Game-changing apps for your productivity

Apps run our lives these days. We use them to find everything from the best restaurants to new music to dates for Saturday night. To all my fellow foodies, streamers and swipers, get ready to have your professional app game kicked up a notch. 

If you're like me, you're always looking for a way to squeeze an 5 extra minutes out of every hour. There's just too much to do! Even the smallest time savers can add up and increase your overall efficiency (and sanity). Reading this blog post alone is already a great first step to your new found life of productiveness. Try out any of these magical hacks and find yourself rocking your next meeting, presentation or just life in general. 


Turn any iPad into a second display

The way we do business is changing. The 9-to-5 gig is morphing into something completely different with the introduction of technology, a growing global mindset and more open minded employers. Office spaces are a lot less traditional -- with employees often working remotely on laptops and mobile devices. One thing a "traditional" office always provided many employees was big monitors, multiple screens etc. to allow for better multi-tasking. According to Duet, a tech company founded by a bunch of ex-Apple engineers, using an additional display increases productivity by 48%. But why should we be limited by our office locations to take advantage of this incredibly useful tactic? Thanks to Duet Display, we aren't! Their mobile and web paired app allows you to turn any iPad into a second display. Look like a pro and work like a pro, from anywhere. Download now. Thank me later. 


Everyone deserves a personal assistant don't they? 

Have you my met my assistant Charlie? He's pretty amazing. If you've seen the Devil Wears Prada or Veep, you know that even the most prestigious business bad-asses need a little fairy god mother (or father) in their ear whispering helpful details sometimes. Imagine Charlie as your own trick to wizardry -- an assistant that will connect directly with your calendar, contacts and notifications to magically and efficiently prep you for every event or meeting. Get an insightful brief on your upcoming appointments each day -- packed with interesting news headlines, social media nuggets and more from around the web. You'll never have a problem thinking of what to say ever again -- and have your pulse on everything from their latest promotion, to their last marathon. 

Scannable (by Evernote)

Never lose another business card

How many business cards do you get on a weekly basis from meetings, networking events, or just from life? How many do you lose? Exactly. Evernote is a productivity tool many are familiar with for keeping notes organized, so of course leave it to the experts to bring you more amazing features in an app all of its own, called Scannable. Capture any document (think business cards, receipts, even post its!) and instantly scan it into your digital repository for future use. The app collects all the pertinent data from the doc and organizes it. It even imports information from LinkedIn like photos, so you'll always remember who you met. Be a whiz at your next event.  Keep the info -- lose the paper! Literally. 


Don't ever let parking be the reason you're late

We've all been there. Finding a parking spot can be just as difficult as fitting into those skinny jeans after Thanksgiving, but fret no more. Spot Hero takes the guess work out of where to park by providing up to the minute availability of spots, rates and hours. You'll always save money on parking fees using the app, and you can even automatically generate expense receipts to submit to your employer. Get to your meetings on time and stress free. Skinny jeans not included. 

Speak and Translate

Be a language ninja  

Wish you could speak another language or 10? With the incredible technology built into Speak and Translate Voice and Text Translator, you can instantly communicate in real time in over 54 languages. Dictate in your native tongue anything you want to say, and watch as the app instantly speaks and writes your sentence into any of the available languages. With speech to speed mode you can literally have a conversation with someone in two different languages.  It even lets you import straight into text messages or email. Open up your business prospects and travel with ease using this translator in your pocket. Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto.


Forging your own path

When I was a kid, I grew up in the kind of household where my parents told me I could do anything I set my mind to. When you’re eight years old, you believe them. I love my parents dearly, but low and behold I’m an adult now, and I’m not selling out stadium tours or topping the billboard charts. It turns out there’s a small caveat to this “you can do anything” cliché. Sometimes you need natural-born talent. When you’re eight, no one tells you about the * at the end of the platitude (and probably for good reason, as we don’t need a bunch of cynical school children running around). Needless to say, I’m not Adele, but I can happily report there is a lot of truth to the message they instilled in me, and for that I do thank them.

I’ve always wanted to start my own company. Even when working for others, I’ve always enjoyed doing things that didn’t exist before I started. I find a very strong fulfillment in forging my own path and building something from scratch. I also personally find I’m most productive when I have the freedom to build my own schedule. For this and many other reasons it made sense that one day I would create something of my own.

For a long time, I didn’t know what that was and I didn’t know how I would start.  I wasn’t sure how I would muster up the courage to take the plunge and leave my corporate security blanket behind. Here’s the thing I’ve since learned. Nothing truly fulfilling comes without a little fear. Most people don’t know how to be parents before they have children, or know how to be good spouses before they get married, and similarly, most people don’t have all the answers on how to start and succeed at running a business before they do it. What ends up happening though is the fear is what pushes us to actually do it.

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.”

This great piece of wisdom from one of my business idols, Richard Branson pretty much sums it up. Sometimes you have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and try new things. It’s how we develop and grow as people. When you stop evolving and stop feeling that tiny bit of fear in your life, that’s when you need to take a minute and reevaluate if you’re living life to the fullest.

I’ve pushed past the uneasiness and with the help of a strong support system around me, and the know-how and experience I’ve collected along the way, I am following my True North.