Happy New Year! As we all know the new year is a time for reflection, goal planning and an opportunity to develop new habits and execute new plans. It’s a new year, a fresh start. Are you excited? Are you hopeful? Good… you should be! But I’m curious…
Were you excited last year? Were you hopeful last year? If so, how did that work out? If last year was amazingly productive and you achieved everything you set out to achieve, then good for you. Whatever you did…do it again.
But if you’re like most of the people who will read this post, that probably isn’t the case, and if so you need to do something different. In that case, I’d like to offer you some help…
Below are 11 apps that made a positive impact on my productivity and success in 2013. I hope these apps will help you achieve your goals, hopes and desires for 2014.
I have intentionally listed the Lift app as the first one because it is the ultimate goal platform. In it, you are able to add daily/weekly/monthly habits. Whether those habits are reading a business book, exercising, studying a second language, doing an act of service or simply brushing your teeth, Lift has you covered. The app even includes steps and milestones for larger goals, includes daily reminders and offers social support for additional motivation and accountability.
I look at this app every single day and check things off my daily list. If the iPhone screen showed wear marks, it’d be faded in the top right from the numbers of times I dive into Lift to check things off my list. It also comes with really cool graphs so being a conversion and anlytics guy, I really dig that part of it.
This year we bought a FitBit Flex for every single member of our team. As consultants and developers, we pretty much sit at a desk 9 hours a day. So being active doesn’t happen by chance. We needed something a bit more intentional. I personally had no idea how few steps I took each day. The number was so pathetic I’m embarrased to even share it.
Suffice it to say, things are much improved and just the simple act of tracking my number of daily steps has drastically improved my overall activity. Each member of our team can attest to how the FitBit has positively impacted both their personal and work lives. We’re all shooting for around 10,000 steps per day, and we will soon be launching internal contests around physical activity.
Sticking with the fitness theme, I wanted to share an app that Dustin actually found originally (Dustin’s the buffest geek on our team). This app allows you to build a work out(s) with thousands of pre-included exercises. You can track the overall time for your work out and even each individual exercise. Input weight, sets and reps to track your improvement. I’ve played around with numerous apps with similar functionality but nothing has measured up to FitnessFast.
Most of you will be familiar with Audible as it’s an Amazon company. For me, it’s rare that I get a chance with 4 children ages 6 and under to sit in a quite place and read a book. So I get all of my education while I’m either driving in my truck or working out at the gym. Audible has over 150,000 titles to choose from and I like to keep a healthy list of books on my Wish List. I would also recommend you sign up for a plan where your account gets new credits every month. That will help you commit to actually downloading books and listening to them. Download a Free Book Today
If you’re like me and have years of courses and books on CD’s, or if you’ve purchased mp3’s or audiobooks from other sources, Audiobook Builder is a great app (for Mac users) to convert those files into a single m4b file. This looks and functions excellently in iTunes, iPhone, iTouch and even in Audible. Yes, Audible let’s you play files stored on your device, even if they weren’t purchased from Audible.
Ahh the science of brain training. With over 50 Million users, Lumosity has proven itself as the household brand for cognitive response development. Cognitive whaty? Simply put, it makes you a sharper tool. They’ve taken common neuropsychological tasks and have transformed them into really fun and challenging games. If you feel the need to game, ditch Angry Birds and engage in a game that will enhance key skills that will improve your quality of life.
The categories include: Memory, Attention, Speed, Problem Solving and Flexibility. I have definitely noted improvements in my daily performance when I do my “brain exercises” before starting work. So I like to hit Gold’s first thing in the morning then when I arrive to the office I like spend 10 minutes or so on Lumosity. While the phone app is super convenient and allows you to get the days workout completed anywhere at anytime, I really like doing the exercises at a computer with a 10 Key keyboard. I feel like my response time is quicker which results in even higher scores. And how can I turn down higher scores?
After using Lumosity for a few weeks, I instantly upgraded my plan to a family plan so my wife could brain train with me. I even have Lumosity accounts for my 6 and 4 year old who play the games on old iPhones and our family iPad. We do our best to keep our kids off of electronics, but when they are on digital devices, bigolly they’re learning something of value.
Back in the day I used Del.icio.us but fortunately/unfortunately all was lost when Delicious was acquired by Yahoo. Along the way I’ve used various book marking tools like Pins and others, but my favorite has definitely been Pocket. Pocket has now reached over 10 Million users. The app allows you to save articles, videos or pretty much anything from you computer, tablet or smart phone browser (plus Twitter, Flipboard, Pulse and Zite). With syncing across all devices, you can then consume any content you’ve saved previously, even if you lack an internet connection.
With similar yet expanded functionality beyond what Pocket has to offer, Evernote gives you the ability to collect everything in one place. I have a pretty decent short-term memory. But my long term memory, ya, not so much. It’s important for me to write things down, especially if I want to retain them over time or if it will be a while before I actually get a chance to review them. Like Pocket, everything you collect in Evernote is able to sync across all of your devices so you’ll have what you need regardless of where you are.
Evernote recently came out with a Business Edition to help you centralize your company’s knowledge and grow as a team. I haven’t had a chance to test it out yet, but belive me, it’s on my list of to-do’s in 2014. Get a free month of Premium Hereuid=53306141&sig=b2a481bfcf41ae7b00268b71eb7b014c
We ditched Basecamp in 2013. While I love the guys at 37 Signals and are inspired by their software methodology and approach to business, we’ve found an app that just suits our needs better. Trello is the fastest, easiest way to organize anything, from your day-to-day work, to a favorite side project, to your greatest life plans.
We’ve used it for the development of internal systems, executing marketing plans and managing client projects. It’s a single page app that has the following columns: To-Do, Doing, Done. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. You can of course add and customize any way you want to suit your process needs. Activate a Free Account Here
While I had to wait weeks to be accepted by Mailbox, I think they’re finally past the launch rush and you can activate an account today (if you’re iPhone/iPad user). If you haven’t already noticed, our entire team is a herd of Appleites. Mailbox helps you ‘put email in its place’ by allowing simple email management and lighting fast sending/receiving.
While many of the apps in the post have home page video demos, I’d urge you to take 60 seconds and watch the one on Mailboxapp.com. Despite having no words whatsoever, the video will show and tell you far more about the app than I could with an entire page of writing.
Last but certainly not least, Infusionsoft. If you’re a frequent visitor to our site, I’m sure you expected to see Infusionsoft on the list of apps that High-Performing Entrepreneurs use. If you’re new to Marketing Mavens, Infusionsoft is a sales and marketing software built for small businesses. It is the easiest way to grow sales and save time. We help small businesses build sophisticated funnels that convert using Infusionsoft as the backbone for everything marketing and sales related. Check out Infusionsoft Here
There you have it folks. Most of these apps are free, and the ones that are paid apps will return 10x your investment and then some. Let’s make 2014 your best year ever!
Yours in Automation,