6 Apps I’m working with nearly every day

Every summer I give one of these articles over to the subject of apps that I use regularly. This year I’ve zoned in on 6 apps that I use very regularly, in some cases many times each day. I’ve ignored meeting apps such as Zoom or MS Teams as these are used by everyone today.

 

App 1: Artificial Intelligence (AI)

When writing this piece, I first considered giving each AI app a section of its own. But as AI is now infiltrating just about every aspect of our working lives, I thought I would simply set out an overview of the uses that I’m getting from it at this stage. There are so many good AI apps now, that this article would be too long and could never do them justice. New apps are also emerging every day, so any specific apps might have been overtaken by better ones by the time you read this piece!

The bottom line is, that AI is now part of our lives. If you have been avoiding learning about it, I’m afraid you’re going to have to rethink your approach. AI is likely to have a similar impact on our working lives in the same way that the beginning of the Internet did all those years ago… While your uses of AI as a financial adviser will be slightly different to mine, here are a few areas in which I’m finding it useful.

Chat GPT: This is the one most people are familiar with, I’m finding myself using it for a wider range of functions now – whether that’s in carrying out research, as an alternative search platform to Google and as an assistant in content development. However I know I’m still only tipping around the edges of it.

Gamma AI: This is an app that is useful in helping you to create presentations from scratch. It can help with other design tasks too, for website pages for example. You tell it what you want your presentation to be about and it goes to work, creating a slide deck for you. You can then change and refine the deck my getting tighter on your requirements in relation to content and design etc. Again, there is a lot to get your head around with this, but an investment of time in making it work will save lots of time in the long run.

Zoom AI: I primarily use Zoom for online meetings and have started using their AI assistant for the creation of meeting notes after a call. I get an email with a review of the meeting immediately after each meeting. The AI assistant interprets the meeting, summarises key points and captures actions. To be honest, it is far from perfect at this stage – with sometimes some weird and wonderful thoughts (!), but it is a very useful starting point in recording the outputs of a meeting and is improving all the time…

 

App 2: Capture

Capture is a new tool introduced by Dropbox, my primary file storage service. Capture enables me to create short explainer videos and screen recordings with amazing ease. If clients ask me how to carry out certain task online or within other programs, Capture has made explaining them really easy. There are good alternatives to this (such as Loom), but Capture works well for me as a Dropbox user.

 

App 3: Ayoa

For any of you that I’ve been fortunate to develop strategies and plans with, you’ll have seen this one in action. Ayoa is the replacement for iMindmap, which was the business established by the king of mindmaps, Tony Buzan. I use this all the time when brainstorming, whether on my own or with clients as part of the planning process. Because of the highly visual nature of them, mindmaps are far more effective to capture ideas than using a flipchart, as you can easily edit items, move them around, expand ideas or simply lose the weak ones. You then also have a digital record of the work which can be shared with others or can be exported into other programmes for further use. I’d struggle to cope without this one!

 

App 4: Canva

While I don’t use this app every day, it is really handy from time to time. It is effectively a DIY design tool. While it will never replace the skills of a good graphic designer, it is very useful for those simple design jobs where you just want to create or manipulate a nice image for use maybe in a social media post. It’s definitely one worth checking out.

 

App 5: Feedly

An old favourite that I know some of you now use. Feedly is an app that I use all of the time in seeking out useful content from the web to share, and indeed for content ideas to write about. It enables me to track blogs / news feeds that provide content I don’t want to miss. Rather than receiving an email every time there’s a new blog post or news article,  instead the new content is sent to Feedly which gathers all of these articles in one place. It is like a magazine rack for online articles, waiting for me to go through them.

I can then flick down through hundreds of articles in minutes, reading only the headlines, dipping into an introduction or indeed the full article if I think it is actually worth reading. And I can mark them all as “Read” very easily as I go along, ensuring those particular articles don’t appear again. I’ve categorised the different feeds into groups, which further speeds up the process too. The benefit of Feedly is the time it saves me in getting through huge numbers of articles.

 

App 6: Pocket

And then there’s Pocket, which I see as my sister App to Feedly – another old favourite. This is my scrapbook of articles that I’ve “cut out” and saved for later. As I see articles of interest on the web or that come through to Feedly, some catch my attention to be read later when I’ve a bit more time on my hands. With 2 clicks, I put them in my Pocket and can also tag the articles for different purposes – it might be to share out later, to rewrite with my perspective, maybe to help me develop a new angle for my proposition etc.

I can then go back into Pocket when I want to carry out an activity and simply click on the article that I’ve saved for that very purpose. It’s all very easy and it means you don’t lose great articles that you’ve read.

 

I hope there’s an app here for you to make your life a bit easier or more productive.