Can smartphone apps actually contribute to your personal or professional growth?
Approximately 9 months ago, I narrowed down thousands of downloads to list the 13 most effective, smartphone / desktop apps for business professionals and entrepreneurs – all included as part of our 1010 Growth Series. To say the article was popular would be an understatement.
This particular list is designed to update and build on the original 13 app suggestions for a grand total of 22. From a business perspective, each app on the list of 22 does something different. Most importantly, they make the difficult and arduous a lot easier.
These 22 apps will increase your productivity, free you from the time-consuming death grip of routine and strenuous tasks, and subsequently, release you to spend time where it matters – thinking, dreaming, imagining, and creating – the holy grail of growth.
In no specific order, here they are – all 22 (click on the app name to see more):
1. CoSchedule: If you’re into any kind of writing, blogging or sharing across social media networks, CoSchedule is worth your time to investigate. I still use Hootsuite (see #10 – 22 below) for organizing all of my social feeds on one screen, but I’ve moved all of my scheduling for social posting and blogging over to CoSchedule. I use the WordPress plugin to integrate everything on one screen / app. While I am not utilizing everything that CoSchedule offers just yet, I can tell you that they integrate extremely well with Google Drive, Evernote as well as Google Analytics, centralizing all of the vitals in one app.
2. Inigo App: My sister recently sent me a link to this app. Great concept – essentially, Inigo is a digital business card on steroids. Inigo is a cross-platform app that can allow you to not only drop in your phone, email address, company, title, BUT goes much further – allowing you to input your social profiles and pertinent links like your company home page – and you can send it ALL on one link to your intended recipient. It makes it extremely easy to share ‘everything’ when meeting someone – think client meetings, networking, dinners, parties, traveling, etc, and it can also transfer the contact information directly into the CRM database of your choice.
3. Google Photos: For those of you who are tired of trying to keep all of your photos and videos organized, there is hope! Google’s new Photo app is the ultimate tool – not only does it automatically manage / organize everything, but, from time to time, Google will create an awesome video montage or photo rendition of your content. As with Carousel and other photo apps, Google will pull all of your latest photos / videos off your phone automatically. From there, everything is sorted by date, face, place, things, or activity, making it extremely easy to search your photo library to find just the picture you’re looking for. Best yet, you can bulk-upload videos from Google Photos to your YouTube Page – not only is the entire Google app suite rich in features, but the integration across the apps is second to none – all resulting in tremendous time saved!
4. YouTube Kids: This one is for kids, but delivers peace of mind and huge time-savings to adults. Not only is the interface easier to use than regular YouTube (for kids), but the developers have curated only age-appropriate videos. The videos have tighter controls around the search parameters so that if my daughter is watching a ‘Barney’ episode, the app will only show closely related material to ‘Barney’ in the recommendation slider. Standard YouTube will oftentimes pull in unrelated and highly questionable content aside a Barney video, requiring the adult to be next to child at all times as they view the app. While my wife and I are very intentional about not allowing too much technology, videos, or even TV for our children, having tightly controlled app like YouTube Kids for educational content is extremely valuable. Chalk another one up for Google.
5. Mile IQ: If you drive a car for your job and need to track miles for expense reporting, there is no better solution than Mile IQ. I recently switched from using Expensify only because Mile IQ happens to sync well with Freshbooks, where I house all of my expense and invoicing activity. Additionally, Mile IQ is automated, meaning as long as you have your location service on your phone activated, it’s intelligence picks up on your motion (knowing you’re in a car) and begins tracking miles. At the end of the day, it’s one swipe to the left to classify personal miles or to the right for business miles and you’re done. Expensify is very manual as compared to Mile IQ, requiring extra time to begin tracking miles, as well as managing the miles into reportable expenses (if you don’t use Expensify for all expenses).
6. Flynx: As far as I know, this one is only available on Android. However, with as useful as it is, it won’t be long before it hits iOS. Flynx frees me to clear my inbox extremely fast or parse through a particular newsletter daily feed in a reader / or other by storing any links that interest me in a “floating bubble” for reading when I’m ready. The floating bubble has a neat little counter that tells you how many links you have stored at any given time, as well as having the capability to be moved to any position on my screen. The days of saving newsletters for later reading or organization in your inbox are over. Send the link you’re interested in to the Flynx bubble and delete the email – done.
7. Personal Capital: This is the best app I’ve used for managing all of my personal and business financial accounts in one place. Accurate, fast and smart, Personal Capital is like a virtual financial advisor that will occasionally send notifications on opportunities for earnings or savings depending on your portfolio, accounts, and market activity. New to the platform is a retirement tool that tracks your progress towards specific goals and conditions that you identify. Mint.com (if you’re familiar) is a terrific personal expense / budget management tool, where as Personal Capital is more geared towards longer-range investment and planning. Personal Capital saves you the time of navigating back and forth to look at multiple investment accounts and different institutions, all with different websites, logins and passwords. Everything is in one place and one view for you to see your big picture.
8. Udemy: Why are you waiting for management to send you to the next off-site training conference or workshop? Available on desktop and mobile, Udemy is a massive library of on-line education on virtually any topic via webinar or video. I’ve used Udemy on long drives to take how-to courses on multiple topics – I can let it play in the background and easily move through the curriculum of the on-line courses, download supporting material, and start / stop courses across different devices. Most of the courses are very inexpensive for what you get in return – sometimes hours worth of great ideas, content, and tools. Udemy makes is so easy to take control of your own development and learning.
9. CircleMakers: CircleMakers.co is a one-stop, multi-media resource and on-line destination for busy professionals and leaders to stay connected to the insight, advice, inspiration and tools for all things growth. The great news is the ease of accessing this particular app – you’re already here! Not only do we provide consulting and coaching for organizations, but we are building a robust content library across such topics as business growth strategy, leadership, as well as personal / professional growth. Just click here to leave us your name and email address. We’ll continue to deliver you a weekly stream of inspirational and educational growth content right to your inbox. Whether it be yourself, your team or your business, when it comes to unlocking new or dormant potential, make CircleMakers.co your go-to app.
10 – 22: This link will take you to the next 13 apps – the article is entitled, 13 Apps That I Can’t Imagine Living Without. As is the case with this list, there is something for everyone, every need and every task.
There you have it – 22 apps that have the power to give you back minutes each day, hours each week, and days each year.
How valuable would it be for you to get that kind of time deposited back onto your calendar?
I would love to hear from you. Which app from the list you have found most helpful or are apps I missed that should be on the list?
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This post is part of our 1010 Growth Series, featuring different ‘Top 10 lists’ of products, services, tools and resources that drive growth. You can access additional posts from our 1010 Growth Series by clicking on the link in the Category list on the right hand side of this page. If you have ideas or requests for future Top 10 lists, please let us know.