Rock Solid Apps
A bunch of the most active members of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) recently shared their favorite applications — apps — for smartphones (iPhone, Droid, BlackBerry.)
The following 10 apps are worth checking out if you want to boost your personal productivity and get the most out of your phone. All of these applications are free or have a small charge for a basic account.
Evernote: I learned about Evernote at an advanced seminar for David Allen acolytes. It sounded too good to be true, but I’ve been hearing that it lives up to the hype. Evernote helps you capture everything — handwritten notes, typed memos, a photo — and organizes it for you so that you can find all the little loose threads quickly and easily. It also synchronizes to your phone, computer and the web. evernote.com.
Drop Box: A free and easy way to make your documents and photos available on any device you use that has an internet connection. If you travel and want your files with you on your phone, this is a great solution. Dropbox.com.
Mint: Available at mint.com, this application is packed with money-managing features and is a great way to keep a mobile budget.
Lose It!: For easy tracking of your weight goals, Lose It! is a winner. It offers an easy way to track calories in (food) and out (exercise) and has a motivating little grid showing any gains and losses on the scale. loseit.com.
Parking: For those of you who spend time in cities, the Parking app is a good one to have to save time and ease tension. Not every city is available, but nearly all of the major ones are up and running. Find parking sites, costs and availability. It will even tell you when your meter is running low and will guide you to your car if you forgot where you parked. mobileparkingapp.com.
Inrix Traffic: Unexpected traffic delays can really undermine punctuality and productivity. This application gives you real- time traffic updates and ways to get around accidents and snarls. inrixtraffic.com.
Kayak: For travel, Kayak allows you to search flights and hotels to compare the best prices out there. Its motto is, “Search one and done.” Kayak saves your preferences and is easy to use. This app won the “People’s Voice Winner” for Best Mobile Travel Offering at the 2011 Webbys. Kayak.com.
CardMunch: More specific than Evernote, this app transcribes information from business cards. If you, like many of my clients, get overwhelmed with business cards you’ve picked up or been given, this might be for you. cardmunch.com.
Remember the Milk: This application is a great way to organize your daily to-do list for all you list-makers out there. A lot of my clients have trouble keeping track of their paper lists, so this is a nice paperless option. rememberthemilk.com.
Gas Buddy: Find the cheapest gas nearby. Gasbuddy.com.
I can’t resist adding an 11th app, one that recently amazed me in when I used it for the first time in New York last week: Fandango. This is a must-have for movie lovers. It finds your location, identifies nearby theaters and gives you show times and directions. You can even purchase advance tickets. My friend and I found a showing of “Midnight in Paris” two blocks away from our hotel on Park Avenue South. Good thing, since every showing here at the Cameo has been sold out. fandango.com.