Do More Faster: 10 Best Apps & Tools


Inc.com - The Daily Resource for Entrepreneurs

Five-time entrepreneur Frank Addante lists the digital gems that help him be organized and save time.

apps

1.  Organize your email: Sanebox

Sanebox uses algorithms to organize your email into what’s important and what’s not. I was skeptical and had trouble giving up control of my inbox, but now I’m hooked.

Tips: Trust it. Check @SaneLater twice a day, @SaneBulk whenever you feel like reading newsletters or promotions, and @SaneBlackHole for all the junk you never want to see again.

2.  Keep track of all your notes: Evernote 

Evernote stores your notes in the cloud, so you can access them from any computer or mobile device.

Tips: Use Evernote for both business and personal reasons. I take all of my business meeting notes directly in Evernote and scan or fax documents to Evernote that I want to keep. On the personal side, I take photos of wine that I like and store them in a notebook called Favorite Wines and keep copies of all critical identification (like my driver’s license, passport, and insurance papers) in a notebook called Wallet.

Download App: iPhone | Android

3.  Store your documents in the cloud: Dropbox  >>

Securely file away your digital documents in the cloud, so you can find and work on them from any computer or mobile device later.

Tips: I created two Dropbox folders–~Working Drafts and ~To File–and put them on my Mac in my Finder Favorites and on my Dock. I set the default sort order to be by Date Modified. This way, my most recent documents show up at the top of the list, and I can quickly drag or find documents there. I use ~Working Drafts as if it’s my desktop and never actually store anything on my computer desktop. When I’m finished with a document, I drag it to ~To File, and every once in a while, I go into the folder to organize folders that make more sense long term. Note: I include the tilde (~) in the filenames so that, when sorted alphabetically, these folders always show up at the top.

Download App: iPhone Android

4.  Prioritize your to-do list: Action Method

It’s an online app that helps you organize to-do lists and track and delegate tasks.

Tips: Use Action Method’s three color codes to set your priorities. Use orange for tasks that must be done on the scheduled day, blue for tasks that should be done that day but can push a day if necessary, and grey for tasks that you’d like to get done that day but will push if there are other deadlines. I follow the same color code in my calendar. The website is great, but definitely download–and set to open at login–the desktop, iPad, and mobile apps. Start every “to-do” item with an “action” word. The only negative about the Web application is that it can’t be used offline. I use either the iPad or iPhone app while on a plane and sometimes will print a PDF of my to-dos before I take off and leave it on my desktop.

Download App: iPhone Android

5.  Assemble your travel plans: TripIt

TripIt files all your itineraries in one place. You can even have it automatically send your itineraries to your significant other, kids, or always-worried mom. The Pro version alerts you of flight delays and gate changes.

Tips: Download the mobile app and put it on your home screen. Create a contact for plans@tripit.com and forward all itineraries to that contact.

Download App: iPhone Android

6.  Automatically transcribe your voice-mail messages: YouMail

This voice-mail service transcribes your voice-mail messages and sends them to you by email or text (or both). The mobile app makes it easy to view, listen, read, and forward your voice mails.

Download App: iPhone Android

7.  Consolidate your social network accounts: HootSuite 

This website allows you to use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yammer, and others all from one place.

Tips: I tend to have pockets of time when I can read and post on social media. Try HootSuite’s new “auto schedule” feature, so you can spread out your posts and don’t flood your networks with many in a row.

Download App: iPhone Android

8.  Communicate in real time with your whole team: Yammer

Yammer is like a private Twitter stream just for your company.

Tips: Get everyone in your company to sign up, and then use it as your main means of communicating information. This way, everyone will adapt to Yammer, because no one wants to miss out. Allow employees to post things that are “business” material and “fun” material. The fun material makes it more entertaining, and, in turn, the business material is more likely to be read.

Download App: iPhone Android

9.  Stay fit: miCoach

Exercise keeps your mind sharp. The miCoach iPhone app acts like your personal trainer. I lost 20 pounds using it at home and while on the road.

