5 Apps to Save Time and Productivity at Work

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1. Inrix.

The first step in increasing productivity in the office is to ensure people make it in on time. Inrix is an app designed to calculate the time of travel from point A to point B while taking into account current traffic conditions.

Major thoroughfares are marked on maps in both directions in colours of green for good, orange for busy and red for very busy. Accidents and traffic disturbances are marked. Auto manufacturers such as Audi, BMW and Toyota are using Inrix software in their next generation navigation systems. For the traveler, Inrix is available in 31 countries. It is available on Windows Phones 7 and 8, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android.

2. Freedom and Anti-Social

These are technically apps for Macs and PCs only, but they may be the greatest thing ever invented for the Internet or social-media addict trying to accomplish things on a tight deadline. Freedom is designed to shut down your Internet applications for a set time chosen by you up to eight hours. Even if you get tempted to just turn off Freedom before the set amount of time, you’ll need to reboot your computer. If you’re tight for time it’s unlikely you’ll waste time doing this.

Anti-Social works the same way, except it allows you to block specific websites and is designed for those Twitter and Facebook addicts. Freedom costs $10 while Anti-Social costs $15.

In theory, your office IT department could set up a firewall blocking Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc., but these apps are great for the telecommuter, freelancer or small home office.

3. Quickoffice

Quickoffice comes in a variety of versions depending on what type of smartphone or tablet you are using. It allows you to edit documents in Word Excel and Powerpoint from your device, while giving you ability to access a large variety of cloud services including Google Docs, Drop Box and Mobile Me. Google purchased Quickoffice this month, so it’s likely that functionality with Android devices will be improved.

4. 1Password

You know that frustrated feeling when you get back from holidays? The feeling of, “No, not that one. What about this one?” Maybe the $49.99 for 1Password is worth it.

1Password works like a more encrypted version of OS X’s keychain. With a master password you’ll have access to generated encrypted passwords in created identities linked to your accounts. You can also store your software licences and credit cards linked to accounts, as well as share information through Dropbox to iPods, iPads, etc.

1Password is available on iPod/iPhone, iPad, Mac and Windows, with a version in Android and Windows Phone still in beta testing. The con is that you still have to have a master password and it’s recommendeded you make it long and commit it to memory. If you forget your password it is not logged and cannot be sent to you. This is to avoid a back door from hackers.

Another problem is that while no one will ever be able to figure out your Amazon or eBay passwords, if they figure out your 1Password password… well, it’s your call. With the iPhone version there is also an additional 4-digit lock. Again, if you forget it, it’s gone.

This app is available in a 30-day free trial.

5. Evernote

If you have trouble remembering everything else, maybe Evernote is for you. Use it to store ideas, web pages, research, audio files you’ve recorded and photos snapped in one place. You can also sync Evernote with your computer and phone.

The App is free, although a premium version is available for $5 per month or $45 per year. It adds additional storage upload capabilities, a security lock and the ability to take notebooks offline when you don’t have a network connection, among other things.

 

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