1. Trello for task management
Trello has an excellent free app to compliment their world famous productivity tool. You can use Trello on any device. On my computer it is set as my homepage. I usually have it open all day so that I can extra to-dos, and see what needs doing and what has been done. It is also possible to use it with other people for project management.
So I have my own board which splits up tasks by client, plus a “Today” to do list and a “Personal/non urgent” to do list. Then I can create separate boards for clients and invite them. This is especially useful to replace email on projects which involve many emails. Each new task gets it’s own “card” within a board and notes can then be added. Plus you can attach files. Cards can be labelled with a colour and given a due date. It is a really simple, visual and clear way to keep organised.
The actual Android app has a very simple appearance that just works. A single list can be seen with the cards it contains. It can be used offline and will then sync up when you have a connection. For example I was reading something on Pocket (see below) today in a restaurant without wifi. It gave me an idea for a client so I added a card on their list, I will now be reminded of the idea when I look at the list again, no matter what device I am on.
2. Pulse RSS reader
Pulse is an RSS reader, which basically means it shows you when a website adds new content. I use this mostly for work (and a little for sports news). I simply added a few sites I knew about then added my work topics which revealed additional websites. Whenever I want some news I open Pulse and the latest posts on those sites are there to browse. They are laid out very clearly which makes choosing which ones to read easy.
If you are in an industry which is hard to keep track of, or you simply don’t have the time or inclination to browse for news, Pulse is ideal. Whenever you want some knowledge you open it up and there will be tonnes of related news to read. In the past I used to just read one or two industry blogs, now I have 20 or so and I will often add to or trim the list. The best thing is that I can browse for things to read on my phone, so it needn’t take up valuable work time. Its like having a jam packed newspaper which only includes topics of my choice.
3. Pocket offline webpage reader
For those times when you don’t have an internet connection, Pocket is a godsend. When I see some articles on Pulse that I would like to save for later I simply click the share button, then the Pocket button. They are then saved and can be read anytime.
When using a computer the app also has a handy Chrome extension which puts a little button at the top of my screen. When I come across any webpage I would rather read later I click the button and it automatically gets saved on my phone.
All three of these apps can work together to improve your work life. For example I had a browse of Pulse this morning and added a few articles to Pocket. I found a real nugget of a strategy worth trying for a client when reading one article whilst eating lunch outside, so I made a quick note in Trello and now it is etched in my list.