Summer has just begun, and the sun coming through the window of your office certainly does not help you focus: instead of listening to your colleagues during the meeting, I bet you’re fantasizing about what to pack for your next travel! After a year of working at your desk, your mental health deserves a break from technology.
However, if you are like me and you can never really unplug, feeling the need to be always connected even in the middle of the African bush (where indeed the signal is great!), your vacation is likely to become even more stressful. In fact, when you go on vacation your business doesn’t: how to deal with customers that call you while you are away, with a ton of incoming emails, and with social networks that require constant attention? Eventually, with the constant fear to lose something, you end up checking your phone even more often than usual.
Well, it’s time to find a solution and technology is here to help. The first step is to set an out-of-office email response: every provider allows you to set an automatic answer to incoming email messages, warning senders that you are not in the office until a certain date. Now let’s see 7 apps that can help us relax and enjoy our vacations even more.
Offtime is the evolution of the auto-response email: it blocks incoming calls and SMS, letting pass through only those of the people you want, such as family (and possibly your boss), and sending automatic replies to the others. Start creating a profile for the vacation period, choose which applications you want to be silenced and which contacts you consider important, and write the SMS answer you want to be sent. Then just activate the profile and enjoy your peace! If you feel the need to check what’s going on, in the Notifications section you can see everything that happened while “offtime”, such as e-mails, calls and messages that the app had blocked. But taking a break by yourself is not enough: you can share your profile with family and friends, so as to be all free from notifications and enjoy your holiday together!
Learn more by clicking here: www.offtime.co
Social media can be a nightmare: not publishing or sharing content for an entire week can result in followers loss and in visibility decline. Luckily there are tools like Hootsuite, which allows you to automate the publication of posts from all your social profiles at the same time. After connecting your accounts, you just need to prepare the post for each of them, adding links, photos and text. Simply choose the date and time of publication and here you are, Hootsuite will create a queue of posts ready to be published. The mobile application allows you to receive notifications from all your social accounts, filtering important events, such as direct messages and mentions, and leaving out less useful and annoying notifications, such as likes and shares.
Learn more by clicking here: www.hootsuite.com
Talking about social media, the problem is not only publication: while on holiday, we risk missing what is going on, from updates and events, to news in your industry. Here is where an app like Nuzzle can help: it collects all the most important articles you should read, which are shared by people you follow on Twitter or related to your interests, and presents them as a press release, directly in your mailbox. Scrolling through all the articles when you are back home (or even once a day on vacation, if you can’t help it!) is much easier and you will be able to go back to work impressing your colleagues with the latest news.
Learn more by clicking here: www.nuzzle.com
Accounting has always been a tough nuts to crack, but with Xero you can stop worrying about it. Designed for small businesses, it allows you to automate the sending and receiving of invoices, so that you can be sure your customers will pay you in time. Thanks to the Xero mobile app, you can manage your accounting wherever you are, adding travel expenses and making sure that everything is all right. This way you will avoid endless phone calls with your accountant while playing beach volley with your kids!
Learn more by clicking here: xero.com
There is nothing more stressful than having to solve a client’s problem while you are trying to relax. If customer care is a very important aspect for your business, you can’t help using services like Zendesk, which enables you to manage your entire help-desk through a mobile app. You can directly receive notification about customers’ requests, skimming the important ones so as to give priority to those who matter most. Even better, you can give your team the task to answer to customers and then check their work from the app, to see the number of requests and solved tickets. This way you won’t have a ton of work waiting for you when you get back home!
Learn more by clicking here: www.zendesk.com
One of the nightmares of the so-called Information Era are passwords. How to remember them all, from passwords to access your social accounts to websites ones? And more, how to share them safely with co-workers? Beyond the traditional password management tools, which store passwords to fill login forms automatically, Meldium is designed to share passwords and accounts with your team: when you hire someone, or if someone replaces you temporarily, you can create a new access to the accounts you want and manage password in a totally secure way. This way you no longer have to invent a secret code to communicate your passwords to collaborators!
Learn more by clicking here: meldium.com
After describing apps to automate work tasks, now let’t talk about an app that help you with more enjoyable activities as well. With IFTT (If This Then That) you can create “recipes” of events, in which an event that occurs in one application triggers a reaction in another one. For example, the receiving of an email can trigger the saving of the attachment in Evernote. Here are some recipes that can be very useful on vacation:
- When you take a picture on your smartphone, the photo is saved into a specific folder on Dropbox. More, sharing the IFTT recipe with friends and family, you can add their photos in the same folder as well!
- When you got tagged on Facebook, it saves the photo into a folder on Google Drive (or on Dropbox as before), so as not to miss a single shot!
- And to conclude… when you land after the flight, it sends a message to your mother, so she won’t be worried when you forget to call her!
Learn more by clicking here: iftt.com
Now you’re ready to pull the plug completely and start relaxing. One last tip: why not forgetting your phone charger at home? 😛