I’ve written an awful lot from the framework of making you and your business better, after all what would you expect from someone who geeks out over empowering businesses to [re]invent themselves in the face of market upheaval. In particular from a strategic standpoint introducing new concepts, perspectives, and tools. But, strategy does not a business make.
In this post we’re going to go a little operational. I’m going to present the top apps that I can’t imagine be in business without… Without them we would all survive but life would have a little heavier workload. I hope you find it useful. Be forewarned, despite working in a heavily analytical space (finance, business analysis) I’m a Mac shop. But, please read on most of the gems can put a smile on your face.
There is a reason this is number one on my hit list. It’s value flat out exceeds the promise. This truly is my external brain. With the rapid pace of business there would be no way for me to keep organized, yet again satisfy ad-hoc client needs without access to information anywhere, at anytime, on any device.
I use it for saving my ideas, blogging (this site, Twitter, & G+) and collecting information.
Saving Ideas. I just think human chemistry is to blame for the fact that some of our brightest ideas come to us at the darnedest times. Evernote allows me to both capture these insights via direct entry or snapping a picture of those scribbled on a back of a napkin or scrap piece of paper. More importantly can easily search the repository via keyword because it recognizes text even on an image file.
Collecting Information. Evernote is a database, a cooly designed UI and data structure for sure, but a database nine the less. Which is really nice because that allows you to not only store text but images, documents, links and anything else you could normally can capture to your desktop. Plus the content, even text images, are searchable and it syncs to the cloud. This is my primary repository for all important files.
Blogging. Since my work is relevant to my passion, it often provides content ideas and surfaces others insights that I think are worth sharing. With Evernote I can quickly capture the page, PDF, or key point under my ‘Blog Content’ notebook then go back through them when I’m searching for a topic or writing material.
Being a father, husband, consultant, advisory board member, adjunct professor, and super hero… stepping up in a pinch just like Snackman… there’s a lot to keep a handle on. I use Omnifocus as my productivity (task) management software solution. It has a steep learning curve but goes well beyond a simple task management list and that’s why I love it. If you have a slew of critical projects this software will do you right.
PC fans don’t be dismayed that it is Mac only. If you own a iPad you’re in luck there is a great version for that platform. In fact many prefer it because it simplifies the tools (chops learning curve) while not dumbing them down. If you’re interested in a full review checkout MacSparky.
After reading the Evernote section about you might wonder how I ever efficiently sift through the tomes of online data that might peak my interest. Like most people now a days I rely on a content filtering system that uses RSS feeds and Google Reader on the backend. My front end of choice is Mr. Reader an iPad client that has lots of good features, but what I like best is that it allows me to send data to Evernote, Twitter, Omnifocus, Instapaper and other places right from within the preview pane.
Kindle Reading App
This app keeps me on top of the newest thinking. I read a ton of white papers, articles and books of all business strips. Before I loaded this app on my trifecta of devices I was killing my back lugging around interesting material. This is another app whose value is significantly enhanced by the complementary cloud service.
Sorry Apple, Google, and others your products are top flight but for sheer analytical power and flexibility Excel along with its add-on affiliate products do it for me. Plus, Excel and I go back to C prompt days… being first with critical mass does have its advantages.
I use Excel for almost everything analytical – financial modeling, quick database, etc.