As 2017 comes to an end, I am also wrapping up my 8th year using the Apple iPhone. Besides marketing services, I spend a lot of time helping and recommending apps and software to my painting clients that make them more productive in both the field and their office spaces.
Below you will find the ones I used the most in 2017 and why I liked them.
I started using the original “Basecamp Classic” probably around 2005. I am pretty loyal to software companies that produce a quality product and have excellent customer service. When the newest version of Basecamp was released in 2015, it became one of my favorite productivity apps for the desktop and iPhone. This is also the first year where many of my painting clients have begun to adopt Basecamp 3 for their office and field employees. Try it free for a month.
Things 3 – ToDos and Reminders
I don’t know why my two favorite, most used, apps this year are “3” versions. I tried Things several years ago, and it was just too boring and clunky. I like easy-to-use apps that look awesome too! Things 3 is a ToDo app that is based on the book “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. I use Things primarily for personal and misc. business tasks. I do not use it to run projects – that is where Basecamp takes the cake.
What I really like about Things 3 is that it does not remind you how terrible you are for not getting a task done that day. It just gives you a clean list of what you’ve got coming up Today, Tomorrow, Next Week, or Someday. I also use it as a brain dump. This is powerful. My mind is always thinking of things to do, to try, to explore, and so forth. In order to stay focused, I quickly move interesting articles, emails, and ideas in my head into the Inbox. When I have a few minutes at a later time, I’ll review my Inbox and decide when to accomplish the tasks at hand.
The only downside to Things 3 is the price. In a world where many apps are free, this one is anything but free. If you want it on your desktop, it is around $50. If you want it on the iPad, it is $10 bucks. iPhone, shell out another $10. Is it worth it? Every penny! Read more about things on their website
Base CRM – Customer Relationship Management
There is no better-designed and easy-to-use CRM (that I’ve tried) than Base CRM. Sorry, Salesforce. I have been using Base for many years now, and each update just keeps getting better. The latest one with iOS 11 (as I write this article) is stunning. I can do just about everything on the iPhone that I can on the desktop. And, it looks beautiful on the iPhone X.
Google finally released Google Calendar for the iPhone in 2015. This past year, the App has gotten easier to use with many more functions. If you haven’t noticed, the desktop version got a whole new design this fall which now mimics the iPhone version very well. There are still things I would like to change about Google Calendar for iOS, but it is better than Apple’s standalone calendar. I like the “list” view, as it is very clean and makes viewing my events for the day easy. Google is just a little slow on making updates, so for those who do have the iPhone X, it does not look great on there just yet!
Spark and Gmail
Spark by Readdle has done an awesome job creating an email app. It takes just a few minutes to type in my Google login, update my signature and a few settings, and I’m off and running using Spark for sending and receiving email. I have been using the standalone Gmail App for many years. Gmail is perhaps the best email app I’ve used for simple sending and receiving – no bells or whistles. It just works and mimics my desktop Gmail for business.
Spark is a few steps ahead of Gmail in several ways: the ability to delay sending emails, snoozing emails to a later time, and having emails return to your inbox if you do not receive a reply within a certain window of time. This can be done with the Gmail desktop app with the help of premium third-party integration (paid plans). Spark offers these key features free of charge. Spark also works with most popular email systems: Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft and iCloud. Learn more about Spark
Keeper – passwords
Everyone needs a place to store passwords and remember usernames and so forth. I have used Keeper by Callpod for close to a decade. It is super simple and easy to use. You can create a company account and easily share information to other users with view only or edit rights. The cost for personal use is $29 a year. Learn more about Keeper
Google Drive – File Sharing and Storage
If you are still using Dropbox but have a GSuites account, you need to make the switch. Just use Google Drive. It works wonders! I am a heavy user of Google Drive on my desktop, iPad, and iPhone. I use it to share and edit docs, collaborate with my team, and store files, folders, and pictures as well.
There you have it. These are the top 7 apps I use on a regular basis to help me stay productive.
Here are a few honorable mentions I use for business and personal use as well: Apple Music, Google Keep (included in GSuites and replaces Evernote), Sonos, iMessage, Bible, Amazon, Pandora, Google Maps, and Facebook Pages for business.
Love to hear about your favorite 2017 apps.