The 7 best productivity apps are anything but boring. If you’re going to organize your to-do list and check the weather forecast every day, then you might as well have fun doing it.
These are some of the best and most innovative productivity apps on the market that are both fun and functional—and they aren’t limited to helping you manage to-do lists. They include tools that help you achieve a significant result efficiently, whether it’s exercising more or learning a new language. These examples certainly pass muster.
The 7 Best Productivity Apps
1. Productivity goes visual
MemoZy, a design-centric app, makes organizing your thoughts and creating memos easy. Swipe or drag your finger to create, delete and reorganize tasks according to your priorities. Color code your to-do lists, group tasks and subcategorize them as needed. Move the group tiles around on your screen to create a beautiful mosaic of to-do lists.
2. Time yourself
The 30/30 app takes to-do lists to a new level by tracking time for you. Set up a list of tasks, add a length of time for each of them, start the timer and get productive. 30/30 will prompt you when it’s time to move on to the next task. The app is perfect for maintaining time spent on routines, like getting the kids ready for school in the morning or taking care of the dog every day. Make a game out of getting tasks done and challenge yourself or your family members to complete recurring tasks faster than before.
3. Inbox zero
Reaching inbox zero is no easy feat. The productivity app Mailbox helps you accomplish email bliss by making your inbox easier to organize, prioritize and maintain. The app labels unread emails, and you can “snooze” emails so they’ll come back to your inbox at a time that’s more convenient for you. Go ahead. Show your inbox who’s boss.
4. A new way to navigate
The Waze app is a surprisingly fun (and social) navigation app that connects you with nearby roadsters so you’ll know if you’re approaching an accident or other road hazards. Complete with whimsical and funny icons, Waze will help you locate alternate routes, cheap gas, traffic cameras and stealthy state troopers. You can even join groups of people with similar interests. Even better—get turn-by-turn directions from Elvis (“Uh, you’ve reached your destination.”) or from a crooning boy band member.
5. Manage your finances
What do monsters have to do with money? A lot when it comes to the Toshl finance app. Anyone with student loans or credit cards knows that debt can be a beast, so the monsters are appropriate. Toshl makes the essential yet tedious task of managing your personal finances fun with bright colors and great visualizations of your spending habits. The cartoon monsters inject humor into the often dark world of budgeting. Receive updates to input your expenses, making sticking to a budget more fun than ever before.
6. Hit the track
Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore, either. The location-based app Runno turns exercise into a game. While running, cycling or rollerblading outside, your smartphone tracks the distance traveled and calories burned. When you round a curve, you can claim that territory. Each calorie burned earns you points or cartoon soldiers named Wallutas. If somebody wants the same turf, then your Wallutas can battle it out. Runno is fully integrated with Facebook, so you can share your progress and war stories with your friends.
7. Write more
Poets, novelists and bloggers can all agree that nothing puts a halt on productivity like writer’s block. Writing Prompts provides a mix of words, phrases, colors and images to get your creative juices flowing. Get hundreds of cues from the app’s five prompt generators: Scenes, Sketches, Texts, Words and News. For example, a scene prompt could list a small café, a baker, a telescope and a melancholy mood. Feeling creative, yet?
There are apps we turn to just for killing time when we’re in line at the bank. Others we use to catch up on the latest news or celebrity gossip. But the very best apps are more than time fillers—they put powerful tools in the palms of our hands. We’re going to be so bold as to call them “life-changing.” Here are five apps we think you really shouldn’t live without.
Sure, you wanted a list of life-changing apps to be all fun and games, and unless you’re a personal-finance enthusiast, budgeting and keeping track of your money sounds like work. But the great thing about this app is that it does the tedious job of managing finances for you. Mint automatically pulls all your financial information into one place, so you can keep tabs on your balances and transactions together, right from your mobile device. Mint also automatically tracks and categorizes all your spending, helps you create personalized budgets and goals, and sends timely alerts and bill reminders to help avoid late fees. From small, everyday purchases to big-picture financial goals, Mint can help you stay out of the red. And the best part? It’s free!
