I’m in New York City this week and you just have to take one step outside during lunch hour to see the new face of mobile productivity. What do you see? People rushing between buildings with their heads down, smartphones in hand. In the information economy, every second that can be spent productively counts and smartphone apps are a huge way to do more while on the go—that is, if you’re using the right apps. Today I’m going to take a look at four of my favorite apps that boost productivity.
Struggling to manage your calendar? Wish it were simpler to create and manage events? Fantastical is the fastest and easiest way to create calendar events on your smartphone, because you can create events using natural language. Just hit the plus button and type something like “Phone Call with Nicole at 9am Tuesday” or “June 23rd meeting at Grand Central with Investors,” and it creates exactly the calendar event you think it would. Plus, the DayTicker view shows your upcoming schedule in a simple and easy-to-understand way that you can quickly scroll through. Stop wasting time with confusing calendar apps and keep it simple with Fantastical.
Both a web service and an app for smartphones, Speek makes it simple to set up a conference call when on the go. Start a conference call with multiple participants, schedule a call and have it automatically send calendar invites with dial-in information, and join a call quickly and easily—all from your mobile device! It can notify you if participants join a call and you’re not there, which is a great feature to ensure you’re never late for a call again. You can share files, record calls to share with participants who can’t make it, mute attendees, and get a custom and easy-to-remember speek.com URL for your conference calls so nobody has to remember a messy dial-in number or code ever again! When you’re on the go and need to set up a call fast, Speek makes it easy.
Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: you’re trying to schedule a meeting with multiple, busy people, but you spend more time going back and forth trying to decide on a time than you do on the meeting itself! With Timebridge you can stop playing tag and instead get right to it. It integrates with everyone’s calendar, working with Outlook, Google and even iCal, to find the times everyone is free. Once you’re set up, Timebridge works behind the scenes to make sure everything about the meeting goes smoothly, from sending reminders over SMS and email, to setting up and sharing an agenda. It even helps you handle the follow-up on action items from the meeting!
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how about a video? While I’ve talked in-depth before about how the Socialcam app can be used to boost your online presence, what I haven’t discussed is the value in simply having a reliable app that lets you shoot and share videos painlessly. Need to show something to your boss or client quickly, introduce them to someone you just met at a conference or event, or even just need to record a video of something so you can look at it again later? Socialcam has the answer.
While Socialcam is a social network, it also offers privacy settings so that only the people you share videos with can see them. Since it lets you set up all the sharing and privacy features before the video even finishes uploading, you can have your phone back in your pocket as soon as you’re done shooting and know that the relevant parties will see their video. From quick videos of the people you meet and their ideas, to important sections of talks at conferences, to devices you see out in the wild – there are a million things that video can convey better than a picture or just some text, and Socialcam is the perfect way to put it out there.
These are just some of the apps I’ve been using to boost productivity lately—how about you? Are there things you wish you could speed up with apps? How about apps you’ve found that you’d like to share with the world? Leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to reply!
Mario Armstrong, Digital Lifestyle Expert, is an Emmy Award winning, tech commentator for the TODAY show, CNN, HLN and Fuse. An entrepreneur by nature, Mario made his passion his career by quitting his day job and founding Mario Armstrong Media. Follow Mario at @MarioArmstrong. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.