What's better than finding an app, website or gadget that takes the friction out of work and life? Check out these clever tools, which will help you work smarter, not harder.

Crello

This online graphic design platform is designed to be so simple, anyone can use it. With 10,500 free images including photos, icons, patterns, vectors, frames, shapes and illustrations, you can make perfectly sized posts or ads for Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media accounts. Or, design posters, cards, marketing materials and any other kind of graphic using images you upload while playing around with filters and templates you can turn on with one click.

Price: Free although some features are $0.99 (yours forever once purchased). Available at Crello.

Startup Pitch Decks

Want to see how the perfect pitch is done? Check out this collection of fundraising decks from startups including Airbnb, Tinder, BuzzFeed and other big names which altogether raised over $400 million. You'll find 18 stellar examples compiled by Attach, a platform for sales reps, startups, marketers who can see how recipients are engaging with presentations, documents and other materials once sent.

Price: Free to view the pitch deck examples at attach.io.

Canvas

This enterprise software lets hiring managers and recruiters screen candidates using text. Think that sounds weird? One 2017 study of 1,400 recent grads found that 86 percent of Millennial and Gen Z job candidates felt positively when text messages were used during the interview process. Plus, the company says its software--which is also available for iOS and Android--lets recruiters screen three to five times the number of candidates per day that they once were able to reach. It also lets them send employment brand information--such as culture videos, benefits and job descriptions--to a candidate's mobile phone.

Price: Subscriptions start at $300 a month. Request a demo at Canvas.

Karma Black

If online privacy is important to you, be on the lookout for Karma Black. It's a little box which provides private anonymous Wi-Fi through a combination of encryption and multi-point routing services. Meaning, your internet service provider and the websites you visit can't track you, figure out your likes and dislikes and sell your profile to others. Karma says its new device is slated for release sometime before Black Friday.

Price: Not yet announced, but likely available as a monthly subscription or "pay as you go" at Karma.

Prezi

This presentation software features a unique panning and zooming interface that's refreshingly different from PowerPoint because of the animations and movement inherent with every click or tap. In fact, after conducting two experiments involving more than 1,000 participants, Harvard researchers determined Prezi is "more organized, engaging, persuasive, and effective than both PowerPoint and oral presentations," they wrote. For business users, Prezi offers advanced collaboration and analytics features.

Price: The "Standard Package" subscription plan runs $7 a month. Available at Prezi.

Headspace

The daily practice of quieting your mind, paying attention to your breathing, and focusing on positivity may be one of the best habits for business people, considering research indicates meditation can reduce stress and increase productivity. Available for iOS and Android, this clever interface can train even the most impatient and un-mindful sorts to enjoy and benefit from meditation.

Price: First 10 sessions are free--after that, a yearlong subscription is $8 a month; available at Headspace.

Published on: Oct 13, 2017
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