Apps Every Leader Should Have on Their Phone

Almost everyone has a Smartphone with an almost unlimited number of app options. The best leaders take advantage of the right phone apps. They know which ones they should have and which ones to avoid or delete. Here are some of the apps I have on my iPhone 5, they allow me to be productive and make my life easier.

Email Account-

Every leader should have email access on their phones. An email app allows you to quickly see, read, and send emails. I personally have 2 Gmail accounts. The first is my primary account (danblackonleadership.com) and the second is for the blogs I’m subscribed to. The reason I setup an email account for the blogs I’m subscribed to is so my primary account is not as cluttered and all the blogs I read are in one place.

To-do list-

Having a to-do list app on your phone can help you remember to do the things you should do or want to do. I use the app called Do! The Best Simple To Do List (it’s free/iphone only)! I suggest writing down the most important tasks you want or need to get done for that day, either the night before or in the morning. Also set reminds so you will never forget what you need to do.

Evernote-

I use this app on a daily basis. It allows a person to easily record or write down anything they want to remember. It’s been especially helpful for when I’m working on a project. When an idea or thought comes that is outside of what I’m working on, I capture it on Evernote. This gives me the peace of mind that it’s saved and I no longer need to think about it, allowing me to refocus on the task at hand. It’s important for leaders to have a place to capture their ideas and thoughts.

Social media-

There are a variety of different social media platforms. In Social Media and Communication I wrote about how social media can help you stay connected with three groups of people; your fans or followers, with customers or clients, and in finding and developing new relationships. The key is to find and focus on the social media platforms that will best allow you to stay connected with those three groups (mine are Twitter and Facebook). Having Social media apps on your phone can help you to better stay connected.

Video chat-

I use Skype, Google Hangout, and FaceTime (Facetime is only for iphone users)apps for the convenience of being able to see the person while having a conversation with them. Even though it’s not in person, being able to see the person brings great value. Leaders should have several ways to connect and communicate with their people, when they are away from the office or out of town. A video chat app can allow you to do that.

Amazon Kindle-

An Amazon Kindle app allows a person to read Kindle edition books from their phone. This allows a leader to have multiple books on hand without needing to carry around traditional books. The downside of this, and why I only read a few books from this app a year, is that the screen/words are small which can make the book difficult to read.

Audible-

My commute to work is about 40 minutes each way. I listen to audio books through my audible app on most commute days. When I listen to books I put the reading speed to 3x allowing me to listen to about 80 minutes of the content while driving one way (about 160 minutes each day). I started to be more intentional about listening to audio books at the start of the year and it’s helped me to increase the number of books I read/listen to. Audible is very affordable.

Stitcher-

This app allows you to listen to Podcasts. I’m currently listening to more audio books than Podcasts so right now I listen to about 2-3 Podcasts a week (Though during the year it can switch). The key is to always be growing by listening to growth content, either audio books or Podcasts. A few Podcast worth checking out include:

Pandora-

I listen to music using my Pandora app. Pandora gives you easy access to the music you enjoy. The responsibilities of leadership can be demanding. Listening to music has the power to inspire, encourage, and nourish your life. Make sure to have access to the music you enjoy.

Questions: Do you use any of the apps I do? Can you add to the list of apps every leader should have?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

    I love having Kindle on my iPhone it makes my books accessible anywhere. When I’m in Ukraine I ride public transportation a lot and that gives me great time to read. I also listen to podcasts when I walk. Thanks for the mention of my podcast Dan! It feels nice to be right there between Bogdan Kipko and Michael Hyatt, two podcasts that I also like to listen to!

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Me too, that’s what’s great about that app. Glad to mention your great Podcast, keep up the amazing work. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

  • http://takisathanassiou.com/ Takis Athanassiou

    Excellent, Post, Dan. Personally, I like as fewer apps as possible in my iPhone (even though I have the 80% of the apps you describe), but that it is a matter of taste! I believe that your selection of apps is excellent and I like you podcast list, as well. In all, an excellent and informative post, Dan. Thank for the sharing.

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      I’m glad you enjoyed it:) Same with me, if i find I’m not using an app I make sure to uninstall it. Thank you for taking the time to read and add to the discussion.

      • http://takisathanassiou.com/ Takis Athanassiou

        You are welcome, Dan.

        • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

          :)

  • http://theregoi.com/ floyd

    I guess I’m way behind the curve. My phone burns up for business and if I add anything else to it, I think i might go crazy!

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Ha:) Thank you for sharing.

  • http://www.nathanmagnuson.com/ Nathan Magnuson

    I like these kinds of posts, Dan. I use a lot of those apps too. Here are a few more I use: GTasks (to-do list that syncs with Google), Google Voice (receive my text messages & voicemails thru this app as well as online), Agenda calendar (syncs with my other calendars), Pocket (allows me to save all articles to read later without ads), Google Drive (lets me store documents I may need to access from anywhere).

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Thank you for sharing the additional apps you use. I just started using Google Drive and need to set it up on my phone. Thank you for taking the time to share, it’s great to read your comment.

