Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My 5 Favorite Apps For Business and For Fun!

Dave Hemler is CEO of Revation Systems, which delivers secure and compliant communication and collaboration platforms to organizations in regulated and high-compliance.

1. Evernote A perennial favorite, with good reason: I keep track of everything in Evernote. Since I'm someone who can often be described as forgetful, Evernote is an app I use across all my devices and PCs to keep track of things both business and personal. Notes from all of my meetings are easily tagged and searchable. I can set reminders on notes and share important ones with others in the company. I keep all my shopping lists by location in Evernote, such that I’ve largely eliminated that “what else did I need to get?” moment when I’m standing in the checkout line at the grocery store. Configuration information for various systems, recipes I like, and notes from books or talks that resonated with me are all in there.

2. LastPass With all the noise and scare in early May from the Heartbleed vulnerability to so many websites, I was glad I was using LastPass. It’s a secure password management service and app that I use across my devices. It allows me to save my passwords in the LastPass vault and not have to remember and type passwords for all the various sites and online services I visit. It will automatically generate very strong passwords for you, and it flags sites where you may be using the same password if you aren’t using their generated passwords. From a work perspective it’s great since I can delegate access to various sites and logins without disclosing any of the underlying information. For example, I could grant server access to a support team member without actually giving him or her any login or password information. With so much of Revation’s business in regulated industries like banking and healthcare, that extra control and security is a significant benefit.

3. Box Box is yet another service and app combination that I depend on and use on all my devices. It allows me to securely share and collaborate with our employees and our customers regardless of device or location. There are a lot of great cloud file-sharing services (Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox among them), but Box stands out for its security, simple but powerful content sharing and viewing tools, and extensibility. Whether it’s sharing proofs for large marketing and image files or getting customer sign-off on a promotional video, Box makes it easy for me to share and update on whatever device I happen to be on.

4. Trello I’ve experimented with a variety of task applications and to-do management tools but lately I’ve been using Trello to help me manage my commitments and deliverables both personally and professionally. Trello is a visual organization tool that uses Kanban principles associated with Lean Six Sigma to help you track progress, display next steps, organize, and arrange projects, tasks and just about anything else. I like it better than other apps I’ve used ( any.do is a very good one) because it allows me to both see detail on my tasks but also really zoom out to get a big picture – something I found hard to do with other apps. It’s also easy to share, add others to collaborate, and assign cards and tasks to others.

5. Hubspot At Revation, we use HubSpot as our integrated marketing tool – everything from email marketing and our company blog to social media and targeted inbound marketing. It’s really been a great tool for us, and HubSpot have recently released mobile apps for iOS and Android. These allow me to see progress on our marketing activities, get notified when we have new leads, publish and monitor social media, and really take action on any marketing tasks from my mobile devices that would previously have required me to be at my PC. My favorite app for fun Dots When I need a break or some quick rejuvenation, I turn to Dots. In general I’m not much of a gamer, but Dots is just a gorgeous and deceptively simple game about connecting dots of the same color. The developer, Betaworks One has just released a sequel to the game cleverly called Two Dots (currently only available on iOS) that should soon become my new obsession.

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Contact me at Tduggan@Cogentco.com at Cogent for more Info or to Network. Cogent delivers customers with Highly Reliable, Secure and Scalable Networks with over 190 markets throughout 38 countries in North America, Europe and Asia, with over 57,900 route miles of long-haul fiber and over 27,400 miles of metropolitan fiber.

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