Handy Apps to Keep You Organized, Informed
With Google Play and Apple’s iOS App Store racing to see who will reach the 1,000,000 million app mark (which those in the know estimate will happen by June), how is the average overworked business person ever supposed to be able to keep up with the latest and greatest?
Luckily for you, I95 BUSINESS is on the case! With the help of area business people, we’ve identified 30 must-have apps in categories ranging from document management to time- and expense-tracking to just plain cool. Read on to find out what you need to download to streamline your life – and your business. Unless otherwise noted, all apps are free and available for both Android and iPhone/iPad systems.
1. HoursTracker – $6.99. This easy-to-use time tracking program doesn’t drain your phone battery and runs in the background while you use other programs. Forgot to click start? No problem, just click “Start at” and set your start time. Cloud backup is also available.
2. and 3. CardStar, KeyRing – Weighed down by all those loyalty cards on your key ring or tired of struggling to find the right one at the register? With this app, enter each card in once and it will always be at your fingertips as a scannable barcode on your phone.
4. Things2 – $49.99, free trial available. Only for iPhone/iPad. This task manager syncs lists, projects and to-do’s automatically through Things Cloud across all your Apple devices.
5. ColorNote – Android only. This simple notepad app allows users to add and color code a variety of notes and checklists including virtual “sticky notes” that go on your home screen. Also features reminders, calendar, backup and share functions.
6. Expensify – For “Expense reports that don’t suck!” (their tagline) just download the free version of this app and start capturing receipts, tracking time or mileage, and easily generating reports.
7. and 8. MSecure, Keeper – No more waiting for emails to resend forgotten passwords – with these convenient apps, store all your passwords in one place that’s as secure as Fort Knox and only requires you to memorize one.
9. LinkedIn Pulse – Download the app and then sign in with your LinkedIn account to receive a super-easy-to-read news feed tailored specifically to your interests, and that you can easily share with your existing LinkedIn network.
10. Zite – The Wall Street Journal bills Zite as a “smarter way to handle information overload.” This app trolls through millions of articles on over 40,000 topics daily to bring you the best of your favorite magazines, newspapers, authors, blogs and videos and claims to “get smarter as you use it.”
11. ThankYouPro – Free app, $2.99 or less per card. Only for iPhone/iPad. You don’t even have to wait to get back from the office to send a “thank you.” Choose from more than 20 designs to create and mail a professional thank you card right from your iPhone or iPad.
12. CardMunch – Only for iPhone/iPad. The only bad thing about this app from LinkedIn that takes photos of business cards and instantly turns them into contacts is that it’s not available for Android yet.
13. Camscanner – There are lots of scanner apps out there but this is one of the best thanks to a unique image cropping and enhancing system that delivers clearer images. Now you can also log in to Camscanner online to access, manage and share documents across users and devices.
14. SignNow – According to the Google Play store description, this app is used by 40 percent of the Fortune 1,000 to sign and manage contracts. Use it to sign documents on the go with your phone or tablet or also access documents from the web to enable sharing and take your office paperless.
15.-17. JotNot – Scanner, Signature and Fax – $1.99, $4.99 and free respectively. iPhone/iPad only. Three separate apps from one company allow you to easily scan, sign and fax outbound documents right from your mobile device.
18. Dropbox – Android only. This cloud-storage app was named a favorite by several I-95 area businesspeople who touted its convenience. Upload files, photos and videos to this cloud-storage provider then view, edit or share from virtually anywhere.
19. Southwest Airlines – Book, change or cancel air reservations, check in for your flight, check flight status, access your RapidRewards account or even view travel and weather alerts all from the palm of your hand.
Favorite Apps From Area Businesspeople
P.J. Chambers, WebIXI – “The one that I do use on a daily basis is Zite (both professionally and personally). It is a fabulous tool that helps me keep up to date on all the changes happening in our field.”
Judy Fritz, Owner, VIP Concierge – “I’m an app maniac!! Love them! What time savers. Some of my favorites are CardMunch, HoursTracker, SignNow, Twist, CardStar, Pulse, ThankYouPro … and, of course, all the ones that are attached to desktop functions like Paypal, Freshbooks, GoDaddy, Highrise.”
Chris Palmere, Owner, Artisan Group Inc. – “WD My Cloud allows me to connect to my Western Digital network drive. I can pull up contracts, schedules, drawings, etc. for any project while in the field as well as save pictures and files to it and it’s free.”
Jennifer Lewis, Senior Interactive Marketing Manager, SafeNet, Inc. – “Evernote – we use it within my team to track projects and collaborate.”
Caroline Adolph, Director of Development, Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna – “Cardmunch. It is awesome, and eliminates the need for all of those business cards that end up floating around my purse!”
Karen Muccioli, Owner, Rage Box Contemporary Dance Center – “Msecure. I could not survive without this password app. It’s the best.”
Kim Kock Norris, Activity Coordinator, Harford Day School – “I use the Pinterest app to organize ideas for camps, activities, etc.”
20. Tripit – “The All-in-One Travel Organizer” from Concur can create itineraries automatically or “watch” your Gmail, Yahoo!, Live, MSN, Hotmail or Outlook inbox and copy them to your Tripit account for free.
21. Evernote – By far the most popular response in I95’s unofficial survey, Evernote has won the hearts of everyone from ’tweens to business people. Jot down a note or snap a photo you can refer to later or collaborate on projects for a global corporation with add-on features available at a premium.
22. Skype – Instant message, video message or make a voice or video call anyone on Skype without paying a dime, or call or text mobile numbers or landlines anywhere in the world for a fraction of the price.
Just Plain Cool
23. Twist –This app does the job of four different apps, reminding you when it’s time to leave for an appointment, mapping the best route, automatically letting the person you’re meeting know your ETA and even linking you directly to menus and reviews for your destination.
24. Paypal – Think Paypal is just for online purchases? Not anymore, thanks to this app that allows you to pay with your Paypal account at restaurants, gas stations, retail stores and more. You can also request money and accept payments, whether from a friend who forgot her wallet at lunch or a customer making a purchase at an event.
25. and 26. Freshbooks and QuickBooks – Free with paid subscriptions. Access your bookkeeping functions directly from your mobile device, managing customers, generating invoices and sending estimates and receipts.
27. GoDaddy – If you use any of GoDaddy’s web or email hosting services, this app lets you access account information and even log in to email, wherever you are.
28. Highrise – This mobile companion to the Web-based CRM program allows you to save and organize contact emails and notes right from your phone and can even text you reminders to follow up with a key prospect.
29. Concur – For those who already use the Web-based Concur service, ConcurMobile gives you full access to its suite of travel, expense and invoicing solutions.
30. Western Digital MyCloud – Have a WD MyCloud personal cloud storage device? If so, access anything you have saved on it from your smartphone or tablet with this app, or even upload files directly from your mobile device.
In addition to the apps above, there are numerous profession-specific apps like PlanGrid blueprint management for architects and engineers; the MobileMIM imaging-sharing app for medical professionals; and LexisNexis legal research for attorneys. With so many apps to choose from, we’re bound to have missed some of your favorites – so please share with other readers by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or posting to our Facebook or Twitter page. I95