You can drown in the sea of smartphone apps and other tech tools promising to improve your work world. Which ones are, in fact, life lines for busy professionals? Dahlia El Gazzar, tech evangelist and founder of Dahlia+, has been sorting through the app tsumami for years, and she shared some recent finds for simplifying your business and personal life at the Professional Convention Management Association Convening Leaders conference in Austin. Here are 15 favorites:
El Gazzar calls this app “mail on steroids” because you can focus on certain subjects or senders and filter everything else. Newton sends alerts when people you typically respond to immediately send an email. It integrates well with other applications you are already using, e.g. Dropbox and Google Drive.
If your New Year’s resolution is to clean up your inbox of unread newsletters or information on old projects, Mailstrom can identify clusters of related mail and delete it in bulk. The Expire function let’s you set an early expiration date on emails from certain senders, and the “People I’ve Emailed” function shows you messages from people you most often reply to.
A graphic design app that can make anyone look like a rock star designer, Spark works on your phone or in your browser. Spark includes a set of easy editing tools to perfect images for social media or websites.
“Amy” or “Andy” are AI-powered virtual assistants that take the pain out of scheduling a meeting. Simply get an account, allow access to your schedule, and have the x.ai assistant take over emails negotiating a convenient time and place for your meeting. You can also set up x.ai to follow up with people you meet so you don’t lose track of new contacts.
An old school, back-to-basics app that enables you to send postcards from your phone when you are on the road. Upload a photo, add the address, and Touchnote will print and mail your postcard.
Slack enables live conversations between team members in their own channel, like a group text on your desktop but with the option for private channels and face-to-face video calls. According to El Gazzar, Slack can reduce emails by up to 47 percent. It began as a platform for gamers and has evolved for businesses.
A conference-calling platform your colleagues can use regardless of device, connect with 1 to 100 participants. The video can be recorded and promoted.
Design graphics with a simple click-and-drag function and let Canva recommend colors and fonts. There are thousands of preset layouts to choose from for your presentations, social media images, or infographics.
A social media management tool that helps you keep track of your accounts, locate inactive users and accounts that unfollowed you, and compare your accounts and profiles with those of others.
Streamline the collaborative review-and-approval process with this tool to markup and approve files.
This editing tool is a browser extension that can eliminate spelling and grammatical errors from your press releases, emails to clients, and even your social media profiles.
This app that will take a note in any format—a list, a reminder, or a picture of a sketch—and make it available on all your devices. Your note can be annotated when shared and the tool integrates with other software.
A digital personal assistant for travel, Mezi will learn your preferences, book your flights, and make dining suggestions and reservations.
Crystal is billed as “Your coach for every conversation.” This app gives you personality insights for everyone in your network and helps you communicate with them in the most effective way, even creating draft copies for your communications.
Meditation made simple! A guided meditation app allows you to stream on the go or download for use when you are ready. The first ten sessions are free.