14 apps that will save you both time and money

by ltconsulting on March 6, 2012

14 apps that will save you both time and money

Time management is a crucial factor in work and our time management courses are created to ensure that delegates can make their time keeping as efficient and effective as possible. We do this by supplying a time management training course that is full of tools and tips for improving time management, time planning, delegation, organisation and management strategies as well as handling and using time effectively. Our time management course will cover subjects such as goal setting, improving organisation skills and managing time successfully.

This month’s newsletter is dedicated to the mobile phone and how apps can be both a help and hindrance to Time Management. At Total Success Training we try to update all of our training courses to reflect modern business needs. We’re always looking for ways to improve our Time Management training courses so keeping up to date on all the time management programmes and applications (apps) helps us to keep our courses relevant.

If you’d like to find out more about our training the following pages will help;

Time management – one day course

Time management with Microsoft Outlook

Are you suffering from Phoneitis

Have mobiles and Smartphones replaced the art of communication. Research is showing some surprising results, Men appear to be more smitten with their phones than women, keeping them within arm’s reach for 17 hours each day.

Nearly one in five (18 per cent) sleep with their phones next to them in bed.

Yet even when couples do spend time together, loved ones still come off second best to a phone.

On a typical night out, Britons spend 48 minutes on their phones – sending an average three emails, 12 texts, two pictures as well as posting three messages and two status updates on Twitter.

More than a third (34 per cent) admitted texting or emailing during a face-to-face conversation, while 27 per cent keep one eye fixed on the devices to check if the little red light is flashing during activities such as dinner or a film.

If you suffer from phoneitis (a severe aching feeling when you’re away from your phone) you may as well use them to your advantage. One of the biggest revolutions in technology recently has been the explosion of apps. There are apps for everything but there are apps that can help you to save time and money. We’ve listed some of our favourites below.

1.       Dropbox

Dropbox goes under my classification of the apps you never realise you needed until you actually download it. A free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. After you install Dropbox on your computer, any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, your iPhone and iPad and even the Dropbox website! With the Dropbox app, you can take everything that matters to you on the go. Which means you can work in a document from home save it in Dropbox and then access the same document at your office or another location later from your dropbox account even if you’re using someone else’s computer. Nifty, eh?

I’ve used dropbox for the last three months and I must say it really is an excellent application. They say you don’t know the value of something until you don’t have it anymore. Well, Dropbox came to my rescue recently when an important file that I needed for a client meeting had become corrupted and wouldn’t open. No worries, Dropbox to the rescue; I’d backed it up to my Dropbox account  and was able to access it instantly. I’d give Dropbox an easy an instant 10 out of 10. Superdooper app

2.       Traffic view from traffic master

A great app if you travel around the UK and hate getting stuck in traffic. This uses the national network of road cameras to let you know what’s happening on any road in the UK. So using this prior to a journey will highlight any particular roadblocks and traffic delays on all roads (major and minor) and informs you how many minutes you may be held up by the accident or roadwork. Essential if, like me you need to keep on top of potential delays to pre-empt your blood pressure rising.  An easy 8 out of 10

3.       Reuter’s News Pro

If you have a need to be kept aware of world news and sport and you don’t have the time to buy a newspaper every day then this app, brought to you by Reuter’s news agency will satisfy your cravings exactly.

This app actually brings you breaking news before it is released to the major news channels such as the BBC and ITV. You’re able to stay ahead of breaking news and to be able to catch world affairs as they happen. An excellent app and I will give it a newsworthy 9 out of 10

4.       Vouchercloud

This is an excellent app you need to both save time and money. Imagine that you are meeting a friend in the centre of town and you both decide to go something to eat and drink but don’t know where to go for good food at reasonable prices. What this app will do is locate around you any shops, bars and restaurants that are offering discounts on food and wine. It will also work with your phone’s GPS and locate where the specific restaurant is and guide you there in a few easy steps. I’d give this a time and money rating of  9 out of 10

5.       Tube map

This app is really only useful for those who use the London underground system but it’s great because it has a full listing of all of the London underground and connecting overland stations. It will also highlight any delays on any of the lines within the London underground system. So if the Central Line in has a 30 minute delay and you need to be at the Ideal Home Exhibition, Tubemap will show immediately and magically give you alternative routes to your destination. Those living outside of the M25 may not necessarily appreciate this app, but if you’re down for the weekend and don’t know the system you’ll soon come to appreciate why we ‘Landaners’ think it’s the best thing since sliced bread. A great 9 1/2 out of 10

 6.       Dragon dictation

Here’s what the manufacturer says about this nifty bit of software; ‘Dragon Dictation is an easy-to-use voice recognition application powered by Dragon NaturallySpeaking that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. In fact, it’s up to five (5) times faster than typing on the keyboard.’

