Ambitious professionals want to make fast progress toward their goals, but the smallest details often get in the way.
At Marlow, we help busy people juggle an endless wave of tasks in an efficient manner. Instead of spending all their time and creative energy on polishing their work, we recommend delegating some of the workload to an app—and focus on more important tasks.
Here are the 5 apps that will help you avoid silly mistakes, manage emails and to-do lists, keep your expertise updated, and stand out as a more polished professional.
Grammarly: Your writing often makes the first impression, and Grammarly helps that impression to be good. The “writing assistant” catches silly errors that spell-check often misses, fixing typos, grammatical errors, and misspellings. What’s even better is that you can use the Grammarly keyboard on iOS and Android devices, keeping your on-the-go emails polished.
Why it matters: While you might think a small typo here and there doesn’t matter (and maybe it shouldn’t), those typos could be damaging your professional brand. In a best-case scenario, grammatical errors, misspellings, and typos are a sign that you may not be someone who cares about the details. In the worst case scenario, you may be signaling to others that your writing skills are lacking.
Asana: Asana is a great way to manage your ever-growing to-do list and do more in less time. You can share your to-do items with coworkers, set deadlines, and add notes. You can even add sub-tasks in a specific to-do list item to better manage projects. The best part is that you can check completed items off, sending them into your archive--out of sight but still accessible in case you need to go back and review the old to-do items.
Why it matters: If you’re still keeping notes in a variety of locations, some items are likely to slip through the cracks. And when your work slips through the cracks, you fail to move your projects forward, slowing down your team and company. When you’re organized, you appear more professional to the people who work with you.
Stitcher: Stitcher is a podcast player that serves as a spark for a fair portion of my new ideas or solutions. One of the easiest ways to stay up to speed in your field is to listen to great podcasts (or audio books). For example, the podcast This is Product Management brings in the experts in the field to talk about science, innovation, and statistics in product management. Another podcast, Writers on Writing, covers the art and business of the wordsmith craft. Listening to podcasts specific to your career can give you the information you’re just not going to come up within a vacuum.
Why it matters: The more you know, the more you know. One of the easiest ways to level up your skills and become a more polished professional is to absorb new perspectives and learn about new skills and trends on a regular basis. Podcasts that feature experts in your field are a great way to do this.
Evernote: There are endless note takers out there (I confess, I have about four or five on my phone). Evernote, however, is phenomenal for keeping my information organized. The feature I use most often is their “web clipper,” a chrome extension that pulls in content from a page. For example, say you’re reading an article and you want to highlight some information in it; Evernote does this magically well when you drag the Highlighter tool over the text. The other thing that makes Evernote great is a feature where you can take pictures of a whiteboard and it automatically crops it in a way that it looks like a slide rather than like whiteboard notes. While the feature isn’t perfect, it’s stellar for quickly taking notes at conferences.
Why it matters: Your ability to take notes, easy accessibility, and organization can help you retain information better and improve your organizational skills, as well as to quickly pull up the relevant details when you are on a call or about to have a meeting.
Boomerang: For your professional emails to be effective, you need to be scheduling your emails at a thoughtful time. Boomerang gives you the ability to send your emails when they make the most sense to your audience. For example, if you’re up late on a Tuesday night, you shouldn’t be sending the people on your team an email--schedule it for the next morning. Similarly, if you’re sending information related to a specific meeting, use Boomerang to schedule your email at a time that makes sense (i.e., the agenda should go out the day before, lengthy notes should go out several days before, etc.).
Why it matters: The timing of your emails affects whether they will be read, as well as whether you present yourself as a punctual and respectful professional.
There you have it! We’ve highlighted several tools to strengthen your workflow and attend to the tasks that might seem small, but play a major role in improving your professional growth. Taking care of the details with the right apps can allow you to focus on your main goals while making you an efficient and effective employee.