9 Great Apps for Small Business Owners
Sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done, so what do you do? Work smarter, not harder! We’ve compiled the very best apps to help you get more done, in less time. Using tools already at your disposal (your phone, tablet or computer) you will be able to greatly improve your time management, communication and accounting.
Apps for Time Management – get the most out of your day with the help of a few handy time management tools.
Balanced – The habit tracker
Balanced helps you make time in your day for the little things that matter. You choose what’s important for you, whether it’s taking a time out to practice some deep breathing or taking a picture that inspires you. Balanced will help you carve out the time to do it. Use the app to schedule crucial tasks for your business that may otherwise slip your mind, like checking voicemails or posting to social media.
Balanced is currently only available on iOS. You can download it for free on iTunes or splurge for some added features and buy the premium version for $3.99.
My Minutes – Your personal time management specialist
My Minutes is a time management app that will show you where you’re spending your valuable time and help you reallocate it to the tasks that matter to you most. My Minutes tracks your daily activities (answering emails, waiting in line to buy lunch, etc.) and helps you focus your time wisely by setting limits on tasks you decide are less important.
Get it on the App Store for $2.99 (iOS only)
1-3-5 – Prioritize your life
The beauty of 1-3-5 is its simplicity. It starts your daywith a plan to conquer it using the 1-3-5 formula. You choose 1 “big thing” (your most time consuming task of the day), 3 “medium things” (moderately time consuming tasks) and 5 “small things” (your least time consuming tasks) you want to accomplish. Because 1-3-5 runs through your browser and not a stand-alone app, it is available for any internet connected device. This means whatever project you’re working on and wherever you’re doing it, you won’t lose sight of your goals. Sometimes staying on track really is as simple at glancing back at your plan.
A basic account is free but you can upgrade for $2.50/month or $25/year.
Apps for communication – It’s easy to get lost in a conversation thread or a string of Emails. Make sure it never happens again with these communication apps.
Slack – Instant messaging at its best
At Evolocity we use Slack daily and it’s changed how we work and communicate as a team - for the better. High level - it’s a simple instant messenger tool that lets you send messages, photos, document files and links with ease. So what? Well, the numbers speak for themselves; using Slack led to businesses sending 48.6% less Emails, holding 25.1% less meetings and increasing productivity by 32%.
The free version of Slack is may be sufficient for a small business but they do offer more robust paid plans with added functionality.
Facebook Messenger – The easy choice
Facebook is one of the most used social networks out there, and chances are that most of your employees are already using it. Facebook Messenger is a simple communication option that requires zero software investment or integration. It’s a perfect app for chatter but doesn’t boast as many features as a devoted platform such as Slack.
The best part? Messenger is completely free!
Skype – Keep an eye on your conversations
Skype has been the standard in video conferencing since 2003. Although widely known as video chat app, it can also handle much of what other team-sharing platforms are offering, like file transfers, chat, screen sharing, and multi-platform availability. If you have employees that work off-site or that travel a lot, Skype is a great option to virtually replace face-to-face conversations.
The basic functions of skype are free but you’ll have to upgrade to Skype for Business ($2.40/month per user) to hold conferences with more than 25 people.
Apps for Accounting – Staying on top of your books has never been so easy
FreshBooks – Your safe and user-friendly accounting solution
FreshBooks is all about making accounting easy and accessible. With Freshbooks, digitalizing your paper receipts and preparing professional customer invoices is a breeze. This accounting app stands out from the crowd because it is a cloud based solution, meaning you can pick up your work on your phone, tablet or computer at any time. While it may not offer as many intricate tools as some of the competition, it should have more than enough features to satisfy many small businesses.
You can try FreshBooks out free for 30 days, and then $15 (USD) a month for the base package.
QuickBooks Online – The standard in a modern age
If you’re looking for a more robust accounting application, then it might be worthwhile to start using QuickBooks. QuickBooks has been a leader in the accounting software industry for years, and QuickBooks Online is their move to a cloud-based solution. Leaning on the strength of their platform, QuickBooks Online will help you track your income and expenses, send unlimited estimates and invoices on the go, print cheques and record transactions. It also fully integrates with all of the other QuickBooks software. If you’re already on the platform, then this is likely the best choice for you.
Similar to FreshBooks they offer a free 30-day trial followed by a $26.95 (USD) monthly subscription.
Wave – the accounting software for non-accountants
If you have a limited knowledge of accounting, then Wave is a good bet. Its main feature is income and expense tracking through a well-designed, user friendly and intuitive interface.
Wave works on a completely different pay structure, it’s free! The fully free version is a little light on features but should you need an add-on, like payroll or credit card processing, you can choose your features a-la-carte and pay-as-you-go.
Where Do I Start?
Not sure where to start? Give the free options a test-drive to see which features you need before springing for the paid versions. Be sure to explore your options to find the best fit. Testing more than a single app in each category is a good best practice when it comes to investing in new technology for your business.
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