Connected: apps for busy times


We’re well into 2013 already and many of the New Year resolutions we made have fallen by the wayside – even those little work-related ones.

Main photoIt’s a shame, but the day-to-day busyness of business dictates that we ‘get on with it’ before we’ve had a chance to think of ways of how to ‘get on with it’ better.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Technology is here to lend a hand in the form of these handy apps.

 

Workflowy

In essence, Workflowy lets you create lists. In a wider sense it lets you organise your brain and whole working life.  It uses a simple structure: you create a task and under that task you can create the sub tasks that will help you achieve your main task.

How many layers you detail is totally up to how you usually organise things in your own brain.  Track, complete, edit and synch these tasks on the fly, no matter where you are.  “WorkFlowy has become one of three tabs that I keep open in my browser,” said Matt Cutts, head of web spam at Google.

 

Google Drive

Have you ever used Google Docs, the free web-based office suite? Well, it got renamed. Basically Google Drive is a web version of Microsoft’s core office offering (word, excel, PowerPoint). The main difference is that with Google Drive you can collaborate with other users in real-time to create documents. Google Drive also offers cloud-based storage to round off the experience.

 

Dropbox

Dropbox is as simple as the name suggests. Grab a file (whether photo, document or videos) and drop it into your Dropbox folder. As long as you have the app installed on your device you’ll always have access to it. What’s more, you can share your folders with other Dropbox users, making it incredibly easy to transfer files that would be too big to send by email.

With over 2GB of storage on a free account, and up to 1TB for team accounts, Dropbox can radically alter the way you store and share files with colleagues.

 

ScanLife

Isn’t it sad that we’ve got to the stage we’re even too busy to remember a simple URL? The rise of the QR code on posters and leaflets is proof of this. If you’ve wondered what those funny little barcode-like boxes are for, then rest easy in the knowledge that they are here to help. Grab an app like ScanLife, point your smart-device’s camera at it, and you’ll open up a world of interactivity.

Gone are the arguments of print versus web. QR codes build on the impact of the print medium and provide a quick link to additional information, files, media and all manner of things that just aren’t possible on paper.  You can bring your own work to life by generating your own simple QR codes at websites such as qrcode.kaywa.com

 

These are just four of the 1.4 million apps that Apple and Android offer. It can be a hard task to find tasks that can genuinely help make your work and life better but a good place to start is by subscribing to social media review sites like Mashable or The Next Web.

Just remember to check your IT or equivalent guidelines before adventuring into the wonderful world of apps.

 

Glossary

Device: Phone, computer, tablet

Apps: A software application designed to run on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices.

Cloud-based storage: Cloud storage is a model of networked online storage - virtual rather than physically in your device.

QR code: Quick Response (QR Code) is a type of matrix barcode popular because of its fast readability and greater storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes.

URL: A uniform resource locator, abbreviated URL, also known as web address. For example: www.psa.org.nz

 

This article is from the March 2013 issue of the PSA Journal. You can read back issues of the Journal by clicking here.