The Best Business Apps To Make You More Productive

Have you ever had that feeling that your phone should be able to do more than just make calls or take pictures? Don’t get me wrong. Those pictures are amazing. They need to be cropped and the last one should probably be deleted, but you could consider it art.

In any case, we spend a lot of money on phones, first to get them, then there’s the monthly bills. And that’s all assuming we don’t accidentally step on them. With those costs, you wonder sometimes if they should be cooking us breakfast in the morning. We need them to do MORE.

To get more from your phone, you need apps. Yes, I realize last week we made the bold statement that building your own app isn’t worth the investment. Not only do you have the initial investment, but also your monthly upkeep and any add-ons you can think of to keep the app relevant.

That’s not to say that apps themselves aren’t useful however. In fact, apps can be extremely useful. There are apps to keep time, apps to create invoices, apps to take notes, and with the new generation of smart phones, there will be apps to measure distances and immerse you in virtual reality. Apps can be interesting and useful or interesting and absolutely useless. What matters to you, is that whether you use the free option or the paid one, you aren’t paying the thousands of dollars for upkeep and debugging when Google or Apple updates their software.

Many manufactures load their phones with initial apps that have good functionality and offer integration across different devices. Apple does this as does Google with their web services such as Maps, Gmail, Hangouts, and Google Drive for storage.

Just telling you there are apps out there and leaving it up to you to find them is like teaching half a lesson however, so we compiled a list of our favourites. It’s a work in progress though so you may want to bookmark this page./p>

Business Notes:

Evernote

You wouldn’t think that note taking is all that important, until you don’t have a notepad during a meeting. Evernote has grown to include audio recording for those who can’t type fast enough, image storage, and web clipping storage. On top of all that, you can share it with your team. The cost isn’t terrible and there are a few different options to choose from.

Invoicing

WaveApp

You can use WaveApp for just your invoicing or you can use it for your entire accounting package. The great part? It’s free for the base app. The best part? You can accept credit cards for a nominal fee, which is cheaper than having a terminal. It works great if you’re a freelancer or small business on the go. There’s no need to go back to the office to get an invoice created. You can use the app on your phone or log on to the expanded desktop version.

Social Media

Twitter

Twitter has a lot of users, over 1.3 billion in fact, with 100 million users active every day. But of them all, almost 50 percent never tweet. What they do is listen. Whether you use lists or just look at what the people are saying that you follow, you can learn alot. You can learn social trends or find out what’s happening down at the local store. Just be careful. About 15 percent of users are robots.

As a business however, you have the opportunity to build an audience and monetize your efforts. Harnessing Twitter can be difficult, but once you have the correct rhythm, you can grow your audience and increase your chances of selling your services.

Buffer

Buffer allows you to access several of your social media profiles all at once. You can even have two twitter accounts up simultaneously. That’s not that much unless you start filling it with posts for the rest of the week. That’s right. This App saves you time and makes your posting consistent. You can write your own posts, or share others’. It’s even integrated into your desktop browser so if there’s something you like while you’re browsing, just send it to your buffer.

Buffer has a few different levels to choose from including a free option.

Facebook Apps

It isn’t just about having a Facebook account. If you own a business and you’re trying to use your mobile phone, then you need the Facebook pages App. You’ll have access to different options for your business posts and you can schedule your posts so they go out at the right time. This program is free and actually fairly intuitive you use. It wouldn’t be fair of my to not mention that Facebook has other Apps such as the Adverts App which lets you control more of your marketing efforts for boosted and advertising posts.

Oh, did I mention, Free?

Business Calendar

Asana

We just came to Asana recently, but so far so good. With Asana, you can share your task list with your team so you can manage your projects without having to have daily meetings about what each of you have accomplished. The boss can assign things to her people when they’re out of the office and you can even attach files and images through Dropbox (another favourite of ours). This is another app that’s free, up to fifteen users. It’s great for a decentralized team.

Email Newsletters

Mailchimp

Sending an email to a few colleagues is simple enough. Once you get up to a certain number, however more email providers will shut you down because of spam laws. With Mailchimp, that issue goes away. Not only will you have customization for your emails, but you will also have the double opt-in required for Canada and an option to quit imbedded in each email. Of course you don’t want to give that options, but in Canada you must.

The base App doesn’t let you create emails yet (You have to do that on your desktop) because of the complexity, but it does show you all the stats of each email such as who opens your emails, the number of times they open it and any links with the email that are clicked. Mailchimp does come with a second App that you can download that will allow you to make very simple emails from your phone to make up for the limited usage in the mail app.

The fees are based on the number of people on your list and you can run different automated email campaigns.

Password Managers

mSecure

We’ve all done it, written down a password on a slip of paper and then lost the paper. Where did it go? No one saw it, did they?
Password keepers solve this issue. With mSecure, you can save any number of passwords for various types of apps, programs or even doors. The program can automatically be synced with Dropbox so it gets updated until the day your phone dies and you need to get all your passwords from it.

File Transfers/ Cloud services

Dropbox

When you need to transfer a file between organizations then Dropbox is your ideal program. It will allow you to move a lot of files in a short period of time. As we already mentioned, other apps have been set up to automatically use Dropbox so you don’t have to keep bouncing back and forth.
Dropbox permits you to move files between devices and its definitely affordable. You can save files to the box that you want people to download from your website or transfer files directly between devices or people.

Google Drive

Google Drive is similar to Dropbox except there is one notable difference. You can still transfer files lightning fast between devices and people, but you can do a lot more with Drive. The limit is 5TB which pretty much means you can transfer your entire music collections several times over. You can have your photos upload automatically and the monthly fees are reasonable though if you have a Gmail account, you are limited by the number of emails your have saved because they share the limits.

Apps can be very useful.

To get the right one however, you may have to spend many long days playing with different ones to choose what works for you. The great thing about most apps is they will either give you a period of time or a free version with limited options.

Don’t be shy if you have one you like more than ours. Drop us a line and explain why yours is the best. We’ll check it out and if we like it, we’ll add it the list. That way if you ever think to yourself, “Self, I need an app to do this,” you’ll know we have a growing list of apps that will work perfectly for the job.