As we approach the middle of January, those New Year’s Resolutions are starting to fade into the background. However, just because we’re back to the 9-5 grind, doesn’t mean we can’t take care of ourselves, achieve new career goals, and streamline productivity. As mobile phones are becoming our primary devices, we rely on apps more than ever to get us through our day, from the moment we hit the snooze button to when we set our alarm at night. To make the most of our day — and our phones — here are 14 iPhone apps you should consider downloading in 2014.
(Photo Credit: goaliej54/Flickr)
Evernote – If you work in an office, you likely spend a lot of time taking notes, summarizing conversations, and preparing reports. Evernote, which is also available as a desktop application that syncs across platforms, allows you to create notes and file them away in notebooks. You can even tag notes to easily search for and find them later. Evernote also has a “Trunk” from which you can download add-ons to transform your notes into notecards, save your emails to Evernote to easily find, or use Evernote as a task manager. Instead of drowning in documents that get lost in folders, Evernote is the ultimate solution to finding, saving and editing your notes wherever you go.
Docusign Ink – Signing documents can be a royal pain — especially if you’re always on the go. It’s not always easy to print, sign, and fax a copy of an agreement. With Docusign Ink, you can easily download a copy of the agreement and digitally sign the document with its easy drop-and-drag functionality. Need to add your name below your signature? Simply drop and drag that too. You can also add any custom block of text, such as your address.
Asana – There are dozens of productivity apps in the app store; even iOS now ships with its own “Reminders” apps. I’ve tried and tested dozens of productivity apps over the past few years, though, and Asana is by far my favorite. Also available web-based app owned by Google, Asana syncs seamlessly across platforms and makes it easy to manage tasks, even if you’re working with multiple teams. With Asana, you’ll always know not only what you need to do but who else is currently responsible for their pieces of the project.
LinkedIn – We spend more time using social networks on our phone than doing anything else. Why not devote more of that time to building your professional network? In 2014, be sure that one of the social networks on your phone is LinkedIn. The mobile app is exceptionally well designed to send messages, read updates from others, and even share your own content. Instead of commenting on yet another baby picture on Facebook, consider using at least some of your free time in a way that will benefit your career — not just your close friends.
Expensify – Traveling for work can be expensive. Between cab rides, dinners, and drinks to network with colleagues from across the country, it’s important that your expense report is accurate. In 2014, consider using Expensify to keep tract of your expenditures while on business trips. The app makes it easy to capture receipts (before you lose them!) and input all the necessary data, such as the purpose of the dinner. Even better? If your whole company adopts Expensify, getting reimbursed with direct deposit to your bank account is as simple as a few clicks of a button.
IFTTT – I’ll admit that I’m not a fan of social automation tools. However, if you ever wished that a certain type of technology could be pushed or synced with another, this tool is for you. Want to email your spouse whenever you get to an airport? You can use IFTTT to automatically have an email sent to them when you check-in to the airport on Foursquare. Want an SMS alert if it’s raining? IFTTT can do that too. Check out their popular “recipes” here.
Pocket – If you’re like me, you likely stumble upon great blog posts all day long, but then get distracted and forget about them – until you’re eating dinner and want to read those articles, but of course, can’t find them. Pocket is cross-platform solution to bookmarking blog posts; you can save articles on either your iPhone or in your web browser and use tags to help organize blog posts and find them later. For those who curate content as part of their job, Pocket is a must-have app.
Pact – Was one of your New Year’s Resolutions to hit the gym more often? If you need a little extra motivation, Pact may be just what you’re looking for. With this app, you commit to working out a specific number of days, and then pledge to literally pay if you don’t. The app uses GPS to determine if you’re at a gym, and syncs with RunKeeper as well as Jawbone UP, Fitbit, and Moves to determine if you’ve met your “Pact.” Rewards range from $.30 to $5 per week, so if you’re financially motivated, this app is a great way to start the year.
MyFitnessPal – There are dozens of devices on the market to help you analyze your physical fitness. If you’re looking for an easy to simply keep track of your caloric intake, there’s no better app than MyFitnessPal, which has indexed the nutritional information of almost every single food you likely eat. Whether you bring your food from home or eat at work, this app can help you keep your food choices in check — and maybe deter you from eating yet another cupcake from the back room.
Mint – Keeping track of your finances can be cumbersome; between checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, student loans, and mortgages, it’s easy to lose track of what money is going where. Mint has emerged as one of the best apps to track finances, securely syncing to all of your financial institutions in real time. This not only enables you to see your entire financial life at one glance, but also easily make and adjust budgets as things change.
Simplee – If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past few months, it’s that health insurance is complicated. Luckily, Simplee makes it easy to understand your own health insurance, syncing with your own account to help you understand your coverage, claims, and expenses.
Credit Karma – You should know what your credit score is, especially as some employers are now using it as part of the hiring process, but that doesn’t mean you want to pay for it. Get it for free, with Credit Karma. The app provides your credit score in under two minutes along with on-the-go credit monitoring and notifications when something important changes in your credit report. And no, there’s no catch — the membership is free and no credit card is required.
Hipmunk – Travel for work? If so, you likely know the pain of asking for a specific flight or hotel. With Hipmunk, you can search for specific flights (such as those with the least amount of agony) and then send your office manager the flights you want directly via the app. Hipmunk always returns the best deals, so if you’re on the go and making plans for your next trip, you don’t have to worry about using multiple apps to find the best deal.
Hotel Tonight – Another painful part of traveling for work is looking for a hotel at the last minute. Those late-night meetings often run just too late, or something pops up the next morning and you have to reschedule your red eye for the next day. With HotelTonight, you can find great deals on hotels that have rooms left over that they are desperate to get rid of at rock-bottom rates. For best results, download this app ahead of time and enter your credit card information ASAP; then, when you need the app, all you’ll need to do is tap a few buttons.
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