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Productivity Apps with Gamification: Boost Your Performance Gamification of boring corporate projects and tasks (read as turning them into games) aids you in boosting your achievement score and taking your performance to the next level. Gamification and productivity often go hand in hand, especially in this new working from home era. Read on to learn more on the topic and enjoy the perks of this new powerful knowledge. 5 Best Mobile Apps: Gamification & Productivity The rules of gamification are straightforward: you approach your work as a game, stimulate yourself to deal with it fast without compromising on quality, and enjoy bolstering your efficiency. In this post, we’ll share our list of the 5 best gamification productivity apps available in 2020. 1. Forest: a Joyful Escape From Your Smartphone Obsessed with your phone to the point of it distracting you from focusing on your work on a regular basis? Make the most of the Forest app today and bolster your time management skills while maintaining a laser-like focus on your current tasks. By using this app, you will learn to be less dependent on your smartphone, manage your time effectively, and have fun along the way. 2. Do It Now: Classic RPG-Like Task Planner While using this gamification productivity app, you’re going to need to create a virtual copy of yourself, make a list of your must-complete tasks, and proceed by coping with them in real life. The ‘gameplay’ unravels based on your work-like-a-champ actions. Upon each completed task, you get to further customize your character’s abilities and level up. Once you’re through with your to-do list, you get some really nice rewards. 3. MindSnacks: Enhance Your Language Learning Efficiency Packed with a mix of brain games, gamification, and top-notch lesson plans, this app transforms language learning from a tedious task into a fun and productive activity. Catering to mobile users of all ages, the application allows you to choose the language you need among the abundant selection of seven options. The app is smart and is intended to help you focus on the stuff you’re currently struggling with. 4. SuperBetter: Achieve Goals & Tackle Obstacles This wonderful app was created to aid its users in overcoming depression, apathy, and coping with a loss. SuperBetter excels in teaching you to maintain an upbeat attitude and build resilience no matter what. Via this app, you get to have a blast experiencing its multiple adventures, as well as fighting with your hardships (presented in the visual form of negative characters). Fun and therapeutic! 5. EpicWin: Your Go-To Gamified Task Tracker This awesome RPG-ish gamification app was created to add an element of a game to your to-do lists and monotonous, repetitive tasks. While using it, you create your character and level it up by boosting stats and gaining coins while completing your pre-set real-life tasks. The app allows you to set up reminders, schedule repeated chores, and add the ‘someday’ status to the most challenging projects. Your Best Gamification Productivity App: iPhone- or Android-Friendly? Playing comes so easy to us human beings. That’s not exactly the case when it comes to working. With that in mind, why not combine the two processes to boost your productivity! They say it’s really effective. So, what about you? Have you already tried gamification-fueled productivity apps? If you have, which ones do you fancy the most? Get the discussion going and share your thoughts on the topic in the comment box below. We greatly appreciate any kind of feedback.   Continue Reading Choose the Best VPN App 2020: Our Top 5 List Revealed Want to get as close to safe and anonymous web surfing as possible? You need a good VPN application. VPN stands for ‘virtual private network.’ It’s represented by a variety of applications that excel in encrypting your Internet use and tricking your gadget into thinking it’s, says, in Paris instead of Berlin. In this post, we will dwell upon some of the best VPN apps available in 2020. Enjoy. Best VPN 2020: Go With the Winner Even if you’re used to trusting your fellow humans (a strategy well worth reconsidering), you still shouldn’t completely rely on your Internet service provider. The thing is, in the US, your internet service provider knows all about your online activities (yep, even if you delete your browser history on a regular basis). Don’t you think you deserve a little privacy, especially taking into account that you’re paying top dollar for using their services? If you do, stick with one of the VPN apps listed below. 1. HotspotShield VPN & Wi-Fi Proxy Ready to enjoy unblocking any portal and making the most of your web surfing freedom? Run Hotspot Shield Free VPN Proxy through its paces today. With this top-notch and super speedy VPN service that effectively hides your real IP from everyone, accessing your favorite websites safely and anonymously is a breeze! 