Some people just know where all of the cool stuff is. Hidden architectural gems, under-the-radar jazz clubs, sweet happy-hour deals—they’re big cultural know-it-alls. You can be one too by downloading Field Trip to your smartphone. It’s a location-based app that will tip you off to all of the neat stuff near you that you might have otherwise missed. Field Trip pulls data from sources like Zagat and Cool Hunting to identify nearby landmarks, public art installations, unusual shops, local music, and interesting historical spots. You can vary the frequency of the notifications the app sends you when you’re close to a destination that’s in its database. Use the app on vacation to find out-of-the-way gems, or turn it on your hometown to find the best stuff hidden around the corner. And you don’t even need to get on a bus full of tourists to get started.
This app can be your personal translator, whether you’re traveling abroad or conversing with a non-English-speaking friend at home. Speak your phrases in English and the app will translate into text in any of 64 languages. It also offers a Conversation Mode for speech-to-speech translation, allowing two people without a common language to pass the phone back and forth and communicate. The first speaker says a phrase, makes sure the phone has identified it correctly in her own language, and then passes the phone to a conversational partner. The app plays a spoken translation in the other person’s language. It’s a simple (but not flawless) process, and the possibilities it opens up are potentially life-changing. Two people who speak two different languages can have a conversation, all thanks to an app.
Ustream is a great way to broadcast live video and audio to the web with a customizable channel page and metadata capabilities for SEO. There’s no limit on the amount of viewers who can access your content, so going viral with your latest online offering is painless. And it’s a simple one-click operation to share your content via Facebook, Google+ and Twitter—so disseminating footage of junior’s first steps or your rockin’ concert review is fast. Ustream also has an HTML5-compatible player that can be placed into any page with cut-and-paste simplicity. If you upgrade to a Pro Broadcasting account, you get the added benefits of your own channel logo, extensions like a donation widget, a custom iFrame and no ads for viewers to sit through.
Let loose your inner organizational freak with Evernote. It’s an app that helps you organize your thoughts, notes and photos into lists. Planning a party? Take a picture, record a note-to-self or clip an article from the web that inspires you. Later, you can search your items by keyword—even the text within pictures is searchable. Photograph every business card you receive and search them later when you need to email a new professional contact. Evernote can catalog your thoughts, lists and inspirations all in one place, keeping you more organized than you ever imagined possible.
ATTENTION IPAD USERS EVERYWHERE! Microsoft has FINALLY released an iPad version of its popular Office software suite.
Today’s unveiling of the anticipated iPad apps for Microsoft’s bundle of word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software comes nearly four years after Apple Inc. released the tablet computer that has contributed to a steady decline in sales of desktop and laptop machines running on the Windows operating system.
The Office app for the iPad represents a major step in the right direction for Microsoft, said FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives. “They finally looked in the mirror and realized they needed to go with the crowd in terms of iPads,” Ives said.
The availability of an Office app also could encourage more people to buy an iPad. That, in turn, could siphon more sales away from laptops running on Windows, which also generates billions in licensing fees for Microsoft each year. This year, Gartner Inc. expects 271 million tablets to be sold this year, including those running on Windows and Android, versus a total of 277 million desktop and laptop computer. By the end of 2015, tablets should be outselling PCs by a wide margin, Gartner said.
Microsoft hasn’t made Office apps for Android tablets yet, though the company has previously said those will be coming. Last year, Office apps for Android phones came out a month after the iPhone versions debuted.
If your weekend was uneventful, and you don’t do nightclubs – REJOICE! There’s an app for that! Birthed from a blog by the same name, the ‘I Don’t Do Clubs’ app was created as an outlet to highlight quality, curated events for the young professional that would rather avoid the nightclubs.
