By Steve Holstein
In my never-ending quest for efficiency and organization, I download and test productivity apps often (probably too often). What follows are the apps which are currently helping me to get things done.
Note: Except Apple Notes, to the best of my knowledge most of these apps are available on both iOS and Android.
For a long time my go-to note taking app was Evernote, but earlier this year I switched full time to Apple Notes. It’s fast, it’s free, I like the way it does search, and because it’s an Apple app it works really well with Apple hardware and software.
Some Apple Notes features I like best:
- iCloud storage that quickly syncs with all my devices (phone, laptop, tablet)
- Pinned notes stick to the top of the note stack
- Emoji in the title of a note make it stand out
- Document scanning with searchable text
Note: This video explains how to export Evernote notes to Apple Notes.
When I have a few extra minutes and I want something to read I open Pocket
, which acts as a catch-all “read it later” for articles I’ve found while browsing on my phone or laptop. When you open Pocket you see a list of your saved articles stripped down to simple text. If you’re a radio show prep hunter-gatherer, Pocket is great to clip articles into because you can tag them based on subject.
Buffer and Hootsuite
If you share to social media more than once a day, apps like Buffer
will help you schedule posts. If you manage more than a few accounts don’t be afraid to save a few dollars by downloading both of these free apps and splitting your scheduled posts between them.
Dropbox and Google Drive
Every issue of InterPrep, every blog post, every PDF, every photo, every audio file, every everything
I digital thing I own is backed up in real-time to the cloud, either in Dropbox
or Google Drive
. Dropbox is my top choice with Google Drive a nice addition if you use Google Docs, Sheets, etc.
The idea behind password management apps like Dashlane
is simple: Store all of your passwords behind one very strong master password. With the app and browser extensions installed you have the option to fill in username and password fields using Dashlane.
Many of us use our email inbox as a catch-all for any number of digital things. When I don’t want to send something to Pocket or Apple Notes I use Email Me
to send it to my email.
Lots of apps will take what you’ve said and convert it to text, but a dedicated app like Rev
is designed for better transcription of long-form content. Open the app, tap ‘Record’ and when you’ve finished the audio is anonymously uploaded to a Rev human for accurate transcription. For a quarter of the price you can also let Rev’s computers transcribe your audio.
has every feature I need in a podcast app — my favorites being offline listening and “up next,” which lets me build a continuous playlist. I can even add non-podcast audio files
to Pocket Casts, which I’ll use when doing an aircheck review.
If you do quite a bit of emailing or writing I highly recommend TextExpander
to create keyboard shortcuts for often-used words, phrases and even entire emails (think customer support emails, or generic emails you often write for listeners). For example, instead of typing interprep.com
just now I typed #i
and TextExpander automatically created the URL for me. When I want to send a new subscriber a “welcome” email I type @welcome
and the entire email is “typed” — all I have to do is fill in their name. TextExpander’s feature list is long and once you’ve created a handful of shortcuts you’ll wonder how you got by without it.