2. Norton Secure VPN & Proxy VPN If you’re on the hunt for a trusted security app from a reliable brand, Norton Secure VPN & Proxy VPN is your best bet. With this application, you will succeed in protecting your gadget from malicious hackers, as well as easily mask your IPas, block the annoying pop-up ads, and search the World Wide Web more anonymously. 3. CyberGhost VPN & Wi-Fi Proxy With this amazing app, you will enjoy protected privacy when surfing the net on your iOS-powered gadget. CyberGhost VPN & Wi-Fi Proxy automatically encrypts your connection as you log on to a public Wi-Fi network, hides your browsing activity like a pro, and secures your data in one single tap. This feature-packed and fast VPN service anonymizes your online movements in a truly reliable way. 4. Surfshark VPN: Best Bang for Your Buck If you’re seeking a high-quality (AND affordable) VPN service for streaming, torrenting, and generally taking care of your privacy, Surfshark is your perfect choice. With its unlimited simultaneous connections, a strict no-logs policy, and super responsive live chat support, this nearly free VPN app is a true game-changer for security perfectionists! 5. ExpressVPN: Unblocks Netflix & More This fast and secure across-all-devices network is great at unblocking almost anything that can be unblocked. This highly intuitive app supports torrents and is a breeze to make the best of. It boasts over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, strong encryption, top-level browser extensions, and an audit-confirmed no-logging policy. A true beast in the niche. Ready to Choose the Best VPN App for You? Keeping your online privacy intact is paramount. The apps listed above are sure to help you with this oftentimes challenging task. What are your thoughts on the topic? Perhaps, you’ve already found your all-time-favorite VPN app for streaming and torrenting? You’re welcome to share your opinion and recommendations in the comment box below. Speak up and get the discussion going.   Continue Reading Working at Home: Productivity in a Time of Crisis The COVID-19 pandemic has stimulated a global work-from-home tendency. With social distancing guidelines in action, the typical 9-to-5 office schedule has been replaced by emailing, zooming, face timing, and remote access to shared workspaces. Working from home (and staying productive) takes some getting used to. In this post, we’re going to let you in on a few really useful hacks on how to stay productive when working from home in dark times like these. 5 Tips on Working From Home: Your Guide to Productivity  Is working remotely still creating challenges for your productivity? That’s understandable. Laundry, dishes, pets, kids, and tons of other distractions that exist in your personal space aren’t always your efficiency’s best friends. However, in this as-good-as-it-gets situation, you gotta be on a mission to stay healthy, reasonable, and productive while getting used to this new norm. Below, you will find some tips to help you with this. 1. Set up Your Productivity Work Place Find a comfy (yet quiet, as well as stress- and temptations-free) space in your home where you can focus purely on working — without checking emails, thinking about those chocolate brownies you still have in your fridge, or browsing Instagram. No possibility to move your work space to a separate room? Find an area where your family members and/or pets won’t bother you and practice the art of mentally blocking all the distractions. 2. Always Start Early The early bird catches the worm — everybody has heard that saying. It’s very true, especially when it comes to boosting your productivity while working from home. Indeed, the habit of getting to work early is among the most powerful rituals on your way to high performance and corporate success. It’s a science-backed fact, by the way. 3. Limit Distractions Block all the unnecessary noises, forget about your unfinished household chores, and prevent your mind from wandering around those chocolate brownies during your work-from-home day. Keep up to a regular schedule and try not to get overwhelmed by the workload. Always remember that concentration and moderation (not exhaustion) are good friends of your productivity. 4. Put Away Your Tools After Work When you’re through with your daily tasks, put away your gadgets and tools just as you would store baking supplies after making cupcakes. That way, you will succeed in effectively unwinding and recharging your batteries — all for the purpose of being equally productive tomorrow. 