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HindustanTimes Fri,28 Nov 2014

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It's time to get time-saving software apps
Gagandeep Singh Sapra , Hindustan Times
July 01, 2013
First Published: 23:03 IST(1/7/2013)
Last Updated: 03:13 IST(2/7/2013)

In a wired world, it is not just your battery that is running out. Your time is draining out as well, and you may not do it. But the same wired world's smartphone can help you turn smarter by helping you manage your time better – or get more out of it. This week, we look at three websites or apps (applications) to help you do just that.

A recent study by research firm Harris Interactive mentions that smartphone apps usage amounts to 88 minutes of time saved per day, or 22 days of free time per year. So go ahead and do it.

The 7-Minute Workout

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As Heart Disease becomes the largest killer in the country, it is very important to exercise, to turn healthy, be fitter or stay healthy.  What if your gym is a good 30 minutes away and walking to it is not an option? The 7-Minute Workout app resolves your problem, as the name suggests. Download the free app of the same name  by visiting the site (http://7minworkoutapp.com). It is available for iPhones and versions of it are available on the Android platform. What the app does it to help you get the right muscles moving. Jumpingjacks, sit-ups, push-ups, abdominal crunches, squatting – all done under seven minutes in the comfort of your bedroom can save you time, even money in gym fees and certainly the guilt trip on not having exercised. It works with whistles and visual suggestions – a value-added timer of sorts.

If This Then That
Though not available as an app as yet, If this then That can get the Internet working for you. Visit the website at http://www.ifttt.com on your mobile or  desktop browser to get started. The site works on the premise of bunching up instructions and tasks to eliminate tiring chores that drain away time. This is a lot like setting rules in your email inbox when your designated mails automatically go into specified folders.

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Let's say you are new to the world of Twitter and you post some stuff on Facebook as well and then want to store it as well on Google Drive, all you have to do is to create a trigger – such as   If "I post on Facebook" then "Save the post to my Google Drive." IFTTT bunches many such instructional "recipes" to automate your tasks.

There are many exciting recipes, such as saving shared items on Instagram to Flickr or updating your professional LinkedIn page every time you update your Facebook profile. All you need is to set the tasks and click a few times, and you are good to go.

This is one cool site to help you avoid repetitive tasks. All this for free.

Shifu

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An application developed in India, perhaps keeping in mind how we are bad at using calendars, Shifu is cool, but sadly available only on the Android platform. But it does what no one else has been able to do till now. Imagine you are meeting a colleague at a coffee shop,  and waiting for him to turn up when you hear that he is running late and will take another 45 minutes to get to your spot. You can stop fuming if you have things to do. Shifu pops up like a friendly assistant to tell you how you can put the extra time to good use. It will, say, look up your Facebook account to see whose birthday it is, and remind you to wish them. It will also see your to-do list that you have created and remind you that you wanted to go check out that patisserie near the coffee shop where you are. And of course, it will nudge you to call your mom.

Shifu can  set reminders and the best part is that it learns all this from your activities and gets better.


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