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10 Fabulous Web And Mobile Apps Guaranteed To Boost Productivity

10 Fabulous Web And Mobile Apps Guaranteed To Boost Productivity

At this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that there are 900,000 apps in the App Store already. We can only speculate when the one millionth app will be released, but the number is still impressive nevertheless.

However, the term “app” is not reserved to iPhone or iPad only, so let’s take a broader look at the whole market of various mobile and online apps. And the apps featured here are not just an accidental set of 10 cool things. They really have the potential to introduce you to your more productive self, especially if you’re a freelancer or someone working on independent projects with various clients.

But let’s start with something general, an app that comes handy to all people who value productive work and easy access to data:

1. SugarSync

Official: SugarSync

sugarsync

    Available for: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile.

    SugarSync was released as a competitor to Dropbox, which still is the most well-known solution for online data backup and synchronization. But as it turns out, SugarSync does stand apart in this niche by providing some great features. First of all, SugarSync apps are real. This means that each app allows you to do any standard operation on your files, and not just view them like in some Dropbox apps.

    Secondly, you can synchronize any folder on your computer, not just one, and you can even synchronize stuff selectively. For example, some folders can be synchronized on both your desktop and your laptop, while others can stay laptop-exclusive.

    Thirdly, it’s just as automatic and hands-free as Dropbox, so you don’t even notice it working in the background.

    2. Mailbox

    Official: Mailbox

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    mailbox

      Mailbox, an app with very basic sounding name, is taking the market by storm. Every day, more and more people get excited about it, and not without a reason.

      The main strength of Mailbox is that it makes email sensible again. Or in other words, it helps you be productive when working with email.

      Mailbox connects to your Gmail account (they promise to enable other providers soon) and helps you manage your inbox by adding a whole range of cool features. Just to name a few: you can swipe messages to archive or trash them, scan an entire conversation with a chat-like interface, snooze emails, postpone them for later, and many more. In some ways, Mailbox is a user interface design masterpiece.

      3. Bidsketch

      Official: Bidsketch

      bidsketch

        Bidsketch is a tool for any freelancer, agency, or consultant who wants to make their client proposals better, more functional and less hassle to tame.

        The tool is web-based and lets you manage your proposals from anywhere. Plus, the easy-to-use proposal creator makes it possible to build a completely new proposal and send it out in less than an hour. Compare this to the traditional method of using a combination of Word and email. The team at Bidsketch actually knows a thing or two about freelancing productively.

        Not only that, but Bidsketch also tracks every proposal and notifies you when the client views it. This is great for clients themselves too because they get to approve or decline your proposals right away, and even sign them electronically if needed.

        4. Buffer

        Official: Buffer

        buffer

          Buffer started as a simple web app for buffering your tweets to be sent out throughout the day automatically.

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          The idea was that not every part of the day is perfect to tweet, and also that sending too many tweets one after another might put off your followers. Such things don’t sound scary for personal use, but if you’re tweeting on your company’s behalf then it’s a different story.

          Buffer has grown a lot since then and now lets you manage your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, all at the same time. Plus, you get access to full analytics and click stats for every account. But the best part is that Buffer offers apps for iOS, Android, browser extensions and is even integrated into many other services across the web, like: Pocket, Feedly, Instapaper, and most recently Followerwonk.

          5. Pocket

          Official: Pocket

          pocket

            In my opinion, it’s the best app for creating and managing your own personal “read later” list.

            The way that Pocket functions is very straightforward on the user’s part. When you stumble upon something you want to read later, all you do is click a small Pocket button in your browser (or other device), which will save the article into your “read later” list. Then, whenever you have a moment, you can fire up the main Pocket list and go back to some of the articles you’ve saved.

            The power of Pocket lies in the number of available apps and platforms. You can get it as a browser extension, an app for Mac, a mobile app for iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, WebOS and more.

            6. Basecamp

            Official: Basecamp

            basecamp

              In short, Basecamp is THE project management tool of today. Its main interface is web-based, but there is an additional iPhone app available, so you can have a look at things on the go too.

