by Hoogie Espinosa . April 25th, 2014
This is a smartphone generation. According to The Next Web and Engaget, around 68.2% of Americans have been on smartphones since February. Mobile apps have integrated into our lives by upgrading the way we see entertainment, news, and especially productivity.
When I look at those huge registers or those clunky credit card readers delivery guys carry around, I know that current technology can compress that service into something much smaller. Welcome Square, an app that allows you to accept credit card payments with nothing but your smartphone and an attachment smaller than a poker chip.
One of the bigger names in this list, Evernote is like the Swiss knife of apps for SMBs. This digital collaborative note pad lets you share with your team, present your ideas, and even simplify your billing. All this information is kept secure with a 24×7 operations team and redundant firewall protection.
Another big name in this list is Skype, and for good reason. This trusty instant messaging app lets you hold messaging conferences, voice conferences, voice mail, and for a premium fee, even video conferences. You can also request for a number so that people can call your account using their landline. In fact, I would recommend getting Skype even if it was just for personal use.
A lot of aspiring entrepreneurs have great ideas, but no capital. That’s where Kabbage comes in. With account registration that takes no more than a few minutes, you could get that $50,000 loan almost instantaneously. No lines. No Paperwork. All you need to qualify is your real-time data from any of your existing online services, including eBay, PayPal, and Amazon.
“Expense reports that don’t suck.” The tagline of Expensify hits it right at the buzzer. From documenting receipts with just the click of a camera to streamline reporting through an automated, personalized workflow, what’s not to love with this amazing app?
When compared bare-bones to other cloud storage apps, Box falls flat on maximum file size restrictions against Dropbox, and free storage space against Google Drive. However, it’s what the other two lack and what Box has that has made my choice. While Dropbox lacks on interface, and Google Drive lacks image sharing, Box has dozens of features, and makes the security and privacy of your files a priority.
When you’ve got big names such as Dropbox, Pinterest, Virginia Tech, and Uber in their clientele, you know that Asana is doing something right. This app allows you to assign, create, and comment on tasks from any device, reducing the need for meetings, emails, and status reports. If projects start to pile up, you can use Focus Mode to know what needs to be done first.
Here at YTE, we understand the need for social media management to help us get the word out. Our app of choice is HootSuite. With the mobile version, you get a wide arsenal including analytics, translation, post scheduling, and custom search streams. It can connect to multiple networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare.
Personally, I hate going places just to sign documents. It’s something that could be done in a split second, but sometimes requires a 45-minute drive just to do it. That’s 45 minutes not working. If you’re like me, Right Signature might be the app for you. Sign uploaded PDFs or Word documents with the same validity as pen-and-paper using your hand drawn signature.
When you’re busy doing loads of work, you’re bound to forget something along the way. Alarmed is a reminder app with tons of features that make sure you do not forget anything ever again. Customize repeat options, sounds, notes, pre-alarms and many more. The Nag-Me feature messages you in 1-minute intervals until asked not to. Alarmed is annoying in a good way.
A little redundant with Expensify, Freshbooks is an accountant’s best friend. Its easy-to-use interface lets you do things like online invoices, time tracking, expense tracking, accounting reports, and taxes in a breeze. Using cloud technology, Freshbooks’ many features can be synchronized between multiple gadgets, whether they are smartphones, tablets, laptops, or desktops.
If you don’t know Evernote or Skype, there’s still a huge possibility you know of PayPal. You’ve probably seen a button while looking at a product you were interested in online. PayPal is the most widely used online payment system in the world, and although there is a lot of red tape that its competitors don’t have, almost everyone internationally including your clients already have PayPal accounts and it’s got a high limit of $10,000 per transaction.
Depending on the nature and structure of your business you may or may not want all the apps on this list. There may also be alternatives not on this list that may suit you better. Whatever the case, moving tasks away from paper and into your device can make your company simpler and with you all the time.
photo credits: hypereyed via photopin cc; bradhammonds via photopin cc; Square; Kabbage; Asana; Freshbooks