  • Dan Erickson

    I have no apps on my phone other than the ones that come installed and my email accounts. I have used some social media apps, but the usually have glitches so I just go to the sites now. I purposely keep my phone clear of apps. It allows me to not be using my phone every spare minute I get. I’ve even considered going back to only using my phone as a phone. Too many apps create clutter and excessive busy-ness in my book.

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      If it works for you to not have as many apps then go for it. Some people get distracted with a lot of apps. Thank you for taking the time to read and share.

  • http://leadershipheartcoaching.com/ Bill Benoist /Leadership Heart

    Hi Dan,
    I have the same list as you plus one additional: DropBox. Its a great way to share files with clients or have them available from any device.

    BTW – I love Evernote!

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Hi, Bill

      I also love Evernote! Thank you for sharing about DropBox, I’ll have to check it out.

  • http://www.overthinkersadvice.com/ Wan Muhammad Zulfikri Bin Wan

    For me, Evernote is a must. Lots of ideas will go unrecorded if I(or anyone else) don’t have a dedicated notebook to jot all of them down.

    Other apps I recommend are budgeting(I use the android Goodbudget), TEDTalks and dictionary(Merriam Webster is good). Also, if you plan to go on a journey of making habits, try Lift. The iPhone version is great but sadly the android ones are quite bad.

    Thanks for the post, Dan.

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Same with me:) I use it multiple times a day.

      I also have a dictionary installed, I’ll check out Lift. Thank you for taking the time to read and add to the topic.

  • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zechariah Newman

    Great post Dan. Appreciate your insight as I am weak when it comes to tech:)

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you for taking the time to share.

  • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

    Like most of these apps, good choices. The one I’ve never been able to get into is Evernote, just not a fan.

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Glad you enjoyed reading the post. I think we will have to talk about Evernote:) Your the first person I know who does not like it.

  • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

    I use my Dictionary.com app a lot. Like to make sure I’m using the correct word. I also use an app to keep my membership/points cards in, so I don’t have to carry the cards. Very helpful & cuts down on “stuff” to keep track of in my bag.

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      I have and use that app all the time as well. That’s great! Thank you for reading and adding to the topic.

  • http://www.barbraveling.com/ Barb Raveling

    I use evernote for my to-do list and to organize information and thoughts on my computer. Didn’t think of using it on my ipod to catch thoughts – that’s a great idea! I think I actually have Stitcher on there and forgot what I used it for – will have to check that again. I also like the beyondthetodolist podcast.Thanks for all the good ideas.

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      You can always have it’s on your phone/ipod allowing you to take notes from anyplace. I recommend checking out Stitcher again, their are some great Podcasts out their. Thank you for taking the time to share.

      • http://www.barbraveling.com/ Barb Raveling

        Just found it on my ipod again – had forgotten it was on there. I already listened to a podcast on it this morning. So glad you reminded me as I had just been searching for them on the internet whenever I wanted to listen to one which was a hassle! Thanks, Dan!

  • Jason Fancy( Jman)

    I like Nozbe for my to-do list manager:
    http://www.nozbe.com/a-forklifteverything

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Thank you for sharing that, I’ll check it out.

  • http://www.startgainingmomentum.com/ Ludvig Sunström

    Interesting Dan!

    If I get Stitcher, will I be able to search & listen to podcasts via the phone? Or must I download the podcast and put it in my phone first?

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Hello Ludvig,

      If you install the app you can stream (play) Podcasts and you don’t have to download them. You can use your phone or computer, check it out. I think you would enjoy it.

      • http://www.startgainingmomentum.com/ Ludvig Sunström

        Sounds great!

        • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

          Let me know how you like it.

  • http://intentionaltoday.com/ Ngina Otiende

    My biggest app is evernote. That’s where I do all my writing and ideas capturing. my hubby has introduced me to audible and beyond pod for podcast. Great apps!

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      That’s one of mine as well, I use it on a daily basis. How do you like Audible?

      • http://intentionaltoday.com/ Ngina Otiende

        Haven’t been using it much cos i like to READ my books lol.

        • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

          Ha:) I totally understand that:)

          • http://intentionaltoday.com/ Ngina Otiende

            My husband used to do long commutes untill a few months ago, so he listened to alot of books and audios and that worked great for him. I work from home and i find it easier to read than listen during my free time :)

            • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

              It must be nice working from home:) I’ve always had a long commute and have used that time to listen to audio book and lessons. It’s a plus when in traffic. If I had more time I would do more reading of book verses listening.

  • kentsanders

    Dan, great post! I appreciate you listing these – I haven’t used Audible yet but I hear great things about it. Seems like I’m always listening to podcasts instead. The one I use the most is Evernote – which I use throughout the day. It’s become such an important part of my workflow that I just came out with my whole Evernote course last week. For most people, once you start using it, you start to realize the huge potential it has to help you get organized.

    That’s a great idea about having 2 Gmail accounts; I’ve never thought about that.

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Hello Kent,

      Audible is great! I use it primary when driving and working out.

      Ya, I was looking through your course and it looks amazing! I love and always use Evernote! It’s a great tool.

