Holly Jones, JD, BLR Legal Editor, has identified 10 apps that can help boost your HR productivity. As an added bonus, many of these apps are free!
App #1. Waze
If you commute or travel as part of your HR role, one way to increase your productive work time in the office is to decrease the amount of time you spend getting there. Waze (www.waze.com) integrates crowd-sourced traffic data with GPS navigation, bringing you a real-time peek at the travel conditions wherever you are. (Free. Available for iOS and Android.)
App #2. Turboscan
Of course, one of the primary ways apps increase productive work time is by letting you perform traditionally in-office functions while away from your desk. For example, Turboscan (turboscanapp.com) optimizes your smartphone’s built-in camera to double as a high-quality document scanner, allowing you to quickly and easily snap and store printed documents on the go.
You can record receipts for business purchases, convert multipage conference agendas to a hand-held digital format, or even share parts (or all) of lengthy forms, policies, and similar documents ($1.99. Currently only available for iOS, but an Android option may come in the future.)
App #3. Cloud Storage
Speaking of cloud storage, popular cloud storage services such as Dropbox (www.dropbox.com), Microsoft SkyDrive (windows.microsoft.com), and Google Drive (drive.google.com) all offer free apps for iOS and Android devices, allowing you to open and share files in your cloud storage while on the go.
Most of these services provide new users with a generous amount of free storage space, and if additional space is needed, it can be purchased on a low-cost subscription basis. Three popular services are listed above, but if these don’t meet your needs, there are still many others, such as SugarSync and Box. Some services, such as iCloud and AmazonCloud, allow syncing of only certain document types (typically media files), while other services are open-ended, allowing the user to drag and drop documents of all types into organized folders that can be kept private or shared with colleagues. (Free. Cloud desktop services are available for Mac and PC and can also be accessed via Web browser; apps are available for iOS and Android.)
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App #4. LogMeIn
For mobile access to documents or software that cannot leave your desktop computer, LogMeIn (secure.logmein.com) is a remote desktop service that allows you to securely log in to your desktop computer via the LogMeIn website. Plus, with the mobile app, you can also access your LogMeIn-enabled desktop from your phone or tablet device. (Free for iOS users; free version not currently available to Android users, though the $29.99 LogMeIn Ignition service is available.)
App #5. Evernote
Evernote (evernote.com) is cloud storage of a different stripe, as it is built around enhanced notetaking. At its simplest level, Evernote allows you to take notes and create simple text documents, whether on your computer or a mobile device, then have those same notes immediately accessible on other devices or via the Evernote website. If you remember a key point, you can add it to your notes anytime, anywhere.
You can also take and insert photos and sound clips right into your document. An enhanced Evernote Business (http://evernote.com/business/) service adds collaboration features. (Free. Desktop services available for Mac and PC and can also be accessed via Web browser; apps available for iOS and Android).
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The developers of Evernote have also created a free annotation program, complete with mobile app, called Skitch (evernote.com/skitch) Skitch is simple—it allows you to take an existing form, document, photo, map, or other file and add comments, notes, and simple graphics to it.
Need to document an on-site safety risk or maintenance need? With Skitch you can snap a photo of the concern, quickly add an arrow to point out the area in need of attention, and then share the annotated image as needed. (Free. Desktop services available for Mac and PC and can also be accessed via web browser; apps available for iOS and Android.)
In tomorrow’s Advisor, more apps for HR, plus an introduction to the all-compensation-and-benefits-in-one website, Compensation.BLR.com.