There’s no doubt that the mobile phone is slowly surpassing desktop computers in usage. Will there ever be a day when it will totally replace computers? We’re not sure but what we do know is that any kind of app you need to run your business is probably available for you at your fingertips. We decided to ask today’s entrepreneurs what apps they must have and why in 2013. Hopefully this list helps you discover a new app you never heard of before and increase your productivity.
Who: Sarah Hudson of Little Idea
Why: As a small business, we regularly use apps to make our lives easier! The first app we can’t live without is Waze, which is a social GPS that allows drivers to share real-time traffic and road info so others can get to their destination as quickly as possible; we’re out of the office a lot to meet clients and we wouldn’t be able to make it to our meetings without it! Another app we love is Nemo, which can help you learn foreign languages; it’s helpful for us because we regularly need to communicate with developers and manufacturers from overseas.
Who: Dianne Hamilton of Binary Formation
Must Have App: 1Password
Why: We used two apps in a regular basis that are essential to our business. We are a husband/wife app dev company working out of our home. The first app is 1Password. I can’t tell you how many times in a day I rely on this. We have so many accounts to run the business and to keep track of them manually is a nightmare (website, blog, bank accounts, insurance,utility accounts, on and on…..!). 1Pasword ((Mac App Store) has been a huge time saver. And yes, the second app is one of ours. It also is a time saver and could save a ton of money and is essential for any homeowners, renters, and entrepreneurs alike. . Home Inventory is a very popular Mac app (Mac App Store). We use it to catalog all of our personal as well as business and computer equipment. Both of these Apps have been featured by Apple in the Mac App Store front page and other features.
Who: Greg Miliates of Start My Consulting Business
Must Have App: Cam Scanner, EchoSign, Dwolla, Evernote, & Dropbox
Why: I use a ton of apps on my Android phone, but my faves for running my business are: CamScanner, Lets me scan documents from my phone instead of using a bulky desktop scanner. EchoSign, Let’s me e-sign documents without having to print+scan+sign+scan+e-mail. Dwolla, Let’s me accept payments for 25 cents per payment – FAR less expensive than traditional credit card processors. Dwolla uses ACH payment processing, which is essentially bank-to-bank transfer of funds. Square, Let’s me accept credit card payments from my phone. Canned responses, This add-in let’s me automate e-mail responses for common e-mail questions. Filters + canned responses, Using both filters + canned responses, I can automate screening for prospective intern/employee candidates. Evernote, It let’s me dump my brain into the cloud. Great for collecting & organizing ideas, etc. White Noise apps, that let me concentrate & focus when there’s lots of background noise where I’m working and Dropbox, obviously. HabitForge and Stickk, Not mobile apps, but they help me create new habits and ensure accountability.
Who: James Yoder of Chat Sports
Must Have App: Dropbox, Twitter, & Spotify
Why: I wanted to share my daily apps in my life as a start up entrepreneur. Dropbox enables me to access important documents in office, home, or from iPhone or tablet. Twitter – We are in the media business and must stay on top of viral/popular sports stories. Google calender web app. I would be lost if not for Google calendar. It syncs to my iPhone, tablet and Outlook. I never miss or forget about a meeting thanks to this service and Spotify, there’s nothing better to do when trying to focus for long periods of time than to put on a favorite playlist and hone in on my most important to-do’s.
Who: David Gosse of Tracky
Must Have App: Flipboard, Tweetdeck, & Skype
Why: Iuse Flipboard to quickly scan through all of the people he follows on social networks to find the latest trending news. Tweet deck, I can easily connect, follow and track conversations that are extremely relevant to me and the community I care so much about. Skype — Always on the go, I love the ability to use Skype from almost anywhere. I typically runs our team meetings via Skype as well as important client and potential investor meetings. It’s an essential tool in my entrepreneurial arsenal.
Who: Priscilla Vento of 30MilesNorth
Must Have App: FreeConference
Why: First one is FreeConference. This app allows you to schedule, invite and send out conference call info for free. You are also able to post the call info and number to social media for webinars, etc.
Who: Denise W. Barreto of Relationships Matter Now
Must Have App: Square & Dwolla
Why: Both these apps enable me to do business from anywhere. Square Register – imagine running into someone who wants to buy one of my products and being able to just pull out my phone and make it happen – right there in the public library of our town or Dwolla – being able to invoice a client once they’ve approved a project while sitting at the music studio with my kid at his guitar lesson or being able to pay my designer for the design work he finished for me last week and invoiced me today. All from my iPhone. No joke. Love both of them and could not live without either.
Who: Johann Beishline of Lezal Marketing
Must Have App: Glympse
Why: Glympse is my favorite business app. It allows you to share your location with the people you’re meeting with so that they have an accurate idea of when you will arrive!
Who: Briana Miriani of The Merci
Must Have App: CLEAR
Why: My must have app is a super simple list app called CLEAR. I can make and change categories, delete items completely or cross through them (change color scheme)… The simplicity is what’s so great. When I need to write something down I don’t have to go through a million steps or look through multiple pages to get to what I want/need, it’s intuitive to use and just kind of the workhorse of list apps (I know, I’ve been through a lot of them).
