I love knocking things off my to-do list. And, I love being able to have just the right tool to get it all done; however, I often have to go through many tools and apps to find the few that really help me get things done.
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In today's Friday Focus, I want to spotlight five apps that help me get things done, but might not be first on the list when you think of productivity apps.
- Grammarly – I use this tool to help me become a better writer. It sits in the background of my web browser and let's me know when I have misspellings, grammar issues and where I can improve my writing. There is a free version and a paid version.
I pay for the service on an annual basis but it gets me access to additional grammar tools and statistics about my writing so I can continually improve my craft. Here are some of my statistics from last week.
There is a Microsoft add-in, but I have not enabled it as of this writing. I was using the free version for a long time and then Ray Edwards shared how he was using the paid version so I checked it out. It's a little pricey ($139 / year), but if you want to improve your writing, I believe it is well worth the investment.
- Overcast – This is my podcast listening app of choice. I currently listen to between 15 and 23 podcasts per week. I pick and choose the episodes based on interest. Additionally, I evaluate my shows about every six months or I try shows out on a trial basis to see how I like them. The player allows me to listen to episodes in normal speed or a little faster; however, I have found that if you have podcasts with multiples speakers they start to sound like chipmunks if the speed is too fast. Check out Overcast on the iOS app store for more information.
- Dispatch – this is my favorite email client on my iOS devices. This app allows me to jam through email, categorize it, delete it, archive it and respond to messages quickly and with a beautiful user interface. One of the things I really love about the app is that it adds a greeting at the beginning of the email. This way I don't have to think about it and can get right to the message. If you want to fly through your email, check out Dispatch.
- Edgar – Edgar is one of my social media scheduling tools I use. What I love about this tool is that I can create a library of items such as quotes, bible verses, tips, books, etc. and then set up a schedule and Edgar takes care of everything else. I set it once and it runs.
Edgar let's me push content out to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn on a regular basis so I can continually add value to the community. This was a great find and I first heard about it at the Platform Conference in 2014.
- Audible – This is my go-to resource for books these days. My 2015 reading goal is 75 books. I am currently 80% of the way to this goal, and it is largely due to listening to books. I listen while I run, drive and whenever the mood strikes me.
Audible helps me engage with learning in a new and fresh way. I also use Audible to find new books and it helps me keep an active wish list of items. Zig Ziglar talked about “automobile university” and learning while doing other things. This is a great way to expand your knowledge while accomplishing other tasks.
I typically listen to books at 2x speed as I find I assimilate the information more easily. Surprisingly, most of the books do not come out sounding like chipmunks. You can get two free audiobooks when you sign up with Audible for one of their monthly plans. I promise you…you will not be disappointed with the experience or the selection of books. Many of the books I highlight here on the blog and at my book club came from listening to them on Audible. Check it out today.
I have lots of other apps I use on a daily basis, but these are the ones that you might not necessarily know about or think of as productivity apps.
[reminder]What productivity apps do you use that I should check out?[/reminder]
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