I’m not one for promotional hype but this app is just brilliant. I am actually recording this newsletter using dragon dictation. It is now available as an app on the iPhone and other smartphone systems. What you can do is record text messages and e-mails and any notes which will be then transcribed immediately in text. So you can send copies of memos to yourself; it will create e-mails and texts to colleagues and friends; it will even update your Facebook and Twitter.

I love this because if you have a great idea when away from pen and paper, you’ll now be able to save them for a later date already written up and ready to be saved or printed. This will save you loads of time if you’re out and about or if you don’t have a typing speed of 200 words per minute. 10 out of 10

 7.       NavFree GPS

Any Satellite Navigation that works seamlessly from your phone and can take you quickly and effortlessly from one location to the next are without delay is worth its weight in gold. You may already have a Sat Nav but the beauty of this app is, not only does it work as well as my Garmin but it’s always at hand and above all, IT’S FREE. Oh, and did I say it was free. 10 out of 10

 8.       Find my iPhone

Simply brilliant. This allows you, via your itunes account to be able to find your mobile phone if you have mislaid it somewhere or if it has been stolen. Once you register your phone you can use the GPS to locate where it is; send an audible bleep and a pop-up message that is displayed on the screen for anyone who finds it, e.g. ‘Please call this number if you find my phone.’ If the phone has been stolen it allows you to lock it so no one can use it.  A brilliant application for those who spend much of their spare time searching for their phone only to find it under the cushion or in the fridge. Superb app. 10 out of 10

9.       Free Wi-Fi

News the name says it all. This finds any locations around you that offer free Wi-Fi. So if you have a phone and limited why are in Web access then you will be able to find someone offers you free Wi-Fi so that you can use your iPhone and android phone call to access web fantastic night

10.   Shop savvy

This app won’t necessarily save you time but it will save you money. If you’ve ever been out shopping for a gift e.g. a toy for a child’s birthday and been shocked at the exorbitant prices toy stores seem to charge for, what is essentially a well designed bit of plastic. Well, this is a god send for all us cheapskates who crave a good deal. This app uses a barcode scanner on your phone to scan the item and let you know if you can pick it up cheaper locally or on the web.

Invaluable for those who may not want to save a bit of time but are more concerned with saving a lots of money. Been using this very regularly and you’d be surprised how cheap you can get some items are if you do a little bit of searching around. A thrifty 9 out of 10

11.   Skydrive

Similar concept to Dropbox but a Microsoft application that uses ‘the cloud’ to allow you to store files and documents onto virtual servers and then lets you access and share them with anyone and at any computer with web access.

You can store your Office documents in SkyDrive, and Office Web Apps lets you view and edit them in your web browser. That’s perfect for making quick updates (no need to start up an Office program), on just about any computer that’s connected to the Web. You can avoid the hassle of sending documents as email attachments, and skip the extra step of saving them as PDFs. Instead, store documents on SkyDrive, where you can link to them in email, on social networks, and in your blog.

This works well if you use Outlook and Microsoft office programmes e.g. Word, Excel and PowerPoint AND if you have a Windows Smartphone that allows you to access your docs at any time. Still valid for iphone and android as there are free phone apps that allow you to operate the system. It’s real value is that you get a whopping 25Gb of storage space free so you can will cater for the most demanding file requirements.

12.   Evernote

Evernote is perhaps one of the best apps for note taking and saves a lot of time. This app is compatible with Mac, Windows and you can also use it on your mobile too! With Evernote you can quickly capture audio clips, images, web clips and share them instantly. Your notes would also be synchronized across multiple devices, which make it great in managing time.

13.   RescueTime

RescueTime is a web-based time management application that provides you with an analysis of the time spent by you daily on the computer. It works in the background so it doesn’t need any data to be entered in it. The application gives a clear diagram and graphical displays of how much time you spent productively or unproductively and on what. This is a great tool for time management and a great eye-opener too!

14.   MindMeister

For those of you who need to devise strategies for planning projects and brainstorm creative solutions to problems then mind mapping will probably be one of you preferred techniques.

MindMeister is a simple to use mind mapping tool but its simplicity is definitely an asset. Once you’re logged into the service, you can create a fully functional mind map using little more than the directional arrows and the Insert key to add new nodes to your map. You can then export your files to a text outline, PDF, JPG, PNG, or GIF. MindMeister’s history function lets you view past versions of your mind map and revert to them if you desire. You can share your maps for public collaboration or hand-select collaborators.

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