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How Organization/Productivity Apps can Revolutionize Your Workday

April 10, 2013

Let’s face it; managing the details of everyday life can be overwhelming. What’s the best way to keep track of your to-do lists, recommendations from friends and colleagues, great online finds, and everything else you need to remember to get through your workday (not to mention your weekend)? Answer: Consumer productivity/organization apps.

Consumer productivity apps are all the rage – and showing real staying power. Just look at the news in recent weeks and you’ll quickly become a believer: Dropbox acquired Mailbox, the freshly launched email organization app, for a head-turning $100 million. Google took the market by surprise launching Google Keep, a “remember/save everything” app. Plus Tier One’s client Springpad debuted Springpad 4.0 last month and its first marketing solution for brands and publishers. Springpad is a four-year-old personal assistant app and – we’ll go ahead and say it – leading the pack in this emerging category of must-have apps.

So why are productivity/organization apps heating up? Springpad’s co-founder and CEO, Jeff Chow explains that it’s being driven by two trends in the marketplace.

  • First, consumers are connecting to the Internet on multiple devices - from their smartphone, laptop and tablets. This makes the discovery, saving, retrieval and action of information difficult across devices.
  • Second, consumers are relying more on “push” social media services for information, a real-time stream of “stuff” pushed their way constantly vs. seeking out answers actively. While most of us populate our social media streams with info we find useful, it can be tough to drink from a firehose and remember useful information when you need it.

“Consumers are looking for a central place to put all of the great information they are discovering so they can stay organized and easily access it later,” explains Chow “But the key is going beyond the digital file cabinet and having that information at your finger tips when you’re ready to take action.”

As a virtual agency we’re always on the hunt for new technologies that will make our team work more efficiently. We’ve found Springpad to be a valuable tool because it helps you not only remember (whether it be a great article or video, an interesting restaurant, a tasty-looking recipe, or a pair of great shoes), but also get things done. It’s the getting things done part of the equation that makes Springpad unique. It learns your interests from what you are focused on and enhances what you save with relevant suggestions so you can get what you need, when and where you need it.

Here’s a video tour of what Springpad is all about.

If you’re curious about how productivity apps like Springpad can help you wrangle your life back into order, here are several ways we’ve found it to be useful:

  • Capture great ideas that you encounter daily in the social world via Twitter, Google+ or Facebook. For instance, if you come across an interesting video, but you don’t have time to watch it during your workday; Spring It to watch later. This collection of the best TED videos is a notebook I follow and visit for inspiration. When I’m in the mood to watch something, Springpad will remind me I have these videos saved:

  • Save relevant industry articles to read at a later date. How many times do you see something while browsing online that interests you, but it’s not relevant to what you’re doing at the moment? We Spring It into a Notebook to read in the evening when winding down with the iPad on the couch.
  • Create to-do lists for work and personal projects. Capture new ideas in a central place as they come to you throughout your day. Check out this home project notebook for an example:

  • Collaborate, brainstorm and plan events with colleagues, friends or family. Springpad offers a great way to work together on projects or planning events like business trips, vacations, family reunions, or birthday parties. At Tier One, we’ve created this joint notebook about helpful business books, which features books we recommend or would like to read.

  • Save books you want to read or movies you’d like to see. You can manage your personal book group or share professionally-oriented reads, like this Notebook of great business books created by the Tier One team. As for movies, once you save a film, Springpad serves up showtimes for theaters nearby or alerts you when it’s available on Netflix.
  • Keep track of good restaurant ideas for client lunches and access them on the go based on location. If you’re not near home, Springpad will serve up restaurant suggestions based on your friends’ saved restaurants and/or Notebooks. And to help you also choice the best restaurant for the occassion, Springpad also serves up accompanying reviews, dining tips, maps and directions.
  • Share content on your website or blog with Springpad Embeddable Notebooks. With Springpad, you can showcase searchable content that your readers can “follow” and use whether they’re on their desktop, smartphone or tablet. Anyone interested in your Springpad notebook can “follow” it, and will automatically receive alerts when you add anything new. So if you’re a photographer/videographer, interior designer or consumer product company, Springpad Embeddable Notebooks offers an easy way to update your followers with fresh content that they can use anytime, anywhere. The Notebooks we’ve included in this blog are a great example of what Embeddable Notebooks look like in action.

We’d love to hear about any creative ways you’re using Springpad and other organization apps to manage your daily life.

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