Get Productive: 5 Productivity Problems That Can Be Solved with Free Apps

 

You’d think that really good productivity apps are really hard to come by. However, we’ve found that if you can think of a problem, the Internet has a way to solve it. Yet, there’s always an app that’s just a bit better than the rest. Here’s a list of five issues you may be running into–along with the best apps for solving them.

Problem: Knowing if someone has opened your email

Solution: Sidekick

Sidekick. Credit: HubSpot

Credit: HubSpot

Do you worry if you’ve sent an important email and you’re not sure if it successfully reached its destination? Sidekick is a free email tracking app for Gmail that lets you see if a recipient for one of your emails has, indeed, received it. While this may seem a bit invasive, it’s always a relief to know that an important application or project has sent through to a client or potential employer. Sidekick is also great for lead generation, since you can connect the app to services like Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zapier to track data.

 

Problem: Scheduling an event that everyone can attend

Solution: Doodle

Credit: Doodle

Credit: Doodle

Are you in a hurry to plan an event and you’re balancing literally dozens of conflicting schedules? Doodle is a scheduling app that allows multiple individuals to set a date for a meeting or an event that everyone can agree to. The host simply creates the calendar for the event and sends out emails to intended guests. The guests then plug in what days and times they’re available and submit. Everyone then has access to the calendar to see when is the best day to meet. There are a lot of other free scheduling apps like Doodle out there, but Doodle trumps all in usability and simplicity.

 

Problem: Spellchecking email, blog posts, or other types of content

Solution: Grammarly

Credit: Grammarly

Credit: Grammarly

Do you often find yourself second-guessing your online writing? Grammarly is a truly comprehensive spelling and grammar app. Not only does the app underline spelling errors and incorrectly phrased syntax, but it does it in real-time. No need to click a button to review the errors in anything you’ve written—they’re clearly marked for you to fix. Grammarly also has an awesome synonym function that lets you pick replacement words based on several definitions and contexts of the original word. With Grammarly, you no longer have to fear if you’ve used the wrong “your” online ever again.

 

Problem: Organizing favorite sites better than using bookmarks

Solution: Pocket

Credit: Pocket

Credit: Pocket

Do you want to save your favorite websites in anything other than your bookmarks? Pocket is a beautifully designed browser plugin that lets you save websites for easy access and categorize them with any tags you’d like. Simply press the Pocket button that appears at the top of your screen on a site that you want to save, write a few keywords you want to use to organize your sites, and press save. Going to your personal Pocket account allows you to see the sites you’ve saved, either in the order that you saved them or by the keywords you chose. This app is both great for casual web surfing as well as in-depth research.

 

Problem: Improving the speed of your everyday workflow

Solution: Alfred

Credit: Alfred

Credit: Alfred

Ever feel like you’re spending too much time trying to find files on your computer, open up browsers to look up websites, and digging through your applications to open a program? Alfred is a Mac-based workflow optimizer that gives you access to a variety of time-saving solutions. Once you set the key command to open Alfred, you can press it and have instant access to a search bar in the middle of any program. Searching the name of a folder will immediately pull up that folder as well as any subfolders within. Similarly, typing the name of an application will pull up a quick open function for that application. Through preferences, users can set commands like “empty” to empty your computer’s trash in seconds. With Alfred, everything becomes just a bit faster than clicking around.

 

(Featured Image source: StartupStockPhotos)

Alex Grover

Alex Grover is a digital production associate at Penguin Random House. Alex plans on becoming an expert in all things e-books.


About Alex Grover

Alex Grover is a digital production associate at Penguin Random House. Alex plans on becoming an expert in all things e-books.

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