Since Org.ly is a productivity app aimed squarely at Sales Professionals - it simplifies the task of understanding your customer's organisational hierarchy and automates the production of the org charts required for account plans, customer review presentations, etc - I thought it would be fitting for my next Org.ly blog post to discuss the key applications that I use to help increase my own productivity.
From day one I've always adopted new technology to help me simplify and keep on top of the process of sales and I've been asked many times about what app I use for doing 'x' or 'y' functions. There are number of applications that I use on a daily basis and that have become core to how I work, think & organise myself. Of course, Org.ly will clearly fit in here when it is released, but until then here are my Top 6 ‘must-have’ apps that you should take a look at.
I guess this is everybody’s favourite? It certainly is mine. If you aren’t familiar with Evernote you are really missing out. Evernote is a cloud-based note taking app that works across any platform, where you can easily gather everything that matters to you.
I first started using Evernote when I started my degree study with the Open University as a way to store my study notes so that I always had them to hand. However, once I started using it properly I quickly moved it into my daily workflow. Today, all of my work-related meeting notes are stored in Evernote, as well as everything I’ve ever done during the development of Org.ly.
A top tip is to make sure you use Tags when saving every note. I tag not only based on the subject of a meeting, project name, etc. but also for the people in the meeting as well, then next time I’m due to meet someone I simply search their name in Evernote and I can immediately see when I last met them, what we talked about, etc.
I mentioned that I keep all of my meeting notes in Evernote – well, I take all of my meeting notes by handwriting on my iPad using GoodNotes 4.0 and the Adonit Jot Script stylus. This is the app that I get most comments about - it's very obvious when people see you writing directly onto your iPad! It's certainly the app that I've generated the most revenue for through recommendations! Lots and lots of my colleagues are using this great app now.
There are many handwriting apps for the iPad, and I think I’ve paid money for all of them. Some are good but overcomplicated (Note Taker HD) and some are rubbish (I’m looking at you, Penultimate) but GoodNotes 4.0 wins for me by just keeping it simple. It ‘inks’ nice and smoothly, the interface is uncluttered and it is just easy to use. It just focusses on doing one thing well.
I write everything in GoodNotes. I create one note per day just like I would if I was using the ubiquitous Moleskine notebook. I then send each note to Evernote where it is stored as a pdf and tagged appropriately to make searching easier later. By the way, Evernote does a great job of handwriting search too – search for a word/name, etc. and it will find it in your handwriting (as long as it is neat enough!)
In sales and don’t use Twitter? Inconceivable! On the assumption that you do use Twitter as, let’s be honest, where else are you going to find so much information about your customer and their industry, then Tweetbot is the best client to read your tweets with. It supports multiple devices and syncs your feed across all of them (so each devices starts from where you last left off on another device) and multiple accounts. And if you have a need, like I do, it has a built in translation features so that you can instantly read Valentino Rossi’s Italian tweets in English to hear what he is saying.
OK, you are on Twitter and you see a really interesting article that you don’t have time to read. What to do? Easy, stick it in your Pocket and read it later. Pocket takes web articles and saves them for off-line viewing later. Simple as that. Flights, train journey's, holidays - all perfect use case's for Pocket. Equally though, Pocket just makes a great bookmarking app where you can instantly read the articles you've saved for later. Couldn't live without Pocket.
If you are working on something with lots of moving parts that you need to make sense of then Trello is your friend. Essentially a project management application, again one that is cross-platform, you can track and make sense of a complicated world very easily. The card-style layout is fantastically easy to re-organise - it's rather like having hundreds of Post-It notes on a wall that you can constantly re-arrange as you brainstorm ideas, change tack, etc. I’ve only recently started using Trello, but it’s been invaluable when working on Org.ly. But Trello, if you are listening, it really, really needs an offline mode.
Just want to save web pages as a bookmark, but get fed up when you are on a different device and your bookmarks haven’t sync’d? Delicious is essentially a cloud bookmarking service that allows you to see all of your bookmarks from any device. You can sort them, tag them and search them, and Delicious offers suggestions on alternative pages that you might like too.
And did I mention Org.ly? Now that will be a Top 7 productivity app!
Of course, there are many other apps that I could have mentioned. What's your favourite - what would you have had in your Top 6? Let me know by leaving a comment.