Work Smarter, Not Harder: Apps to Help You Stay on Track


It’s the night before a big presentation and you’re awakened by the cries of a sick child. She can’t go to day care tomorrow, but you can’t stay home from work either. Take heart. A new app called, “My Sitter” may be the answer to your prayers. With My Sitter, parents can locate and engage qualified, highly trained sitters and nannies whenever and from wherever they are.

“With this app, parents have the ability to schedule, track and manage child care,” Joe Keeley founder of College Nannies + Sitters + Tutors told us. “No more waiting for the high-schooler down the street to get back to you. Want to schedule a sitter at 10 p.m.? No problem.”

My Sitter is only one of many new apps designed to help today’s employees manage their work lives.

“An entire classification of software, productivity software, is devoted to making our work easier and ourselves more productive. It goes way beyond the more old-school definition of office suites, like Microsoft Office, and business applications,” says Jill Duffy of PC Magazine. Curious about what’s in it for you?

We’ve compiled a list of some of the year’s most innovative apps, so you can stay focused on working smarter, but not necessarily harder, in 2016.

1. The personal job coach

Looking for a supplementary career counselor? IPQ Career Planner provides a 52-question occupational personality questionnaire that assesses your strengths and weakness to help you figure out your ideal job and career path. P.S.: It’s free!

2. The list server

Once you’ve landed your dream job, use the newly designed Wunderlist to help you stay on top of your job responsibilities. Wunderlist is “easy to use, offers a nice mix of customization and can do collaborative task management,” says Alex Heath of Business Insider. “It's also available as an app on just about every modern phone, tablet and PC imaginable.”

“Wunderlist, owned by Microsoft, is free to use, but there's a pro version with more features for businesses that costs a small monthly subscription.” Sure beats that handwritten to-do list you jotted down on a piece of scrap paper that you accidentally recycled when you were cleaning off your desk!

3. The multilinguist

It’s undeniable. Globalization has dramatically changed the way we do business. In today’s world, there’s no room for language barriers. iTranslate removes those barriers by providing real time translation of words, texts and speech into over 90 languages! Using voice recognition technology, the app lets users choose between male and female voices, different dialects and even rate of speech. iTranslate also comes in handy, when you want to impress dinner companions at a fancy French restaurant or when travelling abroad.

4. The professional organizer

Inbox overflowing? It’s Spark to the rescue. Spark helps you organize your email and much, much more. The free app, “has a Smart Inbox function that automatically categorizes and filters incoming mail so you only get alerted for important messages,” explains Dan Seifert of The Verge. Spark interfaces with platforms like Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and Pocket and “its interface is also highly customizable: you can set swipe gestures, add or remove easy access widgets or change what's in the app's sidebar to make it fit your needs.”

5. The big yawn

After a full and productive day at the office, you’ll be ready for a good night’s sleep. Placed on top of your mattress and under a fitted sheet, the Beddit app monitors and logs your heart rate, respiration, snoring and cycles of sleep while you snooze. In the morning, you’ll receive a sleep score, detailed assessment of the length and quality of your sleep, plus tips on how to improve it.

“Leading hospitals and universities have researched sleep and published numerous studies reporting that poor sleep contributes to memory loss, the inability to focus, reduced physical performance and impaired decision making,” says Beddit vice president, Dean Tucker, who spoke with us via email.

So if you’re reading this instead of getting some shut eye, say goodnight to your device until tomorrow morning!