Phone Apps for Productivity

I’m big on technology. One of my most used pieces of technology is my smartphone.  I wanted to share with you some of the apps that I use all the time, so much so that these apps are on my home screen. I currently have an iPhone but I’m pretty sure all of the apps I’m sharing are available for both Apple and Android.

While there are a few apps on my homescreen that are for personal and family, most of these apps are ones I use for my appraisal business. I’m going to focus on apps that I use for productivity on a regular basis.

I used to take all of the appraisal photos on my phone and put them into a Dropbox file but I’ve changed to using Google Photos instead.  Google Photos is free to use and there is no limit.  They do reduce the photo quality a little, but not really enough to be noticeable. Google Photos also makes it very simple to set up shared folders so I can easily separate family photos from work ones.

I use Expensify to keep track of my business receipts. This app lets me go paperless but still keep copies of my receipts for tax purposes.  I just take a snapshot of the receipt, add it to the right account and category. Since Expensify doesn’t connect with my bank account, my bookkeeper has my Expensify password and username information so she can quickly add everything into QuickBooks.

Expensify does have a feature to keep track of your mileage but I use a different app instead.  To use Expensify, you have to remember to check or reset your trip odometer every time you go out.  I often forget so I use MileIQ instead.  Even when I forget to turn it on, this app tracks my miles whenever I start and stop throughout the day.  Then, at the end of the day, all I have to do is swipe either left or right for each trip to assign it to work or personal.  It’s as simple as that and it literally takes me about 10 seconds to go through all of my trips each day to make sure that I put them in the proper category.

I was introduced to Evernote a couple of years ago and I’ve never looked back. There is a bit of a learning curve for this app but, once you understand how to use it, you’ll have the ability to track everything.  I have a shared folder so my assistant and I can share notes with one another like my travel itinerary or something for the next staff meeting. Available for both your phone and your desktop, there are free and paid versions.  Personally, I’ve found more than enough features in the free version so I’ve never purchased the premium version.

The Voice Over IP app gives me the ability to sound like I’m in the office, even when I’m out doing an inspection. It also lets you use a business phone number instead of showing your cell phone number when calling. 

The WhatsApp app is another favorite of mine.  Through this app I can quickly communicate with my office. I can text, send a video, send photos, and, most importantly, I can send audio. 

We can go back and forth and WhatsApp is great by the way to talk to one another.

Last year my assistant, Lee, introduced me to Google Keep. I don’t use this app much for my own To Do lists but it’s great for tracking my long term lists or ones that I’m sharing with another person.

Finally, I have Facebook Messenger so I can stay in touch with my Facebook groups for my All Star Team and my Dream Team. I do not get notifications from Facebook on my phone, I got rid of that years ago. If I want to check Facebook, I open the app to see if something’s waiting for me.

For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 430

7 Comments on “Phone Apps for Productivity”

  1. Pingback: Phone Apps for Productivity - Appraisal Buzz

  2. I would suggest another app that I find very useful. It’s an app that measures angles called 360. It’s actually called 360 degree but uses the “degree” symbol which I do not have on my keyboard. It is simple to use, accurate and a life saver when measuring a house with non-standard angles. (ie. other than 45 degree angles) Free app for android.

  3. Speaking of mobile apps. I would be incredibly interested to hear how you, The Appraiser Coach, the man who is sponsored by Ala Mode, time and again, deals with data loss in the Total for Mobile app. Correct me, if I’m wrong but, I can’t believe this hasn’t happened to you. After reading the reviews of that app, in the Google Play Store, I now realize, I am by no means the only one to whom this happens. Over the years, the travel needed for your market has been made clear. Have you suffered data loss with Mobile? Has your sketch ever returned dimensions that you did not enter? Have you found pictures of other homes, in reports that, until you opened it in the field, had not been opened at all? And, if you have encountered zero problems, what are you running? The reviews in the Apple App store indicate the issues are not OS related. Any help in this area would be incredibly appreciated. Tech support has not produced solutions for these issues.

  4. I am curious if you are using the Total Mobile app why are you are also using Google photos? Does Total Mobile not store your photos? I am looking for a better solution to storing photos

  5. What are the advantages to using WhatsApp as opposed to just using text messages with attached videos, audio clip and/or photos? It sounds as if it can do all the functions that are typically attached to the options on text messaging.

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