Four apps to keep you productive on the road

Sometimes it can feel that you spend more time in the car than anywhere else. Whether it’s bad traffic, a long commute, or just chauffeuring kids, the hours add up.

But there’s no reason you can’t stay productive while you’re in the car. There’s plenty of time to make phone calls, pay bills, and read social media. You can even get some work done while you’re behind the wheel, without violating the hands-free law.

To help you, here are four apps that will keep you productive when you’re on the road.

1) Track your mileage with Hurdlr

Keeping a mileage log when you’re rushing from place to place is challenging. Adding to the complexity of tracking miles driven, and separating business or work miles from personal use – and working out the mileage rates for each.

Make it easy by using Hurdlr, an app that captures all the information for you and delivers it to you in an easy-to-use report. You’ll get expense reports reimbursed from work more quickly and have proof for your tax accountant, all without lifting a finger.

2) Use Slack by speaking to Alexa

So you’ve taken a sales job that requires you to spend a lot of time in the car, and your manager doesn’t allow anyone to take administrative days.

To make the most of your time on the road, use Alexa on your phone to interact with your Slack account. After authorising Alexa to access your account, you can create and send general or direct messages to your colleagues, all without letting go of the wheel.

If you want to know what’s going on in the office, ask Alexa to read all of your messages, or a subset, like starred messages. You can even reply to messages with words or emojis.

3) Listen to emails using ASAM

If you’re running late getting to your next appointment but need to see if the customer responded, you can use ASAM while you drive. It’s a free app from AgileSpeech that will read your emails out loud in the car. Once it finishes reading each message, it prompts you to reply and allows you to dictate a response.  

4) Write a Google Doc with your voice

It feels like the most creative moments occur when writers are away from their keyboards. If you’re on a long road trip that inspires you to write down a new story idea, use the free dictation tool included in Google Docs to capture your thoughts.

Using the Google Docs app on your phone, click Tools>Voice Typing and allow microphone access. The embedded Voice Typing tool captures text and allows you to format and edit the document via your phone’s microphone or Bluetooth.

Use your time on the road to switch off work

Of course, you may not want to spend every moment in your car working. And lucky tech can be just as handy for entertainment or enriching your skills.

Listen to a cooking podcast, an audiobook that makes you laugh, or practice speaking another language. or take advantage of the time you feel trapped and unproductive in the car to learn new information, play Jeopardy on Alexa, or phone a friend.

Photo by William Krause