              The power of Basecamp is that it offers a clear dashboard-like thing for any given project of yours. On this dashboard, you can view things like: discussions, to-do lists, files that have been attached to the project, text documents, and so on. The tool also features multiple user accounts for a single project/company, so you can collaborate with your colleagues to make your work more productive than ever.

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              Basecamp is premium. If you’d like a free alternative, check out Teambox.

              7. Remember The Milk (RTM)

              Official: Remember The Milk

              rtm

                If it’s just simple task management you’re after then RTM will provide you with all the functionality you’d need.

                What’s great about it (apart from the name itself) is that the tool is available as a web based thing, but also through multiple mobile devices running iOS, Android, or BlackBerry’s operating system. Moreover, you can integrate it with various online services like: Gmail, Google Calendar, MS Outlook, Evernote, or even Twitter (yes, you can add tasks via Twitter).

                When it comes to the user interface, there are a lot of keyboard shortcuts available, just to make your everyday work even faster.

                8. Microsoft OneNote for iOS or Evernote

                Official: OneNote and Evernote

                onenote

                  Both of these tools are meant to make note-taking easier, more accessible and functional. Microsoft’s thing is a new addition to the App Store, while Evernote has been with us for quite a while. I’m listing these tools together so you can make your own choice and pick the one that seems more suitable for your needs.

                  There are some differences between them but the core functionality is the same. You can take a note, any kind of note actually, and have it synced to the cloud automatically. Both tools support pictures, text, lists, quick notes, to-do lists and so on.

                  OneNote notes can be created on iPad and iPhone apps, as well as through the native desktop software – Microsoft OneNote. Evernote, on the other hand, offers apps for: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, BlackBerry and more, so in some cases it can be the more functional choice.

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                  Actually, my opinion is kind of biased because I’ve been using Evernote for years and am quite used to it.

                  9. TopNotes for iOS

                  Official: TopNotes

                  TopNotes

                    Various “visual” note taking apps are very trendy nowadays. The idea is that you can work with your iPad or iPhone just like with a piece of paper. This means that you can select various pens, pencils, colors and create a great looking note incorporating your own hand-made drawings, charts, diagrams, sketches, or whatever else.

                    The only problem with most apps like this that I’ve tested is that there are simply too many in-app purchases. Usually, you get just one pen and one color, and if you want to customize your note in any way, you have to pay (sometimes insane amounts of money). This is not the case with TopNotes and that’s why it’s made the list. It offers a number of brushes right off the bat and you don’t have to pay extra for the privilege to change the color. In short, the app just works, with no hassle.

                    10. AOL Reader or Digg Reader

                    Official: AOL Reader and Digg Reader

                    digg

                      Since Google Reader is now dead, it’s about time to find a replacement. Now, most people know about Feedly, but I want to guide your attention towards two other tools that are also in this game: AOL Reader and Digg Reader.

                      They have very similar interfaces and very similar functionality. More than that, the interfaces resemble the original Google Reader’s interface, which is surely an intentional ploy by their creators.

                      Both tools have their pros and cons though. Digg has an iOS app available, but AOL gives you a more functional interface with some fine-tuning possibilities. In the end, it’s up to you which tool you’ll end up using. I personally haven’t decided yet, and I’m constantly going back and forth between them.

                      What other apps do you use to boost your productivity?

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                      Published on September 20, 2018

                      11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                      11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                      In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                      Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                      In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                      Minimizing Tabs

                      Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                      Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                      Incognito Mode

                      Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                      1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                      2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                      3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                      This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                      Save Webpages as PDF Files

                      Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                      Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                      Open Recently-closed Tabs

                      Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                      One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                      The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                      Solve Mathematical Problems

                      Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                      For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                      Play Media Files

                      Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                      In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                      Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                      With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                      Stay Focus(e)d

                      Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                      Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                      With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                      This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                      Grammarly for Editing

                      Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                      You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                      Loom

                      There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                      There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                      With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                      Chrome Calendar Extension

                      No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                      Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                      Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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