13 Apps for a more productive 2013

13 apps for 2013

Today is the first day of 2013. Time for goals, resolutions, cleaning and thinking about being more productive.

13 days ago I started a series of 13 apps for a more productive 2013. These are 13 apps I use on a regular basis which help me be more productive.

Here is my list. Each app links to the short post I wrote on why the app was included.

I would love to hear what your apps would be that maybe I did not include.

  1. Evernote
  2. ScheduleOnce
  3. Zite
  4. Unroll.me
  5. LastPass
  6. SignEasy
  7. Google Drive
  8. CloudOn
  9. Google Voice
  10. PDF Expert
  11. TextExpander
  12. CrashPlan
  13. Everbot

13 apps for a more productive 2013 Day 13: Evernote

Heading out of 2012 and into 2013 I am highlighting 13 apps that help me with my productivity. This is App 13 and today I’m going to talk about my favorite app to one ones surprise… Evernote.

When talking about productivity is it any wonder that I save the productivity wonder-app for my final in the series of 13 apps for a more productive 2013?

The amazing thing about Evernote is how flexible it is.

Evernote is a very simple and easy to use program. One of the problems I had early on with Evernote was it was so simple that I didn’t really see all the power Evernote had.

Evernote can do anything from store all your business cards and meeting notes, all the way to acting as a full transaction coordinator.

If I had a few pieces of advice for Evernote newbies looking to take it to the next level they would be:

  • Search what others are doing
  • Put EVERYTHING into it for 30 days to really get in the habit
  • Harness the power of note-linking

And of course if you are in real estate you may want to check out my “Complete Guide to Using Evernote for Real Estate” ebook.

That is it, that is 13 apps I think could make for a more productive 2013. Of course there are other apps, but these are 13 I am excited about right now.

 

Full list of 13 apps for a more productive 2013

13 apps for a more productive 2013 Day 12: ScheduleOnce

Heading out of 2012 and into 2013 I am highlighting 13 apps that help me with my productivity. This is App 12 and today I’m going to introduce you to ScheduleOnce.

Let me give you a quick scenerio a lot of us face. A real estate agent is driving down the road and a new client calls him wanting to set up a meeting. The agent says he is driving and asks the client to email him what time works best for him.

The customer emails the agent and says he would like to meet at 10am on Tuesday.

The agent looks at his schedule and cannot do that time so he counters back how about Thursday at 10?

And before you know it multiple emails were shared until an acceptable time was agreed on.

Scheduling can be a drag and a productivity killer. Why not use a scheduling software that acts as your personal assistant to schedule for you.

I used to use Tungle.me and love it. They sold out to RIM about a year ago and well, now they are out of business, and it is a shame.

I went on the search for a replacement in the late summer and tried many apps. I was not really that happy with any of them, Tungle has spoiled me.

Then thanks to fellow productivity enthusist Tanya Smith I discovered ScheudleOnce.

ScheduleOnce will sync to your Google or Outlook calendar and display times available for clients to select. You set the times you want to work and ScheduleOnce will show your available times to clients.

Once you book a meeting the time will be removed from your available schedule.

Another great feature with ScheduleOnce is the ability to schedule large groups with ease. When you have a group of 4-5 or more people trying to get together scheduling can become a nightmare. With ScheduleOnce the organizer can send out an email with all the times they have available, then each member selects the times that work for them, and before long you have a time that will work best for everyone.

When I first started using Tungle a few years back I made it easy for people to schedule me by reserving the domain ScheduleDean.com. Now if someone calls me or wants to schedule a meeting with me I just tell them to head to ScheduleDean.com and select three times that work best for them.

Scheduling programs can be a great productivity boost to your workflow.

 

Full list of 13 apps for a more productive 2013

13 apps for a more productive 2013 Day 11: Zite

Heading out of 2012 and into 2013 I am highlighting 13 apps that help me with my productivity. This is App 11 and today I’m going to introduce you to Zite.

Zite is an app you may not think of when you think of productivity, but I am going to tell you how it helps me be more productive and how it could help you too.

First what is Zite? Zite is a service that allows you to specify what subject areas you are interested in and Zite will deliver new and usually relevant content on the subject to you via the Zite app on your Andoird, iOS device or Windows phone.

So how does this help you become more productive? If you are trying to be a true expert in your field you will want to stay informed and educated about what others are doing and talking about.