      You should try the 2 email trick, I think you might like it. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

      • kentsanders

        I was checking out Audible and I think it was something like $14.95/month, but you only get 1 audio book. Are you pretty happy with the value? (I’m sure you can buzz through a book a week on audio if you’re commuting, etc.)

        • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

          When you sign up you get your first book for free. Also you get 30% off any other book (besides your monthly book). I make sure to use my monthly credit for longer length books.

          I’m just finishing up The 7 Habits of Highly Effective people which is about 13 hours long. The next couple longer books I’ll be listening to include Execution 8hrs. long and The Leadership Challenge almost 12 hours long.

          So if you use your monthly credit on a longer book, it’s defiantly worth it. Then you can get shorter books for cheaper. You can always do a trial run and see how you like it.

          • kentsanders

            Very interesting – I like your strategy of using your credit for longer books. I spend about an hour in the car each day, so could probably get through a book a week listening double speed. Thanks for all this info!

            • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

              Ya, you should try it out. I think you would consume more books if you did.

  • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

    Dan, I think the ones that I would enjoy most would be audible and evernote. Audible because I too drive quite a bit and enjoy listening to audio cd’s in my car. The attracting thing about it is that you can listen to it on a faster speed and the affordability of it. As far as evernote, I’m going to try to see if i can download that asap. I’m always looking for things to write ideas or concepts – I never always have paper and a pen next to me so i write notes to myself via email or by texting myself so evernote can clearly be of help.

    I am planning to do a little traveling this year and going to try an experiment then, not now which is to try to be without a smart phone or any phone for a bit. I’ll have my laptop but going to try to live distraction free and see how it goes. I get a phone real quick if I can’t manage for more than a week :)

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Hello Vishnu,

      Yes, you should install both of those apps on your phone. Audible.com gives your first book for free and besides your monthly book you get 30% off all other book purchases. My good friend kentsanders just released a course about Evernote which you should check out, here is the link http://www.artistssuitcase.com/take-note-system/

      That would be a great experiment, I don’t know if I could do it. The great thing about Audible and Evernote is that you can use it on any devices (Computer, tablet, kindle, phone). Thank you for taking the time to add to the discussion. It’s always great to read your comment.

  • http://dosomethingcool.net/ Steve

    I’ve only tried Audible for a brief time. I think it would be great if you had a long commute and you could listen to a book on the way, but my commute is pretty short so I don’t have time to get into a book as much. I can see the value in it for that reason though.

    Out of these apps, I use a to-do list. I think it works well for those things you need to schedule. It keeps me on track and on task for things I need to get done.

    I’d almost hate to admit I don’t use Evernote. I keep hearing everyone rave about it and I still haven’t checked it out. Well, Dan, I think your list has just proved to me that value in it. I think I’ll have to give it a go.

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      I understand that, my commute is long so that’s why I use it. You can always try to listen to audio book while working out.

      A to-do list is a must! I’d highly recommend checking out Evernote. My friend @kentsanders:disqus just release a course on Evernote, it might be worth looking into, here is the link http://www.artistssuitcase.com/take-note-system/ Thank you for taking the time to read and share your thoughts.

  • http://www.pauljolicoeur.com/ Paul Jolicoeur

    Great list Dan. I use a bunch of the apps you do. I find using the built to-do list app to work great with my iPhone and Air. It syncs well, allows me to be notified when I arrive or leave a certain place. My most important app is my calendar app. I put my life in that thing! If I need to be somewhere or do something, its on my calendar.

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Thank you Paul:) Yes, a calender is so important. After publishing the post, I realized I’d forgotten to include a calender (which is one of the apps I always use). Thank you for bringing that one up!

  • http://www.hitenvyas.com/blog Hiten Vyas

    Hi Dan,

    Excellent list of apps, my friend.

    I’ve never used Evernote. It sounds great and as you say, is perfect for those moments when we have an idea about something and want to capture it.

    I have an Android phone and use the Gtalk app to chat with followers and friends.

    Thank you.

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Hello Hiten,

      You have to start using Evernote (it’s free)!!! I think you would really enjoy it. Thank you for reading and adding to the discussion.

  • http://www.paulsohn.org/ Paul Sohn

    All great apps. I’d add MINT for personal financing. It’s a tool for leaders to be a faithful steward of what we’ve been given. This was a value added post!

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      That sounds like a great app! I’ll have to check it out. Thank you for reading and adding to the app list.

  • http://ayearofproductivity.com/ Chris Bailey

    One that I’d recommend that a lot of folks might not think of: a meditation timer app. I personally think meditation is one of the best ways to step back from your actions (including how you lead and treat people), to see them from a higher, 10,000 foot level. I personally can’t think of a better way to become a leader than to step back from and reflect on your actions and how you treat other people :)

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Great addition, Chris! I’d totally agree, taking time to meditate/think/reflect is so essential. Thank you for taking the time to read and add to the discussion.

  • http://badassu.net/ Mark Insight

    Amazon Kindle is a must. Any and all books you want at your finger tips. And, yes, audible and podcasts are great ways to pass time on the commutes and travel.

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      I totally agree Mark. It’s a must have app. Thank you for reading and adding to the post.