We’re counting down the seconds until the NYC BigApps 2013 Award Ceremony on the evening of Thursday, June 20th, where we’ll announce the winners of Mayor Bloomberg’s annual challenge to developers and designers to create apps that solve key city challenges.
This year’s competition…
NeverLate is an iPhone app that allows your calendar to cross reference the traffic report. So rather than merely warning you that a meeting is in 10 minutes, it can dynamically ping you, right when you should leave for that meeting, given unforeseen road construction, accidents, or just one of those backups where everyone is simply hitting their brakes too much. Meanwhile, you can focus entirely on getting ready, rather than digging through traffic reports.
“After you’ve used the app for about a week, NeverLate will learn where your home and work are and when you’re normally there.”
The 6 Best Alternative To Do Apps
Here are some upcoming apps to suit all personalities, from the type-A’s to the guilt free procrastinators.
Mobile to-do lists such as Clear, Evernote, and Google Keep get a lot of love online, but they’re not alone when it comes to high-quality apps to keep track of everything you need to do in a day.
In fact, a simple “to do list” app search on Google yields 1.9 billion results, a lofty number to sift through if you’re already drowning in tasks. Thankfully, there are a few gems rising to the top of the to-do list category, including these six:
For the guilt-free procrastinator
Do It (Tomorrow) HD (iOS/Android - FREE; iPad - $4.99)
For the team leader
AnyList (iOS - FREE)
For the goal-setter
Lift (iOS - FREE)
For the task-master
Doit.im (iOS/Android - FREE)
For the inbox ninja
Handle (iOS - FREE)
For the big planner
Trello (iOS/Android/Windows - FREE)
What’s your favorite to-do list app?
Writer Leo Widrich offers a sneak peek at the next wave of productivity apps that top entrepreneurs like Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, and Guy Kawasaki are working with daily.
Recently something terribly obvious—yet powerful—occurred to me: If you want to achieve things that no one else has done, you need to do things no one else does.
So, I thought, who achieves things that very few do? I made a list of the top 10 entrepreneurs that I learn from daily. Then I thought, which things are they doing that could really help more people? When I emailed the idea to my Fast Company editor, she came back with something I found valuable:
“One of the problems that crops up is that a lot of people get back with “I love Twitter, Dropbox, and Evernote!” Those are great tools, but might not add that much value for our readers.”
I thought that observation was spot-on. So instead, I asked my favorite entrepreneurs their absolute favorite, yet very little-known tools, they use to achieve everyday tasks.
After lots of correspondences and digging deep into these entrepreneurs’ toolkits, here are their unedited answers:
Tim Ferriss’s top tool: Jumpcut
Tim Ferriss is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek. Tim is the master of finding unique lifehacks and techniques to help you live a smarter life. The one online tool he absolutely can’t live without is Jumpcut:
“I can’t live without Jumpcut, which saves my ass all the time. Have you ever cut and pasted two or three things, and lost a hugely important thing that you cut first? Jumpcut, which is free, allows you to store (and easily retrieve) 40+ copied or cut things from your clipboard.”
Michael Hyatt’s top tool: Clicky
Michael Hyatt is the New York Times best-selling author of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World and he writes one of the best blogs on leadership and productivity that I know. Here is his most treasured online tool:
“My can’t-live-without online tool is Clicky.com. It’s what I use to monitor up-to-the-minute stats on all my websites. It uses Google Analytics, but presents the data in a more useful manner.”
Jay Baer’s top tool: Buffer
Ranked as one of America’s top 5 Social Media consultants and author of Youtility, Jay Baer built an incredible following as one of the most reputable and yet hype-free people in the industry. And he stays on top with the best tools all the time; his choice is Buffer (which—disclaimer time—I’m the cofounder of. Thanks, Jay!):
“Directing people to what I believe to be the most worthy social and content marketing resources every day—for years—is how I built my business. Buffer makes that process of sharing information to audiences so much easier. I can read articles in the morning and add them to my Buffer. From there articles then get posted well spaced out over the day, automatically.”
Hiten Shah’s top tool: Prismatic
One of my favorite tech entrepreneurs is Hiten Shah, cofounder of KISSmetrics, who, if you follow his Twitter feed, constantly inspires with amazing content. The one tool that he said he can’t live without is Prismatic:
“I love to find and share awesome content. Prismatic has made it easier for me to find the best content faster. Now with Prismatic, I don’t have to go to dozens of places to find useful, informative, and awesome content to share.”
Jason Calacanis’ top tool: 15Five
One of the most well-known entrepreneurs, Jason Calacanis has founded several companies to date and is now probably best known for his awesome ThisWeekInTV network. When I asked him for his favorite tool, he replied within a few minutes of sending the email without hesitation:
“15Five is my favorite app because it develops deep relationships on our teams quickly and efficiently. I liked it so much I asked to invest… and they took my money.”
Dharmesh Shah’s top tool: Pocket
There are very few people whose every step they take online I follow along with. Dharmesh, the CTO ofHubSpot, is one of them. He built a massive company with hundreds of people, and what helps him do his best work? He shared this:
“I love GetPocket.com. I’m easily distracted (I have “Hey look, interesting new article on the Internet!” syndrome). Pocket helps me stay focused by deferring things I want to read until later so I don’t break my flow.”
Seth Godin’s top tool: Keynote presenter view
Seth Godin, author of the most amazing books, and recently the Icarus Deception, writes a blog that is the only one I read daily. Asked for the one tool he he can’t live without, he said “the presenter view in Keynote, which shows me my next slide before anyone else sees it. I can’t imagine giving a fluid talk without it.”
