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Finally, 20 Productivity Apps That Will Ensure Efficiency

Finally, 20 Productivity Apps That Will Ensure Efficiency

Apps can represent much more than a fun game or distraction. There are quite a few productivity apps out there that can help us carry out daily tasks more efficiently. Let’s delve in to 20 of them:

1. Microsoft Office for Mobile Devices

office

    Those who love using Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint on their laptops will find it supremely convenient to gain the ability to create, alter and share the same documents and spreadsheets via their tablets and phones. The only drawback is that to use the full power of these apps, they cost $10.66 monthly — but it’s a fee well worth paying.

    2. Dial My Calls

    dialmycall

      Send a voice or text message to a list of phone numbers in seconds.  Save time on redundant calls by having this app send your message to everyone for you.

      3. When I Work

      wheniwork

        This app is the answer to scheduling your employees. Find out which of your workers are scheduled to work, where you need to fill in spaces in the schedule when you’re short on help – and use it to review their time sheets. All these factors will help you focus more on your customers and bottom line instead of wasting time on administrative tasks.

        4. Chase Mobile app for iPhone

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        IMG_1979

          If you bank at Chase and own an iPhone, this app lets you do just about everything to take care of all your banking needs. From paying off bills to transferring money to checking your balance and even depositing checks without having to go to the ATM – you can snap a photo of them in your living room and be done – there isn’t a big need to visit the bank other than to grab actual cash, if you still carry the stuff. The push alerts are especially helpful for telling you when you’ve had money deposited, bills due – or unfortunately, if your account is overdrawn. There are so many pros with this app, it’s hard to think of cons, but one minor disadvantage is the fact that you must literally click on the alerts screen in order to make the number of alerts on your Chase icon go away.

          5. Pocket Informant

          pocketinformant

            Use this iOS or Android app to pull your calendar, tasks, notes and contact information into one place and make them more useful.

            6. Asana

            asana

              Asana has been described as being a task list on steroids. Use it to pull your team together and get everyone on the same page without email overload. Users say that swipe gestures that further enable them to perform functions like deleting and assigning tasks would make this app even better.

              7. Trello

              trello

                Trello looks like a Pinterest for managing projects. For those whose eyes glaze over trying to read long blocks of text inside lengthy emails, this app helps you and your team visualize next steps via cards, comments, checklists, uploaded files and more.

                8. Google Mobile

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                gmail

                  If you don’t already use this app to check Gmail, download it ASAP in order to clear out all that SPAM and respond to valid emails on the go.

                  9. 1Password

                  1password

                    Who has time to remember all the passwords our daily lives require? This app will help store your whole life – logins, credit card info, passwords and more – in one place and promises to keep them safe. As of this writing, the “pro features” of the app cost $9.99, but there are so many 4- and 5-star reviews in the Apple iTunes Store that apparently people love it nonetheless.

                    10. Voxer

                    voxer

                      Voxer brings those walkie-talkie type of instant communicators into the digital age, so much so that companies like Roto-Rooter allow their service technicians to use them. The effectiveness of the app lay in the ability to save all messages – be they text, voice or photo – which helps avoid having to repeat long communications. The app is advantageous because it offers free features for personal users, but pro and business users must pay specific fees per user.

                      11. Google Voice

                      googlevoice

                        Apparently, Google Voice is so good at letting folks send free texts to others in the United States and make low-rate international calls, that people are using it to do away with their cell phones or cancelling their Skype accounts.

                        12. AnyList

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                        anylist

                          This fun-looking app lets you not only make a grocery shopping list, but share it with family and friends, which makes a whole lot of sense for those who collaborate on their shopping needs.

                          13. MEGA

                          mega

                            People love their privacy, and MEGA’s mobile apps grant users the ability to stream and access their files from the “cloud in their pocket” – otherwise known as their smartphone.

                            14. Launcher

                            launcher_widget_phone

                              Launcher by Cromulent Labs makes it easier to access the apps you use most often in your notification center, without having to flip back and forth throughout your home screen to find them. While this app has plenty of positive buzz, there have been reports of frustration with the user interface.

                              15. HP ePrint

                              hpeprint

                                How many times have you wished you could print a photo or other document directly from your tablet or phone to your printer? This app makes it possible.

                                16. MyScript Calculator

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                                myscript

                                  Write out very simple to very complex mathematical equations and this app will perform the calculation for you, interpreting your handwriting.

                                  17. Cozi

                                  cozi

                                    Cozi is a free app that allows you to organize your family’s lifestyle in one place, keep track of your children’s schedule along with your own and use the app to split up chores for everyone.

                                    18. Google Slides

                                    googleslides

                                      The free Google Slides app lets users make new presentations, share PowerPoint files and even deliver those presentations directly from your tablet or phone without needing access to Wi-Fi.

                                      19. Prezi

                                      prezi

                                        Speaking of giving presentations on the go, the app called Prezi provides access to stunning presentation software that lets you present your work from tablets or phones when you’re out and about – and sync them across all your devices.

