A confession: I think my iPhone may be smarter than me. When they say smart phone, they aren’t kidding. However, armed with my minicomputer, I can be smarter. Or, at least more enabled to do my job with email, chat and so many programs at my fingertips.
There are more than 100,000 applications to download in the Apple App Store. For other smart phones, such as the android, the number is growing rapidly. It can be a little daunting, especially with all of the silliness out there. I must admit I am a little partial to the bubble wrap popping game.
When it comes to work, and improving my PR game, I’ve fallen in love with a few applications. I have come to rely on them to trace my time, log mileage and keep up on the latest news.
Here are eight great apps for public relations available for no cost. As mentioned, I use an iPhone, and that is the product these applications are designed for. However, I believe that many of these in some form are available for other devices.
Hours Tracker: For calculating billable hours, or just keeping track of your time, this one is fantastic. It creates “jobs” for each client or project and allows you to enter in cost per hour for each one. From then, you can “clock in” and “clock out” if you’re tracking how long a specific task takes or enter it in later. The time is all exportable – I email it myself and then prepare it in a format to send a client.
Dropbox: Ever wanted to review a presentation or press release on the go? Dropbox allows you to look at slides or files. The program is downloaded on a computer, files are uploaded to the Dropbox, and then you can view it from anywhere. Also, it is easy to email files from the Dropbox to other people too. Yes, you can approve a set of talking points or a fact sheet for a press kit from your phone and send it on with your seal of approval. Amazing.
Tweetdeck or Twitterific: both Twitter clients that let you easily manage accounts, upload photos taken from your phone, shorten links and search for people. I am still trying to figure out my favorite. I use them both.
Yelp: Helps to sound location savvy when someone says “hey do you want to meet for coffee in La Jolla?” and you can say “sure, I love The Living Room.” And you have the address. And know what to order. And life is good. This is a social media tool. If you have a client that is getting reviewed on Yelp – it is great to be able to keep an eye on things on the go.
Free Wi-Fi: There are several Free apps just like this one. I am a fan of being able to know where I can go to get some quick work done. It gives you the name of the business, the address and distance to the location.
Personal Assistant by PageOnce: This tracks your travel, phone bill, financial accounts all in one place. Fabulous for keeping track of life on the go. The ability to look up a flight quickly or know instantly if the money is in the bank makes you a better professional.
MileBug lite: The free version of a mileage tracker. Unlike a lot of “lite” applications, this one is full featured. It just limits the entries to 10 trips. But, as the listing on the app store says “just email a report, empty the list and record 10 more!” So it is even encouraged to continually email your mileage to yourself – and then add more trips. It is always good to back things up too.
M insight: Created by MWW Group, a full service marketing and public relations agency, this app is great for catching up on your blog reading. From Mashable to PRWeek to Chris Brogan, a few swipes on the touch screen brings the latest blog post or update from the top social media, public relations and marketing sites.
Also fabulous and necessary are FourSquare and Facebook for social networking, and at least one news site application to keep updated. NPR and USA Today both have applications with great sharing features.
Which apps are your favorite? Am I leaving any out? The professional resources just keep getting better. These phones have great power beyond playing Bubble Wrap and Scrabble. Then again, those are good too.
About the Author: Natalie Wardel loves all things media. The marketing coordinator for the Metropolitan Transit System in San Diego, she assists in media relations and implemented the social media strategy. A journalist for four years before that – she deciphers messages from both sides of the lens.
Photo credit: Mastrobiggo