Now that the new year is in full swing, I’d like to provide everybody in our extended Examiner family with a few no-calorie treats that can make your business more productive in 2013. Here are 10 top picks (in no particular order) for some fun and simple productivity apps that are either brand new or offering new features in early 2013. Enjoy—
1. Meeting Mapper and Meeting Mapper Fierce, from Point N Time Software
Are you having successful meetings? How do you know? Meeting Mapper is an intuitive and elegant application for iPads that makes it easy to gather up and “map” (thus the name) the information you need for truly successful meetings. This application tracks the role and the stance (opinion) of every participant in a meeting, and makes it easy to create action items or next steps and automatically schedule the actions for follow up. Meeting Mapper costs $6.99 and is available from the iTunes store. A related application, Meeting Mapper Fierce, is integrated with SalesForce and is optimized to serve as a strategic weapon for closing new sales.
2. EchoSign for iOS, from Adobe
Here’s a new e-signature application for traveling sales reps who need to get contracts signed quickly. This new app allows users to send, sign and manage documents from within the application. It eliminates the need to carry large paper-based contracts. Users can access documents or contracts from their Box, Dropbox, or Acrobat.com accounts or from the mobile device itself and use EchoSign to get them signed immediately and in-person. EchoSign is available from Adobe in pricing arrangements that range from free for 1-5 users, to $299 or $399 for an enterprise or global license.
Have you ever been working on a story late at the office and wanted to finish it at home, but you lost (or forgot) your USB stick? At that point, your typical options—emailing it to yourself or popping it in Dropbox—are easy enough but perhaps not safe enough if you’re dealing with confidential or sensitive files. Workshare will alleviate this issue with mobile app and syncing functionality in the beginning of 2013. With this solution, employees will be able to synchronize files between the Workshare platform and any mobile device, which is more important than ever in our age of BYOD. Workshare also helps employees collaborate more readily from the road with real-time insight into file updates, comments and access for all collaborating parties on any device, from any location.
4. Evernote for Business, from Evernote
This mature multi-platform note taking application is now in its fifth version, which includes upgraded functionality in Evernote for Business, at a price of $10 per user per month. For many companies that rely on collaboration, the simplified billing, enhanced support and additional Business Notebook features in this iTunes classic make the application a “must upgrade” product for 2013.
5. Dropbox for Teams
Moving from Dropbox to Dropbox for Teams is another wise consideration for 2013. Enhanced sharing options and integrated file revision history are two of the additional features in “Teams” that make application a “must upgrade” product for 2013.
6. RabbleBrowser for iPad, from Float MobileLearning
This iPad application makes sharing URLs, files and anything stored on Dropbox easy to do. With RabbleBrowser, any number of iPads in a conference or meeting room can instantly chat or share a browsing session. The app streamlines conversations by allowing everyone to see the same things together without having to type out confusing web addresses or email attachments. RabbleBrowser is available for 1.99 from the Ipad store.
7. Tappestry for Organizations, from Float MobileLearning
A newcomer in the social field, Tappestry is a bit different than the social tools such as Yammer or Salesforce Chatter. Tappestry was built for sharing knowledge and to learn new information. It integrates with many of the traditional technologies human resources and learning departments use. Tappestry supports iPhones and iPads and costs $.99 per topic or $5.99 for unlimited topics from the iTunes Store, here.
8. StratPad v2, from Glassey Technologies Inc.
In 2013, StratPad v2 promises to take strategy out of the boardroom and put it on the desktop of everybody in the company. StratPad premiered as an iPad app in 2012 and quickly became the highest rated app of its kind in the iTunes App Store, developers say. It’s the first iPad app to be integrated with Yammer, allowing people to collaborate on strategic business planning activities online in real time. Customers who love StratPad have asked the company to develop a Web version so that everyone in their companies, including those who don’t have iPads, can use it. StratPad v2 for SMBs will ship in spring 2013. It promises to synchronize files in real time across all devices. For example, if you update a business plan on your iPad or Surface, it will automatically update on your desktop as well. In addition to generating the reports businesses need to execute and monitor their strategy, the product also tracks results with a business intelligence tool that graphs KPIs, trendlines and targets. StratPad is currently available on the iPad in a basic version for free and in paid editions ranging from US$9.99 to $54.99.
9. UX Write for the iPad and iPhone, from UXProductivity.com
UX Write is the first fully-featured word processor for the iPad, developers maintain. Because many entrepreneurs are rarely in their offices, they find dealing with large complex documents from their iPads quite difficult. UX Write is designed to bring the powerful word processing capabilities of desktop systems to the iPad and iPhone. It handles high-end professional authoring tasks such as creating books, reports, research papers, and theses, for a surprisingly economical price of $14.99 and is available in the iTunes Store.
10. Speaktoit, from Speaktoit.com
Speaktoit is the top-rated virtual assistant for Android or iOS/Windows, but will be targeting productivity for business users in 2013. Speaktoit was a top 10 NY Times App of the Year in 2012, but is adding specific features for workers in early 2013. Top new capabilities include the following:
•Calendar/meeting scheduling: Business people can schedule meetings with their voice through their Assistant (the app is linked to your calendar). Speaktoit will remind users of their agenda for a given day every morning, by speaking to them. Speaktoit will also give business people reminders, as necessary, about their schedule. If you have “Meetings in Dallas” on the calendar, for example, the Speaktoit Assistant can remind you to book flights, hotels, etc.
•Stock exchange and other financial news/information: Speaktoit will be partnering with financial news services to provide automatic updates and notifications on stock quotes and market news as part of users’ customized briefings each day.