CEOs and solo entrepreneurs alike know all too well that when you are starting or running a business, you have to be able to work anywhere and everywhere, and you’re always on the clock. Fortunately, smartphones make it easy (okay, maybe not easy, but at least possible) to keep your business running, even on the run.
Here are some of our favorite smartphone apps and services to help you speed up some of the tedious or annoying, but important tasks throughout your day, and to help keep you organized and efficient in your mobile office (aka – everywhere).
Turboscan is the one smartphone-camera scanner that might actually be better than an old-school flatbed. It’s speedy, does a great job of targeting the content you want and automatically setting the appropriate contrast, but also gives you the flexibility to make adjustments when necessary. It even lets you adjust the corners of the document, meaning the app is fairly forgiving of shaky hands and less-than-optimal angles. And for the super-important scan jobs where clarity is key, it even has an option called “SureScan 3x” where it snaps three pictures of the same thing and stitches together the best version.
Time-tracking can be a pain, but Hours is the most easy-to-use, intuitive and well-designed time-tracking app we’ve found. Set as many teams, projects and tasks as you want, then hit go and start tracking. You can even fill in time you forgot to track later, and visualize a color-coded timeline of everything you’ve tracked each day. Along with the beautifully designed app is an equally pleasing web interface. There’s even a companion app for the Apple watch.
Even more annoying than tracking time, is tracking mileage. But if you drive for your business, keeping track of mileage can add up to big savings on your taxes. The problem with most mileage apps is that they are so hands-on, the tracking process ends up being more time-consuming than the mileage itself is worth. Enter MileIQ. Utilizing your phone’s accelerometer and GPS, MileIQ automatically knows when you are driving, where you go, and how long it took to get there. Every so often, just open the app and swipe to categorize each tracked drive as personal or business. It’s that easy.
Whether or not you use Outlook to manage your email and calendar on a computer, Outlook for mobile is a flat-out fantastic app. Quick and intuitive, Outlook makes it easy to archive or snooze emails with a swipe, organize and select emails with a tap, and manage all of your email accounts in one place. It’s sophisticated algorithm pulls out the emails you should probably focus your attention on and separates them from the rest, which feels like magic. Outlook has a built in calendar which is modeled off the fantastic calendar app, Sunrise, which Microsoft acquired a few years ago. One of the best features is the ability to attach files from Box, Dropbox, OneDrive or the cloud storage service of your choice, directly into new emails. Not a link...the actual file. We love this.
LastPass aggregates all of your passwords into one secure location and remembers them all for you, so that all you have to remember is one, single master password – the last password you’ll ever need (get it?). Not only will it store all the passwords you have, it will help you create new, stronger passwords, which can either be “pronounceable” or just random strings of letters, numbers and symbols. You might not have much shot of actually remembering these passwords, but who cares? LastPass is doing it for you. The mobile app also includes support for various forms of two-factor authentication, fingerprint identification, and the ability to store and auto-fill your credit card and address information. It also integrates with the similarly featured web interface, which adds the ability to perform a “password audit”, which helps you find and clean-up all of your duplicate and non-secure passwords.
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