We’ve all had emails that require follow up — but get drowned in our in-box. Nudgemail (www.nudgemail.com) is one solution that gets messages back in front when you need them. The interface couldn’t be simpler. Emails are sent to a specific Nudgemail email address depending on when you want the reminder. A prospect asked you to give them until Thursday about a new investment option? Forward their email to Thursday@nudgemail.com. It’s sent back that day. You can create your own nudges as well: have a lunch meeting in two hours, or expenses that are due? You can get a ping on all of them through addresses like email@example.com The service, still in beta, is free for now — yet another nudge to give the service a try.
Looking for a way to run your office computer from your iPad or Android device? LogMeIn is an encrypted app that lets users tunnel into their desktop and stop worrying if they’ve backup up data on to a mobile device before they left for the day. The app is even cross platform; Microsoft and Apple may be competitors, but here they can be friends. While free for iPad and iPhone users wanting access to their PCs and Macs, Android users are charged $29.99. And to run your PC or Mac anywhere, even the home computer, users pay $69.95 a year per machine (although bundling is available.) But at that level you can pull and print documents from a remote computer to an onsite location, transfer data, share a desktop with clients—even play the MP3s from your home iMac. It’s like carrying your desktop computer in the palm of your hand.
Duplicated files are more than just annoying — they can also eat up valuable space on your hard drive. Twins can locate, and then delete unneeded duplicates including files as well as software programs. After dragging the folders that you want scanned into the app, it generates a list of duplicates, which you can review before selecting files for the trash. Twins even tells you how large the file is, keeping a running total of how much new hard drive space you’ve scored. Available on the Mac App Store, Twins is priced at $9.99, but is selling at a 70% discount of $2.99 — a perfect price for a little fall cleaning.
Miss a connecting flight on the way to meet a client? Forget standing in line waiting for a customer service rep. FlightBoard will get you back on track in seconds. This clever app, which resembles the airline listings at the airport, pulls up every flight leaving from major airports across the globe from Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Ca. to Barajas Airport in Madrid. Pull up gate numbers, airline, and whether it’s on time, late, en route or still scheduled. You can sort by destination or arrival location, and even track a flight in mid-air for an extra fee. Workable on iPad, iPhone and Android devices, the app even tells you the kind of aircraft for the flight — helpful for those who prefer to avoid those regional CRJs for something with a tiny bit more legroom.
Nothing like a noisy room to ruin a client lunch. Finding a bistro where you can be heard while discussing an investor’s portfolio can be tough. Sometimes it’s a choice between a good, but loud meal — or coffee in the park. Yelp can help. Its robust search feature can mine through millions of reviews to find which corners are quiet, or ones to avoid, in cities from San Diego, Ca. to Sandusky, Ohio. Have a client who’s also vegetarian and gluten-free? Plug that in too. With reviews written by users, this probably isn’t going to lead to a Cordon Bleu experience. But it might turn up a hidden gem of a sushi spot — and score some savvy points with clients too.
Looking for an app to rein in your mobile life? Evernote comes pretty close. From saving images of receipts, voice records and web pages, to transferring client notes into your favorite CRM program, Evernote is the ultimate digital assistant, filing without ever asking for a break. Notes can be synced between devices and computers, shared among coworkers or friends, plus the note-taking service recently updated its security protocol to tighten restrictions when connecting with outside apps.
While hardly a youngster, Evernote still continues to attract users, including those within the advisor community because of the way data is translated into text — so it’s easy to search, and find later. At $45 a year for premium storage and a PIN to lock their app, or free for the lighter version, it's certainly worth a spin the next time you’re organizing notes after a client meeting — and before you’re scrambling to find information for the next.
Missing your highlighter in today's digital age? Flow punch back into your data reports with Roambi — a mobile app that takes Excel, Salesforce, plus a host of other sources, spinning them into interactive rainbows. No more dozing clients, nodding off during portfolio presentations. The iPad and iPhone-enabled app comes in two flavors — Roambi Analytics, which transforms numbers into candy-colored graphics, and Roambi Flow, which turns reports into magazine-styled apps. Both are free, although Analytics’ Pro and Enterprise versions start at $99 a year. You'll never touch that Power Point again.
Weather reports are notoriously wrong. No one’s escaped grabbing an umbrella only to find clear skies all day, or bringing the jacket on the day temperatures soar to unseasonably warm.
When meeting a potential client, looking prescient on all fronts can matter. Next time you leave for an out of town client meeting, try MyRadar, a mobile app for iPhones or iPads, Windows, and Android-based devices that serves up animated weather displays anywhere in the continental U.S. – a fun diversion for meetings if nothing else. It even pushes alerts if something dark and stormy is brewing.
Wise Investor Group’s Randy Beeman checks in before flying his plane to nearby cities, while non-aviators may find it makes the difference between getting caught in a sudden squall and, like any good advisor, being prepared with the right tools.
Having some Siri envy? The voice-activated ‘personal assistant’ is a useful tool if you are an iPhone owner. Now Android owners can get a similar service. Try Vlingo (http://www.vlingo.com/), the app that turns any mobile device into a digital assistant. Find restaurants, Tweet, and jot down notes from a client meeting, all without taking your hands off the wheel. No it won’t brew coffee. But it will search for a drive-through café — and likely a better cup of Joe.
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