Entrepreneurs are used to being stretched pretty thin. When you maintain a constant go-go-go attitude, have almost every spare moment scheduled in, and wear a ton of hats, it can easily feel like there’s just not enough of you to go around and get everything done on your to-do list throughout the day. Luckily, apps are here to save small business owners in a pinch. From time management to social content scheduling, there are tons of apps every entrepreneur should download on their iPhone and incorporate into their day-to-day schedules.
Here are the best must-have iphone apps...
If you know you have as many hours in the day as Beyoncé, yet struggle to manage your time…
Sounds like it’s time to get serious about time management, and RescueTime is here to help you out. If you feel like you spend your entire day glued to your inbox or iPhone, this app lets you set goals to stay on top of your workflow tasks.How? Well, it breaks down where you spend your time by application and website and lets you set productivity goals. So you can see that you've been spending a little too much time on Facebook. A premium version even lets you block certain sites, track offline activity or set notifications (like if you’ve spent too much time on one activity, for example). Each week, users will receive a weekly report on how you managed your time which gives users a better understanding of their overall productivity. RescueTime comes in Lite and Premium plans, with free pricing for Lite and $9 a month for Premium for more tailored information — but both help you pinpoint your ideal work-life balance. RescueTime is available for Mac, PC and Linux, but its app is only available for Android phones.
- If that one doesn't sit well with you, the Toggl timer tracks where every second of your time is going, making it ideal for anyone who needs to log billable hours. You can track as many projects or clients as you want, view graphs, export timesheets and sync your numbers with several project management apps. And all of your employees can use Toggl, too, and you can divide them into different groups to stay organized. Toggl is free for up to five users, while a Pro version allows unlimited users and adds billable rates, subprojects and other features for $5 per user, per month.
- Then enter: the Eternity Time Log. Your day is first broken down into three broad chunks: work, play and sleep. Within those groups, you can further track your time with different labels and tags, even running multiple timers at once. This way you can view the results using colorful pie charts and reports that can be exported to any device. It’s only available for iPad and iPhone at this time, however.
If vacation (or a business trip) is all you ever wanted…
- TripIt is a must for ‘treps always on the go and using the app is as simple as 1, 2, 3. First, forward your flight and hotel confirmation emails directly to the app. A master itinerary of your trip will form and you will be able to access this information on any electronic device, even when you’re offline. Most of these features are available on the app’s free version, but if you want to upgrade to receive real-time flight alerts or find another flight if your plans change, we advise signing up for TripIt Pro.
- Who isn’t on the lookout for cheap flights? Know when to buy and fly by using Hopper, an app that specializes in finding travelers the lowest fares. Hopper predicts which days offer the cheapest flights and alerts users so they can make their purchase.
For all your mobile payment needs…
- Entrepreneurs still need to accept payments from their customers and we rounded up not one, but two apps to help you out. If you have a pre-existing PayPal account, download PayPal Here to your smartphone or iPhone and set up your business profile. Once you’re set up, users can transfer funds from your PayPal account into your bank account, manage inventory lists, run customized sales reports, and pick the style of card reader that works best for your business.
- Similar to PayPal Here is Square, an app designed to accept credit cards anywhere. You get a free reader just from signing up and the option to send invoices directly from your mobile device or desktop straight to your customer’s inbox.
In need of some extra financial assistance?
- If you had to choose between going cold turkey on Starbucks lattes or downloading Mint on your iPhone for better budgeting techniques, you’d probably pick the latter. Mint gives small business owners the ability to see exactly where the money they’re spending is going. This free app also sends users an alert when you’re about to reach the end of your budget, allowing users to better understand where the money they spend each month actually goes.
For the list-making, planning, and collaboration enthusiast…
How could we choose just one app for ‘treps that love to collaborate, plan, and create lists? We’ve rounded up three of our favorites worth downloading on your iPhone or mobile device.