                                        20. Super Notes

                                        supernotes

                                          With this app, you can save notes, recordings, images and more – and tag them under color-coded signals that help you keep track of everything. Next, you can either share them via email or download them to your computer as a back up.

                                          Featured photo credit: Social media on smartphone HILVERSUM, NETHERLANDS – FEBRUARY 06, 2014: Social media are trending and both business as consumer are using it for information sharing and networking. Stock Photo ID: 60749657 Copyright: Twin design via bigstockphoto.com

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                                          Published on September 25, 2020

                                          10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

                                          10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

                                          When it comes to digital security, public Wi-Fi networks aren’t safe enough, making it much easier for hackers to access your personal data. Whether you are studying in a library or scrolling through Facebook in a coffeehouse, it is vital to have a VPN installed on your device.

                                          VPNs work wonders when it comes to securing your internet connection. By creating an encrypted tunnel between a remote server run by the VPN service, they protect your personal data from prying eyes. There is a variety of VPNs available on the web, and we have collated a list of the best VPNs that stand out from the rest.

                                          How to Choose a VPN

                                          • Free trial period – Free trials allow you to try the product risk-free. The same idea technically applies to those with 30-day full refunds as well.
                                          • Speed – You want your VPN to be just as fast as the internet speed at home. Good quality VPNs are ones where you see little difference between those speeds.
                                          • Device connection – Of course, the more devices that can connect to VPNs, the better. It increases the customers’ coverage and the product’s value. You also want to consider compatibility since fewer VPNs may work for Mac or Windows only.
                                          • Number of servers – The number of servers determines how much capacity a VPN can handle while you are connected. The more servers there are, the more users it can handle without running into potential disconnections or slow speeds.
                                          • Kill switch feature – Having this feature means that your IP address isn’t exposed if the VPN disconnects for some reason. A lack of this feature is a big deal since the whole reason why you’re paying for a VPN is to hide your IP address, among other things. (Find out how to avoid getting tracked online here: Big Brother Is Watching You Online: How To Avoid Being Tracked)

                                          Why You Should Trust Us

                                          Our hand-picked VPNs are incredibly efficient and offer such distinctive features that grant you safe browsing. They outperform many VPNs in terms of both speed and security. Their primary aim is to provide you the utmost security, thus enabling you to surf the web safely and prevent any potential threat from causing harm.

                                          Among the best VPNs’ many unique features include split tunneling, strict logging policies, high encryption level, and availability of international servers. We have gathered them in this article to enlighten our readers and offer the best pieces of advice before you get one. Therefore, take our word for it, and if you go for a VPN mentioned below, you’d be fully appeased.

                                          1. NordVPN

                                          The most popular VPN on the market these days is NordVPN, and it’s easy to see why. It has widespread coverage, offering a selection of over 5,000 servers spanning across 59 countries.[1] Due to the high number of servers, its speed is similar to your Wi-Fi at home.

                                          Lifehack’s CEO, Leon, has been using NordVPN for many years and wants to recommend it for its remarkable server count in different locations with no-logs policy. The VPN perfectly works with Netflix and Fire TV stick, too.

                                          NordVPN is also compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux. You can download the app onto Chrome, Firefox, Android, and Mac OS. Thanks to its massive coverage, it’s easy to connect multiple devices onto these servers.

                                          In terms of pricing, while NordVPN doesn’t have a free trial period, they argue that their plans are considerably cheaper than those of their competitors. For example, a one-year plan for ExpressVPN costs $8.32 per month, but NordVPN only charges $6.99 monthly.

                                          NordVPN has a new protocol called NordLynx that is based on WireGuard with speed benefits, though it’s still under development.[2] If you’re looking for general quality and affordability, this is one of the best VPNs around.

                                          Buy this VPN.

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                                          2. ExpressVPN

                                          ExpressVPN is the second-best option out there for keeping your privacy while browsing the internet. Like many other VPNs here, they will encrypt your IP address, offer vast coverage, and can have multiple devices connected to their servers.

                                          Compared to NordVPN, while the pricing point is higher, ExpressVPN’s biggest selling point is the number of countries that their connection covers. Depending on where you are in the world, this may be the only option you have. They have fewer servers — 160, to be precise — but they make up for the low server count by covering 94 countries.[3]

                                          Cost-wise, your best bet is to go with the yearly plan where they charge $8.32 a month. They also have one- and six-month plans.

                                          Buy this VPN.

                                          3. Surf Shark

                                          With regards to Surf Shark, you can connect multiple devices to its servers, and it’s compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is also available on Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and FireTV.

                                          Furthermore, Surf Shark can whitelist apps and sites, letting them bypass the VPN. This, along with the lines of split-tunneling, is another feature that many VPNs offer. The difference is that Surf Shark allows you to whitelist specific apps or any website, while most VPNs will whitelist all sites or none at all.

                                          The other consideration for this app is the price. While lower-tier plans are more expensive compared to others, Surf Shark’s 24-month plan is priced at $2.69 a month, so it’s cheaper than even NordVPN’s equivalent plan!

                                          Buy this VPN.

