By Biplab Ghosh.
A lot has been written about technology. Some call it a time –consuming distraction from life’s important tasks. But technology can make you better at what you do, schedule your tasks and give you reminders for these tasks as an entrepreneur.
Being an entrepreneur means high hopes for making an impact—with as low a budget as possible. If there’s one thing most entrepreneurs wish they could create more of, it’s time.
These are 22 must-have apps to be more productive at work,
The beauty of Evernote (which is available for free in Web, iOS and Android versions) is that it can be whatever you need it to be. Need a simple place to store notes or track thoughts as they occur? Evernote has you covered. This is the app for syncing notes across mobile and desktop devices. If you’re just starting out with your small business, you’re probably going to be bombarded with advice from every angle. Evernote serves as a great space in which to organise these nuggets of wisdom.
As with Evernote, it probably isn’t a surprise to see Dropbox on a list of recommended productivity apps. Boasting 500 million users, Dropbox is the most popular platform on which to store and share files on the cloud. Though Dropbox could probably benefit any small business, its services are especially useful for companies that have telecommuters and need a reliable way to share information.
If you’re looking to send better email, Mailchimp is a must. This email marketing tool helps you manage your mailing lists and easily create newsletters to send to your subscribers. With this tool, you can build and customise email templates, build a list of subscribers, send out campaigns and view reports of how your emails perform. With this information, you can learn more about your customers and send them more relevant emails in the future.
The Internet is filled with good reads. There are great articles and blog-posts out there just waiting to be read when you are at work because procrastinating is human .You convince yourself if you don’t read the article right away you will lose them in your newsfeed among the various pictures your friends have been posting . Instapaper is the best app to cure procrastination. It saves articles or blog post to your account and can be read at a convenient time. Your Instapaper account can also be synced to all your devices so that you can read all of your articles on any devices.
Ever wondered where entrepreneurs get their ideas from? Surely, they aren’t born with them! Any established entrepreneur you come across is probably very well-read. Hint: Take a chance at reading books and gaining knowledge to spruce up your mind. To help you do just that on the go, try Audible. It lets you listen to books without having to actually focus on reading while you are out travelling or just doing chores.
Although several competitors have made valiant efforts to knock Skype off its videoconferencing throne, this app remains notably effective, not to mention popular (with more than 8 million reviews on Google Play).
Probably the most effective method for remaining in touch with all your employees, Skype has become an office norm for instant communication and connectivity. With its app version available for mobile phones, connectivity has taken a new form by allowing entrepreneurs to schedule and attend important business conference calls on the go.
While travelling, you probably want to keep your receipts to claim office expenses once you get home. But why go through the hassle of keeping all these receipts when a smart phone can do the same for you? By using your phone’s camera, you can take pictures of your receipts as a digital record in a chronological order. Expensify also lets you log mileage, meal expenses and other business-related travel costs.
In an age of digital insecurity, forming secure passwords is an absolute must – but who has time to remember all those different combinations of letters and numbers? If you struggle to keep your online accounts secure, Lastpass can help by generating, storing and automatically recalling strong passwords for all of your Internet logins. It’s free to use on both PCs and Macs, though you’ll pay $12/year to have the premium version available for download to your mobile device.
On KanbanFlow, a web-based app, managers can assign tasks to their colleagues, upload documents and schedule due dates. KanbanFlow visualizes your workflow and simplifies communication among team members. What’s more, KanbanFlow’s basic version is free and works on most smartphones and PCs and Macs. The premium version costs $5 per user per month and comes with features such as file attachments, revision history and a cumulative flow diagram that lets you analyze your work history. To get the premium version, first sign up for a free account, then click on the “get premium” button at the bottom right corner of the board.
This is a convenient platform with which to pay people and get paid, something you’ll have to do a lot of as a small-business owner. PayPal lets you link your credit and debit accounts and other bank accounts to your PayPal account, thereby making transactions quick and painless.
PayPal’s standard merchant service plan is free and allows you to accept credit cards and PayPal on your site and in store. The Pro plan costs $30 per month and comes with added features, including the ability to host and customise online checkout (both options charge 2.7% per swipe for mobile and in-store payments and 3.5% plus 15 cents for manually entered sales, and 2.9% plus 30 cents for online payments and invoicing).
If RTM lacks in any one area, it’s visual appeal. So if you’re a more graphically-inclined entrepreneur, take a look at Wunderlist – a perpetual favourite on lists of the best “to do” trackers. The program is easy to navigate and can be used to quickly and efficiently track important tasks from within its free desktop, Web, iOS and Android versions.
Tomighty like Focus Booster is a desktop timer and that alternates between 25 minutes of work and 5 to 10 minutes of breaks for better productivity. It’s similar to the Focus Booster app except that Tomighty is a desktop timer and is available on MAC & Windows
13. HP ePrint
All of us have wished for a printer that connects to your documents, photos and files on your phone and tablet. HP ePrint App makes it happen. You can wirelessly connect to printers and print documents, photos etc.
14. Cam Scanner
Camscanner lets you effortlessly scan your documents and convert into a PDF with just your phone. You get clear scanned copies of your documents on the go.
WhatsApp is without a doubt the most popular app today and it’s also arguably the best messaging app.On 2 March 2016 WhatsApp launched ‘Documents’ to its instant messaging service, enabling users to send and receive PDFs. Given most of us are familiar with WhatsApp’s user interface, this is an easy and reliable way to transport documents around a small yet growing startup team.
Todo offers shareable and fully editable to-do lists that are ideal for collaborative work. This app provides colour coded tags, time and location details, Siri integration and space for additional notes. While a simple concept, this app hosts a quick and easy way to promote team-based organisation throughout your startup.
Invoicing and time tracking (from Zoho) offers financial tracking and invoice/expense management with multi-account functionality. The app can create invoices and even receive payments.
Trello is essentially a work and life planner and project management tool. With Trello, users can create boards and invite co-workers to interact and edit documents, customise workflows and add and assign tasks. In addition, users can upload photos and videos, attach files and add editable checklists.
Slack makes it easy to organize team conversations into different channels, such as engineering, admin, or finance. In addition, Slack integrates well with external systems including Twitter, and various source control systems. This helps keep everyone up to date. To cover sensitive details there’s direct messaging and private groups. Private messaging groups can also be created for circulating sensitive information and multi-channel chats can be created too, so separate group chats for, say, marketing, sales or support teams can be made.
Quip is a team-based collaboration and organisational app that offers chat, docs, task lists, and spreadsheets all in one place. It’s essentially lots of different ‘apps’ in one with offline support extended to all its functions.
Nuzzel is a great way of finding interesting stories and news from your Facebook and Twitter feeds. It integrates both social profiles and delivers the information it thinks you’ll find interesting. This is a great app to use while commuting to stay on top of current industry news.
Inkflow is for the brainstorming ones out there. If you’re the one who gets ideas when you are travelling your way home or when you are at a restaurant with no pen or paper in sight, then this one’s for you. Inkflow helps you note things down or even re-imagine your ideas in a visual manner by sketching and drawing. You also create PDFs of the same and share with your colleagues right away. The only issue of the Inkflow is that it is only available on Apple stores but many alternative apps are available on Android.