28 Apps to Increase the Productivity of Your Small Business
Running a business of any kind is a monumental task which requires shouldering major responsibility and managing resources effectively.
A great and handy tool for maximizing productivity and utilizing resources to the max is your smartphone. Mobile apps can help break down and simplify many of the day-to-day tasks a business must accomplish.
So we save you the trouble of having to dig them out on the web; here are 28 hand-picked apps that can boost your small business productivity.
Who wants to wait endlessly to be connected to customer service over the phone? LucyPhone removes the hassle out of holding before getting connected.
Look up your customer service number in the app’s list of numbers, after which it patches you through. When you’re put on hold, simply press **. This gets you disconnected, and the moment a service reps comes on the line, the two of you are connected.
2. LogMeIn – iOS
Using LogMeIn, important stuff on your PC or Mac can be accessed from your iPad or iPhone. This app really proves its worth as you travel on business trips or need to view files remotely.
Launch any PC program from your mobile device.
Use this powerful note-taking app to store photos, notes, web pages, audio clips, PDF files, sync files, record voice reminders and create to-do lists. The indexing feature is a real crowd pleaser. Add things to your online notebook and they can be searched and accessed on your desktop, mobile device or the web.
This free task management app lets you assign tasks to several individuals, implement privacy settings and create subtasks.
The premium version, Producteev Pro, is specially designed to address a growing business’s needs; you can customize the logo and theme settings, which also includes turning Outlook emails into calendar appointments and actionable tasks.
Who says you have to be physically present on the spot to sign an important document? Follow the link in your email to open the document. Follow the signing process and at last, click on “confirm signature”.
After confirming it, you get an alert along with everyone else involved in the process, that the document has gotten signed. Sign important documents without moving an inch from your work space.
Want great collaboration within your organization? Basecamp gives team members a single view dashboard that has links to any given project. Files, tasks, milestone dates, along with a discussion front that lets you trade information and work through details.
All conversations take place from within the project workspace. The app also takes care of scheduling and a calendaring feature displays non-project activities as well.
Daily data backups are performed, along with SSL data encryption. If your mobile device does not natively support Basecamp, you can still use your phone’s browser to sign in to the Web portal.
While Dropbox is already popular among mobile app consumers, it has provided countless benefits to business owners through its file-sharing software.
Easily sync important work documents across all devices and access them seamlessly from anywhere. Dropbox may sound remotely similar to some of the apps we’ve already listed, but it really should have a special place in your arsenal.
Collaboration is a breeze; create shared folders and give group members access to specific links or folders.
8. 30/30 – iOS
Finding it difficult to kick-start your small business? This app functions as a timer and it works on the premise that you work hard for 30 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of procrastination. This pattern gets repeated on a cycle, though you can set times that best suit your routine. Many users swear by how it has lead to better productivity.
9. Free Call & SMS Scheduler – Android
Rather than write down messages and thinking of who to call or when to call them, why not pre-schedule all your daily or weekly calls and messages, and have an app send them out automatically, when the time comes?
Use this scheduler to set unlimited calls and text messages, according to a specified date and time. Scheduler tries again, in case you’re not connected to your contact in the first attempt. And if it happens to catch you at an awkward moment, a beeping timer lets you disconnect calls or messages, which are naturally rescheduled according to user-set parameters.
10. ItSeez3d – iOS
This app turns your iPad into a 3D mobile scanner. View scans as rotatable 3D figures, upload them to a site that supports 3D model sharing, or email them to an organization that can convert it to 3d-printable format.
ItSeez3d makes use of actual 3D data, rather than meshing layers of 2D images to create a 3D scan. A very handy app, especially if you want to impress clients with killer presentations.
11. OfficeTime – iOS
Office Time is a business owner’s best friend. It’s very useful and highly practical: record billable hours through the work day and generate invoices and reports based on that data.
As a small business owner, you just gotta try this one out yourself and see the benefits.
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“If this, then that” is a straightforward Web app which automates actions, so long as certain conditions are met. For instance, let’s say the forecast in the app predicts the possibility of rain, you can configure it to send you a text message, reminding you not to forget your umbrella.
Ifttt automatically bookmarks blogs for you in Digg or Delicious for example, and calls with appointment reminders. We’re merely skimming the surface here. The more you use it, the better you get to know it, and use it to your advantage.
Want to know if your business check cleared the bank? Mint collects your financial data, all in one place. Keep an eye on your savings, checking, retirement and investment accounts whenever you want, and also track spending on a day to day basis.
We wish it would let you transfer funds as well, alas, it doesn’t. Still, a highly efficient financial tracker.
Another task management app makes the list – its uber-intuitive design and simple user interface really stands out.
Use Nozbe to track work you’ve delegated including what you’ve assigned to yourself. Use email to add tasks to it. Another factor that really makes it stand out among task management apps is its ability to seamlessly integrate with Dropbox and Evernote.
How do you type without lifting a finger? With Swype, that’s how! Slide your finger across letters to write messages and look up information in a jiffy.
Swype’s clever mechanism is good at anticipating what you want to type; even if you make a spelling error, you never need to worry about botching up the message, and having it delivered to your clients, full of typos.
16. Humin – iOS
An app that remembers how you know or met someone? That’s just plain cool and every on-the-go business owner needs to have this. After all, you want to focus on the moment instead of that awkward silence as you try to recall someone’s name.
