Each month in The Organized Executive our Time-Saving Gadgets page features hardware, software, apps, equipment and websites that allow people to be more productive at work. Starting today and on the next two Thursdays we’ll be featuring some of the products we’ve mentioned in 2012.
Simple and free are two great attributes for any app. Here are three of my favorite tools that fit that description:
- Google Calendar fulfills my two most important criteria for a great calendar system: I can add items from anywhere (my computer or smartphone), and I can see my professional and personal commitments in one place. I have several Google Calendars for different types of commitments and can view them separately or all at once. For work, one calendar shows our newsletter deadlines and another details our blog posting plans. As I mentioned in an earlier post about Google Calendar, the ability to share calendars and see updates in real time is a great feature for a geographically dispersed team. I’ve integrated the calendars with my smartphone, so I can receive alerts as email or pop-up messages.
- WorkFlowy is my go-to app for simple lists. Like my calendars, I have several lists for work and my personal life, and I can expand or collapse lists for as much detail as I like. While I don’t share any work lists with colleagues, I do share the shopping list with my husband. If he thinks of something else we need while I’m on my way to the store, I can see it on the list when I call it up on my smartphone.
- Merriam-Webster’s dictionary app offers a valuable addition to the hardcover dictionary on my desk, which I refer to daily. (After all, I’m an editor.) I love the ability to hear a word pronounced, which is also available from the website. The most frequent user of my iPhone app, however, is my daughter. When she’s doing homework and asks how to spell a word, often I tell her “Ask the phone,” because it will conduct a voice search for the word. My mother often complained that when she was a little girl her mother would tell her to look up a word, but she couldn’t do that if she didn’t know how to spell it. Problem solved.
Tell us what your favorite free apps are for work and why you love them.