Who: Matt Beaubien of Octane Nation
Must Have App: WhatsApp, Backblaze, & VirtualBox
Why: Backblaze – provides continuous backup to the cloud in case my computer and backup drive are stolen/damaged. VirtualBox – useful for testing website in IE if you have a Mac Mail.app (OS X) using Gmail. Whatsapp – saves money on sending SMS Podcast app.
Who: Kendra Von Achen of DB Pros
Must Have App: Toodledo & Zoho CRM
Why: There are a couple that I use daily that I don’t know what I’d do without as an entrepreneur. Toodledo, my task management tool for everything in my life! Zoho CRM – for my CRM application, opportunity tracking, overall contact management, etc.
Who: Robert Hacala of Better Business Brand
Must Have App: Evernote
Why: I could not live without Evernote. I can use it from any device. It’s perfect for writing articles, keeping lists, and quickly saving things like links, images, and even whole web pages.
Who: Chike Uzoka of Valentine Global
Must Have App: My Fitness Pal
Why: As an entrepreneur who is always running around, an app that I use multiple times a day is My Fitness Pal, which I have from the Android market. The reason this app is so helpful to me personally, is I don’t always eat right or healthy, this app helps keep me accountable to making sure I’m not eating once a day or putting too much bad food in my body. This app also has a function to keep track of exercise and running routes and calories burned. Being an entrepreneur is a 24/7 mindset, keeping mentally and physically fit is vital.
Who: David Gorcey of Nerdy With Children
Must Have App: Asana
Why: I really love a productivity app named Asana. It is very easy to use, and allows the easy creation of projects and tasks which can be assigned to other members of my team. You can use it for personal tasks as well, and it is easy to separate the two so that your personal projects stay private while managing them from the same interface as your work projects. We even have our editorial/ content team using it to manage content scheduling. It’s also accessible via the web, but the only downside is that for now they only have an iOS app (which I use), no android app yet.
Who: Karol Gajda
Must Have App: Boomerang for Gmail
Why: Boomerang For Gmail – it keeps my inbox clear at all times because it allows me to remove an email I don’t want to deal with immediately from my inbox, but schedule it to return at some point in the future (hours, days, weeks). I also use it to schedule sending e-mails at specific times. I use it every single day and pay for the pro version.
Who: Chris Corradino
Must Have App: Awesome Note
Why: “Awesome Note” has been the perfect solution for my photography mentoring business. I write a great deal of educational content for my students. This multipurpose app allows me to create custom folders and arrange different notebooks, journals, to-do lists, and calendars. Not just for writing, it’s also ideal for keeping track of receipts while traveling for business. I use the iPad camera to take a photo of the receipt, and attach it to the appropriate file. The entire layout is well designed with many options and several types of paper types, including my favorite, parchment. Little details like this make a blank page less daunting.
Who: Glyn of Caddell Prep
Must Have App: Errands To Do List
Why: Every morning and throughout the course of the day, I use Errands To-Do List. This app keeps a running to-do list for me. As an entrepreneur, I have too many things to do and to keep track of mentally. The app lets me prioritize my things to do, include notes, and add reminders. I do a lot of the tutoring and teaching myself, so I need to keep track of business related tasks, such as updating schedules on the website or printing out study material, while also working with customers.
Who: Kristen of Cubit
Must Have App: ScannerPro
Why: My favorite app for my business is ScannerPro: let’s me take a photo of a receipt or document and turn it into a PDF. I can then save the PDF directly into Dropbox as well as email the document to a contact. I can’t tell you how much time this saves when I’m filing expense reports. Also, I love that I know longer need have a desktop scanner on my desk -which helps me keep a minimalist home office.
Who: Avraham Cohn of Digital Development Consulting
Must Have App: EventBrite
Why: The EventBrite mobile app has been an indispensable tool for me in pursuit of this goal. Providing a never ending resource list of relevant events and meet-ups, I use this app to locate key networking opportunities in real time. Furthermore, with it’s massive list of varied events, it allows the entrepreneur the ability to really think outside the box and consider attending events that would otherwise not even be on his/her radar. I highly endorse this app and recommend it to all entrepreneurs eager to expand their networks and make real connections.
Who: Jon Katz of Katz Moving
Must Have App: PDF Expert
Why: The one app I cannot live without is PDF expert. I use it for filling out agreements, getting necessary client signatures, and compiling detailed inventory lists, all at the time of the walk through estimate on my IPad. I can then immediately email the signed & completed agreement to my client. You can make annotations, add standard or custom stamps (i.e. “sign here”), and many other features. Best thing about it is it saves a lot of money on paper & carbon sheets, customers love the ease of use and efficiency, and as a start up it meant no need for operating software. And you can link it to your drop box account for instant backup and to retrieve other PDFs.
Who: Secret Entourage
Must Have App: PDANet / FoxFi
Why: The ONLY app I use personally everyday, FoxFi allows me to turn my mobile phone into a mobile hotspot. With 4G speeds, I can take my office on the go and help support Third Circle Theory and the Secret Academy at any location. It costs a marginal fee now but it’s well worth it. Of course make sure you have the proper data plans to support it.
Curious what it takes to build a successful app? Read our other post on “How to Build an App” where 17 developers share their stories.