Get More Done With These 7 Apps

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The team here at IAAP is ever vigilant for tools and techniques that can make life at work and home at least a little easier for administrative professionals. Cloud technology is amazing because it allows bright people to relatively quickly develop new applications and get them into the market. This is also a curse because it means there are literally thousands of apps being hawked at any given time, plus loads of new programs arriving every day.

After sorting through recent entries, here are some new productivity apps that I’m particularly excited about. All of these apps do essentially the same thing: you enter text, it creates tasks that can be accessed using multiple platforms. I’ll highlight what sets each apart:

Like a great cheeseburger, Cheddar is a pretty simple, clean list app that can get fairly complicated depending on your condiments. You can add hashtags a la Twitter, formatting marks, websites and hyperlinks. It also automatically updates tasks on all your devices, which is great for those of us who migrate throughout the day from desktop to laptop to tablet to cell. Very tasty, all in all.

Clear has all the design and functionality you’d expect from a well-conceived Mac-only app. Tasks are categorized by magical colors that make you feel hip and spry. The designers clearly love interactive gestures, because their app is built to respond to swiping, dragging, tapping, pinching and scrolling. You can easily drop new tasks into existing lists and create new list windows. And of course it will happily thrive as updates are shared across all the devices in your Apple ecosystem.

I want to spend quality time with the people who designed Astrid, because I can tell from their product that they’re a monkey-barrel of fun. You see that from the start with its mascot, a winsome, smiling octopus. Astrid does all the basics you want from a task app, and everything can be accessed via multiple platforms. What other apps won’t do that Astrid does is send you cheeky reminders (“Ready, tiger?”). It’s also has some very useful sharing features that make it a good choice for office teams.

Nearly all task apps center on either categories or time. Checkmark tries a different maneuver by focusing on geography. Now you can organize all your errands the same way savvy folk tackle the grocery list, by location. Checkmark will figure out the best path as you gather dinner, pick up prescriptions, return gifts, drop off cookies and retrieve your child on the way home from work. Well played.

COL Reminder
The developers of COL Reminder are adamant that it’s not a to-do list but a digital tap on the shoulder. Whatever you call it, COL Reminder is useful. You can, for instance, set up a reminder to make a phone call the next day. When the appointed time arrives, the reminder pops up and you need only make a single finger tap to connect the call. This is Android open-source development at its finest.

Due does it all. It’s a chef’s knife, paring knife and peeler in one handy app that helps you easily and quickly prep all the ingredients of your busy life: tasks and reminders, reusable timers, speedy rescheduling, useful snooze function and shared reminders. Would you love to be able to accomplish all those things with a well-designed interface? I know I do.

Any.DO is a very clean Android app with very useful to-do list and reminder features. It is simple and intuitive. Enter text into the “I want to…” box and the app will often offer suggestions that are remarkably spot on. It synchs well with your other devices and allow you to easily share tasks and reminders.