By Mike Ianiri, Equinox
We live on our phones and laptops these days, looking for them to save us time, make us more productive and, occasionally, entertain us. There are currently 2.1 million apps available from the Google app store, 1.8 million from Apple and 669K from Microsoft. It’s safe to say there is an app for pretty much anything. The real question is: which are the ones that will really help you become more productive and save you time.
Here are my favourites:
Carrying two phones around, one for personal and one for business use, is annoying. It often leads to carrying two lots of cables and they take up all your pocket/bag space. You’ve also got to remember which one is which – and answer it accordingly.
With Re:Call, this goes away. You can add a second number to your phone, separate all the data and do away with all the hassles of carrying two phones.
Not exactly an app, but it is an alternative solution to Re:Call. It also works on whatever endpoint device you wish to partition.
With Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) a popular way of allowing people to choose their preferred phone, it is increasingly necessary to provide the business with data protection. If someone loses their device or they leave the business, there is valuable corporate data on that phone that you don’t want anyone else to get hold of. InTune allows you to separate and, if necessary, remotely wipe that data.
Remember the days of having to remember to print a contract at the office, take it to the client and get them to sign it? You then had to get it back to the office for processing. All a big faff, especially if you had commission payments riding on that contract!
With Hellosign, everything can be done digitally. Send the document to the client, and they can sign immediately. It works with Gsuite, OneDrive, Dropbox, Salesforce and many others.
If you need a PDF or image of something when out and about, have a look at camscanner. It’s quick and easy. Take a photo and camscanner asks whether you want a JPEG or PDF. You can then share it through all your normal channels, including email, Whatsapp, Evernote and even send it directly to your OneDrive or Google Drive.
If you need a To Do list to keep you on the straight and narrow, this is for you.
Add your tasks, including deadlines and timings, and it will keep you on track. It integrates with Slack, many calendars, and even Alexa. You can also add your colleagues, up to five of you, for free.
You know when you’ve been doing “stuff” but not really sure what and all of a sudden two hours have gone past? You’ve probably been deep-diving into your favourite websites and apps. RescueTime will help you stop losing that time. It can’t get it back for you though!
By showing you what sites and apps are using up all your time, you can make the decision to stop visiting them. On the paid version ($72 per year), it will even block those sites to keep you away from temptation.
Timesheets are a necessary evil, particularly if you are consulting or charge based on your time. Toggl is an online timesheet for just you or for your team. It integrates with many of the online project management tools out there, such as Basecamp, Asana and Trello.
Cloze is an amalgamator, in that it pulls together all your interactions, so you never forget where you’ve got to with someone. Need to remember the last email you sent to someone, when their birthday is or what their last comment was on Twitter. This is what Cloze does
There are lots of apps out there for VC. Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts are some of the most popular, but there are lots more. What’s more, you no longer need your PC and a webcam; you simply use your smartphone. You can now make those conference calls from wherever you are, saving huge amounts of time either getting to a physical meeting or even to your PC.
By using just one or two of these telecoms apps you can save you significant amounts of time. Time you can invest into the business – or you can dive back into that favourite app!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Ianiri is Director of independent telecoms brokerage Equinox. Mike works with companies, charities and other organisations to help them choose the right telecoms packages for their needs and thereby reduce their costs. He is particularly knowledgeable on the integration of IT and telecoms in business. www.equinoxcomms.co.uk