Too much food consumed? Check. Too much hooch drunk? Check. A bunch of tat received from relatives that’s now on eBay? Check. Well then, with Christmas finally behind us and 2017 underway, here’s our top 8 free productivity apps to help kick-start your new year.
From turbo-charging your to-do lists, to slick automation tools and neat news and social media curation, these little gems will help you be the better you, you promised yourself you’d be this year, way back in 2016… Let’s go smash it in 2017!
AirMore is a mobile device app and web service combo, which allows you to transfer files between your device and your computer wirelessly. As well as the ability to send and receive files from your device to your computer, and vice versa, AirMore has some really cool features including the ability to display your device’s call history in your browser. Not only that, but it can also receive call notifications directly in your browser too! It’s a versatile app supporting a wide range of formats such as .txt, .doc, .xls, .ppt, .pdf and .epub. AirMore supports Safari, Chrome and Firefox and is available for iOS and Android mobile devices. As a result, it also allows you to stream iOS pictures and video files to your computer with ease, meaning you can simply stream media files to an external screen.
OK, so this one’s more work-based than the others here, but Asana is a great project management solution that allows team communication and collaboration on projects and tasks. Team members can be added to projects and tasks, and files can be shared between team members to enable seamless collaboration between them. With Asana you can see, organise and manage tasks and priorities for all your team members from one place. You can remain updated on task changes and task completions, leave comments, give feedback, upload attachments and set due dates. You can also delegate, prioritize and follow tasks and team members in a simple and clean way. Asana integrates with tons of apps and services, including: WordPress, MailChimp, Zendesk, JIRA Software, HipChat, Dropbox, Okta Identity Management, Pivotal Tracker, Harvest, Evernote, GitHub, Box, Google Drive, Campaign Monitor, Wufoo, Bitium, Usersnap, Slack, Weekdone, Velocify, Zapier, SupportBee, Hall, Hubstaff, Glip, and Front.
CCleaner Cloud is a superb tool that lets you manage and optimise your computers from anywhere. With CCleaner Cloud you can combine the power and ease of use of locally installed applications with the convenience of the cloud. CCleaner Cloud provides stacks of useful tools and features at your fingertips, such as the ability to remotely clean up your system, run Windows updates, install software, diagnose hardware issues and improve boot time by removing unnecessary items with CCleaner. By utilising the power of Speccy and Defraggler you can assess and manage running processes, monitor network usage, RAM and CPU utilisation, and defragment your hard drives remotely. And because the app is cloud based, you don’t have to worry about installing numerous applications onto your computers in order to use this powerful tool set.
Managing your mobile devices, apps and computers, and the multitudes of tasks that they run, can become a tad irksome. With numerous social media accounts, various computer devices and monotonous tasks to keep track of, it can become time consuming to ensure everything does what it should do, when it should do it. This is where automation tools Ellp come in. Ellp is founded on the ‘if-this-then-that’ concept, which is applied mainly to connected apps. It uses simple logic to run automation tasks that are specifically carried out on your array of devices. Ellp can be configured to run tasks such as automatically saving your tagged Facebook photos to a preferred folder, or notifying you when you download the same file multiple times. It can even be configured to open YouTube each time you plug in your headphones! With Ellp the possibilities are (nearly) endless.
Feedly creates a single place for all the news and content you could ever want. This RSS reader easily integrates with all your favourite social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Feedly lets you tag stories, save favourite articles and store any content you like for later. It comes with a clean, crisp interface that is very easy to navigate and use, having been designed to be a simple and effective way to build your own newsfeed about the topics and subjects that matter most to you. You can also schedule posts with Hootsuite or Buffer. A really great feature of Feedly is the ability to save content for later. The service lets you save your stories and easily get back to them at a later time. You can tag your content with Feedly or use your favourite web service, such as Evernote, Pocket, or Instapaper.
The brilliant ‘keep everything in one place’ app from Microsoft, OneNote is a member of the Office and, as you’d expect, works seamlessly with everything from Outlook and Excel. Whether you’re an impulsive scribbler of ideas on napkins and Post-Its, or a more orderly keeper of precisely filed notes and information, OneNote’s got you covered however you shape your thoughts. You can type, write or even draw with the ‘free form feel of pen to paper’. Imagery’s covered too, as you can search and clip from the web to picture ideas. Plus with OneNote you can easily pull up your content from anywhere, even if you’re offline: start on your laptop then update notes on your phone. OneNote works on any device or platform, plus you can transfer and sync all your Evernote content across all your devices for free… Cunning.
There are no shortage of productivity apps on the market, all of them aimed at making your life easier and your workday more productive. But there’s an inherent problem with many of the apps that claim to help you get your day going while making your efforts more effective: the ability to simply shove a task over to another day when we’re not ready (or willing!) to tackle that particular job. To help users fight this phenomenon, Todoist has incorporated a new skill set to the app that relies on artificial intelligence to help users determine when they will be available (and in the right frame of mind) to complete certain tasks. Called Smart Schedule, the app will give users the option to let Todoist determine the best date, time, and timeframe for them to complete a new task based on previous behaviours and the type of priority that should be given to it. Clever!
Wunderlist is one of the best-known cross-platform task managing and to-do list apps. The integration is beautifully handled and the interface of this application is equally well designed. It’s very neat and clean and the tasks are wonderfully organised. Wunderlist helps you manage your own tasks, but also helps you to manage and collaborate with others, plus you can create reminders for yourself, send notifications for your tasks and even capture some notes. In fact, notifications are available for tasks that have been completed and tasks that are being worked on. You can create tasks and then assign them to your friends, family or even with your colleagues. In that case, the application sends you continuous notifications on where the tasks are up to. Plus, there can be as many sub tasks to one task as you like. This makes sure that this simple to-do list lets you handle very complex tasks. Wunderlist is available for PC and Mac (directly syncing your tasks on your iOS devices as well).
Use a productivity app that you swear by? We’d love to know – please leave your comment below.