By Anthony Main, The Distance.
The high streets are flooding with people, the markets are springing up in town and city centres across the country, and the festivities are in full swing. Christmas is on its way!
What is a time of great celebration and merriment, can also be stressful, with a substantial amount of preparation – both home and work – that needs to be undertaken before the calendar makes its way to the 25th of December. But the festive season need not be a time of panic and pressure.
Here are six excellent apps that will both help you manage the less than exciting parts of the Yuletide season and add an agreeable boost of festive cheer.
- Sleeps to Christmas 2
December is a strange month for business. The festive season is in full swing, and your to-do list is longer than your arm, but you still have to head into work each day and crack on with your tasks and get as much done before the New Year as you can. No-one can blame you for being excited for the Christmas break, which is where the Sleeps to Christmas app comes in. A simple yet fun application, Sleeps to Christmas shows you in granular detail how long you have to wait for Christmas morning – a great way of keeping that light at the end of the tunnel in sight and giving you that nudge to keep yourself focused.
- Christmas RADIO
Love them or hate them, you can’t deny that Christmas songs are a signature ingredient of the festive season. With the Christmas RADIO app you will never be without them, as it offers over 100 radio stations playing all the hits from Fairytale of New York to Mistletoe and Wine. You can get your staff in the festive mood and be the office DJ without putting any work in to creating a playlist!
Perhaps the greatest gift of all is that the app is completely free, though there is a subscription option if you want to avoid any adverts. You can find the links to both the Android and iOS versions of the app below.
Maintaining a careful work-life balance is important during the Christmas period, as both work and life are likely to be exceptionally busy. A great way of keeping up to date with work tasks is using Google Calendar or something similar. For arranging family matters, Picniic is a fantastic app; it offers a shared calendar, to-do lists, and a family locator, so you can keep up-to-date with your family plans as efficiently as you do with your work schedule.
Hopefully this will help you maintain a balance, reduce the stress of trying to coordinate two calendars, and ensure you don’t book an important business meeting for the same afternoon you promised to watch your children in the school nativity play.
A Christmas classic, ElfYourself allows you to take pictures of yourself and your colleages in order to portray them as a troupe of dancing elves! All you need to do is use Facebook or your device’s camera to acquire the picture, and then the app will do the rest.
The results can be used as the company Christmas e-card, or if that’s not appropriate then at least you can have fun internally! If you’ve ever wanted to see your serious colleague rocking around the Christmas tree while dressed as one of Santa’s helpers, this app is the one for you.
It’s featured on both the App Store and the Play Store, so everyone can get involved.
- Parcel – Delivery Tracking
For iPhone users, this is a must-have app if you want to keep track of the plethora of parcels that you are getting delivered, especially if you are getting some parcels delivered to the office while others, perhaps staff gifts, are being sent to your house. Shopping around the vast array of online retailers is a great way of saving money and taking advantage of the shop-specific deals on offer, but tracking parcels from all the different stores can be a nightmare. Parcel helps to make this a much simpler task by keeping all of your parcel delivery information in one place. The app supports tracking for FedEx, UPS, Hermes, DPD and many more.
- Deliveries Package Tracker
Fear not, Android users, the Play Store also features a package tracking app that is very similar to the Parcel; the Deliveries Package Tracker offers tracking capabilities for eBay, Amazon, UPS, FedEx, along with over 40 more providers, meaning you’ll have to try very hard to find a courier that is unsupported. It’s a great way of keeping all of your delivery notifications in one place.
Have a Merry Christmas!
By having these apps safely downloaded onto your device, you are ensuring a smooth run up to the big day. Take some time to browse through your calendar while you are commuting, or check on the status of your parcels when you are on your lunch break – getting ready for the day doesn’t need to be a time consuming task! Once you have a library of apps ready to use at the press of an icon, organisation becomes a seamless process rather than a chore. Have a very merry Christmas, and a happy New Year!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anthony Main is Managing Director of The Distance, an app development company. Anthony has been developing apps since the first iPhone, and with his UK based team of digital natives, The Distance delivers intuitive mobile solutions for clients on both iOS and Android. From disruptive start-ups to global enterprises, including NHS, Bentley Motors, Virgin Trains, PGA Golf, Slimming World, and Astra Zeneca, The Distance supports solutions developed to meet all app based-challenges.