Every useful App changes something and it might not be what you think. Functional Apps can displace entrenched processes or products and change how we go about business and our lives. If you follow Mindspot Research on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn you know that our topic for March is Apps. We have all heard the expression “there’s an App for that” and so far this month we think it is true.
For example, I constantly use sticky notes for two things: Writing “to do” lists and keeping an on-going grocery/shopping list. Lately writing the sticky notes and handwritten grocery list started to feel “old school” and wasteful. Clearly, the process could be improved by going digital, prompting me to download three free Apps that appeared to be promising replacements:
1) myShopi: This allows you to keep shopping lists by store and it has cool pictures of the products. When you use the barcode reader it even uploads a photo of the product. It has a favorites feature where you can store your frequently purchased items. The only issue I have with this is it offers the lists by store (Albertson’s, Safeway, Whole Foods, etc…) and currently there are only a limited number of stores available. Therefore, my entire grocery list was stored under Whole Foods even though I was picking some of the items up at Publix.
2) Out of Milk: This free App offers multiple lists: a shopping list, a “to-do” list, a pantry list, and “deals”. The pros of Out of Milk are having the shopping list as well as the other lists in one place. The built-in bar code reader immediately uploads the product name; although after using myShopi I was disappointed that it did not automatically upload a photo of the product as well. It has a feature which allows you to add the price and calculate the expected cost of your groceries. When you complete items on the “to do” list you simply delete them. To me it is not as much fun as crossing them out.
3) Errands: Very simply, this App is just like the notes feature on most smartphones. You simply delete the errand when it is finished. It does offer an alarm function. I use this App; however, it lacks the satisfaction of crossing the task out after you complete it and doesn’t have a shopping list feature.
After using these Apps I have been successful in converting my grocery shopping list over to my smartphone. I believe I am more current and organized. If I forget to enter the grocery list – the opportunity to consult with favorites is there. I use myShopi the most because of the favorites feature and the barcode scanner that uploads the picture of the product. I am now using less sticky notes. I have observed many other people using grocery lists on their smartphones -look around the next time you are in a store.
At the Mindspot Office, I’ve heard people like Scanner Pro for USD $2.99. I have Genius Scan on my iPhone which is free. With this App, the scanner that is built into your printer isn’t needed. You simply download an App for free or spend a couple of bucks, take a photo of your document and send it to your email, phone, Facebook or Twitter or whenever you need the document uploaded. It’s easier and more convenient. The quality is great and it is like you have a portable scanner with you all of the time.
Imagine how many items are in danger of becoming obsolete because of Apps. I bet not many “scanner-only” products are sold these days. Printers with multi-functionality may not need so many functions (like a built-in scanner and fax) now, which in theory will reduce the cost of printers even more.
Even WhatsApp and Viber are options to traditional texting plans. The services are free (for now) and you can even text internationally with no charge. It’s an opportunity for cost savings. When enough people use less sticky notes, no longer purchase printers with scanners and fax machines built-in, opt for less expensive models, and drop text as an option from their cell plans, it will be apparent that there was an App for that.
by Lynnette Leathers, CEO of Mindspot Research