10 Apps I Can’t Live Without

Umano

Being a busy guy with multiple clients to manage and on the road a lot as well, my mobile device and its apps are critically important for my professional and personal life. It is my link to my world, so having the right apps to help me keep it all organized and even simplify my choices. We all are aware of the most used apps like Weather Channel, Instagram, Facebook and Yelp, but here are ten others that I have found most entertaining or useful:

PERSONALLY

1. Snapchat When I speak with adults over 30 about Snapchat, they seem to be under the impression that it is an app for teenagers or for sending nude photos. That’s unfortunate because the app allows the user to send random, fun or even useful photos or videos to all users or to specific users that cannot be retrieved or saved (well, in some cases it can be). I send random pics of NYC scenes, vacations, odd happenings, or places I am experiencing to friends and family, and it is an unexpected moment of joy during the day when I receive theirs. Additionally, Snapchat allows users to draw or write on the pic, and even send money to the recipient using a simple $ and the amount. It’s just a lot of fun, and my adult friends who use it love it too.

2. Google Maps. In most cases the need for directions and a GPS can be completely eliminated by using the Google Maps app. The app now includes subway directions as well, and it includes traffic calculations that take into account construction, wrecks, and back ups in providing the user with the fastest route possible. The app even updates the calculation constantly should wrecks or construction slow traffic and where another route is faster. Waze is another excellent app that I use for long trips because it includes construction, emergency and cop warnings.

3. TodayTix. If you visit NYC and you love Broadway or theater, look no further than TodayTix for discount tickets one week in advance. Gone are the days when you have to stand in a long line at TKTS in Times Square to purchase a discount ticket to a show. Now do it from the comfort of your home or hotel using TodayTix app. A friendly TodayTix employee will meet you prior to the show outside the theater door with the ticket. I see a lot of shows, and rarely pay over $50 per seat using this excellent app.

4. Swarm / Foursquare. Foursquare for mobile device check-ins recently separated the check-in function from the recommendations function. Swarm not only allows me to see where friends and family are traveling or visiting, it also allows me to post my whereabouts to them. Once I have checked in, I then can link easily to the Foursquare app to see tips and reviews on the place or restaurant where I checked in on Swarm. I also use Foursquare as a stand alone app to receive recommendations for breakfast, lunch, coffee or dinner places when I am on the road. It has learned my tastes from other check-ins and will make excellent recommendations.

5. Local Eats. It is somewhat of a joke among friends of mine that I always know where to eat. If I excel at knowing where to dine, it is because I don’t want to waste my money on bad food or a chain restaurant when I am in a town with excellent local options. How do I know where the locals love and find out something about its history and offerings? Local Eats app tells me just where to go and a brief explanation of why locals love it. I then sometimes Yelp the Local Eats recommendation just to make sure it has 4 stars or above on Yelp. As a general rule, I always check Yelp before I eat anywhere, and I only go if it has 4 stars or better from multiple reviewers.

PROFESSIONALLY

1. Mailbox. The Mailbox app receives all incoming email, then allows the user a Tindr-like function of swiping left to delete, swiping right to save for later reading, or to do nothing and leave the email in the Inbox for current attention. I eliminate a lot of useless emails (ever gotten on a political email list or retail list that you can’t seem to get off of?) just with a quick swipe left so that my time is not wasted later by having to delete individual emails from my Inbox. For my computer Inbox, I use a program called Unroll.Me which collects all of my subscription emails in one email per day, keeping only personal and professional emails visible in my Inbox.

2. TripIt. Ideal for business travelers, TripIt collects all of the information about upcoming flight, car, hotel and restaurant reservations from my email Inbox, then presents this information in a visually attractive and convenient way. When I need quick references to reservations, confirmation numbers, ticket numbers or times, TripIt is my one stop app for this information.

3. Feedly. Staying current on industry news is very important to me, but I can’t read multiple newspapers and emails every day to stay abreast on the day’s most important events. For that, I use Feedly. Feedly allows me to designate all of the sources from which I want to see headlines, then it presents these in a very user friendly fashion so that I can quickly pick and choose what stories are relevant to me. I personally follow a range of sources from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, to BuzzFeed and AutoNews. Users also can follow updates from favorite bloggers.

4. CamCard. Networking is important to any business, and it certainly is to mine. But managing the collection of business cards can be overwhelming if there is no system or assistance in getting the information entered into a contact book. I use CamCard which allows me to store the data on a business card quickly by taking a snapshot of the card using the app, check the data for accuracy, and then save the contact info. If I wish to search for the person or company later, I can use the search function or swipe down to see all of the contacts.

5. Umano. I get easily bored with music on a treadmill or on a long commute. What I use to keep myself entertained and informed is the app Umano. Umano publishes audio readings of articles from magazines, journals and newspapers on a range of topics that the user can designate. On any given commute to work, I listen to articles from HuffPost, The Atlantic, magazines on spirituality, and personal improvement and leadership journals. It is my favorite app of 2014 and benefits both my personal and professional growth.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: