OK, I know what you’re thinking. “Come on! Apps that saved your life”. But they did. And they regularly do on an almost daily basis. If you want to find out how and why, then you must read on.
But before we start, I’d like to clarify one thing. Many of the apps / services mentioned in this articles may well be substituted for others that are just as good, if not better, depending on your own needs and preferences, of course. I am not trying to rank them in any way or suggest that they are better than those of the competitors. In fact, I will be mentioning some of the alternative apps / services for some of them as well. OK, here we go!
So why do they save my life? It’s simple – by saving me an insane amount of time, which in effect means that I get more out of my life: more time to do the things I want and more time for my family and friends. How? By automating or simplifying all the many processes that we all go through in our daily lives as business owners, employees, Internet users, social media geeks, or simply very busy people that we all are these days.
For each app or service, I will say what they can be used for, what’s the best thing about them, provide a short description of these apps / services, and then give you some tips, alternatives (if any) and a link to the website where you can access these apps / services.
So, here they are – 12 apps and services that literally saved my life:
Used for: Note taking, planning, organizing, scheduling
Best thing about this App: It’s FREE! Not only that – it’s a dream come true in a world overflowing with information day in day out. It helps you organise your thoughts, ideas, projects, etc. all in one place! And best of all: all your notes are searchable so you can look for specific information sorting all your notes by keyword or even by tag.
Tip 1: Set up reminders for each note so that you never forget to implement your ideas.
Tip 2: Browse through additional apps. Downloading Evernote Web Clipper is a must! It allows you to save anything you see online—including text, links and images—into your Evernote account with a single click
Description: Evernote apps and products make modern life manageable, by letting you easily collect and find everything that matters. Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web.
With Evernote, all of your notes, web clips, files and images are made available on every device and computer you use. You can save everything cool and exciting you see online and in the real world. Snap a photo, record some audio and save it. You can also share your notes and collaborate on projects with friends, colleagues and classmates.
Alternatives: Don’t know any but I’m sure there are plenty
Used for: Graphics Design: e-books, images, infographics, etc.
Best thing about this Service: It saves a lot of time on learning and using expensive and complicated designing software. It includes many cool templates that you can easily customise plus hundreds of FREE graphics: images, icons, etc. Premium objects are only $1 a piece. How cool is that? There is no subscription and no commitment. You simply pay as you go.
Tip: Start by taking their awesome interactive Design Tutorials available at https://www.canva.com/#mini-challenges.
Description: Canva makes design simple for everyone. You can create designs for Web or print: blog graphics, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, posters, invitations and more.
Alternatives: Don’t know any this good and so affordable at the same time
Used for: E-mail marketingBest thing about this Service: Once set up, it is pretty much automated and self-running. You can still be marketing while on holiday or even in your sleep. At GBP 12 per month it is also the most affordable option I have found that still offers all the main features! It’s also very scalable, has got great customer service and tutorials. They have a fantastic blog, too!
Tip: Sign up for FREE Trial. It will definitely be worth your time! You can also learn more about its cool features by watching the videos at http://www.getresponse.co.uk/email-marketing/gb-features.
Description: Some of the coolest features include: Responsive E-mail Design, A/B testing, Auto-responders, Email Creator, Landing Page Creator, Social Sharing, Email Intelligent, Form Builder, Online Surveys and Time Travel.
Alternatives: There are many alternatives (Mail Chimp, Marketo, Graphic Mail, InfusionSoft, etc.) but most are much more expensive than GetResponse!
Used for: Data storage and sharing
Best thing about this App: It automatically backs up all your data enabling you both online and offline access to your files on multiple devices. It’s affordable and has got a user friendly interface.
Tip: You can even bring back all your deleted files by clicking the ‘bin’ symbol. For more tricks, check this article “11 Dropbox Tricks You Didn’t Know About”: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/11-dropbox-tricks-you-didnt-know-about.html
Description: Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. You can upgrade to premium for more storage space, of course.
Alternatives: There are many and I am sure most of the other services are just as good as this one since the idea of saving time through automatically backing up your data is pretty much the same for all of them.
Used for: Content Management System
Best thing about this Service: Wix gives you everything you need to create & manage your entire online presence. It’s very intuitive and user-friendly with an easy-to-investigate interface and a whole bunch of useful features such as HTML, flash, Skype and PayPal buttons, galleries, social media integration and many more.
Tip: Try it for free first if you don’t need a customised domain right away
Description: With Wix, you can create a free website and customize it with the free website builder. No coding skills are needed. Simply choose a design, begin customizing and you can be online within one day! You can choose from a huge selection of stunning, fully-customizable templates, with all the latest design trends and features to make you look amazing online.
Their user-friendly drag and drop site builder lets you easily customize your site. You can change anything – images, text & layout – no coding skills are needed. You can also get free, reliable hosting that keeps your website safe and secure. Last but not least, Wix offers an automatically optimized version of your website for mobile in just one click, letting your site visitors view the same design and content on all devices.
Alternatives: There is a whole array of providers offering similar (though not always equally affordable) services.
Used for: hosting, My SQL, ftp, WordPress, blog, etc.