Editor-in-chief Genese Jamilah, created the app after a few years of research, a successful and on-going crowd funding campaign. Described as “An event calendar that caters to urban professionals who are looking for social events beyond the typical nightclub scene.” the app is available for iPhones and Androids everywhere on iOS and Google Play for free.
Could Shoes Dsire is the number 1 social app for shoe lovers to see, share, scan, search, and buy their favorite shoe styles all from the comfort of their iPhone? The app’s revolutionary ‘Shoe Recognition’ technology may be the one element that is a game changer. Upload a picture of any shoe to Shoes Dsire. The app will scan the shoes and display a list of nearby stores and websites that carry that particular style, including the current retail price. Shoes Dsire’s ‘Shoe Recognition’ technology also displays related styles to provide additional shoe-spiration and help users find the right pair of shoes at a price that matches their budget.
Shoes Dsire is also a social community where shoe lovers receive discounts and last-minute offers on shoes, share and discuss their favorite styles, and get news and tips on the latest in shoe fashion directly from their iPhone.
To celebrate their recent launch, the team at Shoes Dsire is giving all new users the chance to win in their $3,000 shoe shopping spree giveaway. The giveaway runs from January 22 to April 2, 2014, and each week 1 lucky new user will win a $300 shoe shopping spree. 10 winners, 10 weeks. Simply download and start using the app today for your chance to win.
“Shoe Dsire is a distinctive new approach of looking at shoes,” said Walter Bernacca, founder of Shoes Dsire. “It welcomes users to a completely new retail concept offering today’s aspiring lifestyle-oriented customer the most unique access to shoes.”
Shoes Dsire is free to download, available now on the iTunes App store. Currently available for iPhone users only, Shoes Dsire will launch an Android version in mid-2014.
Bloggers, social media wizards, mobile photographers – if you love photo editing apps like A Beautiful Mess and Waterlogue, then I have the next best thing in photo sharing apps that I’m sure you’ll soon love (and what’s even better? It’s free!)
Meet Photofy, a sleek new photography app that allows you to easily enhance your favorite photos with thousands of professionally designed graphics, stickers, typography and frames, or create your own designs with amazing free-form text tools featuring over 90 free fonts. In just a few seconds, you can transform your ordinary photos into instant works of art and expression, and then share them with the world.
Photofy has built an image, graphic and typography app gallery of over ten thousand graphics. Popular graphic categories range from family to sports, birthday, holiday, fashion, friends, kids and love.
You can use Photofy in one of two ways. Simply upload your favorite photo, crop and sample the different graphics until you find the perfect fit. You can also use Photofy as a photo editing app; it allows you to filter your photo’s saturation effects by sepia, black and white and other popular and professional photo style filters.
Photofy is a free photo app for iOS and Android of course the premium content within the app will cost you a little extra (.99 cents or so will unlock the premium suites of fonts, designs and photos.) It’s fun, easy to use, and will forever change the face of photo sharing via Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and more.
Check out a gallery of just a few creations made with the Photofy app below:
What photo sharing apps are you currently using on your smartphone or tablet? What would you like to see in a photo editing and sharing app?
A new gladiator has just arrived in the the music streaming arena and Beats Music has plans on leaving its mark on the music subscription industry. Earlier this week, the much anticipated Beats Music service launched. From the hip-hop artist and impresario Dr. Dre and the chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Jimmy Iovine, Beats By Dre has reinvented the headphone category and they are trying their luck at the much more crowded field of streaming music service. With options like Rdio, Spotify and Pandora – I was eager to try out The Beats Music app and service to see if it’s really worth all the hype. What I discovered was a whole new way to enjoy good music and wrangled down my thoughts to Five reasons why you need to download the Beats Music app now…
1. Easy Listening With A Human Curated Playlist
If you hate logging into your streaming music app and within minutes SKIP, SKIP, SKIP – then a better curated experience is what you need. One of the much talked about features is the notion of curated playlists. Many streaming services use algorithms to determine what similar songs to play – based on sound. However, Beats Music enlists tastemaker curated playlists that suggests music based on how they make you feel. For example, if you only like songs featuring 2Chainz but not a fan of 2Chainz albums – there’s a “2Chainz Guestlist” playlist that archives the hottest songs by your favorite artists featuring 2Chainz on the track. (Which is great, since we all know that featured artists usually put their best foot forward on guest tracks anyways). Beats comes with a host of other tastemaker playlists that gives the option to just listen while someone else does the work.