Tips: Set up your workouts in advance. I selected Get Lean for running and Get Fit for gym workouts. Buy the heart-rate monitor and stride sensor; it’s worth it. What gets measured gets done.

Download App: iPhone Android

10.  Sleep better: iSleep

It’s important to get a good night’s rest. If you’re like me, your mind is constantly racing, and the day’s work never ends. The iSleep meditation app helps you fall asleep and stay asleep. It’s particularly helpful when you have jet lag or can’t fall asleep. I use the Deep Sleep playlist at the end of a long, stressful day.

Download App: iPhone Android


Anuncios

Our Action Addiction

After a couple years of studying how creative people stay organized, we developed a simple and easily customized method for managing projects. A good portion of 2006 was spent putting the Action Method into practice.
We are our own guinea pigs. As you might expect from a group of designers, writers, and entrepreneurs, the Behance team has a lot of ideas. We suffer from the very frustrations and shortfalls that we try to solve in the creative community.

When we brainstorm, the ideas and to-do’s that come up are likely to disappear unless they are captured as action steps. When we take notes, the notes are often useless after 24 hours. When we have creative but off-topic ideas that we may want to come back to someday, these ideas are often lost unless they are kept in some sort of “backburner.” The Action Method was created to address these challenges, among others.

The year of 2006 was spent trying to practice what we preach. We held each other painstakingly accountable: if one of us had an idea for a new page design or article topic, an action step was recorded, deadlines were set, and the group waited in sweet anticipation.

Inadvertently, we developed a few of our own devices to help keep us on track. One of our big wins was the Action Pad, an actualization of the theory we were working with around CAPTURING ACTION STEPS, TRACKING BACKBURNER ITEMS, and FILING REFERENCE ITEMS. After extensive testing and focus groups, the Action Method is now used by a group of early adopters in the design, film, music, and technology industries. You’re welcome to download the template (for free) or purchase some products based on the method at the Outfitter. Or, maybe you’ll create your own system based on the Action Method!

The Action Method helped us identify some of our inefficiencies, and prompted some helpful solutions…


by Behance Team

After a couple years of studying how creative people stay organized, we developed a simple and easily customized method for managing projects. A good portion of 2006 was spent putting the Action Method into practice.
We are our own guinea pigs. As you might expect from a group of designers, writers, and entrepreneurs, the Behance team has a lot of ideas. We suffer from the very frustrations and shortfalls that we try to solve in the creative community.

When we brainstorm, the ideas and to-do’s that come up are likely to disappear unless they are captured as action steps. When we take notes, the notes are often useless after 24 hours. When we have creative but off-topic ideas that we may want to come back to someday, these ideas are often lost unless they are kept in some sort of “backburner.” The Action Method was created to address these challenges, among others.

The year of 2006 was spent trying to practice what we preach. We held each other painstakingly accountable: if one of us had an idea for a new page design or article topic, an action step was recorded, deadlines were set, and the group waited in sweet anticipation.

Inadvertently, we developed a few of our own devices to help keep us on track. One of our big wins was the Action Pad, an actualization of the theory we were working with around CAPTURING ACTION STEPS, TRACKING BACKBURNER ITEMS, and FILING REFERENCE ITEMS. After extensive testing and focus groups, the Action Method is now used by a group of early adopters in the design, film, music, and technology industries. You’re welcome to download the template (for free) or purchase some products based on the method at the Outfitter. Or, maybe you’ll create your own system based on the Action Method!

The Action Method helped us identify some of our inefficiencies, and prompted some helpful solutions… Leer más “Our Action Addiction”

Action Method II: Keeping Projects Alive

Action Steps are the most important components of projects—the oxygen for keeping projects alive. No Action Steps, no action, no results. The actual outcome of any idea is dependent on the Actions Steps that are captured and then completed by you or delegated to someone else. Action Steps are to be revered and treated as sacred in any project.The more clear and concrete an Action Step is, the less friction you will encounter trying to do it. If an Action Step is vague or complicated, you will probably skip over it to others on your list that are more straightforward. To avoid this, start each Action Step with a verb:

* Call programmer to discuss . . .
* Install new software for . . .
* Research the possibility of . . .
* Mock up a sample of the . . .