Best thing about this Service: It’s very affordable and versatile offering everything you will ever need to host a fully blown website or Internet service: PHP, MySQL, Web hosting, Traffic, Gallery, Web editor, Website, Blog, Google AdWords, FTP, Backup, Statistics, Chat-support, Email, Bix (Cloud Drive), 1-Click WordPress
Tip: Just go for it! It’s only GBP 20 a year!
Description: Web hosting with everything included. One.com has challenged the traditional webhosting industry by providing every service needed for their customers right from the start, such as mail hosting and website hosting with gallery, blog, PHP, MySQL and free customer support 24/7, 365 days a year. This gives you access to a product bundle where your server space needs are all you need to consider while choosing a subscription.
Alternatives: Again, there is a number of other providers offering similar (though not always equally affordable) services.
Used for: Managing Translation Projects
Best thing about this Service: It is very intuitive and simple to use. It is much more than just a translation project management tool – it also offers accounting, reporting and much more.
Tip: Request the FREE Trial to check it out first! You can also watch the tutorials available on YouTube.
Description: TranslationProjex is a translation management system that helps translation agencies manage their translation projects. It enables easy online management of translation projects, resources and accounting as well as reporting. Key features include:
Easy to use and web-based
- Powerful dashboards give you real-time insight
- Easy to customize templates
- Client and translator portals
- Fast and intuitive management of all projects from translation quotes to invoicing
- Real time collaboration between translators
- Complete management of client accounts management and billing
- Simple and automated translator order and job management
- Effective project scheduling and oversight
- Freelance translator account management and billing
- Terminology management and file analysis
Alternatives: There are lots of expensive generic project management tools out there but none is as simple and affordable as this one OR as specialised if you are running a translation agency.
Used for: Social Media Scheduling
Best thing about this App: Saves you time by automatically posting to your social media accounts.
Tip: Go for the FREE version – it gives you all you need to start with!
Description: Buffer makes it super easy to share any page you’re reading. Just keep your Buffer topped up and they will automatically share posts for you through the day. Buffer is the best way to share great content to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn from anywhere on the web, with just one click.
Used for: Increasing your productivity
Best thing about this App: After setting it up, you don’t need to do a single thing. All you do is wait for your weekly email telling you how well (or badly) you did working on your PC in the last week. You can also click for a more detailed breakdown by application or activity. Great stuff!
Tip: Again, go for the free version first to see if it’s your kind of thing.
Description: A personal analytics service that shows you how you spend your time and provides tools to help you be more productive. Spot inefficiencies in your day and become better at managing your time. Create a goal like spending less than 1 hour per day on email to help you stay focused or set an alarm to tell you when you spent more than 2 hours on Facebook. Detailed reports show which applications and websites you spent time on. Additional reports show how much time you spent in different categories, how productive you were, and whether you achieved your goals. Stay informed with a weekly email report summarizing your activities and productivity score. Use your report to better plan the new week. Activities are automatically grouped into pre-defined categories with built-in productivity scores covering thousands of websites and applications. Of course you can customize categories and productivity scores to meet your needs.
Alternatives: I haven’t tested any applications like that but I am sure there are quite a few out there. You can find a few examples here: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/20-best-productivity-app-macs.html
Used for: PC Optimisation Utilities
Best thing about this App: It’s absolutely amazing! It allows you to completely forget all your PC performance worries by automatically running all the necessary optimisations on your PC speeding up your computer and saving you even more time. Awesome!
Tip: Download the FREE Trial version and wait a few days for a special half price offer from them!Description: Winner of over 400 awards and industry-leading product test scores. TuneUp Utilities boosts PC speed, repairs registry, and extends battery life! It’s complete optimization software for Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP. TuneUp Utilities 2014 never confines itself solely to Windows® settings to maximize PC performance. It also detects:
- Incorrect performance settings
- Hardware-related problems
- Resource-eating features
- Rarely used or needed programs
- Unnecessary Windows® effects and animations
- The user has complete control, and each recommendation can be immediately hidden or accepted.
Alternatives: I don’t know any other software this good and this affordable!
Used for: Protection against viruses, malware and phishing software.
Best thing about this App: It’s very effective and it’s absolutely FREE!
Tip: Don’t ever spend a penny on expensive Antivirus software again. Simply go and get it!
Description: It is world’s most-trusted antivirus software. Over 200 million devices rely on avast! – more than any other antivirus. It has a clean, pane-based interface that neatly exposes all available features. These include real-time and on-demand malware scanning plus a web-protection module. The settings interface lets you change how and when pop-up notifications appear, set up and schedule scans, enter and exit the silent “gaming mode”, and even configure email alerts, which will notify you from afar if anything untoward is discovered.
Alternatives: Norton, McAfee, Kaspersky and others
Used for: Multiple Form Creation
Best thing about this App: It is very flexible and scalable! You can create unlimited web forms and accept unlimited submissions – all for only $49 per site with no monthly or hidden fees. How cool is that?
Tip: Try the Live Demo on their site. It lets you play with all the features first before buying.
Description: MachForm helps you create the most beautiful and elegant forms on the web. Packed with 20+ built-in themes, along with the Visual Theme Editor, allowing you to create countless designs. The Form Builder allows you to create forms easily using drag and drop interface. No coding knowledge is needed! Seriously. MachForm is integrated with PayPal and Stripe, two popular Internet payment providers. Within a few clicks, you will be able to create online order forms and accept payments.
Alternatives: I have tried a few but none was as good or affordable as MachForm.