2. Mobile User Friendly
The first thing you notice about Beats Music is the beautiful design. The navigation is simple and clear, the design templates are brilliantly artful and rich. Unlike Spotify, this is clearly a mobile-first service — and the user experience proves it. Like Spotify you can search for and listen to any album you want. But the Beats mobile app is especially designed to offer myriad ways of browsing, from music offered up based on your history to browsing by an array of genres and activities — if you’re having a party, working out on the treadmill or simply need to thug it out there are hundreds of playlist discoveries on your smartphone just waiting for you.
3. Mad Libs For Music – The Sentence
And then there’s my favorite feature of the app, “The Sentence”. Beats gives you a way to roll the dice and discover music bases on your mood. Remember MAD LIBS – the childhood workbooks of the 80′s? (80′s babies stand up!) By completing a sentence as in: I’m UNDER THE WEATHER and feel like ESCAPING with my FRIENDS to HARDCORE HIP HOP – Based on changing those variables, the app will serve you up hours of music to listen to. I was magically transported to the 90′s classic “Check Yo Self” by Ice Cube. (That’s pretty accurate to me.)
4. A Subscription Worth The Money
Beats Music’s marketing launch officially kicks off today — just two days before the Super Bowl, starring Ellen DeGeneres in an ad to promote the new service. AT&T, which is offering a family plan where up to five people can subscribe for $14.99 a month. The launch was proceeded by a big birthday surprise on Thursday’s episode of “The Ellen Show” where Ellen gave away the new AT&T LG G2 Flex curved smartphone with Beats Music to members of her entire studio audience. The AT&T partnership has put Beats Music in position to gain a huge leg up on competitors, which include Spotify, Rdio and, to an extent, digital radio service Pandora. Everyone else? For $10 a month, you get unlimited streaming and song downloading for offline listening. Downloaded songs expire once you cancel the subscription. You can sign up for a 90-day free trial, but there’s no free, ad-supported version like some of its rivals.
5. Beats Music really has what you need.
If you’re looking for a better curated experience, tailored to your preferences – look no further. The Beats Music app successfully takes the information you enter in order to present you with a variety of albums and playlists that are “Just For You.” You can choose specific songs, albums or artists on your own. Beats Music has launched with a catalog of more than 20 million songs, which is more than it’s competitors at inception and is currently comparable (with expectations to exceed) to its rivals.
Overall, Beats Music is new and has had it’s share of bugs to work through this week (for a moment, Beats Music suspended new subscriptions due to overwhelming demand & technological glitches) but with the stream of technological advances, human programming, celebrity influence and branding power house behind the service – it’s sure to take the streaming subscription service industry to exciting new heights. I’ve never been fully convinced to sign up & pay for a music subscription service, until now. How about you?
Which streaming apps are you currently using? Have you downloaded the new app and taken advantage of the free trial subscription yet?
Starting this summer, Chevrolet will have some of the fastest vehicles on the roads, and that has nothing to do with horsepower. Chevrolet drivers will be enjoying high-speed data – made possible by a new OnStar 4G LTE connection in the vehicle, running on AT&T¹s network, the nation¹s fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network.
Last night at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Chevrolet announced that the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette, Impala, Malibu, and Volt d will be the first General Motors vehicles to come optionally equipped with OnStar 4G LTE. They will be followed by the Equinox, Silverado, Silverado HD, Spark and Spark EV. In the Canadian market, OnStar with 4G LTE will be introduced on the Chevrolet Trax as well. The majority of the 2015 Chevrolet lineup in the U.S and Canada will have a 4G LTE connection built-in at vehicle launch. More models will be announced later this year.