Just feed in the contact number, and Humin works its magic. You can then sift through your contacts using easy-to-remember phrases like “lives on 21st and Broadway Street” or “met two weeks back at a party”.
17. Timeful – iOS
When an intelligent calendar app is merged with a to-do list, you get Timeful.
The app’s algorithm understands how you get stuff done and cleverly suggests ways of taking a fresh approach to getting things done, all at your own convenience and your own terms. Need we say more?
And we shortlist yet another collaboration tool. Why should you get this? Because it has one of the most robust task management systems.
Create tasks and flag them with due dates, assign them to specific individuals, attach files and add notes, use comments to share with your team or create internal checklists. It’s all there. Tasks can be easily grouped according to project, which lets team members brainstorm, assign subtasks and work collectively to accomplish goals.
Asana is a fairly powerful task manager since it shows all projects side by side, eliminating the need to dig up emails which might be scattered all over. Everything stays in one place, and your productivity never suffers.
Toggl is simply the best in time tracking for anyone (employees, contractors, business owners, etc). If you just feel like you’re not getting the most out of your day, Toggl a great tool to help you keep track of what you do on a daily basis. When you have logged your time, they even have reporting on where your time was spent to understand where you can be improving your own efficiency.
One of the best things is the sheer number of platforms Toggl supports to track time just about anywhere (mac, windows, iOS, android, chrome and more). Considering they have a 100% free option, it’s well worth trying.
Can’t stand the complexity of your current expense reporting process? Tired of the headaches your current expense reporting system creates? Expensify has made the expensing process simple for both businesses and the employees who have to use it.
It moves the experience into a simple interface, makes everything digital and effectively changes the process to 1) take a picture and 2) submit.
Compared to the complexity of most expense softwares, reducing stress and time taken to submit an expense report can have quite the impact on productivity.
Messaging apps are a dime a dozen on mobile, but apps that do voice conversations well are hard to find. Especially ones that make it as easy as a walkie talkie.
Voxer is a messaging app, but it’s more focused on the capability to have a walkie talkie-like conversation as instantly as possible, without the loss in security. The audio quality is also much clearer than a walkie talkie and it syncs everwhere you have Voxer setup.
It’s not just for contractors and construction crews, it works great for businesses where teams have to communicate in heavy volumes. Email can be slow and shaving out a dozen emails a day could mean hours saved across the team. All replaced with seconds long voice messages that can be instantly answered in kind.
If you’re a fast growing business or just a business owner that likes being prepared, chances are you do a lot of planning. There’s also a good chance you’re planning a lot of your business using Excel, Google Docs or some other tool that isn’t quite made for organized planning. MindMeister is one of the best mind mapping tools out there to help businesses plan, brainstorm and more – collaboratively. Using the collaboration capabilities of MindMeister, you can brainstorm content ideas with your marketing team, plan your sales process with your VP of Sales and keep track of your next road trip with the family from one app. If you’re still using Excel or Google Docs to do your planning, it’s worth trying to bring your planning and brainstorming into a much more visual medium.
Sunrise is an amazing calendar that helps you keep track of everything going on in your life across all your favorite apps and platforms (Facebook, Evernote, Trello and more). It’s not the first all-in-one calendar, but it’s definitely one of the best designed. It makes keeping your business on track enjoyable.
In the simplest explanation, Zoom is a more stable and easier to use Skype. Zoom uses hosted technology to provide super high quality video meetings or webinars with all the capabilities of tools like Skype or Join.me. It’s free to use, but also has paid options if you want to get into running webinars or meetings with more than 25 people. It offers phone dial in capabilities and apps on every key platform to allow absolutely everyone to get on your meetings.
Feel like yourself or your team is doing a lot of repetitive tasks that should be easier? IFTTT is your answer. IFTTT connects applications and platforms together to automate simple tasks for your business. Looking for a new office space? You can use IFTTT to connect to Craigslist and email you every time a new office space is listed. Posting images on Instagram regularly? Have IFTTT automatically post those images to Facebook and Twitter as well. IFTTT connects to over 300 platforms to make your life easier in so many ways. The best part is it’s free.
Pocket is the link grab bag you can use to take articles and website links with you on the go. Pocket acts as a cloud based bookmarking tool that can also download an offline copy of whatever links you bookmark or “pocket” with it. It’s great if you’re often in places without WiFi or a good connection, you can save links that you want to read later and read them offline at your convenience.
Base is one of the best all-in-one sales CRMs out there for seamless tracking, better sales reporting and great sales dashboards to help your sales team be more efficient. It’s also one of the more convenient CRMs that actually designed their mobile apps with specific use cases in mind, like sales people using them to catch up on their metrics or directors reviewing team reports. It’s one of the most functional mobile focused CRMs we’ve found.
If you need document scans on the go that you can easily email out or print, CamScanner is a great app to have. It has a smart cropping feature so you don’t have to worry about all of the extra desk texture you’re taking a picture of. It also has OCR capability, which means it will try and extract text on the document into selectable text in your resulting PDF. Great if you need to select a couple paragraphs from the document to email.
Is there any productivity app that you think we missed out? Tell us in the comments section and we’ll look into it 🙂