Shop

Office tech: 6 tools to increase office productivity

For all its amazing uses,¬†sometimes¬†technology can feel¬†like an impediment to getting things done, rather than tools to increase productivity in the office. But fear not! Goldstar has scoured the Interweb for¬†apps and online platforms that actually do work, rather than create more of¬†it. Give these six¬†productivity tools a spin and¬†you’ll wonder how your office ever got along with them.
iPad-Maplist-enhanced
Image courtesy mindmeister.com
MindMeister: Brainstorming sessions, long the realm of the dry erase board, get a 21st century makeover with MindMeister. Record and alter flowcharts via a shareable online platform that makes creative use of icons, flowcharts, links, collapsible lists and other tools. Free. mindmeister.com Evernote: A storage app for all your bright ideas, musings and stray thoughts, Evernote seamlessly syncs your personal notes across devices and can store audio, video, notes and photos on a single searchable database. Free. evernote.com
Image courtesy dropbox.com
Image courtesy dropbox.com
Dropbox:¬†This cloud-based¬†folder¬†is the answer to the¬†age-old question: “How am I going to send you this huge file?” Organize and upload files and share those files with whoever you choose. It’s easy to use, and the free version comes with a huge memory cache. Free. dropbox.com ScanBizCards:¬† With this time-saving¬†app, simply take a picture of a business card and it automatically records the information in your phone’s address book. ScanBizCards¬†can also¬†sync with other devices and send you¬†reminder emails to follow-up with your new contacts.¬†Perfect for networking events ad first-time client meetings. $4.99.¬†scanbizcards.com
Image courtesy square.com
Image courtesy squareup.com
Square: Take your business on the road with Square, an app¬†that turns¬†your iPhone, Android or iPad into a mobile point-of-sale (POS) machine. With a small (free) attachment, customers can swipe their credit or debit cards and complete a transaction directly on the phone’s screen. The app will even text message a receipt to the buyer’s phone. Bonus: You pay just 2.75% per swipe for Visa and MasterCard, with no other fees or charges. squareup.com TaskForce: Feeling overwhelmed by an inbox full of requests?¬†Take control of your to-do list with¬†TaskForce, an¬†app that¬†converts email messages from¬†various providers into tasks that can be accessed¬†via¬†your computer or¬†smartphone.¬†Set deadlines, share¬†work with co-workers and¬†organize tasks from most-to-least important¬†with the click of a mouse. Free. taskforceapp.com  

5 iPhone apps to help you clean your home

A screenshot from “Chore Hero.”
You can do pretty much anything with your iPhone Рeverything, perhaps, except clean your house. Until Apple designs and iMaid, check out these five apps designed to make household chores more manageable.
Custom Hypnosis: House Cleaning Edition ($1.99) Using “specialized audio,” this app promises to turn time-consuming chores into hours of hypnosis-induced entertainment! HomeRoutines ($5) Like the gentle prodding of a parent, HomeRoutines helps you keep track of your cleaning goals. Create routine checklists, receive reminder notifications and create a “gold star” reward system for completing tasks. Clean Freak Cleaning Schedule ($.99) Designed by working parents, Clean Freak uses the “divide-and-conquer” approach to cleaning, breaking chores into 15 to 60 minute rotations. Green Shine ($1.99) Using a database of recipes based of household items, this app provides environmentally friendly solutions for more than 100 everyday housekeeping tasks, from simple window cleaning to stain removal. Chore Hero ($2.99) Is your family competitive? Chore Hero turns cleaning into a contest by allowing you to assign tasks to various members of your household. The app awards awarded points for each completed chore, with the winner being crowned the ‚ÄúChore Hero.‚ÄĚ