Verbs help pull us into our Action Steps at first glance, efficiently indicating what type of action is required. For similar reasons, Action Steps should be kept short.

The more clear and concrete an Action Step is, the less friction you will encounter trying to do it.


by Scott Belsky
Action Steps are the most important components of projects—the oxygen for keeping projects alive. No Action Steps, no action, no results. The actual outcome of any idea is dependent on the Actions Steps that are captured and then completed by you or delegated to someone else. Action Steps are to be revered and treated as sacred in any project.The more clear and concrete an Action Step is, the less friction you will encounter trying to do it. If an Action Step is vague or complicated, you will probably skip over it to others on your list that are more straightforward. To avoid this, start each Action Step with a verb:

  • Call programmer to discuss . . .
  • Install new software for . . .
  • Research the possibility of . . .
  • Mock up a sample of the . . .

Verbs help pull us into our Action Steps at first glance, efficiently indicating what type of action is required. For similar reasons, Action Steps should be kept short.

The more clear and concrete an Action Step is, the less friction you will encounter trying to do it. Leer más “Action Method II: Keeping Projects Alive”

Action Method I: Breaking Projects into Primary Elements

If you know anything about magic, you know that the best tricks are the ones that are the most simple to perform. Levitation relies on pulleys, floating dollars need thread, and the disappearing coin depends on hidden pockets; all of the most remarkable tricks have the most “obvious” explanations. Similarly, the best methods for managing projects are simple and intuitive. They help you capture ideas and do something with them—no more, no less. This simple efficiency keeps you engaged and on task with as little effort as possible.

The Action Method begins with a simple premise: everything is a project. This applies not only to the big presentation on Wednesday or the new campaign you’re preparing, but also to the stuff you do to advance your career (a “career development” project), or to employee development (each of your subordinates represents a single “project” in which you keep track of performance and the steps you plan to take to help him or her develop as an employee). Managing your finances is a project, as is doing your taxes or arranging the upcoming house move…


by Scott Belsky

If you know anything about magic, you know that the best tricks are the ones that are the most simple to perform. Levitation relies on pulleys, floating dollars need thread, and the disappearing coin depends on hidden pockets; all of the most remarkable tricks have the most “obvious” explanations. Similarly, the best methods for managing projects are simple and intuitive. They help you capture ideas and do something with them—no more, no less. This simple efficiency keeps you engaged and on task with as little effort as possible.

The Action Method begins with a simple premise: everything is a project. This applies not only to the big presentation on Wednesday or the new campaign you’re preparing, but also to the stuff you do to advance your career (a “career development” project), or to employee development (each of your subordinates represents a single “project” in which you keep track of performance and the steps you plan to take to help him or her develop as an employee). Managing your finances is a project, as is doing your taxes or arranging the upcoming house move… Leer más “Action Method I: Breaking Projects into Primary Elements”

Power Tools: Collaborative Apps for Organizing Your Team



by Behance Team

Ideas don’t become a reality in isolation – teams, collaborators, and opinion-givers are a powerful part of the execution process. Here, we run down the tools we’re currently using – in addition to our own Action Method project management app, of course – to communicate and push ideas forward.Yammer/Co-op. A one-stop aggregator for office news and beyond.
A Behance team favorite, Yammer has become our go-to tool for aggregating office conversation. We prefer to use it informally, collecting funny videos, announcing meetings, and posting product specs, but the Groups feature allows for a myriad of organizational options. Harvest also recently launched a similar product, Co-op, with some really cool upgrades. The right-side toolbar allows each user to create a focus area, as well as view the most current status on each member of a specified group. [Free] Leer más “Power Tools: Collaborative Apps for Organizing Your Team”