There is nothing more satisfying than finding an app that saves you time, energy and works across multiple devices. As a iPhone and a mac user it’s often easier to work on an app than through the web version of a product. After being asked regularly which apps I use I thought I would put together my list of must have apps that will make your business and professional life easier and hopefully save you time (and money) moving forward.

Email

  • Outlook is by the far the best email app on the market, not only is it super fast it handles numerous email accounts and from numerous providers including exchange, office 365, outlook/hotmail, gmail (including professional google mail), Yahoo mail, icloud and iMap. The Outlook app also has inbuilt calendar management and customisable swipe options that allows you to achieve, delete, snooze etc. Outlook also has seamless integrated file sharing; providers including OneDrive, Dropbox, box and Google Drive. The focus inbox is also a stand out feature and allows you to concentrate and manage the important emails.
    Links 🔗 – Google PlayiOS – Chrome
  • Spark is my second favourite email app, its super easy to use, offers swipe management to control your inbox. Spark has inbuilt read notification and allows you to pin emails so when they are replied to you have an in-app notification of a reply, so you do not have to worry about missing an important response, you can also program so you can get notifications from VIP’s. The one simple feature which is underrated is the quick responses; you can reply with one button with a like, a thanks or a smile 😀.
    Links 🔗 –iOS
  • Inbox by Google is a good email app, obviously as a Google product it works well, has good email management options and very easy to use. Google have clearly thought through how it look and operates and I know most Googlers use it. Two features which stand out are the bundles which automatically puts together your purchases, finance, updates and forums (social) emails with cool previews of the attachments, it can be annoying but you do get used to it.
    Something you will end up doing is training inbox what emails are important to you (it takes time but I know a lot of people like that).
    Links 🔗 –iOS – Google Play – Chrome

Read my full breakdown and review of the best email apps for iPhone

Instant Messengers and communication

  • Slack is my favourite way of communicating with my clients and colleagues. I have implemented it with two clients and it’s reduced hundreds of cc’ed emails and silly FYI emails. Slack allows open and transparent conversation in large groups and rooms. I personally prefer the mac app over the web version and the mobile app is one of the stand out apps on the iPhone. Slack’s search functionality, private chats and previews make it a must have product in any organisation and will reduce email stress. It is definitely the go to instant messenger / communication tool of today and the future.
    Links 🔗 – Mac – iOS – Google Play – Chrome
  • Skype; what more do you need to say, great for international calls, reliable IM and very good for video calls and conferences (depending on your connections). The Mac version is highly customisable and slightly better IMHO than the windows version. The iPhone version does run your battery down very quickly but super useful and clearly Skype have thought about how opt in notifications should work. Essential app if you work internationally or have international clients.
    Links 🔗 – Mac – iOS – Google Play
  • Whatsapp, Facebook’s 19billion dollar purchase is not one many people think is a business app but definitely is. Whatsapp has 900million MAU’s and in many countries is the default communication app. Whatsapp web is a stroke of genius and really handy if you have a professional network and can ask questions quickly to group chats. The iOS app is super simple and if you hate relying on SMS whatsapp is a great replacement (especially with conversation archiving and emailing conversations). Personally I would say it’s the best Western IM around. Also the call option is actually really good if you are in 4g or wifi zones.
    Links 🔗 – WebiOSGoogle Play
  • Hangouts, Google talk / gchat whatever you call it yourself, Hangouts is a solid platform I cannot live without. Hangouts is super easy to use, often more reliable for video conferencing than Skype and other apps and integrates particularly well with google mail / gmail. It’s another app that will drain your battery however for an app that you can use anywhere and can quickly address problems and have a quick face to face meeting it is an important app. I know the android users love hangouts and it’s integration into the Chrome browser makes it even easier to use.
    Links 🔗 – iOS – Google Play
  • Messenger; it might surprise a number of people for me to add Facebook’s messenger to the list, Facebook messenger in many countries is actually the preferred method of communication and in some parts of Asia actually is considered a typical business tool (think LinkedIn). Messenger is truly cross platform, it’s HD calling and video calls are great (depending on your 4g connection or how good your wifi is) and is good for quick and searchable conversations. It’s not for everyone and now you can have a messenger account that’s not connected to a Facebook profile it’s a great tool to use.
    Links 🔗 – WebiOSGoogle Play

