Posted on 30/09/2020 by Laura Harvey
Now I'm no expert in the technical ins and outs of apps, but I do know a thing or two about using them to make my life and my team's working life easier!
In our office, we all adhere to the same structure of writing a to-do list daily. Wherever we go, the note pad can be seen tucked under the arm. I would also email ideas and reminders to myself after working hours so I wouldn’t forget to write them down on my list the next day. However, these things have now become a thing of the past since introducing the Planner. Basically, it’s app to manage lists and lots of lists (if you choose). I can add, edit or delete tasks, write notes or even assign tasks to other staff members and using the app on my phone means I can access it anytime. When I attend meetings, there is no more note writing, it all goes straight into my planner and then updates on my computer screen for when I am back at my desk. If you like lists, I would definitely recommend this app via Office 365.
- No more wasted paper
- Accessible via phone or desktop
- Create as many lists as you like
- Assign tasks to other staff members
- Create shared team Planners
- Maintains a history of past tasks
I am sure the whole world knows about Canva now, but if you don’t, you need to! Canva was designed out of the need for people to have access to create amazing and beautiful designs without having to use complicated programs that were hard to learn. It has done just that! It is so easy to learn and use and you can create anything from social media posts to invitations, business cards and brochures. Since discovering Canva, it has become a necessity in our office (and for personal use too). I know this as when you log into our work account, you can often see all sorts of invitations that the team have created for themselves!
- Templates already set up for the size required for social media posts
- Endless design ideas and stock photos
- Easy to use and learn
- It’s free for the standard package
- You can upload and use your own images
Microsoft Bookings makes booking appointments very easy. It works by using a web-based calendar that integrates with Outlook to optimise your staff’s calendars and give people the flexibility to book appointments that work for them.
It has three main components, a booking page where you can see staff’s availability and book an appointment, a web app where calendar owners can manage schedules and availability, edit the booking page layout and add or remove staff members and a business-facing mobile app where calendar owners and administrators can see and manage all of their appointments.
- Ability to edit the Bookings page to reflect your business branding
- Set the availability of your staff that links it to their Outlook calendar
- Create several Booking pages
- Add the URL into your email signatures or website for public access
There are endless apps to listen to podcasts and an endless amount of podcasts, but this a good problem to have! You can search almost anything you are interested in and there will be a podcast about it. I love the Google Podcasts app because it’s so easy to use.
- Categorised and really easy to use
- Ability to download podcasts so you can listen to them later
- View listening history
- Increase your knowledge and develop your interests
- Listen from your phone on the train, bus, in the car or wherever you like
Headspace has been around for awhile and has a great name in the mental health industry. It’s an app to help you “stress less, sleep soundly, get healthier and be happier”. It gives you information and techniques relating to mediation, mindfulness, sleep and movement.
- Gives you access to immediate support if you are feeling stressed or anxious
- Provides guidance and ideas to help you improve your state of mind and become healthier, both mentally and physically
- Listen via your phone wherever you are
Uber has been around for awhile and if you haven’t heard of Uber Eats, you must’ve been living under a rock (or in an area where it isn’t servicing as yet!) In the city and through COVID it has become a must have – in our office anyway! You can order everything and anything now that most restaurants have listed on the app due to the change in regulations during COVID. Too cold outside to go and get a coffee, too busy to get out of the office for lunch, too tired to cook when you get home, Uber Eats comes to the rescue.
- You’re not just limited to typical take away options, you can order meals to suit your dietary requirements
- There is a ‘leave at door’ option if you are concerned about COVID
- Track where the driver is and how far away your meal is
- Support local businesses
Video meetings are more popular than ever and it has become essential to have an app to accommodate this technology. Again, there are many different apps that provide the ability to make video calls however we use Zoom in our office and it provides us with exactly what we need. There is a free version, which works well, however if you require more features you can upgrade and use the paid service.
- Use on your phone, desktop or other devices
- Very easy for participants to join meetings – you just send them a link and they don’t need to have an existing account
- Schedule meetings ahead of time
- You can record sessions, create breakout rooms and change your background
During COVID, our office got very quiet and music became vital to keep our spirts high and get through those quietier days. However, now that it’s business as usual again, we have continued to have music in the background and take turns in playing our various Spotify playlists.
- Share playlists
- Select from a huge range of existing playlists across different genres
- Select an artist and listen to similar music by using the radio feature
- Download music to listen to later
Whether you are looking for work, to network, advertise a position or search for talent, LinkedIn has become a solid part of a professional’s career. It is now more important than ever to have a professional presence and LinkedIn enables you to display your experience and connect with a network internationally.
- Set up your own LinkedIn profile
- View and connect with the LinkedIn network
- Use the chat or email function to introduce yourself to others
- View job opportunities
- Keep up to date with current affairs
This is a new discovery for me, but even since I heard that Keifer Sutherland was back in a similar role to 24 and that was only available via Quibi, I was instantly interested. The concept of Quibi is really interesting. It’s a mobile centric streaming platform for short videos, 10 or so mins each. It’s designed so you can watch on the go, perhaps on the bus or while you’re waiting for the train, on a lunch break or you can watch the episodes back to back. At first I wasn’t sure about this as I am so used to the standard TV series structure, but once I got my head around it, I love the idea! Plus, if you’re watching something like 24, who doesn’t love a cliff hanger every 10 minutes!
- Watch on the go
- If you’re time limited, you can watch a full episode without having to stop and start
- High quality shows dedicated to this short-form style
- Genres such as comedy, drama, reality and documentaries