Similar to my last blog on must-have travel apps, I’d like to zero in on a handful of productivity apps that can really help organize work and personal tasks—especially for those of us who are always “on the go.”
Besides who doesn’t want to make the most out of our most precious resource: TIME!
Surprisingly, what I learned as I was reaching out to other aviation professionals to get their take on some favorite apps, is that many still prefer to stick with a good ‘ol pencil and paper to keep track of daily tasks.
While writing out our list of to-do’s remains a tried-and-true method of scheduling, note taking and organization, there are several excellent productivity apps that can help manage nearly any task.
Mobile apps make it easier to manage huge work- or home-related projects (e.g., an IS-BAO Registration or home remodel project)—right down to the smaller tasks that need to get done on a daily basis (e.g., buy more coffee beans or sweep hangar floor).
From applications to help us tame our inboxes to those that help us keep track of our schedules and to-do lists, some of the most useful mobile apps ever developed are those that help us get work done on the go.
We live in an increasingly mobile world, and while many of us spend our days working at our desks, part of being an aviation professional means that many of our hours are spent traveling.
Microsoft’s suite of Office 365 mobile apps for business, home and personal use makes it easier to work from your mobile devices just as if you were at your desk. The app lets you create and edit documents on the go, and it can even sync between devices.
Office 365 is available as a subscription, which also includes Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint. The best part of being a subscription-based service is that you can always be assured that you have the most up-to-date products and services available.
Google Drive is a great way to collaborate with others from the office. Files that you store in Google Drive are safe and accessible from any device. It’s a great collaborative tool, as it allows multiple people work on a document at the same time, so that the collaborators are always working with the most up-to-date, live data.
Another Google Drive feature is that it lets you see who else is viewing or editing a document.
Dropbox is the go-to solution for many people’s Cloud storage and sharing needs. At its core, Dropbox is an online storage locker for your files, documents, photos and other data that you can access anywhere (as well as download for offline access). You can also use it as a way to share files for collaboration, as well as upload new material.
Dropbox lives on your desktop as a virtual folder. You can drag and drop files into your Dropbox and they’ll appear on all of your devices. You also have the option to store files in a public folder so you can easily share them with a simple download link.
Slack is a project management tool that’s very useful to help keep you in touch with your team without overloading their inboxes with a ton of emails. The messages are all directed to one area that’s related to whatever project you happen to be working on. There is a desktop version that notifies you when changes are made or when you are tagged in a message, and a mobile app that lets you stay in touch while on the go.
This project management tool enables you to stay on top of what’s happening with your important projects, without becoming a distraction.
Asana is one of my favorite project management tools. With it, you can assign tasks to individuals, set deadlines, add comments to a project and more. It helps you see a project status, shows you who is working on what, and indicates what still needs to be completed for your project. It also allows you to track multiple projects going at once.
Asana also helps eliminate the multiple emails that can pile up when you can comment and discuss a project right in the app. The goal of Asana is to improve team collaboration as well as keep track of projects.
LastPass is a secure way of not having to remember the password for each of your accounts.
LastPass is a password vault, strong password generator and browser, all contained in one app. By syncing your vault, the LastPass browser automatically fills in forms and login credentials for all the accounts you have saved. So those days of trying to remember the capital letters, numbers and symbols for that elusive password to that one account are behind you! LastPass will remember for you!
For many people, email is the first and the last thing they look at each day. And because it’s something you spend so much of your time on, you will want and app that makes it easy for you. Whether it’s personal email or your corporate server, the Outlook app is easy to set up and sync with your other devices.
This app is a personal favorite of Ed White, the Director of Aviation for MB Aviation, LLC. As Ed told me, “I’d say that the Outlook app is the most important and used app I have. Emails are critical to business.”
A great productivity tool for networking events and aviation trade shows, the CamCard app allows you to capture all your business cards electronically. Simply put, just take a photo of someone’s business card with your smartphone camera and, within moments, the details are automatically synced with other contacts in your phone and sent to the Cloud to be synchronized across your other enabled devices (e.g., tablet and email).
This app is favorite of our CEO Sheryl Barden because she’s able to go paperless and hand a CamCard-captured business card back to the individual! It also means she has less cards floating around her travel bag, which can get lost or misplaced more easily. And, if the person Sheryl is meeting with also has the app, she can exchange electronic business cards securely right then and there.
So that wraps up our must-have apps for helping you staying more productive in your flight department, and at home. What apps, if any, would you like to recommend to our readers? We’re always interested in learning about new technology, so please share your suggestions and comments below.