Climbing the career ladder can be tough, especially in today’s economic climate. At times, all your financial worries and work troubles can seem to pile up, and it can be hard to keep track of everything you need to do, let alone muster up the motivation to go out and do it!
Thankfully, almost all young professionals own a mobile device of some sort these days. While you may be focused on finding the best tablet or best smartphone for your needs, you should also consider looking for the best apps to help you increase your productivity – sometimes in unexpected ways. Whether you’re stuck for an idea for a project, struggling to keep track of money, or just feeling a bit lethargic, these apps can actually help you focus and get things done.
We all need some inspiration from time to time. The Inspirational Quotes app supplies you with one-liners from some of history’s greatest minds via a calming Zen-style interface. Log in daily for sage life advice and you may find a mantra that fits your situation: with a resource of over 600 quotations, you’re bound to find something to apply to the issues that irk. You can also share quotes that you find to be particularly helpful, so that your friends can feel inspired too.
If you’re looking for something a little bit more specific to help get you started on a creative project, Idea Generator is a fantastic little app that does exactly what it says on the tin. Perfect for brainstorming sessions, or coming up with ideas on the fly, it serves as a simple kick-start to the creative process. The interface is similar to that of the combination lock on a safe, with three wheels that spin to generate different word combinations. These are designed to provoke the initial spark that will lead (hopefully) to an end product. Simply shake your device and all three wheels will spin simultaneously – do this as many times as you like until you hit on something good!
We’ve all been in a meeting where it’s difficult to keep track of everything that’s being said. Copious notes written in shorthand can become confusing very quickly, but thankfully iBlueSky solves this problem with a simple, but highly functional and easy-to-use mind map app. It’s easy to add and manipulate branches and coding code items. Best of all, you can email your completed mind maps to your computer, so that when you return to your desk, all your notes are neatly laid out for you –getting started on writing them up will be that much easier.
Managing your money can be ‘taxing’ at the best of times, but if you neglect your finances they can quickly spiral out of control and tidying things up will suddenly seem like a daunting task. To prevent this happening, Mint.com now has an app version of its excellent online money management service. The Mint app lifts information from your bank accounts and credit cards, as well as other financial data, and presents you with clearly laid out, nice-looking reports. Sub-categories like food, transport and entertainment provide details of exactly how you’re spending your money, and the incorporation of geo-tags also tells you where you spent it. You do need to be connected to the Internet to use the app, but overall it’s excellent for making your finances seem less scary – it streamlines the process of money management entirely.
OmniFocus is an all-in-one task management app, similar to many of the ‘to-do list’ apps that are out there at the moment. What makes OmniFocus stand out in the crowd, though, is the way it organises your tasks by assigning ‘contexts’ to them: essentially tags which allow you to see which tasks you need to do at a particular time, or in a particular location (OmniFocus also integrates with your device’s maps function – another useful feature). It’s complex for the uninitiated, but once you get you head around how to organise your tasks effectively, OmniFocus presents all your tasks in easy to manage chunks, meaning that you stay on top of things before they get out of hand.