Now, instead of always searching out new information and content, Zite will deliver it directly to you, saving you hours a week of searching.

Many of us have blogs we visit often. These blogs and platforms such as Google+ (add me on Google Plus) provide us with great content. But when we rely on information from the same sources all the time, we may be missing some new and up and coming experts in our field of interest. Zite will help you discover new sources of great content.

Zite does a great job over time of becoming even more in-tuned with the type of information that interest you. Zite allows you to “Thumb Up” or “Thumb Down” each article, and over time Zite will learn what type of content you are really looking for.

A great example is I have a catagory on “Phoenix” in my Zite account. At first I often got articles about “River Phoenix.” Why not, it had the word Phoenix in them right?

Every time an article about River Phoenix came up I would hit the down thumb. Now, I never see any articles about River Phoenix in my Zite account, but more often it is articles about the city Phoenix.

If you have not done so I recommend downloading Zite onto your mobile device of choice and start your mornings with some new discoveries.

 

Full list of 13 apps for a more productive 2013

13 apps for a more productive 2013 Day 9: LastPass

Heading out of 2012 and into 2013 I am highlighting 13 apps that help me with my productivity. This is App 9 and today I’m going to introduce you to LastPass.

We all know the importance of secure passwords in today’s Internet environment. We also know we should not have the same password for each login we have. The problem is, how do you remember all of those logins when it is time to access a site?

Enter LastPass. LastPass is a password manager and creator that works across many browsers and platforms. For the very reasonable investment of $12/year you can have LastPass sync from your computer to your Android phone or your iPhone. They even support Blackberry or Windows phones for you few out there using those platforms.

LastPass is a browser add on for all major web browsers. When you enter a new site that requires a username and password, LastPass will ask if you want to store it. LastPass will even create sercure passwords. You know the type, like aPl#2Nsq! The ones you will never remember, but are the hardest to break.

LastPass can also remember multiple accounts. So if you have two Twitter accounts or multiple Google accounts, LastPass can remember them all and will ask which you want to use.

LastPass has some great other productivity functions to such as creating profiles. You can create a profile that has your name, email, dob, phone number and address. Then when you get to a form that requires filling out you can used the saved profile to fill otu much of the form needed.

There are other password management tools out there, most of which I have not tried. I have been very happy with LastPass, but any password manager is a vital part of secure productivity in 2013.

 

Full list of 13 apps for a more productive 2013

13 apps for a more productive 2013 Day 8: Sign Easy

Heading out of 2012 and into 2013 I am highlighting one app/program a day that helps me with my productivity. This is Day 8 and today I’m going to introduce you to SignEasy.

If you have been reading Productivity Agent for a while you have probably heard me talk about SignEasy before. I wrote about it in depth about a month ago so I am not going to rehash everything I wrote then.

Take a look at this post on SignEasy if you want more information but here is is the quick lowdown on who should be using SignEasy for a more productive 2013.

If you use Evernote, a tablet computer, and you need to either fill out information on PDF’s or get signatures often, then SignEasy is for you.

I love how easy SignEasy integrates with Evernote. But if you are not an Evernote user, and are a Dropbox or Box.net user, SignEasy works for you too!

How SignEasy really changed my workflow was with the ability to easily grab a PDF out of Evernote, edit and sign it, and put it right back into the appropriate Evernote notebook.

 

 

Full list of 13 apps for a more productive 2013

13 apps for a more productive 2013 Day 7: Google Drive

Heading out of 2012 and into 2013 I am highlighting one app/program a day that helps me with my productivity. This is Day 7 and today I’m going to introduce you to Google Drive.

So in my last entry in the series I mentioned the app CloudOn and how I don’t use it much because I use Google Drive. So here is my quick intro to Google Drive and how/why you should use it for a more productive 2013.

I am usually an early adapter, but with Google Drive, I was kind of a late bloomer, well for me at least.

Google Drive was out for about 6 months before I really started using it. But now I find myself using it more and more. If you are new to cloud based computing, like my Dad who still uses a thumb drive (FacePalm) then Google Drive would probably be the one I recommend you use for document storage.

Google Drive is the next step in the continuting eveluition of Google Docs, Google’s webbased office suite to compete with Microsoft Office. But Google Drive added a lot of new features to Docs.

One of the new features Drive added was a folder you can place on your computer to sync with your Google Drive cloud based account. If you are familiar with Dropbox this acts in a similar manner as your Dropbox folder on your computer.