Leo Babauta’s top tool: HackerNews
The infamous Leo Babauta writes the phenomenal blogzenhabits and is also author of multiple books. Whenever my day gets slightly too much, reading one of his articles for just a few minutes helps me clear my mind. So what helps Leo to get more inspiration and productivity? This:
“I use Hacker News for inspiration and ideas. I avoid most news sites, social media and other sources of information because there’s too much noise. But HN is curated by a smart group of users, has high signal-to-noise ratio, and is where new ideas and tiny startups are being tested at the street level, unfiltered by the media and mass markets.”
Rand Fishkin’s top tool: TINYpulse
Rand Fishkin is the CEO and cofounder of SEOmoz. Rand also gives some of the best advice for startups and businesses on his personal blog. When I asked him for his favorite, little-known tool, he had a great gem for you:
“One of my very favorite tools is TinyPulse. It sends a very short survey to everyone at Moz, asking two simple questions. It’s an incredibly valuable way to get honest, direct feedback about how things are going culture/team-wise.”
Guy Kawasaki’s top tool: Fantastical
Guy Kawasaki is a man who needs little introduction. He was the chief evangelist at Apple and has since then authored more than 10 books. When I asked him what helps him to keep up with his crazy schedule, this is what he came up with:
“Fantastical. Great way to see and edit your calendar without launching your calendar application and switching to it. Very smart, too: ‘4/24 7 pm Meet with Leo’ would create an event.”
[Image: Flickr user Zechariah Judy]
What is your favorite productivity app and what would you add?
“[Viral investments] can be very good for the first people to hop on, but the people in the end just get destroyed.”
Today, Foursquare will introduce a new version of its iPhone app that streamlines the app’s user interface and refines its purpose.
(Source: Fast Company)
Must-Have Apps To Make The Most Of SXSW
chmoozing is the name of the game at any conference, but this is the technorati big leagues. Get these apps to keep up with the digital Joneses.
Highlight runs in the background on your phone and tells you when interesting people are nearby. If you’re at an interesting tech conference, it quickly becomes completely addictive. I first used it at South By Southwest 2012 and ended up uninstalling it because it just completely drained my battery. I decided to give it another shot at CES 2013, and again found it extremely useful—even using it to stalk Robert Scoble at one point (to no avail…yet).
CardMunch takes a picture of business cards, converts them to text, and then lets you connect on LinkedIn and/or save to your phone’s contacts. Business cards suck and it baffles me that we still use them; CardMunch helps immensely.
This likely needs no explanation. If you use LinkedIn on the web, you can also use it via the mobile app. You’re at a conference. You’re going to meet new people. LinkedIn is great for staying connected after you’ve gone home.
Nine times out of 10, attending a conference means traveling. This means coordinating airfare and accommodations for yourself and communicating those plans with others. Enter TripIt. TripIt makes it easy to store your travel plans in a centralized place that can be easily shared. All you do is connect your email or forward itineraries to an email address provided by TripIt and it handles the rest.
Hello is a newish mobile app by Evernote that helps you create rich notes about people you meet. Kicker—it let’s you exchange contact info more easily. Kicker-kicker—it saves history and notes to your Evernote account (duh).
The best part of any conference is what happens after hours. There are meetups, parties, you name it. Most events at most major conferences seem to use Eventbrite for RSVPs. Bringing a printed-out RSVP confirmation to a party is the conference equivalent of having your mom drop you off at a party in high school. On the off chance that you actually need the confirmation, install the Eventbrite app on your phone
Bloodhound touts itself as “the complete mobile solution for events.” Features include networking via Facebook and LinkedIn, live Twitter feeds, maps, schedules, and exhibitor information. If you had to pick one app on the list to try out, this will provide the most breadth in terms of features and functionality.
You didn’t expect me not to plug my own app, did you? One of the hardest things about going away for a week to attend a conference is dealing with work stuff back home. At the very minimum, you’re going to end up dialing into conference calls while you’re away.Speek is a fast and easy way to join conference calls and our apps provide a single click experience for joining. Also, one founder has tattoos and amazing hair. Just sayin’.
These days every conference rolls out mobile apps just for the annual event. CES had one this year, and so will SXSW. Although the quality and usefulness of these apps vary, it’s typically in your best interest to go ahead and install them and find out.
SXSW Go is available for iPhone and Android.
[Image: Flickr user Steve Garfield]
Want to see what people are making with the new Twitter video app, the Vine?
7. Just Vined
Want even more Twitter help? Here’s a tool for the lazy social networker.
Check out this app that will find tweets for you.
[Image: Hands via Shutterstock]
“One study estimated that mistakes with blood pressure medication alone are responsible for 89,000 premature deaths a year, which puts medication noncompliance up there in the top five causes of death.”
The inventors of the free MediSafe Project iPhone and Android app hope to save lives by helping patients keep track of their medications.
Here are some other innovative ways that technology and medicine are meeting up:
[Image from medisafeproject.com][Post by M.Cecelia Bittner]
The National Rifle Association has launched NRA: Practice Range, an iOS app the organization calls its new “mobile nerve center.” The app features a 3-D target practice shooting game and provides resources for news and legislation updates around gun control and educational materials about gunholders’ rights.
The NRA appears to be emphasizing safety and responsible ownership with this new app, which has an Apple App Store rating of 4+ (“no objectionable material”). The NRA says its built-in shooting game strikes “the right balance of gaming and safety education, allowing you to enjoy the most authentic experience possible.”
The NYPD’s new crime app might make you afraid to ride the subway ever again.
When Cesar Kuriyama started selecting one second of video to represent each day, it changed his life. Now he’s building an app he hopes will change yours.