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Mar26

7 Apps That Will Make You More Productive


As a time-tracking company, we here at Yast are more than a little obsessed with improving productivity and making the most out of our working hours.  But while we don’t hesitate to recommend starting with the Yast time-tracking app, we know that you need more than one tool in your toolbox in order to reach your most effective, efficient state.

So if you need something a little more productive than Angry Birds, here are seven business apps that will streamline your business, save you time and keep you organized – whether you’re in the office, in a cab down the street or in an airport halfway across the globe.

App #1 – Zite

The Zite app (as a play on “Zeitgeist”) is a huge time-saver.  Time is at a premium these days and you’d be surprised how much is actually wasted surfing the internet or browsing your favorite websites.  Zite allows you to recapture some of that time by bringing personally-curated headlines to you.

Basically, the app searches your favorite online magazines, blogs and social media websites for topics that might interest you, using an algorithm that takes into account article popularity and your own reading history.  There are even thumbs-up and thumbs-down button options to highlight or bury individual articles and mark their content for future reference –  in effect, Zite “learns” the more you use it.

App #2 – DropBox

The Dropbox app offers file sharing made easy.  Although most people use email to share files between users, large documents just don’t compute – either the email client rejects them because of size limitations or your connection times out.  So, what do you do if your files just won’t fit in someone’s digital inbox?  Use DropBox.  The service offers multiple subscription plans – including a generous free plan – and synchronizes automatically across different users and platforms.

App #3 – HootSuite

If you’re struggling to manage your company’s multiple social profiles, HootSuite allows you to keep tabs on all of your accounts from one handy interface.  The different columns found within the program support input from Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter – allowing you to highlight, reply and even modify links and content on the fly.  HootSuite is available for both desktop and mobile users for free.

App #4 – Google Drive

If you like the idea of Dropbox, but need something that will allow you to edit documents from the cloud, look no further than Google Drive – a free collaborative file sharing application that’s web-based and offers various mobile apps for different platforms.  Like DropBox, Google Drive functions as a collective storage unit that multiple users can access, but with the added bonus of collaboration and document editing tools.  Inside, you can store pretty much any type of document you’d need, though there are files size limitations in place on the program’s free version.

App #5 – ABBYY FineReader

Depending on your business needs, ABBYY FineReader – an image-to-text conversion application that’s accurate enough to use for business purposes – could represent a huge time-saver for your company.

Using the program, you can convert scanned documents, photos and more into usable files – including spreadsheets.  And unlike other similar software programs, ABBYY’s accuracy rating is high enough that you don’t have to worry about messing up inventories by thousands of units or offending contacts with misspelled names.  This accuracy comes with a price though, as the app currently retails for $279 with lifetime licensing.

App #6 – Dragon Naturally Speaking

Dragon Naturally Speaking is voice-to-text transcription and voice control software at its finest.  Dragon Naturally Speaking has been around for a long time and, with every iteration, the software just gets better and better.

With versions for both PC and Apple computers, as well as multiple platform-specific apps, Dragon allows you to take voice control anywhere you need it.  From telling your computer which files to open to dictating notes and reports – and even browsing the internet – Dragon Naturally Speaking brings a level of interactivity to your work that’s truly amazing.

The software is a bit pricey ($200 or less if you find it on sale – though the mobile apps are less expensive) and it does take a bit of training to be able to use it well.  But once configured, Dragon is and will continue to be the best voice control and dictation software around.

App #7 – Adobe EchoSign

One final productivity app – Adobe EchoSign – is an IOS app that allows you to capture signatures digitally.  With this app, there’s no need to cart around bulky contracts, correspondence and other forms anymore.  EchoSign takes the paper out of the equation and allows for accurate, secure authorization through digital signatures on a wide variety of documents.

Currently, EchoSign will cost you $299-$399 depending on your chosen licensing options, but for serious business on the go, it’s a lifesaver.

Any other productivity apps that you couldn’t live without?  While we’re big fans of all the apps listed above, we know that this list isn’t even close to being comprehensive – so share your favorite tools in the comments section below!

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Yast is a software company that builds easy-to-use, but powerful software. It's easy to make things complex; it’s incredibly hard to make things easy.

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Yast has to be the easiest to use time tracker, period. Keep up the great work! Glenn Murray - Divine Write

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