My Top Five Mobile Business Tools

in Mobile Cloud, Mobile Computing, Productivity

byod devicesI first wrote my Top Five Mobile Business Apps a few years back on the former Web2 and More blog and a couple of apps have been replaced for one reason or another. The business app market is dynamic and preferences can change, often dramatically, depending on development schedules, the team or individual behind the app, etc.  For example, one of my all time favourite apps has twice this year released updates and add-ons that rendered my use of them worthless and a new tool had to be researched and utilised.  Comfort zone breached!

One of the key developments in mobile apps and services are that they are no longer standalone. The best apps empower the user to seamlessly link to other apps and services saving time and making you more productive in the process.  Also, I use Android devices but all these apps are available of IoS devices.

So, what five apps and services make the cut?

1: CloudMagic

CloudMagic is not just an email app, it’s a productivity hub in much the same way that Mailbird is on my PC.   As an email client it works across POP3 and IMAP services, allows you to use multiple accounts such as Google, Yahoo, Exchange, Outlook and iCloud.  As you have now come to expect it syncs across multiple devices.


However, the key to its power is that you can save emails to multiple other services in one of two ways.  You can save them to Todoist, Asana, OneNote, Evernote, Trello, Salesforce and more using the cards feature or click on the three dots top right, choose Save Email To … and opt for other services the app has detected on your smartphone or tablet, see image right.

CloudMagic has recently introduced Team Contacts which enables an entire company and more to share contacts. More of that here.

My more in-depth review of CloudMagic can be seen here.

2: Evernote

Evernote has long been at the centre of my digital world. In recent weeks, there has been some media coverage questioning its long term viability which is cause for concern but until that dark day occurs I will persevere with this indispensable tool.  Evernote is my digital brain. It stores all the key information that I need such as car documents, recipes, health notes, articles that I want to keep (see Pocket), tradesmen’s’ quotes, receipts – the list goes on and on.

It is so easy to get data into Evernote via the excellent browser web clipper, email it, drag n drop documents into a desktop app and scan directly from a printer into it. Thankfully, once the note count starts to mount up Evernote’s powerful search capabilities make finding information a breeze.

For me, OneNote and Keep are non-starters and Evernote is powerful and intuitive and probably the essential digital tool I have available.

3: Sunrise

Screenshot 2015-10-13 12.41.36Sunrise, which was recently bought by Microsoft, has redefined how calendars work. Sunrise does so much more than record dates and events, but sets a standard in linking and syncing with other services including (are you sitting comfortably?) Office 365, Outlook, Google, iCloud, Google Tasks, LinkedIn, Producteev, GitHub, Songkick, Asana, Todoist, TripIt, Eventbrite, MeetUp, Basecamp, Evernote,Facebook, Foursquare, Trello, Twitter and Wunderlist!

Create an event, type the location into the, er, location field and it populates it with Google Maps for the area, choose delegates, make it a repeating event and a whole lot more. One of the newer functions added is Meet, which provides the opportunity for you to send your availability to people via email and for them to choose the time slot that suits them. As ever, the excellent Steve Dotto has a YouTube tutorial to walk you through it.


4: Pocket

I do a lot of reading and researching online but I don’t always have time to read the content there and then. This where Pocket comes in. The service lets me store pages I want to read later on my desktop and, of course, it syncs with an app on all your mobile devices. So, if I know I am going on a ferry or flight, I can store a stack of reading material by clicking on the + Pocket button on my Chrome browser bookmark bar or in the Chrome app on my mobile devices.

Unlike Evernote, which is a permanent database of a variety of data, Pocket is a temporary library facility.  Once I have read an article I can either delete it or tag it to future reference if necessary. Having said that, as a premium member I can archive clips which are stored permanently, even if the original article has disappeared.

5:  Wunderlist

Up until a month or so ago this slot would have been held solely by Todoist but the latest upgrade has meant that a labelling bug screws up data entry. I have discovered a workaround which should have assisted the developers to create a fix, but after five weeks nothing has been forthcoming. Also, earlier in the year, the Todoist team released PowerApps and had to withdraw it after a raft of complaints.  For me it created multiple duplicate tasks, all of which had to be manually deleted.

In the past, I have looked at and dismissed Asana, Toodledo, Remember the Milk and others. I also looked at Wunderlist but revisited it and I am very grateful that I did.

Wunderlist is available as a browser extension, desktop app and mobile service and the syncing between these various modules is the fastest I have ever seen.

I have written a fuller review here.

Edit: It looks as though the labelling bug has been fixed in Todoist. More digging needed! You can read my original review here.


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