productivity

5 labor-saving apps

On Labor Day most Americans enjoy a much-deserved day off. This work-free tribute to America's workers comes just once a year, but you can keep its spirit alive year-round with our five labor-saving apps. When you wrap up tasks quickly, you can get back to what really matters: R&R.

IFTTT ( Android, iOS, Webware)

IFTTT stands for "if this, then that," and that's exactly what the app does: build connections between apps to trigger automatic actions and save you steps. Just create a trigger, such as "Every time my boss' name is mentioned online,&… Read more

Mix it up with DJ Music Mixer for 60 percent off

A full-featured DJ and beatmatching system, DJ Music Mixer is a regular favorite with our users for having a beginner-friendly interface combined with a feature-rich toolset. It's a great entry-level software for learning and DJing small get-togethers. DJ Music Mixer helps you quickly grasp the basics without paying a premium price. For one week only, you can get it for only $11.98 -- 60 percent off the regular $29.95 price. Check out the trial before you buy.

Key Features

Mixes music and songs professionally with crossfade. Powerful equalizers with predefined settings. Complete mixing control with cue and … Read more

Twelve apps for new grads

Nationwide, thousands of recent graduates are hanging up caps and gowns and looking forward to a bright future. If you're a recent grad, or if you'd just like to take a summer sabbatical or hit the reset button on your career, read on for our app recommendations to help you gun for that dream job, indulge the travel bug, or continue your education. If you're also shopping for electronics and hardware, check out CNET's Grads Tech Gift Guide.

Job hunting

LinkedIn

Use a social network that's actually beneficial. LinkedIn is one of the best ways … Read more

Any.do review

Any.do is a popular free to-do list manager for Android that combines voice recognition, day planner, calendar, folder browser, missed calls, and more features inside a clean, easy-to-read interface. Using Any.do is a pleasant experience, from the Getting Started animation to the tutorials in the Help menu. You can sign in to Any.do with Facebook or Google, create a new account, or skip registration.

Pros

Speak and be heard: Voice recognition not only makes Any.do easy to use on the fly, it makes it far more likely you'll record a task, plan, or event.

Someday: … Read more

Brevity is the soul of email

You don't have time to sort through the hundreds of expert opinions on how to rein in a runaway inbox. That's why I did the sorting for you.

As I worked my way through about a dozen of these strategies for boosting email productivity, a theme arose: Keep it brief.

In that spirit and without further delay, here are the top suggestions of productivity gurus for avoiding email time sinks.

Don't let your inbox set your schedule I'm one of those people who visits his inbox before I have my coffee or open a newspaper in … Read more

Fitbit Force users report roughly 10,000 cases of skin irritation

Some side effects can come with activity monitoring with a Fitbit Force health tracker, but they're not sore muscles or an accelerated heart rate -- rather, they involve skin irritation around the wrist.

More than 10,000 people have reported skin irritation -- including redness, rashes, itchy and dry patches, and blistering -- from their Fitbit Force, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Because of these issues, the CPSC posted Fitbit's official recall notice on its site on Wednesday. Now, all Force owners can get a full refund for their device.

The $129 Force, which is … Read more

Apple's hiring binge could point to more iPhone development

With a massive hiring binge in China and Taiwan, it looks like Apple is working to boost product production.

The tech giant has reportedly poached engineers from smartphone maker HTC and other companies to create new Apple teams in Shanghai and Taipei, according to The Wall Street Journal. It's said that the company now has more than 600 engineers and operations staff in China.

The Journal reports that the hiring push is due to Apple's focus on developing components for the iPhone and iPad, which could lead to more product releases more often.

"Apple is building an … Read more

Use Glossed.it to save interesting sentences on the Web

There are quite a few options for saving the content you read on the Web. The issue with many of them is that they can become overcomplicated in their attempts to help you. Glossed.it is a Web tool that will let you save just the sentences that really strike you as interesting.

To use the service, you will need to sign up on the Web site: Glossed.it. Once you're signed in, just drag the provided bookmarklet to your browser's toolbar.

Now head off to read some of your favorite stuff online. See an interesting sentence you … Read more

Apple CEO Cook reiterates: New product categories in the works

Although Tim Cook has hinted in the past that Apple is looking at other product categories, the company's chief executive on Thursday left no doubt about his plans to look elsewhere.

"There will be new [product] categories," Cook told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Thursday. "We're not ready to talk about it, but we're working on some really great stuff."

Cook went on to say that any "reasonable" person would expect Apple to be looking to break into other product categories.

There have been near-constant rumblings over the … Read more

Review: Coffitivity

Coffitivity loops coffee shop sounds to help those who work better with background noise.

Pros

Minimally invasive: Coffitivity resides in the upper menu bar and stays out of your way.

Volume control: Coffitivity's noise level can be controlled separately from your Mac's main system volume, so it doesn't underwhelm or overpower concurrently playing sounds.

Cons

Lack of music: It would be nice to have more variations, such as background music or cafe ambience from different regions of the world.

Bottom Line

Coffitivity's only purpose is to create ambient coffee shop sound, and it delivers. If you … Read more