A big advantage that Drive has over Dropbox is the ability to edit documents, including Microsoft Office documents, right in Drive. Drive also starts you out with a free 5gb of storage space.

Drive is fantastic for collaboration as you can start a document, share it with a team member and you both can have access to the files and the ability to edit and see what the other person is editing.

While Dropbox may be the gold standard in online cloud storage, I believe within a year or two tops Google Drive will pass Dropbox.


Full list of 13 apps for a more productive 2013

13 apps for a more productive 2013 Day 6: CloudOn

Heading out of 2012 and into 2013 I am highlighting one app/program a day that helps me with my productivity. This is Day 6 and today I’m going to introduce you to CloudOn.

CloudOn is a free app that brings the power of Microsoft Office to your iPad or Android powered tablet. Yes, it also works on phones.

I have not been a Microsoft Office user in many years now using GoogleDocs/Drive, but I know I am in the minority. Teaching many iPad and Evernote classes to agents I have learned most real estate agents are still using Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

From within CloudOn you can edit an existing document or create a new one then email it stairght to someone else for review.

Cloud on will also sync with Dropbox, Box.net, Google Drive and iCloud.

So if that is you, and you want a simple, easy to use and free app to manage your Office documents then CloudOn is going to help you have a much more productive 2013.

 

Full list of 13 apps for a more productive 2013

13 apps for 2013 Day 5: Google Voice

Heading out of 2012 and into 2013 I am highlighting one app/program a day that helps me with my productivity. This is Day 5 and today I’m going to introduce you to Google Voice.

Of all the apps I am going to mention in this series, this is probably the one I use the most. I use Google Voice several times a day for sending and receiving calls and text messages.

Google Voice is a free (for now, they will be charging at some point I am sure) phone number which you can send to any phone or multiple phones.

You can set up so Google Voice is the account your cell phone dials out on, or you can set it so it asks you each time do you want to use Google Voice to place the call or your regular cell phone number.

Google Voice is great for forwarding office/business phones to a friend or partner while you are on vacation. With the ability to send to more than one phone it makes handling calls a sinch.

If you miss a call and the call goes to your Google Voice voicemail, Google will do an automatic transcript for every voicemail. OK, so this is not perfect, just ask Nick Bastian about funny typos within Voice, but it does a good enough job to usually figure out what the message is about.

You also get unlimited text messages with Google Voice. When you get a text message you can also respond to the text message from within your email account as a copy is sent to your email inbox.

And Google Voice does so much more than that. What else can you do with Google Voice?

  • Save all voicemails and text messages forever
  • Search inside voicemails with the text recognition
  • Create individualized voicemail recordings for different people or groups
  • Initiate calls and text messages from your computer with the plugin
  • Forward your voicemails and text messages to your email or another promgram such as Evernote
  • Set up widgets on your website so people can call you by clicking
  • Set up a special widget so people can click and get more information on something such as a specific listing
  • Record phone calls
  • And much more

I really do love Google Voice. I have used Google Voice as my primary cell phone number and business line for a few years now and could not imagine ever using something else to handle calls and text messages.

 

Full list of 13 apps for a more productive 2013

13 apps for 2013 Day 4: PDF Expdert

Heading out of 2012 and into 2013 I am highlighting one app/program a day that helps me with my productivity. This is Day 4 and today I’m going to introduce you to PDF Expert.

If you are an iPad user, I highly recommend you check out PDF Expert.

I am always looking for the latest and greatest apps when it comes to things that help me be more productive. I have been looking for the latest great PDF program since I got my first iPad.

There are many PDF programs for the iPad, I have at least a dozen of them installed on my iPad. I have tried just about every PDF program that has been recommended to me and I am still looking for one that has as much power and is as easy to use as PDF Expert.

Does this mean PDF Expert is the only PDF program worth using and you should go buy it today even if you are happy with your program?

No, not at all.

But if your PDF program has a few bugs and/or you just think it should do more or be easier to use, then by all means I recommend you check out PDF Expert.

PDF Expert became even better this month with the latest update. PDF Expert now has Google Drive sync, allows you to convert files to PDF and is now faster than it used to be.

For editing pdfs, splitting, merging and for a quick signature, PDF Expert is a productivity app I use almost daily.

 

 

Full list of 13 apps for a more productive 2013