5. Socialize and Spend Time Outside Don’t let the pandemic get you into the habit of spending all your time at home. Go outside, engage in gardening, or walk around the park in your free time. Make the most of all those video conferencing platforms to chat with your friends or family members. This will stimulate your creativity and fuel your productivity once you get back to your workspace. Maintaining Productivity in the Era of Social Distancing Last but not least, don’t forget to adjust your attitude and create the mindset necessary for boosting your productivity. Your vision is your greatest power. So, if you look at the silver lining on a dark cloud of any situation, you cannot control — and if you stay creative, active, and inspirational during these dark times — chances are you will succeed in keeping your productivity levels at their peak. So, what about you? Any advice on staying productive while working from home? Speak up in the comment box below. Your two cents are important. Continue Reading The Recently Launched Apple iOS 14.0.1: Yay or Nay? Apple iOS 14.0.1 has been launched. Who is it for? What’s good in it for me? Have the bugs really been fixed? Should I upgrade? If you’re asking yourself all these questions and more, we’re here to elaborate on this issue in detail. Below, you will find a brief overview of this latest bug-fix update, our verdict on the should-you-upgrade topic, along with everything you need to know about it. Enjoy.  The new update is available for every iOS 13-compatible gadget. It should start automatically. If it doesn’t, you can launch it manually by heading to Settings, then General, and then Software Update. iOS is reported to have arrived with camera preview upgrades, Wi-Fi connectivity fixes, email sending improvements, and other fixes. While the update comes with a solid promise of some really important fixes (and a few users do report certain improvements), a lot of iOS enthusiasts have already confirmed that iOS 14.0.1 only makes things worse. That’s especially true when it comes to the horrible graphical glitches noticed in widgets, as well as search bugs and stability issues. With all that said, iOS 14.0.1 looks like a haste-makes-waste update and a step (or two) backward. A lot of users are currently reporting that all the fixes the update comes with are nothing to write home about and totally ineffective. We predict iOS 14.0.2 will follow this current update shortly. Meanwhile, we’d suggest you keep away from iOS 14.0.1. Perhaps, you’ve already upgraded to iOS 14.0.1? If you have, what are your thoughts on the update? What fixes have you noticed? Any bugs or glitches that you’ve encountered? Feel free to share your opinion with your fellow iOS enthusiasts in the comment section below. Your two cents are highly appreciated. Also, don’t forget to bookmark our website to come back for more breaking news in the mobile realm. Continue Reading 5 Best Apps for Schedules & Appointments Are you an entrepreneur or a business owner? Then your life is pretty hectic, that’s a given. If you want to keep tabs on your multiple appointments, projects, endless to-do lists, family affairs, and other repetitive stuff you manually deal with on a regular basis, opt for a top-notch app for scheduling to keep all of your commitments automated and, i.e., perfectly organized. In this post, we’ll let you in on 5 best appointment scheduling apps that are sure to make your life easier and let you switch from minor chores to what’s really important — the success of your business. Choose the Best Apps for Scheduling & Booking If you spend a huge chunk of your day writing similar emails, perhaps you should reconsider your approach and switch to coordinating your business affairs? Tools like scheduling apps can go a long way in helping you automate your work process and keep track of all your responsibilities. We’ve sifted through tons of scheduling apps to compile the below best-of-the-best list for you. Enjoy. 1. HotSchedules: Best Daily Schedule App Android & iOS This online scheduler is definitely your best bet if you’re on the prowl for a fantastic work schedule app for employees. It’s fast, easy to get to grips with, and a breeze to use for back and forth communication with your team. Swapping, picking up, and releasing shifts with HotSchedules is a cakewalk for team members. Managers love how time-saving the tool is while enjoying its splendid capability to keep everyone in the company organized and connected. 2. Acuity Scheduling: User-Friendly & Highly Customizable Acuity Scheduling is a convenient iOS- and Android-friendly scheduling tool via which your customers can easily access real-time availability and then book their appointments based on this data. With its perfectly intuitive interface and impressive customization possibilities, the Acuity Scheduling app is sure to aid you in taking your scheduling to the next level and becoming a master of small business management. 3. SimplyBook.me: Fast & Easy Access to Your Appointments If you’re a registered SimplyBook.me user who wants to quickly and easily (read as on the go) access their upcoming appointments, this application is just the ticket. The tool excels at catering to all service businesses — as long as they accept bookings on a time scheduled basis. That includes restaurants, gyms, beauty salons, healthcare organizations, etc. 4. Genbook: Your Go-To Mobile Scheduling App Feeling a bit tired of juggling calls, emails, social media messages, and all the scheduling stuff required for keeping your workflow on track? Looking to focus on boosting your business success instead of getting distracted on a regular basis? Genbook is the answer. This super-easy-to-use mobile app for scheduling will amaze you by the possibility to interact with clients automatically, without you having to personally send out emails, confirmations, special offers, etc. Such a time saver! 