blocking sessions and enjoy the positive impact this will have on your mood and productivity.[3]

                            Set your phone on flight mode

                            When you start doing an important task that requires full focus, set your phone on flight mode so that nobody can disturb you.

                            Leave your phone at home or in the office when you go for lunch

                            You’ll see that the feeling of being unreachable for a moment is actually very liberating.

                            The Bottom Line

                            As a new year begins, we’re all excitedly looking forward to what adventures await ahead of us.

                            But this year, promise yourself this:

                            Instead of having a never-ending list of tasks and commitments, focus on the truly meaningful ones. And cross-out all the rest without feeling guilty.

                            Less is more. Make this year count. We’re all rooting for you.

                            Featured photo credit: Brooke Lark via unsplash.com

                            Reference

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