- For deep thoughts on the go, Evernote allows you to keep all of your best ideas on you at all times. Download the app to literally remember everything — keep all of your thoughts organized in a to-do list, enhance notes with links and make even handwritten notes searchable, and get your team up to speed on everything from brainstorming ideas to the nailing down the final, finished product.
- How many times have you run across something interesting, but you didn’t have the time to read it right away? If Evernote feels overwhelming to you, Pocket makes it easy to save videos, articles and whatever else you find online so that you can look at them again later. That means that when you’re bored of stalking your social networks but still want to wind down at night with something interesting (and probably more interesting than whatever is cluttering your Facebook newsfeed), Pocket might be your best friend. Even better, you don’t need an internet connection to view what you’ve saved. Pocket is simple to use, and best of all, it’s free.
- Wunderlist was made for the list-obsessed small business owner. Billed as “the easiest way to get stuff done,” this app works to help you plan for anything and everything. From the office to the Target run, you can organize and share all of your lists and easily collaborate with anyone. If you’re worried you might miss an important deadline, relax. You can set due dates and reminders to your lists which ensure you never miss a deadline and always stay on track with tasks that still need to be completed. Wunderlist is available for free with minimal options, and also offers pro and business upgrades with more features to explore.
- Take your organizational abilities to the next level with Asana. This app is designed to move work forward and track projects with teams from start to finish and help entrepreneurs reach their goals. Other features include the ability to map out each step in your project, use built-in boards to see where everything stands, and tie it all together with more than 100 integrations (including emails and files) available through Asana.
- Basecamp is another one, and it's probably the most well-known project-management app out there. The interface is streamlined and intuitive, and it’s easy to invite collaborators, chat within projects, attach files, create checklists and track your progress. You can also create helpful workflow calendars that keep everyone on track and on the same page. However, you can’t do advanced reporting or budgeting. With Basecamp, you pay per project instead of per-user — users are unlimited. Plans start at $24 per month for 15 projects and go up to $150 a month for unlimited projects.
- Trello allows you to manage our content, too. Its strength is that it’s highly visual: on any board, you can create several lists and move cards between them as the status of a particular project changes. Each article has a card, and you can drag those cards from list to list depending on where they are in the writing process if you're an editorial team, for example: assigned, writing, editing, ready to publish, etc. You can attach files, create checklists, and assign members to each card so they’re updated as the status of the article changes. Team members can chat directly on each card, too. Trello is free for personal use, but starts at $12.50 per team member per month for businesses.
When you want to post on social media platforms, but don’t have enough time to do it…
- It’s tougher than it seems to maintain social media accounts when you’re an entrepreneur! Luckily, there are plenty of scheduling apps designed to keep you in the loop even when you can’t log in your account. Work smarter with Hootsuite which offers features like the ability to bulk schedule posts, upload social profiles (everything from Facebook to Instagram), and track relevant hashtags. The app offers a built-in analytics feature that allows you to track what posts have created the most buzz, the best times to post, and insight into the most popular content with your followers. Free users can manage multiple networks, schedule in content, and engage with their audience. If your business is growing (always a good thing!), Hootsuite also offers account upgrades for professionals, teams, and businesses.
When you need better communication among team members.
- Slack is great mobile app for quick questions and answers. Notifications are easily customized, which is useful for when you want to stay in the loop yet filter out unnecessary noise. Slack is free for an unlimited number of users. More advanced features, including unlimited searches and app integration, start at $6.67 per user billed annually, or $8 per user billed monthly. You can learn more about how to use Slack effectively here.
- Skype for Business is another mobile app that also offers meetings with up to 250 people, integration with Microsoft Office, chat, file transfer and more. Microsoft offers Skype for Business as part of its Office 365 Business packagae. Pricing for Office 365 Business starts at $8.25 per user per month on a yearly commitment or $10 per user per month on a monthly commitment.
Most of the aforementioned must-have iphone apps and business apps can be used on all of your devices, and offer key features, business applications and in-app purchases that'll save your day. What mobile app do you prefer for handling your business applications from your devices, and what are the key features or additional in-app purchases?
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.