Productivity

  • Sunrise is the best calendar (so much so Microsoft spent a lot of money on it) there is. I really like the ease of use and the number of integrations (icloud, google mail, office 365, Facebook, wunderlist, todolist, evernote, basecamp, trello, twitter to name a few) makes it more of an essential tasks / reminder tool.
    It pulls in the location of the meeting from google maps and breaks down your day in morning, afternoon and evening sections with cool icons highlighting what type of appointment you have. The “meet” feature is where you can outline your available times and share with colleagues and clients to accept and plan meetings.
    Links 🔗 – MaciOSGoogle PlayChrome
  • Evernote is a great note taking app, I use it for a blend of tasks, notes and a personal wiki. The reason why evernote worked for me is how simple it is, how seamlessly it syncs across browser and app and tagging works better than most other apps. I really like the mac app over web app, the web clipper is another great app to compliment the main app. Give it a few days and you won’t need anymore notebooks or stick notes.
    Links 🔗 – Mac iOSGoogle PlayChrome
  • Pushbullet is my favourite basic app, it allows you to send links between mac and phone, it’s great if you are looking at something on your phone and want to send to your mac and then share onwards. I find it great for when you are talking on IM on your phone and you push the link from mac to iPhone and have seamless chats rather than email links or open different apps and try to share etc.
    Links 🔗 – MaciOSGoogle Play
  • Product Hunt, as a previous Head of Product I love tools (as you can see by this post) and products that come out, finding great products used to be difficult and often relied on the same people or sites to review products. Product Hunt if you do not know is is a website and app that surfaces great content, submitted by a great community and then voted up by the community. There are great notes and questions so you won’t have to download every tool on there.
    I have found many of these apps via Product Hunt and love what Ryan and co are doing. Definitely download if you are looking for the best apps or SaaS solutions out there.
    Links 🔗 – iOS – Chrome
  • Pocket is my favourite read it later / save for later article to read when I have time or read offline while I commute. Pocket is super simple and concentrates on the text of the article. You can save directly from your browser (Chrome extension is great) and sync on your phone and read on the train, tube or toilet like a lot of people do. The read (it reads the article to you, great for lazy people like me) service on the iOS app is pretty cool.
    Links 🔗 – iOSGoogle PlayChrome

Podcasts are an essential part of my development and whenever I take a walk, between meetings or travel I always have a podcast on, here are my list of most recommended must listen to podcasts.

Travel

  • Citymapper is Google maps with a personality, as living and working in London I often struggle to find my way around or work around the tube delays or strikes. Citymapper allows you to get from A to B in the quickest or best possible way, you can see walk times, bus and tube times and also integrates with trains also. It is integrated directly into online services so if your tube is delayed its updates and is often ahead of other apps.
    You can also order an Uber directly from the app, I find it easier and quicker to get a taxi rather than using the Uber app.  Citymapper recently added recommendations for where to get on the tube (what carriage sector) and are adding worldwide cities all the time. I always use Citymapper over Google Maps and is a utility over an app for me.
    Links 🔗 – iOSGoogle Play
  • Google Maps: You know what Maps (offline mode is great) does so I’ll leave you with the app links anyways – Links 🔗 – iOSGoogle Play
  • Uber is definitely the go to taxi app of choice for me. Ease of use, direct payments on your card and pricing are all reasons to download alone. With the number of international trips I make it reduces stress and gets you between airport, hotel, offices and off site meetings.
    Links 🔗 – iOSGoogle Play
  • Surge is a great way to understand where there is surge pricing on Uber, often if you walk for a few minutes the surge is not on in that area, this app allows you to see where the nearest place to you is surge free allowing you to save money and burn a few more calories. I also use it to understand how busy an area is or if I should get an uber or is the tube the better route. Smart hey.
    Links 🔗 – iOSGoogle Play

Weather

  • Dark Sky is iOS only currently, its £2.99 and has only ever been wrong once. My old boss recommended it to me and by his recommendation alone I happily paid and haven’t looked back. Dark Sky tells you when it might rain, what % chance it is to rain and how heavy. It’s very accurate on local temps, wind speed, how humid it is and the UV index, great for hayfever suffers too. The app is also has great UI and I would highly recommend spending the small amount of money on it (it’s less than the latte you drink).
  • BBC Weather was always my trusted weather app and is when looking at the forecast for destinations outside London it’s the app of choice. It’s super simple, beautiful looking and rarely wrong. As you would expect it’s free and definitely an upgrade than the pre-installed weather app on both OS’.
    Links 🔗 – iOSGoogle Play

Newsreaders

  • Feedly is doing a great job in keeping the RSS feed alive and has really helped me move away from content and social media fatigue. With some tweaks feedly instantly transforms content discovery and allows you to remove the noise and just read good content. Categorising sections of content is a great idea and something that helps me stay on top of the most important news. I love the mac and iOS apps and have struggled to use any other RSS driven apps. If you update to the fee paying model you can share your feeds and people can follow your most important content which is kinda cool, especially with over 1% of traffic (from all clients stats) coming via feedly.
    Links 🔗 – MaciOSGoogle PlayChrome 

A bonus round…..File management and sharing

There are so many to choice from, I really like the following apps/solutions and well worth looking at for business or personal use:

  • For best security for your documents SpiderOak is one solution you should check out, does not offer as much free space but is super secure and mac app is great. It was Edward Snowden’s recommendation, take that as you like.
  • For ease of use and huge free space check out Copy just as easy as Dropbox & box and any other free / business hosting service. It also has an easier interface and categorising important sub folders etc. It’s owned by one of the large hard drive manufactures so you know they take cloud storage seriously.
  • An alternative with loads of free secure space and super cheap is Sync, I actually really like Sync and even a couple of clients have moved across too.
  • And lastly there is always Google Drive that many business use, the mac version is very easy and although unbundled their mobile apps its really useful if you want to quickly share directly to colleagues.

If you would prefer please go to see my collection on Product Hunt where I have added a few select social media apps and voted up other apps.

Let me know if you have any top apps I have not added.