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Updated 4th May 2016
Everyone seems to have a smartphone these days, but they don’t use it to work smart. To use a smartphone to help you to work smart, you need to identify valuable time-saving apps. I’ve put together a list of productive top 10-time-saving phone apps that I use every day. The majority of these apps are paid, but the cost of them verse the time savings make them well worth it. I’ve included as many links and videos as possible for each one of the ten listed. These apps are available for both I-Phone and Android smartphones, although most of the links are to the Google Play Store. I am after all an Android guy.
Number 1 of my Top 10 Time Saving Phone Apps is SugarSync
SugarSync is a cloud-based backup and file synchronization service that allows you to keep files synchronized and backed up across multiple computers. The SugarSync app allows you to access, view, edit, share and manage your files directly on your smartphone. Because my files and data are at my fingertips using SugarSync, it saves me time by eliminating the need to get out my laptop computer. It also has a search function allowing me to explore all of my files in all of the folders across all of my computers. It automatically backs up my photos and videos taken with my smartphone camera and ensures that these are in my mobile photos folder on my desktop and laptop computers. The app also allows me to manage my privately and publicly shared folders and links that I have generated with the app or software on my PC. Because the amount of time it saves me, the SugarSync app makes number one on my list of top 10 Time Saving Phone Apps.
2. Waze GPS
Waze is a community-based traffic and navigation app. It makes number two on my top 10 time-Saving phone apps list because of the time it saves by enabling me to avoid accidents, hazards, and road closings while out traveling. Because it is community-based, information about accidents and road conditions is real-time information provided by other users of the service.
The taxi drivers may not like it, but I love it. Uber is a mobile app based transportation network that allows you make a trip request. That request is routed to a crowd-sourced taxi driver. Not only does it save money over traditional taxis, but it saves time as well. You know how long you have to wait for a ride before even requesting one. Very often, the wait time is less than five minutes whereas a traditional taxi can be anywhere from a 20 to 40 minute wait time. This alone earns this app number the three spot of my top 10 time-saving phone apps list.
CopyTalk is a voice transcription service. What makes CopyTalk so unique is that the service uses humans to transcribe your dictations making for a far more accurate transcription over voice-recognition services. CopyTalk is a bit expensive costing around $79 per month, but in return, you can make dictations and have them transcribed to text as many times as you want, there’s no limit. The only limit is the length of the dictation cannot be any longer than four minutes. You can dictate a relatively lengthy memo or email in that amount of time. The reason it makes number four on my top 10 time-saving phone apps list is because I can dictate an email or memo into the application and within five minutes the transcribed text is sitting in my email inbox ready for me to do a cut and paste. Furthermore, it allows me to document my notes from meetings and conversations while they’re still fresh in my mind and not having t0 wait until the evening time to get out my laptop computer and type these up from memory. A good alternative to CopyTalk is TalkScribe with the Voice2Email app.
Evernote makes number five on my top 10 time-saving phone apps list because it saves time by helping me keep organized. I took notes and ideas for writing this article by using Evernote. Evernote allows me to jot down notes and ideas quickly. It also allows me to take pictures with my phone, make to-do lists that I can check items off as I go and keep other things such as my travel reservations neatly organized all in one place. The app synchronizes with the Evernote program on both my laptop and desktop computers, so my notes and thoughts are where I need them when I want them.
6. Expense it from Concur
My company uses Concur for expense reporting. I have a lot of expenses with all the traveling I do. I use to have to fill out a spreadsheet of doom which I did on Sunday mornings after a business trip. It would take me anywhere from 20 to 90 minutes just to do one report. My company decided to go with Concur for expense reporting. With Concurs Expense-It app on my smartphone, all I have to do is take a picture of my receipt. The image is sent for analysis and on its return; I just verify the information then export it to the Concur Expense report for that week. It’s a fantastic time saver app. I now only spend five minutes doing expenses on Sunday’s, putting this app at the number six position on my top 10 time-saving phone apps list.
With Turboscan, I can take pictures of documents (receipts, contracts, service reports or any other type of the paper document) with a smartphone camera. Turboscan will then auto-detect the document edge, straighten the it (correct the perspective), eliminate shadows and set a perfect contrast. It will then allow me to save the document as a PDF file, JPEG or PNG as well as emailing the document. This little app is much faster and has obsoleted my portable document scanner, earning it a place at number seven on my top 10 time-saving phone apps list.
8. Hiya Caller ID & Block
Have you ever answered an unknown number and it turn out to be a hard to shake telemarketer or salesperson? Hiya Caller ID & Block & Block saves time by preventing you from wasting time on these types of calls. Its displays the name of the calling party even if they are not in your phone book and it will tell you if it’s a suspected spam call too. Furthermore, you can tell the app to block these calls. Depending on how you configure the app it will either just pick-up then hang-up on the incoming call or put it into your voice mail without your phone ringing.
Skitch is an app that gives you simple markup tools to markup pictures, graphics and PDF documents. A picture is worth a thousand words! And a marked up picture is worth two thousand words. But being able to take a picture of something you are working on or have a question on, marking it up then sending it via SMS or Email with one little device, your smartphone; saveing time. I’ve taken pictures of broken parts, used Skitch to mark up the pictures and then emailed them to our service department. Our service department then tells me how to fix the part or; they send out a replacement part.
10, CamCard – Business Card Reader
Finally, number 10 on my top 10 time-saving phone apps list, CamCard – Business Card Reader. I’ve Worked plenty of trade shows and visit plenty of clients. I always end up with a small stack of business cards in my top pocket by days end. I use to type these business cards into my phone book or contact manager by hand, but not anymore. With CamCard Business Card Reader, I take a picture of the business card, the app then smart crops it, OCR’s it and places the contact information into my phone book as well as storing the information in my CamCard account. It will allow you to add notes to business cards too, and will also enable you to create an E-Business card that you can exchange with others. It makes number ten on my list because it saves time in not having to type this information manually into my phone book.