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For working women in India struggling to work efficiently and increase productivity, here are some time-saving apps that can give you an edge.
As working women, we are often struggling to manage time effectively instead of spending long hours at work. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were apps that helped us? The good news: Yes, there are apps that tackle every aspect of your career – from documentation to networking. Here are some time saving apps that can help you work smarter and swifter.
(The apps discussed here are free and are available across all iOS, Android, Windows and desktop platforms unless specified otherwise.)
Evernote – Minutes of Meetings, project task lists or sticky notes during client meetings – Evernote replaces your scribbling pad effectively and what’s even more amazing is that you can share it with your colleagues immediately via email. Evernote also interfaces with your calendar to set reminders for certain tasks and allows you to insert pictures where diagrams or flow charts are required. The best part of Evernote according to a HR professional is the ability to set reminders for every task and to create hierarchical notes with appropriate tags. The web version is as effective as the app version so it works wonders even for desktop users.
Documents to go – Documents to go is your answer if you are looking to create spreadsheets, pdf, word documents or other detailed documents on the move. One of the salient features of this app are the editing tools and search functionality. This is the most stable but also the most expensive (if you are looking for pro versions) app that answers all your document needs. Documents to go interfaces seamlessly with dropbox so you can create an entire excel sheet and share it with your colleagues even while you are in flight or in the car. The biggest disadvantage of this app according to a business analyst who uses it regularly during her commute to fill out project status updates is the unintuitive UI design. Also it is a text only experience which kills the robustness that spreadsheets routinely offer.
DropBox – Want to access documents on the go? How about sharing those weekly status updates and ensuring that your team is updating the latest version? Dropbox is an app that is an answer to those Sharepoint woes. It keeps track of the changes and also stamps the document with last modified user, date and time that allows easy traceability. I always resort to drop box when I have to keep myself up to date of documents that are to be discussed before any meeting. It does an auto synch since it is a cloud based storage service. The key advantage of dropbox according to a project manager is the ease with which dropbox shares files (via email invitations) and synchronizes the changes. The only drawback is to ensure that users do not update documents in different styles. Having strict guidelines solves this issue without any hiccups.
Join Me – Instant screen sharing with multiple participants made simple. If you are a small enterprise and do not want to invest in WebEx or Goto meeting, JoinMe is the answer to all your virtual meeting queries. You can transfer control, chat and send files during the meeting. Since Join Me can be used on the go, you can organize meetings from anywhere. This app is extremely beneficial for startups where the need to collaborate and communicate is high. JoinMe is the goto app for a venture capitalist friend of mine who needs quick status updates even on vacations.
TripIt – TripIt answers most of your travel woes by managing your itineraries if you are frequent flier. Simply forward confirmation emails to a specific id and voila! – boarding passes, maps, photos, restaurant recommendations and travel notes are all collated in one place. This helps if you have to socialize travel plans with your co workers and family. The pro version keeps you informed on refunds, allows free upgrades when eligible and provides alternate options. We regularly use Tripit while travelling to new destinations to avoid the mess of having information in different places. Printing boarding passes, maps and other notes are a dream come true with Trip It. The only real disadvantage is when your flights or travel plans are altered. The flight segments get little messed up but are still quite easy to sort out. The best part of TripIt according to a consultant in a services firm is the SHARE option. Now his wife knows which time zone he is in before waking him up in the middle of the night to check if he is alright.
Card munch – One of the greatest challenges of networking is managing the large number of business contacts. Card munch organises all your contacts with a simple click. Just take a picture of the business card and Card munch edits and reviews your contacts. There is even an interface to LinkedIn to connect to your business contact immediately. The moment you click a picture of the card, a LinkedIn invitation is waiting to be sent, so you can forge a connection even if the current deal doesn’t pan out. (Available only as an iPhone app)
Mint – A Financial planning app that tracks your spending, budgets and bill payments. Mint is especially helpful if you are trying to work within a certain budget. It prompts when spending goes overboard and also emails reminders for bill payments. The biggest advantages of Mint that I personally cherish are its capability to highlight all those hidden fees and charges and the quick knowledge of my money’s worth without any additions or subtractions.
LastPass – Passwords are a technological nightmare that we have to live with. Remember that system which required the first letter to be uppercase or a number or a special character. Did you give it your dog’s name or mother’s maiden name? Can’t remember? LastPass is a password vault that comes to your rescue. Now there is only one password to remember and you will never have to live through the nightmare of resetting all those passwords and usernames again. Even though Last Pass cannot be trusted to save passwords of Banks and Credit Cards it works seamlessly for people who use different servers, systems and softwares everyday.
Timr – One of the challenges I face as a writer is to keep track of the time I spend on writing articles, columns and other posts. Time makes it easy to track effort in real-time. This helps when you are filling up timesheets and billing customers. It automatically takes your time zone into account if you are travelling – a great feature for frequent fliers. Of course as with any stopwatch, you will have to remember to start and stop the clock.
Technology can be a real boon if used right. With these apps you can use your commute or coffee corner chats more effectively to be highly productive.
*Photo credit: mbgrigby (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution License.)
Meera R Corera (@meeraramanathan) is a freelance writer and blogger focusing on all things India —
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