8 Apps to keep you organised
The good, but no bad and no ugly: Magnificent seven apps that will help you stay organised
There’s an app for everything these days. Some are useful, some are toys, and others could even be a tiny bit sinister.
If you’re using your smartphone for business, then you need to remind yourself of that from time to time. Your ‘note to self’ will hold you back from adding apps that are little more than toys, or solutions looking for a problem. Such tech will serve merely to distract you from, and hinder your performance in, the real job in hand – running a business. Remember, a phone that’s cluttered with novelties will run more slowly than one that isn’t.
The trick, like so much in life, lies in knowing how to sort the wheat from the chaff so you can toss the latter aside, and be left with what you need and nothing more. Stripped down to its ‘optimum weight’, your smartphone with be as lithe and nimble as a racing snake, and a razor-sharp business tool.
So what do you need? Here’s our list of apps that really will deliver when it comes to making you efficient in business, along with a wild card which you might not have thought of.
1. Solo Expenses: You’re in business to generate revenue, so top of the list has to be our app that records spending with ease and accuracy. With Solo Expenses you’ll never miss claiming an expense, never lose a receipt or forget to claim the mileage for a journey, and never be fined for missing a tax deadline, and you can even keep your accountant in the loop. What’s not to like. The entry-level version of Solo Expenses is free to download, user friendly, and with you every waking hour.
2. Evernote: (and Evernote scannable) Records and collates notes, reports, web clips and shares them with all your devices, so something captured on the street with a phone is available on tablet and desktop too, and can be shared paperlessly with colleagues anywhere in the world.
3. Rescue time: Runs in the background on your devices, and tracks the time you spend on different applications to compile detailed reports about the way you spend your working hours. Great for picking out and eliminating non-productive activity, and for knowing if work is – or isn’t – profitable.
4. Freckle: Similar to RescueTime, but works for teams, answering questions such as which clients are good to you and which abuse your time, which team members are under-utilised, and showing you the amount of unbillable time involved in your operation.
5. CamCard: Camcard will not only photograph business cards and keep images of them in your phone, but will read their details and create a searchable database of useful contacts. You’ll need to double check the details; some business cards have very small text and can be misread, and the lighting you ask it to work in can make a difference, but it’s still way faster than sifting through piles of cards. You can also exchange cards electronically with contacts electronically.
6. Freshdesk: Facilitates customer service teams’ collaboration in resolving issues, allows them to contact clients with carefully-crafted responses. Highlights issues and allows team members to comment on areas of concern so they can be flagged up for attention.
7. Wrike: Provides an opportunity to involve colleagues in project management, and dismantle tasks into easy-to-accomplish bite-sized pieces. If it suits, it’s possible to involve clients in the collaboration too, and Wrike interfaces with numerous programmes to deliver ultimate flexibility.
8. Wild card: Here’s an app that’s lost a lot of ground in recent years, but is still worth including in our list. Keeps working even when the phone battery is flat; can be used when you’re talking on the phone, and will record ideas, meeting minutes, ‘to do lists’ and much more. Seriously, don’t overlook the old-school notebook and pencil just because they were around when your Grandpa was in short trousers.
Our picture, featuring a t-shirt loved and worn by one of our contributors, gives a tongue-in-cheek take on just how widespread apps are. The shirt is from www.shotdeadinthehead.com