June 9

The NerdHerd Chimes in! Great Apps from the New Book

Yesterday I finished integrating more than 130 app ideas and endorsements into The Big Book of Apps manuscript. The contributors added dozens of new apps to my list, and I love how they gave many alternatives to the apps I love.

Check out my faves and the NerdHerd alternatives!

Expense Tracking

I say…

Expense Manager for Paper and Digital Receipts

Shoeboxed is a service that lets you snap a picture of something you need transcribed, or, even better, lets you physically send stuff to someone else who will unwrinkle and decipher the hard-to-read contents to extract the important info.

It’s been around for quite some time. About ten bucks a month will let you send in up to 50 documents a month, including things such as business cards, documents and receipts. It’ll scan and categorize everything for you and provide you a beautiful portal where you can export the organized information for expense reports, taxes, contact management and more.

NerdHerder Mary C. Kelly, Ph.D. says…

Easy Expense Tracker

My NerdHerd friend Mary C. Kelly, Ph.D., is a brilliant economist (like listed on “best of” lists for economists). She loves Wally to track her expenses because she says it’s easier than other systems. A thumbs up from her means something.

Photo Storage and Sharing

I say…

Google Photos
Unlimited Photo/Video Storage with Image Recognition

In 2016 Google Photos offered a great gift to the internet universe: free, unlimited photo storage for all. Besides the awesomeness of the free/unlimited feature, Google includes some positively eerie (creepy?) functionality that may forever change how you organize and find images.

Google groups photos by timelines and geography first, so you can look back to the pictures you took last April or just click on the New Orleans category to see your vacation photos from 2010.

Then it starts getting creepy. The service uses artificial intelligence through your photos and can identify faces and objects. My nephews kind of look alike. Not only did Google separate their pictures, it also identified the same boy from age 2 to age 9. Search for the word “dog,” and images of your last three pets will appear on your page. It’s not perfect by any stretch… many of my “dog” pictures were of my cats, Copy and Paste. I searched for “hat” and came up with all kinds of my family members and friends wearing hats. The word “orange” yielded a half dozen photos, and I know I have a bunch more.

When you click on the Assistant button, you’ll discover a host of videos, collages and timelines that Google Photos created for you. You can also use their templates and search features to choose photos and videos to make creations of your own.

NerdHerder Johanne Stogran says…

Photo-Sharing App for Events

From the title of this app, it’s probably no secret that WedPics is geared toward weddings. The happy couple can set up a site and invite guests, who can then share the photos they take with the group. NerdHerder Johanne Stogran loves it. “WedPics offers an easy way to get informal, candid pictures of your wedding and all the festivities. Guests take them and then can share… it’s a great way to share the day and it’s FREE!”

To-Do List Management

My manager and NerdHerder Dawn James say…

My Manager’s Favorite Productivity Tool

I’m putting Todoist at the top of my list of list tools based on the masterful way my business manager uses it to keep Nerd HQ on track. Molly Gardner uses Todoist for every part of her life, from our short-term projects to our long-term ideas to the home projects she’ll get to someday.

Like many of the top task list tools, Todoist lets you sync your lists on any device. When Molly forces me to use it, I find the integration with Gmail (Page X) very helpful, because I can turn emails into tasks and throw them back on her plate with a couple of clicks. I never needed more than the free version, but Molly finds the extra features in premium very helpful, such as more projects, location-based reminders and the capability to work with more collaborators.

Todoist gets extra points for its natural-language task skills (such as “remind me to make my car payment on the first of every month starting in October”), as well as its integrations with IFTTT and Zapier.

Molly’s not the only one who loves Todoist. NerdHerder Dawn James says, “This to do list attaches to Outlook, allows you to prioritize and group items by project, and (if you pay) attach notes, documents and links to the items on the list. Plus, as you check items off of the list, you earn Todoist Karma points! Who doesn’t love to earn points?”

NerdHerder Melissa Heeke says…

Any List
A NerdHerder’s Favorite Task Management App

Legacy NerdHerder Melissa Heeke likes Any List. “This app helps me to stay organized by creating to-do lists, to-buy lists (groceries!), etc., and to collaborate on lists online and via the app. Very handy!”

Call Management

I say…

Google Voice
Call Management System

Have you ever had to write an email to someone that says, “If it’s after 5 p.m., call on this line; or call the office during the weekdays, unless it’s Tuesday, when you can reach me at the volunteer center”?

Google Voice gives you one phone number to text, call and check voicemail. You can reach it from any device, managing all your communications in one place wherever you are.

It’s not a phone service; let’s call it an advanced call-management system. Most of the awesome features are free, and it can centralize (and revolutionize) your phone and text communications. My manager, Molly, uses a Google Voice number for calls to Nerd HQ so she can answer work calls on her personal phone without having to share her real number.

The truth is I’ve been worried about Google Voice for several years because they stopped updating it and it seemed forgotten. But in 2016, Google brought new features and energy to the service, and I’m thrilled to recommend it again.

NerdHerder Chris Christensen says…

Voicemail Management System

If you’re in an industry that receives a lot of calls, check out HulloMail. This voicemail management app comes with an enthusiastic recommendation from NerdHerder Chris Christensen. The voicemail-in-the-cloud functionality gives you the ability to save, search and share voicemails, and even receive and catalog the transcriptions with paid upgrades. “HulloMail makes life convenient, and my voicemail box is never full,” Chris says.


business essentials, communication, graphics, organization, productivity

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