Favourite apps of business leaders

Person choosing apps on an iPhone 5

There are countless apps for countless purposes, so we asked contributors to Director‘s May issue what app they like the most

Charles Duhigg the New York Times Journalist and Pulitzer Prize Winner

Charles Duhigg  

New York Times journalist and author

The ultimate killer app is using our brain. In the same way people don’t get excited about hammers or a new box of matches, they shouldn’t be excited about apps – which are effectively tools that push you to think differently. But there’s no substitute for the human brain – the way it has evolved to seek efficiencies, make connections and multi-task.


Tom Cridland founder of Tom Cridland menswear

Tom Cridland 

Founder, Tom Cridland menswear

Apart from the NatWest mobile banking app, the application I use the most is Instagram. With Instagram you can get away with posting a couple of things a day – if that. I don’t really like social media – it’s just something I have to do for work. It’s difficult to gauge how much social media drives sales in comparison with the press coverage. 


Joanna Elson chief executive of Money Advice Trust

Joanna Elson  

Chief executive, Money Advice Trust

My favourite app is the podcast app on my phone – allowing me to use every spare minute that I have walking between meetings to listen to everything from BBC Radio 4’s regular In Business programme, to the latest weekly instalment of Kirsty Young’s Desert Island Discs, or even to catch up on what’s happening in The Archers!


Oliver King founder and director of Engine Service Design

Oliver King

Founder and director, Engine Service Design

MyNetDiary is about nutrition, calories and what you’re eating. You can type in a food name and it will show you how many calories it has. If you have a target weight in mind it can set out a nutritional plan. It’s so comprehensive and easy to use. I geek out on data and tracking and I think apps that can monitor your health, your diet and exercise are useful.


Leanne Spencer the fitness entrepreneur and author

Leanne Spencer 

Fitness entrepreneur and author

Headspace is my favourite app. It’s a meditation and mindfulness app which works on your smartphone so you can use it anytime, anywhere. It’s great for doing short meditation sequences on the move, and keeping your stress levels down. I encourage clients to see it as a tool to help them control stress, intrusive thoughts and feelings of anxiety.


Urbanears wireless headphones tester Elva Pearson

Elva Pearson

Director, Learning Partners

My favourite app is Audible. It has thousands of books on every subject from mindfulness to murder. I have little spare time to read for pleasure. When I’m commuting, running or doing mundane jobs I have my headphones on listening to a good book. Plus I feel virtuous as I am multi-tasking and using unproductive time productively.


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About author

Hannah Gresty

Hannah Gresty

Until she left the magazine in August 2019, Hannah Gresty was the assistant editor of Director. She previously worked on a local news website and at a fashion PR company before joining the Director team as editorial assistant in 2016.

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