                                          4. CyberGhost

                                          Another top-reviewed VPN is CyberGhost. They’ve been around for 15 years and have fine-tuned their offers and features to stay competitive. They provide the standard package of browsing the web and logging into accounts safely and give you access to regionally blocked content.

                                          The network also maintains security from hackers, malware, and phishing. Aside from that, you can connect multiple devices, and it’s compatible with all kinds of platforms.

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                                          What separates CyberGhost from the others is their extensive coverage. They have multiple servers, and the pricing point is still very low. It covers over 88 countries and has roughly 6200 servers for you to choose from, all while charging $2.75 for their 18-month plan.

                                          Buy this VPN.

                                          5. IPVanish

                                          IPVanish’s prime purpose is to give users online freedom by providing fast speeds and private connections. It’s clear that they can meet that promise as they provide many of the features that have been listed previously from their competitors.

                                          IPVanish is a part of SugarSync now. What is that, you may ask? It’s a cloud-based service that syncs files across devices and computers for sharing, backup, and many more. What this means is that other devices can access various files and videos so long as they are connected to your specific VPN. Furthermore, it can serve as a backup plan if you get hacked or lose your device for some reason.

                                          Buy this VPN.

                                          6. Private Internet Access

                                          Private Internet Access (PIA) is a remarkably generous company in many ways. Aside from the obvious features, they offer great incentives and discounts for people to try out their products. They claim to be the most trustworthy and reliable VPN around, and we believe that.

                                          One notable thing is that PIA offers a free two-month trial. Compared to other VPNs to this point, none have provided free trials (though all come with a 30-day money-back guarantee). On top of that, small businesses can avail of their VPN at a discounted rate. There is also the fact that their pricing plans go as low as $2.69 a month for two years, and they let you pay with gift cards.

                                          In terms of specs, PIA has over 2695 servers that cover 47 countries right now.

                                          These particular aspects make PIA unique and one of the best VPNs to consider.

                                          Buy this VPN.

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                                          7. Hotspot Shield

                                          Hotspot Shield is all about offering protection while you’re browsing the internet or using streaming services like Netflix. The encryption is military-grade, and its speed is ultra-fast. In truth, it is even marketed as one of the fastest VPNs.

                                          Hotspot Shield offers a plan that only costs  $7.99 a month; however, it’s one of the few in this list to provide its services for free. Like other Freemium apps, the free version comes with limited features. That said, it gives you a much better feel for the VPN.

                                          Also, take note that the encryption feature is still there, though the limitations in the free plan include connecting to one location in the US and having limited streaming options and speed.

                                          Buy this VPN.

                                          8. TunnelBear

                                          As unusual as a name choice for an online security protection service can be, TunnelBear is nothing short of incredible. It makes our list of the best VPNs for various reasons.

                                          The biggest one is that the company goes through a yearly security audit. This is notable because many VPNs don’t bother about independent audits to ensure their systems are secure and safe from any issues. This is critical as VPNs have gotten some bad reputation over the years, as TunnelBear has noted in their post about their security audit.[4] The fact that they are doing this annually ensures that nothing is being compromised.

                                          Furthermore, TunnelBear offers limited services for free, but even their paid plans are pretty cheap. For individuals, you’re merely paying $3.33 per month. The only catch is that you can connect five devices regardless of which paid plan you pick.

                                          Buy this VPN.

                                          9. Norton

                                          Norton has been on the security scene for some time, and it’s actually one of the founders of the internet security industry. It started with virus and malware protection in 1991 and has since branched off to other sectors as the industry has shifted.

                                          As you might expect from a company that’s been around for a long time, Norton provides excellent services, and a few of their other services have gone into the VPN package. In reality, Norton is the only one thus far to offer a password manager with their VPN services. They provide 50GB of cloud storage as well.

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                                          Norton has one of the cheapest VPNs, considering you can get their deluxe plan at $49.99 per year. That comes up to roughly $4.17 a month. It might be slightly higher than other equivalent plans, but you get a lot of extra value that makes it worth the price.

                                          Buy this VPN.

                                          10. StrongVPN

                                          The final VPN we want to cover is StrongVPN. Like many others, it’s great at blocking unnecessary web traffic and providing a fast and simple solution to navigating the internet without any hindrance.

                                          StrongVPN has over 900 servers. It is available in more than 30 countries and compatible with all devices. Beyond that, the only notable selling point it has compared to others is that it also offers Sugarsync services and 250GB of storage, irrespective of your chosen plan.

                                          As for the pricing, their year-long plan costs $5.83 a month, while their month-long one is $10.

                                          Buy this VPN.

                                          Bottom Line

                                          Getting online protection is important these days, and companies recognize this.

                                          With more hacks and breaches occurring every single day, the best VPNs can provide an excellent haven for many people who value their security and privacy.

                                          We hope that by putting together this list, you’ll be able to find the best VPN that you can trust and enjoy using. As you can see, there are several great options with no real wrong one out there. Pick the VPN that’s best for you.

                                          Featured photo credit: Petter Lagson via unsplash.com

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