A smartphone can be great. But it’s only as smart as its user. So, it’s up to you to get up to speed on your phone.
The key to that lies less in the smartphone itself and more in how we use it. We could turn ourselves a lot smarter by simply choosing the right apps to use – apps that, say, enable networking on the go or get more out of those idle “time fillers” everybody suffers through a working day.
Here are a few top apps that you could consider to add that edge to your professional life.
- Prioritise in your downtime. Figuring out what to do is never hard in business. There is always so much to do. Figuring out what to do first is harder. Turn your unproductive time into super-productive time by using your mobile to keep notes, and setting priorities. Email yourself these notes so that when you get back to work, all you need to do is simply follow that list. Good apps that help you do this are Evernote and Notes for the iPhone.
- Turn a smart shopper. Use price/deal comparison sites when shopping to ensure you get the best deal and to beat down prices at a mobile store.
- Network on the run. Get the LinkedIn app for your phone. This will help you instantly connect with business people and build deeper relationships, and even casual conversations. This will convert your business development time into actual relationship building.
- Keep tabs on seminars. Get Twitter on your phone to monitor conversations at conferences you cannot always attend. Follow the Twitter streams and ensure you are not missing out on newer ideas and insights emerging at these events.
- Online banking. You would be amazed how much time can be saved by using your bank’s app. It’s faster, saves you data and helps your transfer your funds and check your balances.
- Share your calendar. This isn’t really an app but I save so much time by allowing people to see my calendar in their time zone. YouCanBook.me is just amazing, it doesn’t show your calendar publicly but you can select people who can look it up and set appointments for you. This saves me endless hours of back and forth.
- Instant messaging on the go. Stay in touch with your team and your professional network when on the move. Using apps such as Skype allows my team to contact each other if there is anything urgent, regardless of where they might be.
- Voice record and transcribe. I hate forgetting things in meetings, so a lot of the time I just ask everyone if it’s okay to record. I later transcribe and send everyone a copy. Everyone loves the idea because it lets us focus more on the meeting. I use a service called SpeechPad, which isn’t the cheapest but I get good results.
- Take photos of brainstorms. There are always fresh ideas coming in and out of the office and it is a crime to let any get away. I take photos of each brainstorm with different teams in the office. This sets up opportunities to create innovative and fresh strategies.
- Store business cards in your phone. Do you lose business cards or worry you will? I don’t. I just take a photo of them and store them permanently. I also add them as a contact and assign their business card photo as their photo in the contact. No more business card piles and no more losing contacts.