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Best new apps for February: 3 smart ways to amp up your productivity

Ramp up your researching skills, amplify your ideas, and get organized with these February favorites.

Best new apps for February: 3 smart ways to amp up your productivity
[Source photo: Ridofranz/Getty Images]

Listen: let’s just get through February. We’re all in this together. It’s cold. It’s windy. It’s the perfect time to stay inside and get some work done.

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That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work efficiently, of course, so let’s continue to leverage time-savers and cool tools in our pursuit of productivity.

We’ve got something of a retention theme this month, with apps purpose-built to supercharge your notes-to-self, intelligently organize your scans, and jog your memory.

Hunker down, bundle up, and enjoy!

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Heyday: your personal research assistant

You know in the movies when someone important attends some sort of gala, and every time someone walks up to talk to the important person, there’s an assistant whispering in the important person’s ear?

That’s kind of what Heyday is like, except not as pretentious. Instead, it keeps track of all the stuff you’ve shown interest in and the next time you search for something similar, it’ll surface previous articles and sites you’ve visited on the same topic. My colleague JR Raphael has an excellent and thorough writeup about the app right here on Fast Company.

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Heyday costs $10 a month or $100 a year and positions itself as the cure for those of us who always have a bajillion tabs open, working mainly as an unobtrusive browser extension that automatically organizes your interests into contextually relevant collections of topics. There’s also a daily email that contains reminders, topics you’ve shown interest in, and videos you’ve watched recently.

Weavit: building a better brain

Turn random thoughts, ideas, and musings into powerful information blocks with Weavit. You jot down or dictate an idea to the app and it’ll pull in relevant web links, contacts, meetings, and more, and then chain that idea to other possible related ideas you’ve captured before that.

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It’s kind of like digitally enhanced thought: your ideas fed into an AI system in order to amplify them.

The app is free for now and iOS-only—there’s a waiting list, so make sure to get signed up if you’re interested.

Stack: smarter scanning

Going paperless has never been easier thanks to the new, free Stack app from Google’s in-house incubator, Area 120.

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Use it to scan something, and it’ll intelligently crop the document, determine which type of document it is – receipt, bill, financial record, or the like – and parse out useful information such as dates, amounts, account numbers and more.

It’ll then automatically categorize it into a relevant “stack” of similar documents and can back everything up to Google Drive. Imagine finally being organized without really putting forth any actual effort.

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The app is currently available for Android users in the U.S. but keep an eye out for additional platforms and locations.

Just for fun

Did you watch The Office and wonder if you had what it takes to make it in the exciting world of regional paper sales? Wonder no more with The Office: Somehow We Manage, a casual tap-and-tap-again game for iOS and Android that stars cartoon-ized versions of your favorite cast members.

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