5. Appointlet: Your Free Mobile Scheduler Ready to manage your appointments with ease and speed? Run this awesome scheduling app through its paces. Great for businesses of all types and sizes, Appointlet will help you transform leads into customers by allowing them to connect with you right from your landing pages, emails, and sales funnels. Speeds up your sales for sure! Congrats! The Hard Part Is Over! If you’re here, it means you’ve already coped with the toughest stuff. You’ve grown a business, found your (potential) clients, and become the driving force behind your own company. You’re now ready to take your scheduling to the next level, stick with one of the apps from our selection above, and enjoy automating a huge part of your workflow. Perhaps, you’re already using a great scheduling app? Share your thoughts on it in the comment box below. Your opinion is important. Continue Reading The Best Apps For Banking Mobile app banking has become a staple in the modern-day banking industry. And rightfully so. A banking app is one of the most client-centric solutions financial institutions in the US have come to accept in years. Having your wallet in the smartphone and the ability to simply tap a smartwatch on a counter while paying for groceries is much handier than cash. Especially with the whole COVID-19 situation surrounding us.  What is the best US banking app then? Oh, there’s more than one! The Best Mobile Bank Apps in The US Without further ado, let’s dive a bit deeper into our handy list of fintech solutions designed to make our lives simpler and our shopping experiences more casual: The Bank of America App: This application is a sight for sore eyes of Bank of America clients as it offers a diverse number of features and a lot of neat quality of life improvements. For example, you can access your funds while away from home in a different country with a couple of taps. You can also activate, deactivate, and order replacement cards from the app. That being said, security is where the bank of America app really shines – the verification mechanisms are tight, and in the rare case they are breached, you will not be held liable and are free to apply for refunds of fraudulent mobile banking activities.  Ally Bank: This is one of the leading mobile banking apps globally. A convenient check deposit, bill payment mechanics, transaction history, ATM locator, and mobile money transfer features establish the Ally Bank as the top contender for the number one mobile bank app in the US. The crisp interface and intuitive navigation serve as an excellent cherry on the icing.  Charles Schwab App: This is an excellent application for those of you who prefer their money working. The app by a brokerage giant offers access to all of your accounts, a transaction history, and options for trading everything from exchange to stock. You can see live market stats from the app, which helps when it comes to decision making.  Capital One: This banking app has the highest customer satisfaction score on our list. It is simple and intuitive when it comes to the interface, and it is quite handy for the times when money is tight. Capital One offers access to loans and credits from the screen of your phone – no visit to a bank required.  Huntington Bank App: This is a newbie on the market coming from a bank that has received its marks in 2019 and has been taking the market by storm ever since. The app offers everything we’ve come to expect from banking solutions with a couple of extra features on top: push notifications, access to balance without logging in, and a 24-hour grace period for accidental overdrafts. Did we miss anything? Please share the apps you are using today and we’ll make sure to update our lists for everyone’s convenience.    Continue Reading New Together Mode In Microsoft Teams: What We Know About It Microsoft for teams has become one of the largest players on the market of p2p video calls for businesses and enterprises during this difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Microsoft Teams Meeting is now a staple of collaboration which, as it turns out, is a double-edged sword. On the one side, meeting with your colleagues has never been simpler. Grab a laptop, log in, and chat from the comfort of your couch.  