Chevrolet took infotainment personalization to a new level with Chevrolet AppShop. Accessible through an icon displayed on the available MyLink screen that allows owners to view all available apps and download them directly to the vehicle, then organize, update or delete them. Available apps will connect drivers to music, news, weather, travel information, vehicle data and more and should help keep smartphones in pockets.
For live photos from last night’s event and more details, check out DivasDriveInHeels.com – Chevy Adds 4G, AppShop and PDR.
Stay connected with all the CES News by following @OnStar #CES2014 #ConnectedByOnStar
It’s day three of 2014 and many of us (myself included) are either still fixated on keeping or scrapping new year resolutions by now. The notion of “new year, new you” is so appealing, the only problem is – you can’t bring old habits into the new year and expect revolutionary results. That’s why I thought that I’d enlist the help of a few habit-forming apps to keep me accountable for my resolutions this year. Many of my resolutions are common productivity ideals, like going to the gym, better time management, (just like everyone else.) Luckily, each one of these apps offer a unique appeal to help you stick to your new year resolution goals. Check out three apps to keep new year resolutions below…
The Habit Factor® is the professional’s choice for positive behavior change and habit development. Example: If your goal is to “Write a book”, you might create a related habit of “writing for 30 minutes a day” and set that to 3x per week (you choose which days). Only The Habit Factor offers HabitStregnth: the ability to strengthen habits over time using custom tracking periods & Habit Alignment Technology: the ability to create and align habit to your goals.
BONUS: The Habit Factor Challenge starts January 6, 2014! Develop new habits to achieve your goals & maybe even win a new iPad Air in the process. Enter Now it’s FREE, Visit: http://thehabitfactor.com/win
Lift is like having a coach in your phone giving you daily motivation, coaching, and prompting. Whether your goal is large or small, Lift gives you steps and milestones to make progress more manageable. With coaching, progress tracking, and optional reminders, Lift helps you stay focused and stick with it. There is a social element to Lift: if you add goals that others are trying to achieve too then you will see everyone who checks-in to that habit. You can connect Lift to Facebook or Twitter, too, if you want to see which friends from those sites are using the service.
Habit Streak Pro (Android)
Habit Streak helps you achieve your goals (or New Year’s Resolutions) in exercise, diet or other areas of your life. Each day you report on whether you succeeded yesterday, building up streaks of habits and ingraining the activities into your life. Habit Streak has two key advances: Firstly it allows you to build several chains up at once. Secondly it (optionally) prompts you every day to report on your success (whereas one could easily forget to update or look at a physical calendar).
What are your goals for the new year? How are you planning on keeping your new year resolutions? Are you creating a vision board or writing notes daily? Share your new year resolution ideas and tips to keep them below.
Are you feeling the stress that the holiday brings? Stress is a normal part of life. Many events that happen to you and around you — and many things that you do yourself — put stress on your body. You can experience stress from your environment, your body, and your thoughts. According to the American Heart Association, you can utilize positive self-talk or daily relaxation to cope with stressful situations or you could put these 5 apps to combat holiday stress to the test.
Headspace: Try the site’s guided-mindfulnes meditation sessions on the go, for relaxation sessions that are quicker than your average cab ride.
Cleveland Clinic Stress Meditations: Manage stress though any of the eight techniques in the is Wellness Institute – designed program.
Stress Check: Measure your immediate stress levels and track them over time, learning novel ways to cope in the process.
iSleep Easy: Deep breathing leads to deep sleeping with this app, a meditation-based substitute for sleeping pills.
Yogic Breath: Tap into pranayama, or yogic breathing, with easy instruction in a selection of breathing techniques.
Stress is always going to be apart of life, but it’s your reaction to stress that counts. These apps offer a great alternative to wrecking your holiday plans and ruining holiday memories this season. Do you have games or favorite apps that help you combat holiday stress? If so, share your favorite apps below.