Talent Development Centre

Tag Archives: apps

All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to apps.

This CRA Mobile App Will Help with Your 2017 Taxes

This CRA Mobile App Will Help with Your 2017 Taxes2017 is in full swing! Most people are back from holidays (if they were fortunate to take them), projects are moving again, recruiters are calling, and tax season is approaching. As you start to look at your 2016 books and consider working on your taxes, you may be realizing that you could have done a better job at staying organized in that area (and hopefully you are setting a goal to keep up-to-date in 2017). Vice-versa, you could be super stress-free right now because you were well prepared at this time last year.

Regardless of your situation, a new year means a fresh start to get organized. We can’t help you with your 2016 taxes, but we can give you a boost for this year. The CRA created a mobile app that lets independent contractors create custom reminders and alerts for key CRA due dates related to instalment payments, returns, and remittances. Download the iOS, Android, or BlackBerry version, or check out all of CRA’s mobile apps here.

Take a Breather, Take Account

Morley Surcon By Morley Surcon,
Vice-President, Western Canada at Eagle

To-do listI like to do lists.  I like to measure my progress.  And I especially enjoy crossing out tasks that get done.  Besides forcing me to be organized, building a proper to do list forces me to slow down for a few minutes to think and reflect on projects and priorities.

It is easy to fall into the habit of just doing — being reactive — and, in this way, remaining busy.  But busy does not directly translate into productive. A few minutes set aside without interruption provides an opportunity to get a handle on what’s really important.

This appears to be self-evident, certainly not rocket science; but I am surprised at how few people do this regularly.  Even I, who am sold on this practice, sometimes struggle to make the time for this.  A quiet space in which to be alone with your own thoughts is a rarity these days and needs to be sought out, the time planned for.

Sherlock Holmes had his “Sanctum Santorum”, Superman his “Fortress of Solitude” – whatever you call it, it is necessary to have the place/space where you can go to do some deep thinking, even if it is just a back corner table at your local Starbucks. Most times it doesn’t need to be more than sitting down for a few minutes with a pen and a notebook.  Bill Gates, however, is famous for his yearly retreat used to decompress and complete some long-term strategy and planning.

Have a look at some of these past posts in the Talent Development Centre for a few extra tips and tools:

If you’d like a tool specifically for your iPhone or Android device, check out one of these two articles:

What works best for you? I encourage you to share any tips or tricks you use to remain on task and productive.  Please share by commenting on this post.

The Best 8 Project Management Apps

Yesterday’s infographic provided some great steps for a new Project Manager to tackle breaking an SOW down into a manageable project plan.  Continuing with the theme of making life easier for Project Managers, we found this article from LifeHack, written by Jane Hurst. In it, she identifies 8 project management apps that will help you take care of your team, tasks and deadlines. Here are the top picks:

1. Casual

This is a unique app that offers a different way of doing things. On Casual you plan your tasks just by drawing them as a flowchart. The neat thing is that Casual helps you visualize and track dependencies between tasks. This app is incredibly intuitive and works great for personal projects, as well as for organizing projects for small teams. You can try it for free, and if you don’t like it, there is no obligation to pay for anything.

2. OmniPlan

This is an awesome app for iPhone and iPad users. If you love Gantt charts, this is definitely an app that you can get a lot out of. You start out by creating a simple project outline. Then you can use the app to help you through every step of the project until its completion. A standard plan costs just $49.99, and the pro plan is only $99.98.

Working on a mobile app3. Podio

This is a great app for medium and large-sized teams working on projects. The special point about Podio is that there are additional features such as CRM and social intranet. There are four different packages: Free, which is free for up to five employees and five external users; Basic, which is $9 per month per employee; Plus, which is $14 per month per employee, and Premium, which is $24 per month per employee.

4. Trello

This app is incredibly user-friendly, and is based on Kanban boards. It actually works like a virtual whiteboard with post-it-notes. Trello is great for organizing your to-do lists, ideas, and is very easy to use. You can create several boards to use for various projects, and it’s free of cost. Trello is available to iOS and Android users as well.

5. Microsoft Project

This is one of the most commonly-used project management apps. However, it is also one of the most difficult apps to use. It does have a lot of features that are popular with project managers, which is why we have chosen to include in on this list. You can customize reports, track burn rates, and stay on track until projects are complete. A free trial is available, and then the cost is $549+ per license, depending on the plan you choose.

6. Asana

If you are looking for something that is not difficult to use, check out Asana. This is a great task management app that can be used for managing projects as well. In a nutshell Asana helps you create and share task lists with your team. The app is simple but smart enough and has got a lot of integrations. Teams with up to 15 members can use Asana for free. Teams with 15 members and up can choose plans that range from $50 per month to $800 per month (for 100 members).

7. Basecamp

It’s probably the most well-known project management app out there. It allows you to organize projects that act as a central location for everything and contains such things as to-do lists, notes, events, files, and much more. It is user-friendly, and has a free 60-day trial period. After that, plans start at $20 per month and go up to $3,000 per year if you want to have unlimited projects and 500 GB of storage.

8. Evernote

While this isn’t really a project management app, many people use it as one. This is a note-taking tool that is simple to use, and helps you to stay organized with multiple projects. It works well for personal projects. You can use Evernote for free, or choose a premium service for $5 per month or $45 per year.