You’ve got your mailbox apps, your LinkedIn app, your Google Drive, Docs and Hangouts, your Microsoft Office 365, your Dropbox, your Adobe Reader, your banking app and your PayPal – and you’re feeling pretty well equipped for most of your business needs.
Apps are essential for the business person these days, who is forever on the go and doesn’t know whether he/she’ll be needing to finish writing up those reports on the train, will be approving staff wages at a lunch meeting with a potential new client, or will need to try and steal half an hour reading through CVs on LinkedIn whilst sat in front of the tube at home in the evening.
Tablets and smartphones have improved business productivity no end. The ability to be constantly connected is, as you will know, at the very forefront of an entrepreneur’s mind as he/she tries to grow his/her business – on the go.
In many ways it seems like the smart device has been built with this type of person in mind. Entrepreneurs (and anyone who is at all serious about their work, for that matter) are always – always – thinking about the job at hand: the email that needs to be sent tomorrow; the urgency of the repair that needs to made; the supplier list that needs to be more thoroughly mined for potential savings; the social media rankings; the press release; the office software and network; the work; the job; the business; the reputation – it never ends. And the smart device has made the organisation of these thoughts a much more streamlined process. Organisation, in fact, is at the heart of the smartphone’s purpose. Yes, it expands our horizons – socially, occupationally, monetarily (if we’re smart) – and gives us the ability to reach out into a much wider world than we have been able to do before, but, essentially, it organises this potential chaos into a few well-chosen apps that the entrepreneur can utilise for putting his/her whole business world very handily in his/her pocket.
But, what is more, these entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for further ways (i.e. apps) that will continue to improve the organisation of their professional life to the next degree. Digital tools are essential for the efficient running of the modern business, and every businessperson should be fully equipped with the very best ones that will move them ahead of the game on every level of their business.
Email inboxes can be a nightmare to scroll through to pull up your travel itinerary or your meetings schedule from – such is the state of the digital world that junk mail reigns supreme in electronic mail boxes just as much as it has ever done through physical ones.
And so, it is with great pleasure that we bring to you 10 of the best more obscure business apps that you might not have heard of that can improve the organisation of your professional life no end, leaving you more time to concentrate on the more pressing needs of your business, such as making big sales to important customers. Here they are.
Formerly known as Full, the coach.me app is a personal organisation/productivity app that will help you to prioritise your tasks, make schedules and better organise your workaday life – and your personal life, too (for entrepreneurs can often forget about this very important part of their existence if they’re not careful). By setting goals, and joining micro-communities (that indeed you can set up within your office) to cheer you along, you can start to prioritise your working schedule much more efficiently. If you know that you do your best work in the morning, then you can set yourself the harder tasks to complete then, and leave the easier stuff till the afternoon (or vice versa, of course).
Fiverr is a genius little platform. Basically, it’s a community of enthusiastic freelancers who offer their services to complete whatever tasks that you want done – voiceovers for a new promotional video animation, a new logo design, headline writing, copywriting, article writing, SEO, keyword research, whatever – for just $5. Any of those annoying little tasks that you simply can’t ignore yet just don’t have the time for – no problem. Fiverr has someone who’s willing to do it for next to nothing, simply because they enjoy doing so.
Cisco WebEx Meetings
Available for iOS, Android and Blackberry, the Cisco WebEx Meetings app lets you have video meetings no matter where you are in the world. The ability to attach files to your meeting space – anything from an Excel spreadsheet to a PowerPoint presentation – means that important numbers, figures and ideas can be discussed in real time with everyone having access to the material, and this really sets WebEx apart from many of its competitors.
You know when you go to a business meeting with potential new clients and customers, or maybe when you attend a conference with hundreds of other people, or perhaps even get chatting to someone interesting on the tube on your way to the office? Yeah, you end up with a pocket full of business cards, don’t you – and you can’t remember which ones came from whom, what they did or how they were of benefit to you. Well, if you use your phone to take a picture of each of those business cards using the ABBYY Business Card Reader app, it will scan and upload the details of each contact in seconds, meaning that there will be no more need to keep stacking up errant business cards in an overflowing wallet.
Mint – Personal Finance
Being at the helm of a profitable business means that sometimes you can lose track of your spending. But, with the Mint app, your spending habits will be closely tracked and monitored for where you could be saving money. Another nifty feature is that it allows you to create a customised daily budget based on what you are normally spending. Combined with the website, you can even track your loans, your bank, your credit, rents, mortgages and retirement budgets. Promoted for personal use, Mint is nonetheless a great tool for business accounts as well.
Splashtop Business is an incredible app that allows the user to access his/her work computer directly from his/her iPhone or iPad . The user’s iPhone or iPad screen transforms into the user’s PC screen, and can be accessed from anywhere. Of course, to make use of the app, you will first have to install the Splashtop Download Streamer onto your actual computer and then sync it with the Splashtop Business app on your smart device. It can support numerous users, and is supported by the 256-bit SSL encryption, meaning that privacy and security is assured.
When browsing the web on your mobile, it is absolutely vital that you are armed to the digital teeth with security that ensures that none of your sensitive data (or, perhaps more importantly, your clients’) leaks out into the web waves. Of course, you will be sharing information over the web from your mobile device, and with the Onavo app installed, it will be protected from unsecure mobile websites, phishing scams and the like. Your details will also be secured when you login to websites, and also when you enter other sensitive information like credit card numbers or bank account details when making purchases around the web.
Apps with only one function need to perform that function brilliantly in order to be successful – and the Percentage Calculator does just that. Business is, more often than not, a numbers game, and getting those numbers right will make all the difference between winning and losing, and sometimes you can’t always rely on your mental arithmetic, especially when it comes to percentages. There are 8 different methods for calculating percentages on the app, so you should always find the perfect means to calculate the numbers accurately.
If you’re in business, then you will know the frustrations of dealing with late payments from invoices that you have issued to other companies. If you want to make sure that you are not contributing to this problem but are instead becoming proactive in becoming part of the solution, then the BillMinder app is the tool for you. It will allow you to track your expenses via visualisations such as charts and graphs, and will alert you when your bills need to be paid. Another cool feature of the app is that it will make recommendations on where you can save money in your business.
TripIt is your essential travel organisation app. If you’re on the move a lot, then you simply cannot do without it. The app allows you to share and organise your travel itineraries, and can recognise reservations from more than 3,000 online booking sites, which include restaurants, concerts, flights, car rentals and even cruises. You can then share your travel plans through your Facebook or LinkedIn account, letting the right people know where you’re going to be at the right time.