Technology

5 Amazing Apps that Actually Improved my Productivity

With everyone nowadays toting a smartphone or tablet, I thought it only fitting to share with you some of the apps that have changed my world over the past few months. Whenever I have a problem I always say to myself “there’s an app for that”, and usually I find one. Some of the apps on this list have been suggested to me by other apps and some I did a regular ole Google search for. I just hope that you can find some of these as useful as I have.



 



TV Cast – I’m personally using the Roku edition, and it has changed my world! Recently I purchased the famous course from Todd Herman called The 90 Day Year and I was all excited to get started but I was also very tired and just wanted to plop on my couch and watch TV. As I looked at the welcome email I received on my smartphone I knew there was no way I was pulling out my laptop that evening and how cool it would be if I could just stream welcome videos to the big TV in my living room. Well, a quick search on the internet landed me on this app and let me tell you, it makes me smile every time I open it. It’s very simple to use. You just download the app and use the built-in browser to visit the website that is housing the video you want to watch. The app is smart enough to detect possible videos you want to watch and voila, you just cast them to the big screen with the touch of a button. Now, both your mobile device and your streaming device have to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network in order for the app to work correctly, and if you have more than one streaming device make sure you select the right player to stream to in the app.



Streaks – Ok I must confess I HATE flossing my teeth. I mean I have a very strong dislike for the task I should be performing daily, according to my dentist. So after my last dental appointment in March, where my dentist informed me that I have a “touch” of gingivitis, I decided I had to stop neglecting my duties as a responsible adult if I wanted to keep all of my teeth into my old age. So, in comes the messages from my Starbucks app offering me the chance to try this app called Streaks, whose motto is “The to-do list that helps you form good habits”. Well, wasn’t that just a co-inka-dinky I totally needed help forming this good habit! So, I set this app up to remind me to not only floss my teeth but to also make my bed (don’t laugh I hate making my bed too). Now I feel awesome when I can press the done button before the notification reminder pops up. You can add up to 6 tasks, but right now I’ll stick with my 2.



Pzizz – I love me some sleep, but sometimes I think sleep doesn’t love me back because it doesn’t come visit for long periods of time. Sound familiar? This app is amazing and has helped me create a bedtime ritual that I have come to love. This app was developed neurologically to ensure you get a good night’s rest or a power nap, and that you wake up gently and peacefully. Between the calm voice telling me that is night night time and the sounds such as the ocean waves crashing against the beach, my mind had no chance but to relax and get some shut-eye. My brain appreciates the restful nights sleep because then I can focus and get tons of work done the next day.

Ok, I know so far I have only given my list of apps that help me be a better adult on a daily basis but here are a couple of apps that really help keep my business running smoothly.



QuickBooks – Did you know QuickBooks Online (QBO) has an app? My practice is virtual, so I have several clients using the software, as well as managing my own books using QBO. Having this app makes it so much easier to perform my day to day duties, especially when I’m on the go. However, the best thing about this app is the ability to snap a picture of a receipt with my smartphone or tablet and upload and attach it to a transaction in my QBO account. Why is this so cool you ask? Duh, I no longer have to walk around with a purse full of random receipts. I now have a digital copy of the transaction stored in the most secure environment, especially in case of audit. If you are afraid to try out QBO here is a downloadable worksheet you can use to manage your business income and expenses monthly.



VCita –  This app has changed how scheduling appointments in my business is managed. I discovered the website when I was looking for a new and improved way to allow my customers to schedule time with me a few years ago. The developers at VCita have now designed an app that allows me to not only schedule appointments, but I can accept payments (thru a Stripe or PayPal integration) and have a dedicated client central, where I can collect data about a customer, see communication between myself and that customer in a continuous thread, share documents via their portal, and see all of our past and future appointments. It even has the ability to link me to their social media pages where I can learn more about them. Using this app has been the best game changer overall in my business, because it puts my scheduling on autopilot. Clients can select the appointment that is best for their schedule (based on my preset availability) and the app will not only send them an email that automatically adds the appointment to their calendar but will also send them a text and email reminder 2 days and 1 hour before the appointment (these times can be changed I just found this works best for my clientele). These reminders have cut my no-shows and cancellations down to .1%. In all of 2015, I had only 1 no-show, which I have to say is damn good! VCita also syncs with my google calendar so my personal appointments will be taken into account when showing clients my availability. Shut the front door!!!! Did I also mention it has a widget that is integrated into my website that again makes scheduling a breeze? How did I ever live without this technology?

I have shared some of my day to day apps with you do you mind sharing yours with me? I love a good app, so feel free to leave me a recommendation and link in the comments below so I can try your favorite apps and maybe add it to my arsenal.