As a small business owner, we have to wear many hats: operations, marketing, finance, bookkeeping, customer service, the list goes on and on. Thankfully we are in an age where we can leverage technology to make our lives much easier. For example, when looking at fleet rental services from Flex Fleet, there is a blog about the best apps for fleet management. Please bookmark and visit frequently!
Our smartphones have more than one million times more RAM memory, seven million times more ROM memory, and over 100,000 times the processing power of the computer on the Apollo 11, the spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon 50 years ago.
Given the technological power that we can hold in our hands, many small businesses are making the move to small business apps, giving them the flexibility to work from anywhere at any time. Leveraging the right business apps can significantly increase productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency, ultimately making our lives much easier!
As of the first quarter of 2019, there are 2.6 million Android apps and 2.2 million iOS apps with over 6,100 apps being created every day! With so many apps out there, which are the best business apps to use? Much of it depends on what type of work you are in and the specific industry, however for more general business needs, here are the top small business apps:
Productivity & Communication Apps
Asana is a great communication and collaboration tool for businesses. It is a web-based tool as well as a mobile app that lets you view all your tasks and projects, and follow the progress of each one on the Asana board. You can also share notes with people, upload files and send messages rather than sending emails separately.
Wunderlist is the main to-do list that I use. The app instantly syncs between my phone, tablet, and computer, so I can access my to-dos from anywhere. I like it because you can create reminders, assign due-dates, have tasks repeated on a customized schedule, and you can share lists with others. You can also attach files and add notes to your to-dos. After trying dozens of different to-do apps, Wunderlist is my favorite!
Pushover is a simple push notification service that integrates easily into dozens of websites, services, and web apps like IFTTT, to your Android, iPhone, iPad, and Desktop. Every app has its own push notifications, but if you are looking for an app that makes it easy to integrate them all and even send notifications between different devices, then this app is one of the most reliable ones to use.
My Minutes is an app that helps you set goals for your time with a personal time tracker. My Minutes delivers a two-pronged boost to your productivity. You cut down on wasted time, and spend that time being more productive. If you find you find it difficult to stay focused on your most important tasks, or you find that you’re wasting too much time on Facebook, use the app to simply set up a goal: “Do at least 30 minutes of exercise.” By tracking your time, My Minutes lets you cut time away from less important things to put to work elsewhere.
Otter is a free app that turns your voice conversations into smart notes that you can easily search and share. You can use it to take notes at your meetings and interviews, capture your thoughts and ideas while you’re driving in the car, and transcribe your existing recordings and podcasts. You can even snap photos (e.g. of a whiteboard, or a speaker or presentation slide at an event) during a recording and they will be inserted inline with your transcripts. It is a real-time transcription app that uses automatic speech recognition (ASR) to process and transcribe conversations in real-time. It even adds punctuation and distinguishes between individual speakers in the text.
Paste is presentation software that is an alternative to PowerPoint and Keynote. The app automatically formats screenshots, videos, and links to create eye-catching slideshows and proposals extremely easily. It gives you a ‘storyboard’ view, which lays out your slides in a clear way, making them easier to rearrange so that you have a visually appealing and better flowing presentation. Every Paste storyboard gets a URL so people can work on them from a desktop browser and is synced online across devices.
G Suite is an integrated suite of secure, cloud-native collaboration and productivity apps powered by Google AI. It includes Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Meet and more. It is chosen by millions of businesses, from small companies to the Fortune 500. I use it for my business for email, collaboration, and easy access to my files anywhere at any time.
LastPass is a password manager and one of the most important security tools I rely on. With so many data breaches and hackers trying to steal your password, you want to ensure that you have different and complex passwords. I use LastPass as my password manager for security, easy to features, and the ability to access my username and passwords anywhere and on any device!
Freshbooks is accounting software that makes running your small business easy, fast and secure. It gives small-business owners and freelance workers a simple way to manage and track personalized, professional-looking invoices for your business. It will also automatically bill your clients for recurring invoices, and accept credit cards on your mobile device.
Square is a payment app that allows you to take credit card payments and set up merchant services in minutes. With the app, you get a small, portable card reader that can attach to a phone or another mobile device to take payments. It is perfect for small businesses that need to accept payments anywhere and at any time. Square’s point-of-sale app also keeps track of your sales and inventory in real-time and provides very useful reports about your business
Books and Reference Apps
The Kindle app is my go-to e-book reader. You can download it to your computer (Mac or PC) or any type of smartphone. There are lots of great benefits such as syncing across my devices, highlighting and taking notes, and use the X-ray feature to easily find specific ideas, figures, places, and much more. You can use the Whisper-sync feature that allows you to switch seamlessly between listening to your audiobooks and reading their companion Kindle eBooks.
Chirp is a free audiobook app. There is no membership fee and you pay for the books you purchase. The company works with publishers and authors to curate new deals every day, where you can save up to 95% on bestselling titles. You can stream or download the audiobooks you’ve purchased and listen on your commute, during your workout, while making dinner…anywhere you want!
Both Uber and Lyft have revolutionized transportation, I use it on a weekly basis. If you haven’t tried it yet, it is basically a ride-sharing service. You download the app on a mobile device and have one of the drivers pick you up at your current location and take you to where you want to go. You pay through the app which is very convenient.
These are just some of the best SMART mobile apps for your small business. As more apps come out, we will continue to update this post, and look at apps for different industries.