10 Apps That Will Make You 10 Times More Productive

December 04, 2016

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” – Zig Ziglar

For entrepreneurs, today’s app economy, which The Atlantic Magazine reports has become “bigger than Hollywood”, can be your secret weapon to winning the daily war for personal productivity. While this is surely something to be thankful for, it’s also increasingly difficult to navigate the plethora of choices at your fingertips. Luckily, the team at The Vine is here to help! After canvassing our members in Orange County and San Diego, scouring the web, and downloading more apps than we’re willing to admit, we’re excited to share 10 *free* apps that will make you 10 times more productive! Here’s to doing more with less! 

Planning Apps
Brainstorm ideas, communicate with the team, stay connected and organized across space and time.

  • Mindview – Map minds. Maximize meetings.

Mindview allows users to organize thoughts and information in real time with easy to understand visual language. Then, that information easily shared across other various apps. More efficient “meetings of the minds” make for more effective meetings which of course make for less meetings. That’s productivity everyone can appreciate.

  • Google Docs – Documentation & collaboration made simple on the cloud.

If you’re still sending Word, Power Point, and Excel files back and forth with your team, do everyone a favor and make the transition to Google Docs ASAP. Versioning challenges become a thing of a past when every iteration of a slide deck, spreadsheet, or text document lives on a single link, and the super simple commenting interface allows multiple teammates to weigh in with thoughts without the dreaded endless email feedback string. Bonus, you’ll never have to wonder who contributed what as Google automatically logs document changes with usernames for anyone who wants to see. Your team will be thrilled to know their midnight spurts of creativity will never again go unnoticed! 

Wunderlist is all about planning and synchronization. Enter workloads, lists, events, and more, then assign tasks to team members on both your work and home teams. It seems almost too simple, but with all relevant tasks in a single app that scales along with your project or company, everyone can more easily stay on task and moving the same direction and quietly celebrate with each item crossed off.

Focus Apps
Eliminate busywork, automate tasks, preserve the finite resource of Willpower, accomplish more.

The Evernote app has already become the gold standard for note taking and collected thoughts. With Scannable, Evernote seeks to be the gold standard for where we put our documents. With just a iPhone camera, you can chronicle your contracts, written notes, and business cards which Scannable will automatically recognize and find the corresponding Linkedin profile.

Expensebot is like a sentient robot bent on eradicating expense reports. It does this by beginning the entire process at the transaction stage. Receipt pictures are matched and data is compiled. The account manager can then approve a transaction from anywhere and issue reimbursement in a flash. Meanwhile, reporting is always there and is generated with the push of a button.

Workflow and IFTTT offer similar benefits in different packages. Both allow for an of automation of processes that can create a relationship between seemingly unrelated apps. Workflow does it on iOS devices while IFTTT does it in the cloud, but users can embrace “the internet of things” and create small miracles such as having an Uber summoned at a specific time, automatically create and share gifs made from your pictures, or adjust your NEST thermostat as you enter or leave a location. With a little creativity, you can free up tons of mental bandwidth so you can focus on doing more of the special things only you can do.

Wisdom Apps
Gather accurate data and properly assess it, track productivity, learn while working, grow while learning, work smarter so that you can work harder.

  • Rescuetime – Compile the most dangerous data… your own

Rescuetime is an app that takes on the very scary task of telling people about themselves. It tracks all of your time and everything you do with it then compiles it into reports so you can visually see what your productivity looks like. From there, you can make necessary changes to improve.  

  • Audible – Keep hands focused. Read with your ears

Most work requires the hands to be busy, but often, some of our busiest moments can leave our minds unchallenged. Reading with our ears gives you an opportunity to work on ourselves while working toward our goals and have something to talk about at conferences other than how productive our new apps have made us.

  • OfficeTime (iOS) – Time is money. Know exactly what it’s worth.

OfficeTime tracks time like similar apps, but merges its suite with expense tracking, invoicing, and a nifty ability to pause whenever it senses inactivity. Perfect for freelancing, legal work, and any and all contracted endeavors, OfficeTime gives you an open eye on how much time is spent, and exactly how much that time actually costs.