Today’s business owners usually carry a computer with them everywhere they go — but it isn’t a laptop, netbook, or tablet, but rather a smartphone that is their main source of communication when they’re away from the office. With the thousands of apps that are available for smartphones today, they have the unique ability to keep track of what is happening at the office while the business owner takes care of business elsewhere.
Multitasking is the “SOP” (standard operating procedure) with most business owners today. They may need to record a receipt for their expense account and then use the GPS function to find the location for the business lunch with a client or make changes on a spreadsheet for that meeting –- all with their smartphone. Their smartphone has become a miniature computer where practically all of their business is conducted without having to go to the office.
Here are a few smartphone apps we have found helpful in our own business operations that aid in productivity and offer business tools that ensure you will have everything at hand when it is needed:
- Evernote – This versatile app allows you to create notes, text, take a photo, or record audio notes from meetings or memos to self that can be synchronized to your computer so you don’t lose any important information. It is a free app and is compatible for use on Blackberry, iPhone, Android, WebOS, and Windows Mobile. Available through Evernote.com.
- Deskaway – This is a project management tool that can track milestones, has collaborative pages that can be shared with a team, and is generally easy to use. Files can be easily uploaded and there is a message board – plus to-do checklists and reports that can be run to see any issues or tasks that still need to be completed. It is free but also has versions that offer upgraded packages priced up to $99 per month that offer more projects and space to track them. It is available for Blackberry or iPhone. Available through Deskaway.com.
- LogMeIn – This remote computer access software allows your smartphone to access your computer at home or at the office no matter where you are — whether at the bank or halfway around the globe. It provides file sharing capabilities and remote printing. Best of all it is easy to use so everyone from beginners to advanced users alike can use it. It is priced well at just over $12 per month with discounts for annual subscriptions or multiple user discounts. It can be used on Blackberry, iPhone, or Android. Available through LogMeIn.com.
- Expensify – Keep track of your business related expenses on the go. This app allows you to report expense account data immediately as they occur while the information is fresh from a business meeting or dinner with a client. For those who travel frequently, this saves time as you don’t have to remember what the expense was for or try to find receipts, as it is all created as you travel. It is free and can be used on Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or WebOS. Available through Expensify.com.
- Ascendo Money – This app features online bank access, account reconciliation, budget analysis, and transaction scheduling so you can do your banking wherever you are at the moment. It allows you to keep track of your personal finances and keep your bills paid on time. You can create accounts for credit cards, savings, and investments as well as checking. It is priced at $29.95 and can be used on Blackberry and is ideal for those small business owners who travel frequently and also handle all of the billing and receivables for their company. Available through Ascendo-Inc.com.
These are a few of the latest applications that we have found to be helpful in operating a business while being on the go. We hope you’ll find one or two of these attractive and helpful for your own business. Are you currently using other apps effectively for your company now? Please share what you’re using with all of us — we would appreciate hearing from you.