Recently, you may have convinced someone (your spouse, your boss, maybe even yourself) that you need one of those shiny new iPads or the hot new Galaxy Tab 8.0. Tablet technology has been criticized as a “toy” and not a suitable replacement for a traditional laptop with a DVD Drive and USB ports, yet in our opinion just the opposite is true. The “post-PC” area is here, and while there are plenty of apps like Candy Crush or Angry Birds to keep you occupied in your free time, the portability of tablets make them an excellent compliments (and possibly even replacements) for your workflow.
And lets face it: sometimes it’s hard to strike a good work-life balance. Time management, work efficiency and the daily to do list is a struggle we all wrestle with at one time or another. So while apps have great recreational value, they can also lighten your load and keep you on track; you just need to learn which best fit into your life and which will make your life easier.
We did some hands on testing of some of the best Productivity Apps out there, and we think you’ll find this list to be an excellent compliment to that growing list of games on your device:
Evernote (free): Evernote allows you to keep track of documents in one spot. Imagine a perfectly labeled filing cabinet on your phone. In Evernote you can organize notes, web clips, PDF’s, pictures, receipts, virtually any document. Evernote works by syncing the app between your devices, and the more you add to it, the more useful it is.
Join.ME (free): Join.ME is relativity new, but already has replaced the cumbersome screen-sharing options of years gone by. Join.Me is a free download from both the Google Play and iOS app stores, and with a simple 9 digit code it allows you to view and broadcast presentations to remote users directly from your tablet.
Bamboo Paper (free): Bamboo Paper is a highly popular app for both platforms. In essence, you can use a stylus (or your finger) to make handwritten notes in a variety of colors and styles, share them back to your computer via email, and even sync them back to Evernote! Think of it as a notebook that can’t get crinkled or left at home: if you’re already used to taking your device with you, you already have everything you need to make notes and share them with others!
Cloud-Based Calendars: Cloud-based computing is still in its infancy, but quickly growing. Whether you use an Apple or an Android device, there are options for you: Calendar for iOS and Google Calendar for Android. Both can be synced across multiple devices — you make one change on your smartphone and its automatically updated on your Cloud calendar and then synced back to your other devices.
Cloud-Based Storage (free): And in a similar vein, Cloud-based storage has quickly made DVD backups and, to an extent, USB-based storage options as mandatory as the 3.5’ floppy drive. With apps such as Dropbox, Sugarsync, Microsoft’s Skydrive, Google Docs, and Apple’s iCloud, documents can be viewed from almost any device. Did you create a document on your iPad, edit it on your Android Smartphone, and now need to show it to a client via their web browser? No problem! Want to back up your important documents but don’t have the time to plug in an external drive every day? Just drop them into your “Magic Briefcase” and they’ll now be (securely) stored in the Cloud for safekeeping!
GoodReader (iOS only): While we wanted to offer an app selection that is available on both Android and Apple devices, GoodReader is an exception — but because its an exceptional piece of software. GoodReader is a PDF reader for iPad and iPhone with the ability to annotate documents you download via your browser, make handwritten-styled notes on them, and then sync the revised document back to your other devices. And while this is a more expensive ($4.99) option that simply viewing PDF documents via Safari, the memory limitations on the iPad sometimes results in Safari crashing while viewing large PDFs (such as the Sunday newspaper’s PDF download). There is no issue with GoodReader though, making this a well-spent investment!
QR Reader (free): TapMedia LTD has a great QR code reader and one that is free for both platforms. While there are many other QR code readers out there, we’ve found that this is one of the simplest — and the ability to store your scanned codes and go back to view them months (even years, literally in our case!) later is awesome.
Office 365 (free): Office 365 from Microsoft is yet another Cloud-based computing option: this time, allowing you to edit your cloud-stored Word, Excel, and Powerpoint documents directly from your smartphone. A subscription to Office 365 is required to use this app, so if your company has purchased a subscription — download this app today!
Pandora (free): Last, but not least is Pandora. Pandora is a music streaming app — a must have for anyone who needs tunes to get them through their day. You can create stations based on your favorite genre, a preferred artist, or even a specific song. You only get a certain number of skips per day, but can note with a Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down whether the song that is being played is one you would like to hear more of, or if you’d rather not hear that slow break-up ballad on your 80’s rock channel.
And we aren’t just preaching efficiency we live it! By having our interior designers, space planning team and project managers, in house, we are able to efficiently and time effectively work to make your space exactly what you desire. Let us give you a free quote today.