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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 November 9, 2018

                      How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                      How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                      Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                      Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                      So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                      6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                      When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                      1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                      Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                      To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                      In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                      • Microsoft Excel
                      • Microsoft Access
                      • Statistics
                      • Data Analytics
                      • Adobe Campaign
                      • Quickbooks
                      • XML Database management system
                      • Filemaker Pro
                      • MATLAB
                      • Hive
                      • FORTRAN
                      • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                      • SAS

                      2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                      Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                      Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                      • Content Management System (CMS)
                      • Google Analytics
                      • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                      • Email Marketing
                      • Web Page Design
                      • WordPress
                      • Digital Media
                      • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                      • Campaign Management Software

                      3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                      A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                      • Adobe Photoshop
                      • Adobe InDesign
                      • Adobe Illustrator
                      • AutoCAD
                      • CorelDRAW
                      • Microsoft Visual Studio
                      • Maya
                      • Microsoft Word
                      • Microsoft Publisher
                      • Operating Digital Cameras

                      4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                      The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                      To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                      • HTML
                      • C/C++
                      • Java
                      • Python
                      • XML
                      • UI/UX
                      • LINUX
                      • CISC and RISC architecture
                      • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                      • Memory Management
                      • PCB Layout
                      • SQL

                      5. IT Troubleshooting

                      Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                      So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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                      • Backup management
                      • Diagnostics
                      • End User support
                      • Client-Server management
                      • Installation and configuration
                      • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                      • System administration
                      • Tech support

                      6. Enterprise Systems

                      Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                      Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                      The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                      Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                      Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                      Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                      1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                      a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                      Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                      Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                      b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                      This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                      c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                      Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                      Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                      2. Rule the Social Media World

                      a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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                      Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                      From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                      b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                      This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                      c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                      Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                      Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                      3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                      a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                      From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                      b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                      Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                      The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                      c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                      The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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                      4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                      a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                      It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                      From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                      b. Canva Design School

                      From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                      c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                      62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                      d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                      The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                      Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                      5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                      a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                      IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                      It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                      b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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                      The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                      Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                      The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                      • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                      • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                      • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                      • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                      • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                      • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                      • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                      Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                      Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                      1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                      It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                      Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                      2. Work on Your Efficiency

                      Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                      For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                      3. Look for Shortcuts

                      Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                      4. Apply for an Internship

                      Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                      By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                      How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                      The Bottom Line

                      Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                      So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                      Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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