These labor saving apps and programs aren’t just for authors and only one of them is specifically useful for writing BUT – I use all of these all the time to help me write and keep track of writing projects as well as to manage my life and our publishing business. I thought I’d share these ten tools with you today in celebration of Labor Day.
1. Evernote – My creative file cabinet. Everything in Evernote on my computer is also on my iPhone and iPad whenever I need it. I’m old enough that tagging is still a challenging concept for me which means I probably don’t use Evernote as effectively as I could. Still, it’s convenient for capturing info from the internet and saving it easily where I can find it anytime. There’s no one way to use Evernote, which means everyone can use it to suit themselves.
2. Asana – for project management. I love being able to create templates for recurring projects – which could really help a writer with repeating assignments. I use Asana as my basic control panel for everything that’s going on in my life and my business. (It also works well with David Allen’s GTD (Get Things Done approach to work/time management – an approach I heartily endorse.)
3. Dropbox – my main filing cabinet. I keep everything on Dropbox, in the cloud, on my computer, iPad and iPhone – just need to remember to open the apps to let them sync everyday (one of my additions to the GTD daily checklist, by the way.) Everything is there – work documents, personal documents, medical records, journal notes, writing projects, publishing files…and immediately accessible whether I’m at my desk, on a plane or enjoying a margarita at Zebra’s in Tulum. Plus I share docs securely and easily with my staff via Dropbox shared folders. Couldn’t live without it.
4. Evoca – a calling system that lets me record phone calls and have immediate access to them as MP3 files. I can also order a transcript of any call that requires it. Easy-peasy.
5. Genius Scan – I scan everything these days – basically have no paper files. At my office, I use the scanner on my all-in-one printer but I travel a lot and don’t like to collect piles of paper to stash in my suitcase. So I use this great app on my iPhone. A quick camera click, a moment to add a label, another click to send to Dropbox and my coaching note, or a receipt, or a book cover idea I want to share with my designer – whisked away to the cloud and all my devices in a millisecond.
6. Skype – My old standby for calls when I’m traveling internationally. Makes coaching and book production management possible from anywhere.
7. Google Voice – I have a google voice number that can take messages for me 24/7. I get an email almost immediately with info on the call, a transcription of the call (not always accurate, but usually close enough) and the ability to listen to the message. When I travel internationally, I forward my cell phone to the Google Voice number so I never miss a call.
8. Harvest – for time and expense tracking and invoicing. Simple interface with plenty of features. iPhone app too.
9. Mailbox – for email management on iPhone – probably my favorite app today. Makes email management SOOO easy!
10. Finally, for quiet writing, I use Ommwriter. Really does make a difference in my ability to concentrate.
All of these apps and programs are reasonably priced and readily available for the Mac. I don’t know about PCs or Android systems so I can’t help you there. I hope that you’ll find one or more new ideas here to make your life easier and more productive so you can labor less and enjoy more!
I’m always watching out for new ways to be more efficient. What are some of YOUR favorite productivity tools today? (You can leave a comment below.)