Time is precious, and we know that’s particularly true of busy traders. There’s a stream of apps, products and gadgets out there that promise to help you save time – but in actual fact, downloading and figuring out how to work a plethora of apps can actually use up time instead of saving it.
So we’ve found the latest time-saving tech, apps and gadgets that will take care of boring chores, cut procrastination and help you get stuff done, leaving you with more time for the charts (or to yourself). And most importantly, they’re all simple, practical and easy to work into your routine – and true to their ‘time-saving’ promise.
Read on to find out how to spend less time on the phone, wading through emails, getting organised and searching for your keys…
Saves you time when: Using your smartphone (for lots of things!)
IFTTT (stands for ‘If this, then that’, if you were wondering) is an app designed to help you create connections between the apps, products and devices you use everyday so that if one thing happens, your phone will automatically react in a certain way.
For example, IF you post a photo to Twitter, THEN it’ll save it. IF you note down ‘Meeting at 9am Monday’, THEN it’ll automatically create a Calendar event. And the tech is getting cooler all the time. Sync it to the right gadgets and devices and you’ll be able to turn your lights on and off at a set time, adjust the thermostat when it’s getting too warm and automatically mute your devices when you get to work – all from your smartphone.
Saves you time when: Scanning receipts and documents.
Forget wasting time messing around scanning documents into your computer – with CamScanner, all you have to do is take a picture of whatever you want to scan (receipts, invoices, notes, business cards – pretty much anything) and CamScanner will sharpen up graphics, extract text and convert the image into a PDF or JPEG so you can email them on.
You can also sync your scans across multiple platforms, print directly from the app and search through your previously scanned items to find keywords.
Get CamScanner for Google Play here – the basic version is free, with in-app purchases available for advanced features.
Saves you time when: Sorting through your email inbox (and it makes it more fun).
The Email Game is a website you can sync to Gmail and Google Apps to turn sorting through your email inbox into a game, and implement time limits to make you get through the junk faster.
For each email, you’re given a countdown in which you have to decide what to do with the email (Reply, Reply All, Forward, Label, Delete, Archive or ‘Boomerang’ if you need to come back to it later). If you choose to reply, you start a new countdown to send your response. If you go over the time allowed or leave emails in your inbox, you’ll lose points. And you can share your points with friends and colleagues (if you have a competitive streak, your inbox will be clear in no time).
Give it a try here.
Saves you time when: Networking!
CamCard is a business card reader and manager – basically, whenever you meet someone and take their card, instead of it getting lost in the debris at the bottom of your bag or wallet, take a second to scan it into your phone and all the information will be saved.
All your business cards are then stored in a database you can search and add notes to, and you can share them across tablets, smartphones and computers so you’ll never have to waste time searching for the contact info for that important contact you promised to call. Plus, you can create e-business cards to exchange next time and skip the paper card completely!
Download CamCard for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, Outlook or Blackberry here.
Saves you time when: Leaving the house…
If every time you leave the house, you spend a good five minutes searching for your keys and trying to remember where you put your wallet, TrackR’s nifty little devices could save you a good chunk of time.
Just attach one of the little coin-shaped device or sticker to anything you frequently misplace and use the app to locate the walkabout items. From the app, you can ring misplaced items, use a distance indicator to find out how close you are to your lost keys and even set alerts to go off it you’ve left something important behind. Plus, it works both ways – so it’s your phone that’s lost, press the button on your TrackR and your phone will ring (even if it’s on silent).
Get TrackRs from $24.95 here.
Saves you time when: Browsing the net.
The disadvantage of the internet is it brings a whole new meaning to the word procrastination. We’ve all been there – one minute, you were focused on the charts, and then you came across an interesting article, fell into a vortex of enticing headlines, and now it’s been an hour and you’ve done nothing productive.
Pocket will help you regain control of your time: when you find an article you want to read, or a video you need to see, just save them and you can go back to them when you have a bit of spare time later. The big advantage of this is you don’t need an internet connection to view the content, so instead of using vital trading time to delve the furthest corners of the internet, utilise travelling time or watch a video while you’re waiting in a queue.
Sign up here.
Saves you time when: Making phone calls.
If there’s one thing that’s probably draining your time for trading (and everything else), it’s getting stuck on hold listening to an endless loop of bad music (and an automated voice reminding you that “your call is important to them”). That’s where LucyPhone can help – it’s a free website and app that will do the waiting for you.
All you have to do is enter your phone number and the number of the company that you want to ring, and LucyPhone will wait in the queue for you and then give you a call back once your call has been connected to an actual human. Genius.
Saves you time when: Working out, because you don’t need to leave your desk to do it.
We couldn’t not include this one… if you struggle to find time to fit in a workout while trading, a treadmill desk will let you burn off some excess calories without even venturing away from your desk.
Trading and training simultaneously probably won’t get you the best results as far as trading goes, but there are plenty of other more mindless desk activities you can catch up on while working out – reading emails, seeing what’s happening in the news, reading blogs and watching videos. Multitasking at its finest!
Get the TrekDesk Treadmill Desk here.