Eight free apps to get you through the 9 to 5

By Eleanor O'Neill, CA Today

24 March 2016

The rise of smartphones has brought diverse, cheap and user-friendly software to the literal fingertips of business professionals everywhere.

While the word ‘apps’ may immediately bring addictive gaming and social media to mind, they include creations for almost everything. We have selected our picks of the best work, travel and play apps to help you get through your 9 to 5.

Feedly (Android, iOS)

For your morning news update, Feedly offers an on-the-go alternative to sifting through email subscriptions and media outlets.

Powered by RSS, the program lets you prioritise your favourite publications, podcasts and YouTube channels so any new content is immediately made available to you on your mobile device.

All you have to do is log in and digest your neatly packaged update with breakfast.

Free for download on Apple and Android devices.

Moovit (Android, iOS)

Navigate your commute with ease by keeping Moovit at hand.

The app capitalises on real-time travel information and combats the unpredictability of public transport by constantly updating the user.

It offers directions, timetables and service alerts to make checking regular journeys as easy as tapping a widget.

Unfortunately, while Moovit has a global reach, not every major city is covered. Be sure to check your routes are included.

Free for download on Apple and Android devices.

Asana (Android, iOS)

Rather than trying to keep track of every email you receive before, during and after business hours, Asana is a handy project management tool that allows you to keep just your team’s communications all in one place.

You can create projects, tasks and deadlines for up to 15 people to comment on and add to in an extremely user-friendly interface.

The best part? Notifications will only appear for the specifics you are following so no more constantly beeping phones when something inevitably goes wrong.

Free for download on Apple and Android devices.

Sunrise (Android, iOS)

More than just a calendar, Sunrise is one of the most versatile scheduling products on the market.

Not only will it sync to Google Calendar, iCloud and Exchange but events listed on your Facebook, Evernote, Foursquare and just about anywhere else you can think of will be merged in too.

The in-app Meet feature also simplifies the whole process of arranging one-to-one meetings down to selecting a vacant timeslot and generating a single link for sharing.

Free for download on Apple and Android devices.

Zomato (Android, iOS)

At lunchtime, avoid the same old sandwiches and salads by checking out Zomato (formerly Urbanspoon).

Use the map to draw a circle around your current location and suddenly menus, reviews and directions for every nearby eatery will be available for you to filter by location, cuisine and name.

It can be used for takeaway but if you fancy getting out of the office or treating a client to a bit of last-minute wining and dining, select locations have access to in-app booking that can be as specific as choosing a particular table.

Free for download on Apple and Android devices.

Any.do (Android, iOS)

Keep on top of your to-do list with Any.do, an app that syncs to your cloud, sets alarms, recognises your voice and generally helps you get things done.

It will log missed calls and remind you to return them on the same day, store file attachments like audio, photo and PDF and even accept additional tasks via email.

Basically, all it will not do is, well, the things on your to-do list. Sorry.

Free for download on Apple and Android devices.

WPS Office (Android, iOS)

Useful for meetings and presentations, WPS Office (formerly Kingsoft Office) was awarded ‘Best App of 2015’ by Google Play.

As the name suggests, it is a complete office suite for mobile devices, fully compatible with Microsoft Office and Google Docs.

Use it to create and share documents, spreadsheets and presentations all on your smartphone or tablet with the most recent version also able to support a PDF reader.

You may begin to wonder why laptops and desktops are still a thing.

Free for download on Apple and Android devices.

Beat the Boss (Android, iOS)

At the end of the day, de-stressing is important. What better way to do that than to Beat the Boss?

In this game, you can take out your frustrations on one of the animated Boss characters with grenades, flamethrowers, ninja stars and other delightfully destructive weaponry.

The results are pretty hilarious and the game is available in eight different languages for maximum disgruntled employee reach.

Warning: Your real boss may not see the funny side.

Free for download on Apple and Android.

Wondering where your favourite productivity booster or time saver is on our list? Let us know which apps you use on a daily basis in the comments below.


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