The Pinnacle

Stories and ideas from Big Blue Digital.

Optimise your work day with these apps

Here are the top 10 apps I use every week.

I hope they’re just as useful for you.

From the Google Play store


I don’t even notice when I’m on lie-fi when I use GMail’s Android app, it has such graceful offline capability. The keyboard shortcuts on the web version are great time savers; J for the next message, Y to archive, R to reply.

I’ve turned off the Inbox Tabs feature though; I find having a single Inbox stream easier to keep under control.

With a little training for the ‘Important’ and ‘Spam’ filters, I can rely on GMail to notify me about only important messages - the others wait politely until I’m ready to dive in.


When I want to jot a quick note, Keep is there to help out. If the note starts to grow enough to deserve its own Document, it’s a couple of taps to send it to Google Docs.


Although machine translations aren’t perfect (yet), Translate comes in handy when I’m not sure of the pronunciation and alternate meanings of a word. The handwriting feature is super useful for characters that don’t appear on my keyboard.


Losing control of my Google account would be devastating, not least because almost every other app sends password resets through my GMail. I enabled two-factor authentication, and now when I log in on a new device or from an unusual location, Google asks for a code from the Authenticator app on my phone.

Losing my phone isn’t an issue, either; I received a limited set of Backup Codes to use in emergencies. Keep them in a safe place!


Other chat apps have rustled my jimmies; not so with Hangouts. It is almost invisible in the way it just works. The sms integration on Android, and the notification behaviour on PC suit me to a tee.

We are not just wedded to Google, here are some other handy tools for you to try



Duolingo’s approach to learning a new language works for me like Candy Crush works for facebookers; it has an effective reward structure and a flexible learning curve. I practice a little every day, whenever I’ve got a few minutes to spare.


No-nonsense, DRM free ebook reader. Free to use, with an Open Source licence. Unlike certain other e-readers, my books cannot be remotely wiped.


Doggcatcher plays my podcasts when I need them, without getting in the way. The Variable Speed Playback feature is great when I’m caffeinated and they’re not quite speaking fast enough.


Trello keeps my to-do lists tidy, even when collaborative task tracking can be kept tidy and manageable with Trello.


I’ve gotten so used to the natural tint F.lux provides that I’m figuratively blinded by the blue glare that regular screens throw out. I can get to sleep much faster with help from F.lux.


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