Author’s note: Recently, I wrote a post about the 10 must have apps for college students… check out that post, too!
We are constantly connected to a variety of gadgets, from smartphones, to tablets and laptops, to wearables. So as we navigate our professional and personal lives, shouldn’t we take advantage of the dozens of apps available to us?
Here are 10 of the best apps and add-ons I use most (while some have the option of paid upgrades or in-app purchases, all of these offer a free version)!
Your first real job comes with a real paycheck – and real financial responsibilities like rent, utilities and, if you’re like many young professionals: student loan debt. The trouble, all this new responsibility can be difficult if you don’t know where to start.
Enter Mint – an app that makes financial responsibility simple and money-related decisions easier. After connecting your bank accounts and credit cards, purchases are categorized automatically so you can analyze where your money goes. You can also create monthly budgets by category, and set notifications to warn when you’re close to your spending limit.
Pact/Map My Fitness
Creating a balanced daily routine when you start a full-time job is crucial. Keep exercise in that routine with Pact and MapMyFitness. Pact is an app that pays you to work out. Yes, you read that right – get PAID to work out. It syncs with fitness trackers like FitBit or Jawbone Up!
Pact also connects to MapMyFitness, a great way to connect with coworkers and friends also working on fitness goals. Adding people as friends and creating workout challenges makes working out more exciting – and adds an important level of accountability.
In the Social Age, networking must be a consistent part of your daily routine. After all, it seems like in this economy you will always need a “next job” – and keeping your network healthy and relevant is mandatory.
This is where LinkedIn comes in. Join groups, share newsworthy articles, follow companies – and start to build your professional network, now. Trust me, when you’re looking for a new job, you’ll already have a strong network place if you put real effort into LinkedIn now.
Any.do is the best to-do list and task manager app I’ve used. Prioritizing my work and tracking daily activities has never been easier.
You can create categorized lists to keep your work tasks, networking events, follow up tasks and other daily duties like grocery shopping and workout commitments in order. You can also create reminders and set deadlines so you will never forget an assignment or miss an important date.
Do you ever get to the end of the day and wonder where all your time went? RescueTime is a great website that runs in the background on your computer and tracks what websites you spend the most time on!
Maybe you spend hours answering emails during the day and you aren’t fully aware of it. Or maybe you really should know how much time you really spend on social media. Being cognizant of where you spend your time will help you use your time more wisely – and increase your productivity.
Just because you’re out of school doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. Listening to podcasts during your commute or while working out is a great way to continue to learn.
For daily inspiration, I listen to TEDtalks and the TED Radio Hour from NPR. But there are many great podcasts for almost every niche and industry. Listen to a few. Find your favorites. And keep learning.
Scheduling plans with friends or coworkers is complicated today; we’re all so busy. Doodle makes it easy by creating polls for everyone so they can provide dates and times they are available. You then receive a report that shows what time slots work best for everyone.
Take the guesswork out of finding a date that works for everyone, and save yourself time, with Doodle.
If you’re like me, sometimes you find yourself working and answering emails late at night and into the wee hours of the morning. Instead of sending that email to your boss at 3am, Boomerang lets you schedule when you send your emails. Write and schedule that email with Boomerang, and then and forget about it.
Boomerang is one of the best Gmail add-ons ever.
Another Gmail add-on, Rapportive allows you to see all the LinkedIn details about the person you’re communicating with, right inside your inbox. See what they do, if you have common connections or shared interests.
Growing your network has never been easier.
No matter how hard we try, those typos sneak through, don’t they?
With Grammarly, you can finally stop sending emails with grammar and spelling errors. Add Grammarly to your web browser and catch the mistakes spell check missed, as well as grammar and punctuation errors you may regret later.
Bonus App: Slack
Don’t miss out on important assignments, questions or the inside jokes when you’re away from your desk. Communicate with your coworkers – even when you’re on the go – with Slack, which has both desktop version and a mobile app.
The best part for me: Slack even has a ‘Do not disturb’ function so you can mute channels and ignore notifications while maintaining a work-life balance.
Download these ten must have apps and add-ons – and watch your organization and productivity soar!
But don’t stop there: tell us what other apps and tools are having a big impact on your life. Share in the comment section below.
About the Author: Lauren Kirkpatrick is YouTern’s Social Media Manager. She graduated from San Diego State in 2011 with a Bachelors degree in Public Relations and University of Southern California in 2013, with a Masters degree in Digital Media. In her personal life, Lauren is never more than 3 feet from her iPhone or Macbook – she says “they have their own side of the bed” (and our guess is they probably also have their own iNames!). Lauren is a sports junkie, TV aficionado and expert baker. Follow Lauren on Twitter!