Posts Tagged

Productivity

To-do apps are an App Store favorite. A new one comes around almost every two months or so, and offers some new flashy feature or design motif to entice users to ditch their current app and jump ship. There’s not anything wrong with that — to-do apps have been a playground for developers and enterprising designers for a long time, and experimentation is only ever a fantastic occurrence.

What most apps lack, however, is a new idea. They have the spark and design flair of a modern program ready to allow users to revolutionize their workflow with… the same method and sequence that has been around for years. This Week tries to be different by combining the typical reminders with a hybrid calendar-based workflow, and wrapping the app in an attractive, Fantastical-esque package. (more…)

Dropbox, an online file-storage and transfer utility, forms the backbone of many of iOS’ most useful apps and utilities. Dropbox, which at its most fundamental level is just a way to store files in the internet, allows developers and users to take advantage of a file system that is always up-to-date and available as long as a connection to the internet is present.

But while these third-party apps can plug in to the Dropbox API and unlock these features, the first place most users go to use Dropbox is the official client. Boxie is an attempt to usurp the traditional Dropbox app by covering the basics, all while adding new, power-user features and a design that is supposed to make browsing the app and editing its contents even faster. (more…)

I don’t know about you, but when I’m thinking about something that I have to do, the thoughts floating about my head don’t appear in logically placed chunks of data. Usually, it’s something like, “Oh crap, I have to meet Tom at 8:15 tonight to watch the game,” and not “Meet Tom. 8:15pm. 10/30/13.” It’s a hurdle that I have to cross every time I type a new entry into my calendar; a little brain tweak that causes the slightest bit of friction in my day — or it did, anyway.

Fantastical 2 — the sequel to the amazing Fantastical — uses natural language parsing to create your calendar entries. Meaning, you can write what you think and Fantastical 2 sorts it out for you. Last year, I reviewed Fantastical and gave it a 10/10. Will the latest version live up to the hype?

Spoiler alert: Yup. (more…)

When it comes to Apple’s iconic media events, the one thing that guarantees hype is new hardware. No matter what else is on the agenda, iPhones and iPads are the star attractions. Understandably, much of the other news interspersed between device unveilings is swept aside, perhaps given a whisper of coverage after the dust settles. For me, it is those tidbits I find tantalisingly mysterious, a mere breadcrumb hinting at a grander plan. Last week’s iPhone event was no different.

Prior to WWDC I’d have forgiven anyone for thinking iWork had been put out to pasture. With no desktop update since 2009, it’s fair to say the web app versions of Pages, Keynote, and Numbers came with more than a little intrigue. In a sense, Apple had just created its first multi-platform apps. Now, four months later, Apple has dropped another breadcrumb. All three iWork iOS apps are now free for purchasers of a new iOS 7 device — Apple’s strategy is beginning to come full circle with more than a little risk and reward.

Continue reading over at iPad.AppStorm

There’s a new breed of email apps trending these days. These apps are designed to help users get productive with their inboxes and ultimately reach inbox zero. They have several common denominators, including gestures, action-based functionality, scheduling, and integration with other productivity tools like tasks and calendars.

A growing number of these email apps have been released to the public, signalling evident interest in this approach to email. I’ve managed to round up ten (10) email apps that fit into this trend, some of which you may or may not have heard of before. Let’s take a look at these email apps and see what they have to offer users in need of a more effective and flexible solution to email.
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I’ve been really big on finding unconventional ways to motivate myself recently. I’ve tried a myriad of things, but as clichéd and silly as it sounds from one of those “modern writer” types, I find the best solutions are often digital. That’s why I was really excited when I started using iDoneThis, a service I reviewed on Web.AppStorm recently.

IDoneThis is a fantastic little service that helps you keep track of what you do on a daily basis by sending you a reminder asking what you accomplished with your day. Not too long ago, I discovered that iDoneThis also has an iPhone app, and I decided I’d give it a go and compare it to the site’s email service. Read on for some of my thoughts. (more…)

Despite my emotional attachment to the smooth touch of paper, I agree that a paperless environment is both appealing and beneficial. Having less clutter and flexibility over my files made me more efficient and productive at managing my time and workflow.

There are plenty of note-taking apps to help you go digital, one of which is Ginger Labs’ Notability. Originally designed for the iPad, the latest update allows users to record, write and draw notes of all kinds on their iPhone while enjoying the design refresh, additional languages, offline access and lots of customisation among other neat features.

There’s plenty to love about Notability 5.0, so let’s dive in and see what its best points are, how it fairs in comparison to Evernote and what’s in store for today’s tech-savvy note-takers. (more…)

Task — what’s the first thing that comes into mind? To-dos, check boxes and lists, right? With so many task management apps available, you tend to expect the same structure, features and UI elements. Well, what I’m about to share with you is an app of the same family, but built with a completely different direction in mind.

Task is a task management app that defies tradition. While its name brings to mind task lists and ticking off to-dos, it’s actually a minimalistic calendar app designed to make adding and scheduling tasks easy on your smartphone. It is gesture-centered with a lot of animation going on, and also slightly resembles Clear, Realmac’s popular to-do app. Even the app icon looks deceptively similar.

While some of Task’s features are creative and interesting, there are those that I didn’t agree with. In any case, those who are used to the typical way of using a to-do list app may either welcome this unique approach or back away from it. It all depends on how you use the app and how it fits into your workflow. (more…)

Innovation has stagnated for productivity apps on the web. On the mobile front however, multitouch interfaces have opened up the floodgates of creativity. Productivity apps like Clear, Soonr, Any.DO, Wunderlist and many others push the limits of the platform to make staying productive fun and efficient.

The latest to join the list is Task Player, which is doubly unique. It targets the niche of pomodoro users and lets you play your tasks like music! I’m equally curious to see what that’s all about. Join me after the jump! (more…)

When it comes to task managers and note-taking apps, iPhone users are spoiled with choices, as there are literally thousands of ideas out there on the App Store all crying for our attention and our credit cards. I’m a man of simple tastes, which is why I don’t really use my iPhone for note-taking — I’ll probably use something like Drafts to scribble down something quickly when I’m on the move but I still rely on my trusty Moleskine for all my proper note taking. Yep, I’m old fashioned like that.

But when Elevatr was released back in May, my eye turned for two reasons. First, this looked like a nice, simple way to jot down my thoughts and ideas without having to waste an hour getting acquainted with the app. And secondly, the interface is so minimal and flat it’s positively infectious (and I’m a big fan of flat interfaces, which is why I’m looking forward to iOS 7 so much!). Read on after the break for my full thoughts about Elevatr and whether it is the de facto app for managing your ideas on the iPhone. (more…)

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