At MYOB we do a whole lotta market research and surveys that ask all sorts of businesses around both Australia and New Zealand this very question.
What makes business life easier for you?
And we’re finding lately that the answer is resoundingly consistent from all business owners – their mobile phone, or more specifically, their smart-phones (iPhone, Android & Blackberry). The ability to have the entire internet in your pocket and conduct business from anywhere, at any time is revolutionizing the way we do business, and giving all business owners freedom unlike they’ve ever experienced.
Now, this post isn’t about some achingly cool new mobile app which would allow you to run your business in-synch with your mobile and desktop MYOB software (but if you were after that, you should probably stay tuned over the next few months *hint, hint*)[EDIT 14/11/11: MYOB AccountEdge Mobile App is now available for FREE download]. In this post we thought it would be cool to share the mobile, nerdy love. We asked the staff here at MYOB what apps they have come across that use that would make business life easier for you guys – our customers and readers.
So without further ado, here’s ten mobile apps to help make your business life easier.
Dropbox is one app I couldn’t live (online) without. It lets you upload almost any file, of any size, and it makes sharing a breeze. It also puts an end to that workaround of emailing yourself files to check out later. Dropbox Mobile is the same functionality as the desktop version but for use on your iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry platforms. And best yet, it’s completely FREE.
A cool name and an even cooler app. As far as ‘reminder apps’ go, this is the king of the hill. (Though I’m keeping a very close eye on the integrated new iOS5 Apple version) It allows you to plan your day, week and month in a user friendly way. List tasks, map them out using Google Maps, share tasks between users and be reminded in a format that suits you (email, AIM, Skype – to name a few). It integrates directly into your Gmail, Outlook, Twitter and more. Availabel for iPad, iPhone, Android and Blackberry. Well worth the download.
The Swiss army knife app for your business. Evernote is a suite of software and services designed for notetaking and archiving. A “note” can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten “ink” note. Instead of trying to remember that cool web page URL, Evernote allows you to save the entire page and store it for later. Notes can also have file attachments. Featuring both a free and a premium service account option(for more storage), it’s available for almost all mobile (and desktop) platforms.
As far a cool, nerdy design apps go, this tops the list. Adobe Ideas is available for the iPhone and iPad and lets you sketch anything on the move. If your job requires you to use Photoshop or Illustrator, then this app is a must. Draw vector smooth images with a stylus or your finger which can be easily converted to PDF’s for emailing – and the PDF’s retain the vectors. This means no matter how large you want to view the image, it will remain as crisp and clear you first drew it. This app is a must for all iPad users. (EDIT: Looks like Ideas is no longer free. $6.49 from the AU iTunes store – Daylan)
You’re no doubt aware of the popular social networking platform for professionals – LinkedIn. The mobile app includes a bunch of the web features – connections, status updates etc. But the best feature of the mobile version is the ultra-handy InPerson feature. InPerson allows you to easily share contact information with other smartphone users via Bluetooth. It’s available for Blackberry and iPhone and again, it won’t cost you a dime.
Got a wallet overflowing with business cards and pieces of paper with names and numbers scrawled all over them? The reality is, that unless they’re saved somewhere handy and accessible, you’re probably never going to use them, or worse, lose them. Enter Business Card Reader. It uses the iPhone camera to scan the business card, extract the information and add the details to a searchable and easy to find database on your iPhone.
Perfect for businesses who are constantly on the road. Aussie driving log is an easy-to-use app designed to help you keep track of the kilometres you’ve travelled for work. Recent Changes in government regulations relating to the reporting of kilometres travelled for salary sacrificed cars means this app is great for employees salary sacrificing too! Available for iPhone.
While your smart phone still isn’t smart enough to post a parcel or letter for you (though I’m sure the team at Apple are working on it!), the Australia Post mobile app is the next best thing. It allows you to calculate postage costs, pay bills, track posted items, find a postcode, and more. It also has a handy postbox finder function. It’s completely free and available for iPad and iPhone.
Once upon a time this type of functionality was limited to spy films, but now if you have an iPhone or Android phone you can scan and save documents as pdf files anywhere you please. It’s like having a scanner and fax machine in your pocket (just a whole lot smaller). The ‘lite’ version is free, but if you’re after a few more features, the premium version will set you back a few bucks.
Ok. Technically, it’s not really business related, but this game is awesome! And we all know the importance of a break here and there throughout the day. What better way to spend your downtime than flying around a research facility with a jetpack strapped to your back? Unfortunately for me, MYOB don’t make jetpacks (yet. . . ), so this was the next best thing for lunch times.
So there you have it. Ten (okay, maybe nine) great apps designed specifically to help make business life easier. No doubt there are hundreds of others out there that didn’t make this list.
Do you have a great app that makes your business life easier? Found a cool feature that improves productivity? Add it to the list below!