Entrepreneurs all over the world suffer from a universal struggle. Productivity!
When you’re in business for yourself, you often have so much going on it can be difficult to keep track of it all.
As a result you get waylaid by the procrastination bug, or you drown beneath a mountain of “stuff” that you just can’t seem to get or keep organized.
Apps to the rescue pal!
I swear I’d be lost without my iPhone and iPad… I use them in so many different ways they’re like my mainline to technological genius.
In this day and age, it’s never been easier to track information vital to the operation of your business. Fancy schmancy apps help you to organize information in ways that help you to measure the productivity and profitability of your business like nobody’s business!
Smart phones and tablet computers use apps in the same way your desktop or laptop uses software, to provide essential tools for businesses and individuals alike.
Because there are so many app developers out there in the ether, you can find literally a crap-ton of apps that cater to just about every need a harried entrepreneur can dream up.
Applications can run the gamut, from business logistics to email management to apps that can remind you to eat a meal in case you’re like me and tend to miss them on occasion. (Woopsie.)
Of course every person and business is different, so not every app will appeal to you. It’s entirely up to you to explore, use and discard at your discretion. And because there are so many apps you can get for free, that’s pretty easy to do! (Almost addictive even… but I digress!)
Technology really is a beautiful thing. Take a look at how some companies have used technology to their advantage here and how their businesses originated. Interesting stuff.
Anyhoo, on to some recommendations on some useful apps I adore and use on a regular basis. Note some of these apps may not be free but they are insanely useful and well worth the investment.
Word processors such as Pages from Apple are the modern, high technology equivalent of the typewriter of old. The best word processing apps allow users to type reports, letters and notes anywhere your heart fancies.
Word processing apps vary both in cost and in features so do your due diligence to find the right fit for you and your biz, to get the most bang for your buck.
Time management apps help you keep an eye on your level of productivity. The profitability of a project is just part of the information you need when running a business. You also need to know how much time and materials go into a project as well.
Most apps allow you to enter the time spent on each project, even if it is in small increments throughout the day, and the app totals the time spent. Features such as client billing, materials tracking and position tracking are included in some apps.
Most importantly, time management apps do for you what becomes harder and harder for you to do on your own as your business grows – it keeps you on track.
With the simply enormous amount of work needed to fuel a growing company, it becomes easy to forget things, get behind schedule, and lose the profits and efficiency necessary for forward momentum in your business.
OfficeTime is a great app for time management, and I also love HourBill… it’s a simple app to help you track your hours, however I’ve modified the way I use it to track the hours and pay of all of my fiance’s employees from week to week. Easy peasy.
Note taking apps are another great way to help keep the information you gather throughout the day organized and at your fingertips. The best managers and business leaders are always looking up and researching ways to be better, sharper, and more skilled at what they do.
When researching anything on the web, whether it is sales training online, the next location for your new and improved office space, or ideas for a new blog post, you can just clip it and submit it to an easy to use note-taking app like Evernote and refer back to it whenever you’re ready.
You can organize the notes into notebooks and tag with keywords to make the information easily retrievable. You will learn quickly that keeping things on track and organized are among the top most crucial keys to growing a successful business.
All the greatest information and technology in the world does squat if it can’t be retrieved quickly and efficiently and put to good use.
Spreadsheets are one of the most common business uses for desktop and laptop computers. Numbers and other apps provide the same function, only for smart phones and tablets. Common uses include creating financial statements, creating reports, logging time cards, transactions, ratios, results, or even just organizing a list of possible leads for business ventures.
Or you can use an app like Xpense Tracker and even track your mileage! I actually use this little gem to track expenses for all kinds of things, both personal and biz related. VERY handy.
Numbers and Xpenses both create spreadsheets that can be opened right up with Excel on your computer, so you can literally work almost anywhere.
News readers and ebook apps are another tool that may not seem like useful business apps, but believe it or not they can be some of the most important tools in an entrepreneur’s arsenal of awesome.
These apps keep you up to date on things happening in the rest of the world, and can even give you information on stocks, investments, and risk ratios depending upon the app.
I like FlipBoard to keep current on my favorite blogs and websites, as well as the social feeds of some of my favorite Tweeps and FB pals.
Ultimately it’s wise to remember that the best smart phone or tablet is no more useful than apps that you’re running on it. Carefully select the best apps you can find that will make you both more efficient and more profitable.
Do that and you’ll rock the entrepreneur space better than you ever thought you could.
Over to you!
Got a favorite app you use for your business? Tell me about it in the comments below and share how you use it. And if you found this post useful, please consider sharing it with someone. Toodles!