Tech Tools That Make PR Work, Work Better

Work demands are always changing, but thanks to technology, we can be better prepared, more organized and more confident of doing our job efficiently. Here are some great tech tools for PR pros and others to consider to make work…well…work better.

Task management can be daunting. 30/30 simplifies it and even makes it fun. This nifty little app allows users to input tasks and how much time they wish to spend on each. Spend the allotted minutes or hours on the task, and the app lets you know when it’s time to move on. It’s completely controlled by gestures, pleasing to the eye, and terrific at helping you “get stuff done.”

You never know when creativity may strike. But when it does, iBrainstorm helps you and your entire team manage the process. Just open the app, create a note and stick it to your own or your entire team’s “creative corkboard,” and the brainstorming process just got a little more fun.

No one can remember everything, which is why Evernote is such a pivotal piece of any individual’s tech arsenal. Evernote allows users to store everything from their notes to recent earnings reports in one easy-to-use platform. You can also note artistic concepts and other visuals within the app with its intuitive Skitch tool.

Expense reports can be maddening, but one tool that helps is Expensify. Expensify enables users to import basically any billable item from gas to credit card statements right into the app and organizes them neatly for easy access.

Genius Scan
Ever need a PDF at the busiest, most insane time? Genius Scan solves this dilemma by making PDFs available right from your device’s camera: just pick a document, scan it, and kiss your PDF worries goodbye. Furthermore, easy integration with Evernote and Dropbox make this little app one of the most valuable office tools you can fit into your pocket.

A PR Apps Wishlist

“There’s an app for that!”

We have become dependent on the best apps for Smartphone and other mobile devices in both personal and professional life and look forward to the latest and greatest. Here are some promising new apps to make our lives a little bit easier in 2013.

Ideal both for individual users and groups, Asana allows users to not only stay connected to their colleagues but to the tasks they are working on as well. As an added bonus, it’s a free app (for groups under 30), and offers an invaluable service offices small and large can well use.

Parking Panda
I rely on public transportation for my commute, mostly because parking in New York City is a nightmare (as in most major cities.)  Mobile navigation and GPS apps which help us find everything from restaurants to laundromats are fine but without parking tips, some people may never reach them! Enter Parking Panda which provides users with daily and monthly parking options (including rates) that are close to their destination, thus alleviating (some) of the headaches of city driving.

A huge time saver, Buffer allows you to schedule all of your social media content through one place. In addition, it also enables you to schedule to your content at the ideal time of day via their spiffy algorithm.

Running Windows on a mobile device can be a very trying experience. Thus, CloudOn is a necessity for any professional, as it seamlessly integrates Excel, PowerPoint, Word and even Adobe Reader with your devices’ keyboard.

Like eating in big groups, but hate getting stuck footing the biggest part of the bill (which I usually do)? Divvy allows you to scan, mark and calculate just your orders for both ease of payment and peace of mind, about who is paying for which piece of pie. Just snap a photo of your receipt, mark it according who ordered what, and keep your friends honest.

Battery Stats Plus
While a dead battery may offer a much appreciated respite from the trials of work, no one likes the subsequent feeling of alienation, or the drop of an important conversation caused by the untimely demise of your battery. Battery Stats Plus provides you with more than just a visual icon of how much battery you have remaining, it gives you detailed stats on which apps or processes drain your battery the most. Meaning you can have your battery cake and eat it too.
Know of any other great apps that can help make 2013 easier? Leave them in comments section below.

5 Productivity Tricks to Employ Now!

With the first month of 2012 almost at a close, everyone is reevaluating their New Year’s Resolutions. Are you still taking advantage of your new gym membership? Did you find a way to keep fried foods off of your dinner menu? Are you still volunteering at a local organization? But most importantly to those in the PR trade, have you been able to increase your productivity at work?

It may be okay to skip the gym once in a while, but let’s look at a few ways to keep productivity up at work and ongoing for this year, and the next, and the next…

Eat the right food. Food coma is like an undiagnosed sickness. It happens to everyone and at the most crucial times – right after lunch, while you still have half a day left of work. Eat the right proportions and the right food that’ll boost up your productivity, not slow it down. Good examples are avocados, dark chocolate, nuts and seeds, or even splurge and get some fish!

Hold some paper. Yes, everything is online now but that doesn’t mean everything needs to stay on the computer screen. If you’re doing research or editing a report, print it out and manually review it in front of you. It’ll be less straining on your eyes and allow you to focus more. Use a highlighter (they’re not obsolete yet!) and make notes on the side.

The silent treatment. When confronted by a demanding assignment and if its allowed at your work place, move your office space for awhile. Choose somewhere without distractions (the library, the nearby park, coffee house or even at home). The trick is to not have any communication gadgets and if you need your laptop, don’t connect it to Wi-Fi and get to work!

Peak hours. You know if you’re a morning or a night person. Take advantage of when you feel and work the best and pinpoint hours. Use these hours to get the most important projects done.

Similarities attract. Batch similar tasks throughout the day so you’re the most efficient, e.g. if you have phone calls to make or errands to run – do it all at the same time so you’re not constantly going back and forth to it.

With 11 more months of the year, what are your best tricks for staying productive at work (or in life)?