5 Awesome Apps for Increasing Productivity

by Jennifer Good | October 16th, 2012 4:54 AM | No Comments

Productive Business Apps

I feel like giving a shout out and a big thumbs up to a few companies that just get it. Without these applications, I’m not sure I’d get anything done. I certainly don’t know how I survived without them. Hopefully, you’ll find them as useful as I’ve found them.

DISCLAIMER: These are mostly apps for Macs, since that’s what I have. I use and personally recommend every app in this post. For those of you using PCs, please share your comparable apps in the comments section.

OmniFocus – Mac & iPhone
If you’ve read Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (affiliate link) by David Allen, you’ll definitely appreciate the thought and care that’s behind this app. OmniFocus is a task management program based on David Allen’s productivity program. In layman’s terms, it’s an awesome to-do list organizer. It seamlessly helps you empty all of your thoughts and to-dos and then intuivtely helps you arrange them in projects, folders, contexts and more. There’s an extremely active community to help with any issues you have, and there are tons of tutorials. My favorite part is the iPhone app, which lets you sync all of your “to-dos” and have them at a touch of button wherever you are.

Evernote – All platforms
I was just recently introduced to Evernote, so I’m sure there’s a lot more to uncover about this app. However, I’m already in love. Before Evernote, I was using NoteBook which is also a great app, but doesn’t offer mobile syncing like Evernote does. Also, Evernote is free and the storage of data is certainly more intuitive. I don’t really have a method of how I use it. Basically, anything that is not a “to do” for me ends up in Evernote. Thoughts, ideas, beginning stages of editorial planning, shopping lists, website clips… you name it, it’s being collected here. Like OmniFocus, my favorite feature is that it syncs with my iPhone. I find it incredibly efficient to have whatever I need, wherever I am.

Copywrite – Mac Only
I discovered this app when I first became a Mac owner. If you’re a writer or blogger, this app will become a fast favorite. I write nearly every article and blog post in CopyWrite. It has a great little sidebar tool that holds extra notes and external links for references. It automatically keeps a word count as you write, and you can even set a goal as to how many pages or words you want to write and it will keep track for you. The initial set up is for novelists, so you’ll need to do a little tweaking to the categories first. I set up projects for each website I’m working on and then use categories to create months so I know which articles are being written for which month. The only downside of CopyWrite is that it is truly just for writing. Page editing features such as tables and even font size variants are not present here. For blogging and writing, I find this a pleasant break from distractions as it forces me to just sit and write.

Bento 4 – Mac, iPad, iPhone
Bento is a personal database and organizer software from the makers of FileMaker. I use this software in a multitude of ways. My main use is as a contact and personal project management system. I’ve also set up databases to use as an editorial calendar, which not only keeps me focused and on schedule, it also help me keep track of guest author posts. The best aspect of Bento 3 is the community involvement. You’ll find tons of templates created by FileMaker and other members. You can also get the iPhone app and sync your databases accordingly. The downside of Bento 3 is that it is for personal use only, so there are no sharing features. In cases where I need to share, I have to use Basecamp or Google Docs instead.

iMonTime – Mac Only
When I get in the groove of doing things, I go into artist mode and sometimes lose track of time and can forget about certain projects or meetings. This is where iMonTime has saved me. I use this for everything from making sure I get up and take a break to setting reminders to eat or even do laundry. If you work from home, this is a crucial app you’ll want to use. You can set reminders for everything from birthdays to bill payment notices. I often use it as a timer for purely focused work time. I give myself 30 minutes to work on a project and let iMonTime tell me when my time’s up. I can schedule these work blasts through the day as well. It keeps me using my time more effectively and helps me stay on track for things I don’t want to forget.

Well this is my short list of essential apps. Have any of these? How do you like them? If not, what do you use instead?

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