There is an App for That! IoD Ambassadors Share Their Favourite Apps
Are there apps that you could not live without? Do you rely on any particular apps for meetings, business travel, time management and would you recommend them to others?
We asked IoD East of England Branch Ambassadors to let us know which apps they could not live without and why they would recommend them to other business leaders. Here is what we found out:
David Sales, Regional Chair of IoD East of England:
- BBC News - So easy to keep up to date on key topics I select
- ViewRanger - To help me navigate “me-time” walks and runs with accuracy, and therefore make me more effective when at work!
- Emergenetics Plus - Only relevant if you have an Emergenetics Profile, but once you do, it is a coach in your pocket
- Trainline - So easy to book and manage train travel
Graham Kill, Chair IoD Suffolk:
Dark Sky - aggregates weather radar information - I find it highly accurate both location and time-wise (to minutes) so that I time my dog walks and generally appropriately dress for the weather
- Apps for Work - Slack, Trello, Whatsapp…are most used
Ian West, IoD Essex Ambassador for Technology and Digital:
- MeisterTask - There are many simple project management tools - and I’ve tested a LOT - but I now use this for all my projects. It’s a simple Kanban style app - simple enough to be used yet has enough functions to track all my projects. It has easy time tracking. Of course I use more fully featured programmes for working on complex projects or proposals on clients’ behalf, but I find myself matching software to the specific task in hand. The simplicity of MeisterTask (and the fact I can share it across all my mobile devices, means I actually use it.)
- Zapier - Zapier allows various apps to talk to each other - for example you can sync dropbox events with Google calendar; you can get Buffer to add a ‘thank you’ message to a queue whenever you get a new twitter follower; automatically share new twitter posts with your LinkedIn company page; post Basecamp 3 activity to a Slack channel. There is a similar app called IFTTT (If This Then That) which performs a similar function. I’ve tried both but Zapier seems more suited to business applications.
Andrew Griffiths, IoD Hertfordshire Ambassador for Young Directors:
- Slack – Workplace messaging application that can reduce the number of emails flying around your organisation by 40%. Gone are the days of pointless email CC’s, this app has allowed me to make communication MUCH more efficient and structured within multiple organisations since I first discovered it. Best of all, it’s free and I’ve yet to need to pay for any of the premium features.
- Calendly – Take the stress out of scheduling meetings by using this app. Rather than going through a lengthy back-and-forth trying to identify convenient dates/times, link Calendly with your calendar and let people book straight in to a mutually convenient time without any of the faff. Again, this has a ‘freemium’ version, but if you’re regularly scheduling meetings I would recommend upgrading as it’s guaranteed to save you, or your PA a ton of admin.
- Hootsuite – If you manage business social media accounts across multiple platforms (e.g. Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn etc.) then this tool is a life saver. Schedule posts in advance to roll-out simultaneously across all your channels. The automation makes overseeing a social media team a doddle, particularly when training up new starters and ensuring they are ‘on brand’ in their communications.
- Franz – This one is relevant to anyone who is getting overwhelmed by all the various messaging apps they’re trying to keep on top of, like Whatsapp, Messenger, LinkedIn, Slack
Simone Robinson, Regional Director, IoD East of England:
- Braintoss – a really funky app that sends photos, voice recordings and notes straight to my email
- AroundMe – useful app when in an unfamiliar place to be able to quickly find a chemist, restaurant or post office etc
- Uber – do not use that often but grateful to be able to use it when needed
Alex Mortimer, IoD Essex Ambassador for Supply Chain and Global Trade:
- Sky News, LinkedIn and Twitter - they all offer the latest news and up to date information on what is happening in the economy, business and Brexit.
Malcolm Johnston, IoD Cambridgeshire Ambassador for Marketing:
- My team uses Slack as a quick messaging app – very easy to use and more feature rich than WhatsApp
- Vivino for finding out more about a wine before I buy it – just take a photo of the label and the app does the rest
Damon Langlois, IoD Essex Vice-Chair and Ambassador for Marketing and Communications
- LinkedIn - From a business perspective LinkedIn has so much to offer and if utilised correctly can be a real benefit to running your business. I realise a lot of people already have this, so it is more about recommending to learn how to use it more effectively really.
- Toggl - Only on desktop or Android currently, but is a great way to track time spent on projects, customer service or admin etc to see where you spend your time each day.
Alison Shadrack, IoD Essex Ambassador for Media:
- I use Audible to listen to e-books. I don’t always have time to sit down and read a book so I listen to them whilst on the go – on the train to London to meet a client, whilst running on the treadmill, in the car driving the kids, etc.
However, Ben Miller, IoD Suffolk Ambassador for ICT, Tech and Digital Creative is bucking the trend by unwinding the use of his phone. He says “without monitoring, technology can quickly dictate our lives, so we should always be vigilant about how we interact with smartphones. I have deleted a lot of apps and organise my life by bullet journaling – a versatile and analogue way of organising life”.
Are there any other apps that you could not live without, especially for work? Get in touch with Simone Robinson to highlight the best apps you have found and why they would benefit other business leaders.