There are gazillions of different productivity apps on the market. There are apps for your smartphone, tablet and laptop. There are apps for your to-do lists, CRM, sales and time management to name a few. With all of these apps to choose from, how can you go about finding the right ones for you? In the world of apps, what works for some, may not work best for you. Finding the right apps to send your productivity into overdrive will require some trial and error. Below are four questions that can aid in your decision-making process.
Are you high tech or low tech?
Just because it’s 2013 and there is a sea of apps at your fingertips does not mean that you have to use them. If you’re old school and prefer to use a paper calendar for appointments and a pen and paper for note taking, that’s okay. However, if you haven’t even given the more modern options the time of day, don’t be afraid of change. Try them and you may just find that you really like them.
Where does your work take place?
Do you work in a traditional office setting, at home or on the road? Where you work will have an impact on what apps work best for you. If you work in multiple places like a lot of us, it will be important for you to use apps that sync across multiple platforms. If you travel a lot for work, you will likely need mobile apps for your smartphone and tablet. While convenient for most, an app that is solely used in the cloud, may not work for you if you don’t always have a reliable internet connection available.
How often do you collaborate?
Think about whether or not you need to have the ability to share tasks or documents with your teammates. An app that allows for real-time document editing is key when multiple people are working on it together. For someone out on a sales call, it is imperative to have a full history of communication from every department with a prospect at your fingertips before the big meeting. However, if you primarily work alone, these things may be of little importance to you.
What platforms are you using?
Perhaps your office uses PCs, but you have a Mac at home. Maybe you use an iPhone but your business partner has an Android. Consider what productivity apps you will use based on what platforms are available. The majority of tools will have developed apps for multiple platforms, however there are many that still only work on iOS platform.
With all of the apps on the market, you are bound to find a few that are best for your specific style of work. Whether you are low-tech or high-tech, work from an office, at home or on the road, alone or on a team or use a PC, Mac, iPhone or Android, there’s something out there for you.
Above all, only chose an app that you are actually going to use. If you try it and it’s way too complicated, ditch it. If you find one that is simple to set up, yet it does not have all of the functionality that you are looking for, keep looking until you find a happy medium. The apps that you use should make you work smarter, faster and more efficiently, otherwise, they are just taking up precious megabytes on your hard drive.