I’m always looking to make my day, easier, more efficient and valuable. Fortunately, we live in the 21st century so I feel like every day that job gets a little bit easier. I’ve shared my 5 favorite apps and how I use them on a daily basis to streamline my day.
Do you spend 45 minutes in traffic like I do? How long is that walk across campus to economics? How about another 30-45 on the elliptical or treadmill? By my count that’s @ an hour and a half of the day (for me) that is usually spent day dreaming while listening to crappy music. What could you learn if you took that time to instead read a book or newspaper? For $15 bucks a month you can sign up to audible and have an endless supply of audiobooks at your disposal. Why not spend that wasted time instead learning something valuable? A few books I recommend for young professionals are The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter (great read on how to approach your 20s), Lean In: Women, Work, and Will to Lead (I’m a guy but this is a good one), and Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time (a great book for all of us who are easily distracted). You’ll find yourself growing as an individual during the time you would have wasted listening to Miley Cyrus’ top song… again. Secret trick: Audible claims to only allow 1 book a month but allows you to return books at will.
I use Evernote to help organize my life. As I’m reading through my books, I write down key notes so they aren’t forgotten (I use the voice recorder as I’m driving), I record a new business idea when it comes to me, and make To-Do-Lists for the week that I can edit from all my smart devises. Use Evernote to keep track of the important things in your life you don’t want to forget. It is even searchable, so take a picture of PDFs and you can search through them.
3. Dropbox/Google Drive
Use one or a combination of these two apps to edit/review documents. During my day, I’ll work on a document on my laptop and throw it into Dropbox to review during my Metro ride home. Google Drive (also known as Google Docs) I’ll use to collaborate with colleagues or friends on a project as you can edit the same document all at the same time. There are some documents you just want access to at all times because, when an idea comes to you, you want to address it then and there. For example, all my blogs are in Dropbox so I can add to it when I have a rare creative moment during the day.
4. iTunes U/Ted
Is there a course you really wish you took in college or one that you just don’t have space for in your schedule? iTunes U is an excellent way to fill out your repertoire with some skills you didn’t have time to develop. A few courses I recommend outside the standard accounting courses are Philosophy of Mind, Coding Together: Developing Apps for iPhone, and Understanding Happiness. Browse for courses you find interesting and give them a shot.
Mint automatically consolidates and provides reports on your professional finances. You link your credit cards and bank accounts to the application and it will tell you exactly how much you are worth or owe at a given moment. You can even set up financial goals and budgets and Mint will track your progress towards achieving them. Most importantly… it’s really pretty.
Corey Cines is an assurance senior associate at PwC in the Private Company Services practice. He works on audits of large private clients across the sports, hospitality and asset management industries in the Washington, D.C., area. Corey serves as a board member of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School as well as the former alumni committee chairman, and member of the development and audit committees. He also serves on the board of Leveling the Playing Field, a local non-profit, and Wise Guy Ventures, a technology start-up.