The start of a brand new year is the perfect time to get organized and increase your productivity at work. Fortunately, a new and improved generation of apps makes this easy for even the most organizationally challenged. To save you some time, we’ve combed through the latest and greatest organization and workflow apps to find the ones most likely to get you and your team on track.
Founded by Facebook veterans Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein and named after the Sanskrit word that means [yoga] posture or pose, Asana is designed to “help humanity thrive by enabling all teams to work together effortlessly.” This PC Mag editor’s choice “specializes in workflow management, but it also handles the nitty-gritty of task management with aplomb,” says PC’s Jill Duffy. But don’t mistake it for a project management tool, she says. “Asana doesn't include Gantt charts or billing information. Instead, it's a much more flexible tool that can bend to your will, letting you track all kinds of work, workflows and information.” Basic Asana is free.
2. iOS Workflow
What if you could delete all the apps on your phone or tablet and do everything you need to do with one single app? That’s the promise of Workflow, a productivity app that allows you to “Build your own workflows with a simple drag-and-drop interface.” You can use Workflow to do almost anything, but for starters, this app will enable you to effortlessly download all kinds of files to services such as Google Drive or Dropbox; instantly share screenshots; see documents on your iCloud Drive on your homepage; easily convert documents to PDFs, and conveniently resize images. It goes without saying that once you learn how to use this powerful app, it will save you lots of time and energy. $2.99 on iTunes.
Some of the most effective apps are also the simplest ones. Forest helps you to stay on task by discouraging you from interrupting workflow to check social media accounts or email. If Forest stays open for 30 minutes it grows a virtual “tree.” If you close the app in order to check social media or email, the tree will die. Forest keeps track of how long you work in minutes and by growing trees on your phone screen. If you work for hours, you’ll grow a virtual forest! It’s a perfect remedy for poor attention spans and smart phone addiction. $.99 on iTunes.
4. Awesome Note (+ To Do)
Making lists in order to stay organized is nothing new, but this PC Editor’s Choice takes list making to an entirely new level. Not only does this Apple-enabled product take notes and keep you on track, it’s also a ton of fun to use. Get creative with its attractive fonts, colors, background images, icons and calendar. It’s the artsy app! $3.99 on iTunes.
5. Rescue Time
How much time do you really spend being productive during your workday? If you don’t know, it may be difficult to enhance productivity. With Rescue Time, you’ll get an accurate read on how much time you spend on dedicated work tasks, coffee breaks, water-cooler talk and social media. Once you discover where your time is going, you can make adjustments that will help you to increase productivity. Plus, Rescue Time can be set up to block distracting websites that inhibit productivity. The basic version is free.
Like Asana, Slack is all about productive teamwork. Created by the founder of Flickr, this communication app allows you to create open channels where you can hold conversations between team members, send messages to one colleague or a team, share documents and make voice or video calls between members without using a separate app. Some say that Slack may soon replace those universally despised “Reply all’ email chains.
“The experience feels fundamentally different — more contemporary, more in tune with people’s out-of-office digital lives — from what we have experienced for 20 years, closer to social media than old-fashioned email drudgery,” says Rick Tetzeli for Fast Company. “Slack isn’t just another office tool: It’s a welcoming environment where employees (virtually) live.”
We all know how good it feels when we’re on top of our professional game. These apps will help you get there and stay there. Happy New Year from Aerotek! Here’s to your most organized, productive work year ever!
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