Alas, this concept only sounds neat on paper. In reality, a conversation with more than 5 people at the same time is a test of endurance. How can you keep your thoughts in focus when there are several faces looking at you, or into a corner, or following a mysterious fly on the wall, all while being surrounded by varying environments? The Acknowledgment Talking to faces in squares is as confusing as performing in the middle of Times Square for people without prior experience. The guys from Microsoft seem to acknowledge this fact as they’ve rolled out the together mode feature (a little too late, if you ask me, as a lot of people have quit the app in favor of alternatives at this point). What’s the Together Mode, You Ask? If you’ve ever followed a Twitch or YouTube streamer, you probably know the gist. If put simply, the mode creates a shared environment for everyone who is joining the call. The algorithm takes one’s image, blurs the native background, and adds something of its own, like a shared call room, an office space, or a lecture hall.  This approach is surprisingly beneficial to networking and collaboration, as proven by brain activity studies, Microsoft’s research proves that the new together mode helps people engage more in a conversation while making them more comfortable and, as a result, much more happy after hanging out with coworkers.  What About the Business Side? Teams is a tool for collaboration. As such, it should offer more than a nice place to meet with people in a digital space as there are such mechanics as presentations, screen sharing, and content updates involved.  The new Together mode takes care of that as well by offering the Dynamic view. The mode offers more control over both the content you share and the participants you share said content with. The mode allows you to select specific people and see them side by side with a presentation you share. In addition to that, there are such features as: Video filters Lighting level tweaks Emojis Cat bubbles PowerPoint Live (coming soon) In simpler words, the new mode packs a mighty punch, and maybe, just maybe, it is enough to get back those of you who have opted to move from Teams to the plethora of alternative solutions.  What’s It Going to Be?  Feel free to download Microsoft teams and share your experience with the new modes of Microsoft Teams meetings here. Do you prefer the Together mode or the Dynamic view? We are looking to hear from you!    Continue Reading A Guide on Best Time Management Tools We live in a world where there’s an app for everything. It’s easy to talk about great apps and clever solutions designed to organize our daily routines as if they are some kind of a Harry Potter wand capable of adding more hours by magic.  Alas, time-management software won’t cut it on its own. They are a helpful crutch. Not more, nor less. You’ll need to master the art of time management instead of relying on what’s essentially a glorified alarm clock.   Tip for Time Management: Master the Power of Lists If we were to rely on TED talks time management can be summarized as knowledge of where the time actually goes and then prioritizing one’s tasks accordingly. Yep, time management, at its core, is a to-do list. Big shocker, eh? I know what you’re thinking. Don’t close the tab. Seriously, don’t.  There’s more to a smart list than writing down the stuff you need to do (which, on its own, is helpful to visualize your goals). A good time management list will never include vagueness. Instead, it is used to diversify tasks, goals, and projects.  Projects, tasks, and goals Let’s take a look at an example: Doing something major such as learning a new language, or mastering digital painting, or becoming a chef in a fancy restaurant is a project. It is something you strive towards in the long-game. You’ll need to accomplish goals and tasks in order to get there.  Think about it this way. You want to become a programmer. Learning to code is your project. Finishing a book on coding in C# or Java is a goal as it is something you yourself need to do if you wish to succeed with said project. Investing in an online course or hiring a tutor is a task as you need to do something before being able to proceed towards the end-goal.  Understanding this diversification is key to using time management tools effectively. Speaking of which… The Best Time Management Tools Here’s a brief list of time-proven time management tools (no pun intended), I’ve been relying on for at least five years: Asana: This is a project management tool that aligns with the project, task, and goal approach perfectly. You’ll be able to break your day into individual tasks, track time, and share challenges with others if need be. ProofHub: This is a project management system similar to Asana. The cool part about it is the guys from NASA – you know, the people launching rockets into space – rely on it.  Toggle: This is probably the simplest time – slash – project management tool on our list. It offers online and offline time tracking functionality, which is a great advantage.  Timecamp: This is a great time tracker if you are a freelancer and would like to bill clients based on the time you’ve spent working on a task. These are some of the coolest time management apps I’ve had the pleasure of relying on. Did I miss anything? What are you guys using to track daily progress? Continue Reading