In the past year I have come across a few apps that I use on a daily basis to make my life easier. I figured I would share these with everyone. Hopefully they make your life easier as they have mine.
This could be my favorite one that I started using and now the entire company uses to manage our passwords. One of my biggest frustrations is keeping track of all the log ins for everything from Paypal to our website to this blog to the endless list of vendor accounts. www.lastpass.com has saved my life. This application is absolutely free and runs in the back ground of your browser. You set up one master password to initially log into Last Pass when you start the browser and then it remembers all your passwords and log ins for every site you visit. The great thing is you can use this on any computer you log into as it’s completely cloud based. All my frustration when trying to work from home on my laptop and not having my password list is gone. Not to mention that you can set up much more secure passwords for all the sites since you only have to remember one from now on.
If you are on the road a lot I would highly suggest downloading this app to your phone. www.waze.com is an app for either Android or iPhone that can be downloaded for free. It is basically a gps app but is interactive with all the users. It calculates travel times by the other users that are traveling ahead of you. You can also flag hazards on the road, police radar traps, and nearly everything else you encounter on the road. I have been using it for once and it has saved me from a couple speeding tickets and crashing into a large box in the middle of the road that I would have never seen until I hit it. It also will find restaurants, gas stations, etc that are close to you as well. And it's free. Be a Wazer like me.
Yet another free one that has made remembering everything in my personal business life so much easier. www.evernote.com is a great way to keep everything from notes to articles you want to save to pictures. I have the app installed on all my desktops and my phone. It is extremely powerful way to store information. For example, I don’t keep business cards anymore. If you someone gives me one I just take a picture of it with my phone and put it in Evernote. You can add a description or tags to make it easier to find, but the app will actually read the text in the picture allowing it to be searchable. I use this for signs, phone numbers, and other things I would have normally had to try to remember or write down. It also records the location where you were when you saved the info. So if you were on a trip and happened across something you wanted to check out later you could even search the city you were in and get a list of things you stored when you were there. It is an extremely powerful tool.
This is another great free app that we have been using for a while now. www.smartsheet.com is a great way to share information between several people or to keep it organized yourself. We use it for several things but the main thing currently is for shop scheduling. We have a sheet that has the entire schedule with the customer name, phone number, truck, reason it is in the shop, and the parts needed to do the job. Everyone has this on the their desktop and on their phones. Everyone is in the loop and can instantly check on the status of a job in the shop or see what is coming in next. This app could work perfectly for a family trying to coordinate everyone’s schedule as well. The professional uses of this app are endless.