by Curt Finch

Apps for Your Personal Device to Transform You into an Organized Guru

Dec 08, 20113 mins
CIOConsumer ElectronicsEnterprise Applications

Communication and organization for a workforce that is spread out is simple with consumer device apps.

A recent survey from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that in 2010, 24 percent of employed people did some or all of their work at home. This trend is only set to increase and we’ll soon have the 2011 statistics to prove it. For CIOs, managing communication between onsite and offsite employees as your workforce becomes increasingly spread out through virtualization, outsourcing, working from home, etc. can pose quite a challenge. For employees, staying organized no matter where you’re working and transitioning between offices without missing a beat is a must. Luckily, there are many apps for your personal devices that make both communication and organization simple.

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One type of app that is incredibly helpful for communication is voice to text apps for your phone. 

  • Text’nDrive reads email messages out loud in real time and lets you reply by voice. You can stay productive on the road and it works with all mobile carriers.
  • Vlingo is a Virtual Assistant that turns your words into action by understanding your intent and taking the appropriate action. Simply speak to your phone to connect with the people, businesses and activities that are important to you.
  • hereiam has multiple feature sets to choose from based on your needs. Their Virtual Assistant package offers not just hands-free emailing and voice-to-memo, but also a cloud contact list. The Mobile Office and Travel Pack bundles offer even more bells and whistles.

Speaking of virtual assistants, I recently spoke with Carrie Bailey, a real-life Virtual Assistant who uses consumer apps on a daily basis for multiple clients.  Bailey is a multi-tasking, organization guru.  Here are her favorite apps for efficient communication and staying organized.

  • Evernote:  Bailey uses Evernote to organize information for every single client.  For her, it’s an easy way to keep information regarding many projects for many clients nice and orderly.
  • Paymo:  Paymo helps Bailey keep track of client invoices.  This is especially helpful for Bailey to track her time on a particular client and alert her when she’s used up the allocated time for a particular client.
  • 2Do is an incredibly powerful task manager that lets you organize your task list by project, task, priority and more. A fun features for iPhone 4S users: use Siri to add reminders and they will sync over to 2Do.

Bailey also stresses the importance of multiple streams of communication.  For her, it’s much easier if a client emails, calls, and instant messages her to communicate what needs to be done.  Though email may still be very common at many companies, its popularity is decreasing.  Last year, email usage decreased by 6 percent from the previous year. Some companies are going so far as to ban email, like Atos CEO Thierry Breton.  Other companies, like GottaBeMobile, have replaced email with other communication tools such as:

  • Yammer:  A social collaboration tool that helps teams connect and complete the projects they are working on faster because they can find information, answer questions, poll colleagues and share ideas in real-time
  • Google Docs:  Collaborate on large projects with editing occurring in real-time
  • Google Talk:  Communicate one-on-one or small groups; serves as a virtual water cooler
  • Google Voice:  Texts or calls between employees; the importance of recorded phone calls has increased with the elimination of email

The best part of all of these apps is that they are accessible on your personal device, allowing you to stay organized whether at home or in the office.

What are your favorite apps that make you feel like an organized superstar?