With the growth of the gig economy, more of us are working on the move and on our mobile phones. App development has seen an explosion over the last few years, in particular small business apps for iPhone. We look at some of the best to include in your app toolbox.
Small Business Apps
Basecamp is a cloud-based project management app. Whilst there are many such apps available; Basecamp has the edge with some it its more cleverly thought-out features:
- Work Life Balance Basecamp has given time control back to the worker with its ‘Always On’ or ‘Work Can Wait’ options. On top of that, in Basecamp you can relieve time pressure by setting incoming notifications to ‘snooze’.
- Messaging Overload In order to combat the ‘snooze you lose’ mentality of workplace messaging, Basecamp uses two contrasting tools: ‘Campfire’ for quick discussions and requests, and ‘Message Board’ for substantial comments that require a considered response.
- Sign-Up Overload Basecamp have recognised that not all project stakeholders will want to create an account, and have enabled message responses so that they work without logging onto Basecamp itself.
Running your small business accounts through accounting software can make your financial life seem a lot more organised. FreshBooks is an accounting app designed to deal with day-to-day finance needs without complicated accounting knowhow. Here are some of its benefits:
- Receipt Collection The nightmare of lost or disorganised receipts need not be yours anymore. FreshBooks allows you to take a photo of receipts and log them within its system.
- Flexible Payment Options FreshBooks have made it easy to settle accounts using in-app credit card and PayPal imbursements. They also offer multi-currency invoicing and automated regular payments.
- Invoicing Features FreshBooks ensures invoice delivery to clients and lets you know when a client has seen the invoice. It allows for recurring invoices and manages those that are unpaid.
Dropbox is a must for any business manager. It makes the upload and transfer of shared files quick and painless and can deal with large-sized image and video files. Features include:
- File Sharing Even the free version of Dropbox allows you to share resource folders. For those on the go this is ideal as it removes cable or compression issues.
- Third Party Apps
Perhaps Dropbox’s biggest asset is its compatibility with other apps. Over 100,000 apps integrate with Dropbox giving it the usability edge.
Google Calendar is a cloud-based app that can gather together calendars from different places and display date and time information from all of them. There are some good reasons why Google Calendar is so popular:
- Customisation Google Calendar encourages you to colour individual calendars so that you can tell the difference between them. It also allows you to avoid confusion by hiding those you are not using.
- Integration Google Calendar has capitalised on Gmail’s popularity by providing an excellent integration system which allows you to add calendar dates directly from an email.
Google Calendar offers intelligent reminders based on active verbs like, ‘call’ or ‘email’ which pull together key information for your task such as phone numbers and contacts.
There are a lot of great business apps including map applications and Google Maps is arguably the best simply because they have the power of Google’s information gathering capacity behind them. Here are some great ways that they put this big data to use:
- Traffic Data Google combine a vast quantity of real-time location data from individual phones with historical traffic data to bring the best traffic predictions throughout the day.
- Public Transport Google provide in-app public transport information, allowing you to find the next bus or train without having to navigate away from your map.
- Updates Google data is constantly updated. They employ a vast team of people to drive selected routes in order to gauge speed and traffic flow.
This app is a godsend if you listen to podcasts. Overcast allows you to either download or stream podcasts and listen to them using a range of features:
- Smart Speed With Smart Speed, Overcast have found a way to reduce the listening time of podcasts without distorting meaning or sound quality.
- Voice Boost Many people listen to podcasts in the car. Voice Boost has been created to deal with this type of noise level. In effect this tool normalises loud or soft volume, giving a more pleasant listening experience.
Many of us suffer from password overload. In an attempt to remain safe online, we are creating and forgetting more passwords than ever before. LastPass not only securely stores all of your passwords; it also keeps digital records and creates profiles that you can use to fill in annoying online forms.
How often do you find exactly the article you want to read just when you are too busy to do anything about it? Pocket is a clever little app that allows you to keep all this content in one place. Use it to keep you up to date on all of those fantastic marketing and business ideas that you might otherwise miss.
This is a great app that you will wish you had installed ages ago. The use of hashtags in social media posting has caused much discussion. What we have forgotten is that the hashtag is a marketing tool, designed to amplify content on social media and build long-term traffic. RiteTag offers these great features:
- Hashtag Instant Testing RiteTag takes the guesswork out of hashtags by offering instant measurements within social media apps. Rating hashtags as ‘hot now’, ‘hot in the future’, ‘long life’ and ‘underused’ it enables you to adjust posts accordingly.
- Hashtag Analytics RiteTag will also allow you to search for high value hashtags around a chosen topic. Once you have compared and chosen these, you can get more detailed information plus the opportunity to investigate a wide range of related hashtags.
UnrollMe is a new and innovative way of dealing with an over-cluttered email inbox. It sorts out different types of emails as they arrive so that you end up with distinct folders of social media notifications and subscription based emails. Not only that, UnrollMe allows you to choose when you want to view these emails and presents them to you in a neat, easy-read format.
By choosing the best iPhone small business apps you can save yourself both time and money. There are plenty out there to choose from, we hope that this selection of our favourites will help you to make that choice.