Apps For Business
Technology is constantly changing and improving, and with these improved technologies come more methods to increase our productivity and organisation. Software and apps for business are really helpful to achieve your full potential.
This article describes the basic functions of some of my most used software and apps for business with the links on how to get hold of them. Each piece of technology has a variety of functions and can be used to help your business in an assortment of ways. Some of these apps for business might not be suitable for everybody, but you’ll work out what fits into your lifestyle and what doesn’t. All of these software and apps for business are free, but some of them have paid features that might come in handy for your business.
Google docs, Google drive, etc. If you run a business and don’t use Google products, then you’re missing out. Every single business will see an improvement in productivity and organisation when using Google products. It makes it easier to keep track of things, share documents and spreadsheets with clients, customers and colleagues, and also to store things to find easily at a later date.
Microsoft Office is a brilliant tool for a business, from creating receipts, to typing documents, collating information. Word, Excel, One Note PowerPoint are my most used features of Microsoft Office but it will depend on your needs for your business. You can buy a subscription for Office here, and you can pay in a variety of ways, including annually or monthly.
If you don’t want Microsoft Office, or it isn’t within your budget, Open Office is an open source free piece of software that performs roughly the same functions as Microsoft Office.
Skype is a brilliant tool, it enables you to communicate with people over the Skype network for free, using voice or video calls or text chat. You can also call people not on the Skype network such as mobiles and landlines, but this will incur a charge. You can use this to have conference calls, converse with suppliers, or provide consultations. Microsoft now own both Skype and Microsoft Teams and its worth double checking which of the two better suit your needs.
Google Photo (Previously Picasa) is a basic photo editing software. It enables you to edit the effects, colours, lighting and tone of a photo. As well as crop, create a collage, resize and much more. It’s a useful free tool to have, and although may not be as in-depth as Photoshop, it’s a great alternative.
Notepad is a very limited tool, however it can come in extremely handy. You’re very unlikely to use it for permanent use of notes, but temporary use is brilliant. This enables you to transfer it to a proper word processing program at a later date. You could use it for noting important info throughout the day, to enable you to keep it all in one place without forgetting, then at the end of the day, file the information properly. I frequently use it for noting things down during a phone conversation.
Paint is one of the most basic programs that come equipped with Windows, however it can be very helpful. The most common use for paint is to use it to paste screenshots.
Keeping track of your appointments and commitments is a great way to improve time management. The type of calendar you use will entirely depend on your circumstances. Perhaps you need one to accommodate children, work, studying, or other obligations. I have linked the standard Microsoft calendar which can be synced to your Hotmail account ? Google also have a similar platform that syncs to your Gmail account.
Sticky notes are very similar to the Notepad program. I use it for reminding me to do something, or that I need to be somewhere or just to have an inspirational quote on display. You can use the sticky notes program, or actual sticky notes.
Dictation software is a hugely underrated tool. I use it to help me multitask, I might be filing or scanning some documents or other admin tasks and dictation software allows me to reel off my schedule or bounce around ideas and brainstorm.
Do you ever find yourself finding interesting articles on the internet, not having time to read them and then forgetting where you found it? Me too! Evernote is my best friend. It allows you to save the article for reading at a later date, and it syncs to all your devices. So if you find an article on your PC, add to Evernote, it automatically syncs to your phone too so you can read when you’re on the go or don’t have access to your PC. There is also a notes section in there too, so you can add your own notes and articles and they’re synced everywhere.
Social Media Apps
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn? All of them have apps, you can manage your business on social media from your mobile. Some of the apps have their limitations, but they’re a lifeline when you’re away from your PC.
Websites are more commonly asking you to have passwords that are really hard to remember, and this is great for security, but not so good for your brain at remembering them all! Last Pass takes all the hard work out of it and does it for you so you don’t have to remember them all anymore. Absolute genius!
This is a genius little piece of online software to enable you to create digital mind maps. I appreciate they’re easy to create on paper, but lots of people prefer keeping all ideas and notes online. Before I found MindMup I used to painstakingly create my mind maps in Word, creating each individual branch myself which was time consuming. This is easily the easiest app I’ve used for this function.
There are many online cloud storage systems, but I love Dropbox because of it’s so easy to use. You get a certain amount of storage for free, and then have to pay for extra. You can also earn extra storage by affiliate linking it to your friends.
Hootsuite is a great platform for managing all your social networks on one program. You can schedule content to the networks, and manage the feeds. You can also set up and bookmark searches to keep an eye on what’s happening in that feed for that content.
Paypal is a great tool for small businesses, enabling them to take secure payments that protect the business and the customer. You can use the desktop website, and there’s also an app. The app can also be integrated with the card reader to allow you to take card payments on the move. Paypal take a % of each transaction, and there are other costs associated with the card reader, but there are no recurring costs, you only pay when you earn anything through them.
Mailchimp (and other mailing software) is the single best tool any small business should use. Check out my blog post about why every business should have a mailing list use the info! Mailchimp enables you to manage your lists, create campaigns, and create templates to match your branding.
Have I missed one of your must have software and apps for business?!
Sound off in the comments below