The Best Phone Apps for Business Owners that Increase Productivity
Running your own business is rarely easy. Chasing payments, calculating tax, keeping clients happy, carrying out your own promotional & marketing campaigns. If technology can make life easier, then we should probably embrace it, right?
We probably should, but business owners rarely have time to research the best apps and software to help improve productivity. Well, worry not - we have compiled a shortlist of our favourite phone apps to help enhance productivity and reduce stress levels...
Unfold allows you to make your Instagram stories look polished, professional and impressive. Using a drag and drop format, you can brand your stories effectively. It can help you stand out on the crowded social network whilst enhancing your brand image.
If you're not a morning person and/or have difficulty waking up, you could invest in a SAD lamp & a coffee maker - but also consider investing in Alarmy. Once you set your alarm, you are not able to just snooze it once it goes off in the morning. You set a task, like doing a maths puzzle or another cognitive task - the alarm will only turn off when the task is completed.
Using the Pomodoro method, the app breaks your working day into 25 minute 'sprints' split up by 5-minute rest intervals. This is a great way to get started for the first few hours in the morning and after lunch. You can have 5 minutes to quickly check emails, go to the bathroom or just check you are prioritizing the correct work or task. It also plays some lovely relaxing sounds once your break begins- which is always nice! I like to use the app to help me to improve my mindfulness too. I can try and focus directly on the work at hand, and if my mind wanders, I'll bring it back to the task again. I know that I will have 5 minutes to check everything - like my phone, my diary etc once the sprint is over.
Moneypenny is a virtual receptionist company, that can provide a dedicated receptionist to answer your calls. For an extra monthly fee, you can opt for a 24/7 service. This is great because you can switch off after the working day is over, knowing that you will only get disturbed in case of a business-related emergency. This helps to avoid the burnout and heightened stress levels which are often associated with being self-employed. It can also help increase your productivity quite significantly, as you can focus on the work at hand, without having to answer any annoying sales or unnecessary phone calls.
Adobe Spark is quite similar to the website Canva. Both are great for creating professional social media graphics in a short space of time. This can save you money on hiring a graphic designer and can save lots of time if you are designing your social media images yourself.
The QuickBooks app can help save you lots of time if you are doing all of your accounts. Transactions will auto-populate for you once you link the app to your bank account. You can also set rules to which transactions should be recorded and which should be ignored - if any.
Travel expenses are a lot easier as mileage can also be tracked via the app - whenever you drive, the app will automatically track your mileage and then you can easily calculate your travel costs. Receipt tracking is also easier. Just photograph your receipts for the business and place the photo in a specific folder. Invoices can be easily created in QuickBooks. The invoices look very professional and allow you to accept automatic payments. Quarterly estimated tax is also streamlined so that you know what to pay and when.
If you love the 'physical' post-it notes, then you may also like the app. It provides a very simple experience, allowing you to make digital notes. For example "buy stationary" as a reminder, or you could add your shopping list. You are then able to organise the notes into difference folders. It's also great for brain-storming and you can collaborate with other people who have the app.
Finally - you are also able to scan your own, physical post-it notes into the app.