Epic Mens’ Favorite Top Five FREE Productivity Apps
Where, besides your office, did you work today - kitchen table, shuttle bus, coffee shop, park bench, anywhere you had cell service and Wi-Fi access? For most knowledge workers, the pressure to produce is constant – no matter where they are. Luckily, there’s no shortage of available productivity apps. The trick is choosing the right combination of features, convenience, compatibility and price to meet your particular needs. Here are our top five picks. All are proven time savers and better yet – all are FREE!
Trello (project management)
Released in 2011, Atlassian’s task management app, Trello, has more than a million active users who rely on it daily to organize work flows – at home and in the office. The web-based computer app, which also works on mobile iOS and Android devices, boasts a user interface that’s intuitive and simple to use. A digital dashboard displays projects and subtasks visually. Working collaboratively, teams prioritize deliverables, set due dates, and share comments, as well as attachments, links, files and photos in real-time. Additional features, such as access to larger files, priority support and email notifications are available in fee-based upgrades ranging from $9.99 to $20.83/month. Visibility options ensure information remains private, and industry standard security keeps data safe. In short, Trello connects you to the people, resources, and info you need – whenever and wherever you need it.
TripIt (travel planning)
Wish you could store all your upcoming trip details in one convenient place? Savvy travelers swear by San Francisco-based app developer TripIt. Founded in 2006 and lauded by Forbes, the WSJ and numerous other news outlets, TripIt offers a free online trip planner that lets users load flight, car, hotel, and event info into a master itinerary. Easily accessible on a tablet or on iOS and Android mobile devices, TripIt provides an elegant way to sync dates and times with calendars, add notes, photos, and links, and save critical travel docs. Best of all, plans can be easily shared with others. And for an annual $49 fee, the app can be upgraded to include reward points tracking, real-time flight alerts, gate change notifications, and preferred seat monitoring. By offering all these features, along with location-specific tips, TripIt is taking the worry out of traveling for users in 180 countries around the world.
Need a way to isolate, archive, and quickly retrieve information? Try Evernote, a notetaking app out of Silicon Valley that is iOS, Android, Mac and Windows compatible. Available in 25 languages, Evernote provides its 225 million users with an easy way to capture written and recorded information in private or shared digital notebooks. Notes, recordings, pictures and web pages are organized, viewed and archived for future reference. The app’s powerful search tool lets users and designated others retrieve information from multiple devices, including desktops, smartphones and tablets. Additionally, users can tag, annotate, prioritize, edit, password protect, and export information easily, as well as manage to-do lists, set reminders, and create presentations, making Evernote a great collaborative tool for hardworking teams. Upgrading from the free basic plan to a fee-based plan (beginning at $7.99/month) buys you more storage, faster word recognition, greater security and sharing options, as well as the ability to sync more devices. It’s notetaking on a whole new level.
Google tools (storage, word processing, spreadsheets, slides)
Most people think of Google as a search engine, but did you know that with just one log-in, Google also provides access to several free web-based productivity apps? Google Drive, a file hosting service with a billion devotees, lets users store, backup, synchronize, and share files on Windows and macOS computers and tablets, as well as on Android, iOS and Blackberry mobile devices. Google’s publishing tools are available in more than 80 languages and are part of an office software suite that lets users create professional documents, spreadsheets and presentations. With Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides, multiple users can work cooperatively to draft and edit files. Permission settings regulate what changes are allowed to be made and by whom. Edits, visible to all on a character-by-character basis, can be evaluated in real-time sidebar discussions. And because all changes are tracked and captured in a revision history, earlier file versions can be retrieved if needed. Start with 15 gigabytes of free storage. And, if you need more, upgrade to a paid plan for $8/month. More than just a search engine, we think you’ll find Google has the tools you need to create and showcase your very best work.
Dropbox (file hosting)
Need an easy fix for storing and sharing files, particularly large files? San Francisco’s Dropbox, Inc. has a solution. Released in 2008, this file hosting service is routinely used by more than 500 million customers who require file synchronization, cloud storage, and file sharing capabilities. Compatible with most operating systems, Dropbox is described by users as “simple,” “reliable,” and “effortless.” Files, housed in folders on users’ computers, are kept up-to-date across all devices where the app is installed. Photos and videos from cameras, tablets, SD cards and smartphones can be automatically uploaded. And privacy and visibility options offer project teams a central place to access and share files. Best of all, the first 2 gigabytes of storage space are free. Storage capacity jumps to 2 terabytes or more when you switch to paid plans, which begin at $9.99/month and include additional features, such as advanced sharing and action-tracking abilities, extended file recovery, and remote wiping to protect against lost or stolen devices. If easy access to shared files is what you want, Dropbox is a solid choice.
At Epic Mens, we rely on productivity-boosting apps like these every day to help us work more efficiently and effectively. Storing and accessing data, sharing ideas, organizing information, and managing projects are no longer the time sink they once were. And the hours we save allow us to devote more energy to our core mission of delivering exceptional customer service. But don’t take our word for it. Try these FREE apps out yourself. Working smarter, not harder, has never been easier.