By Shahrum Gilani, CEO/Founder of HandsetExpert
Mobile apps are changing the way we do business. They are more prevalent and useful than ever, and – when used correctly – can help your business to run more efficiently and effectively. Whether it’s to make connections, take down notes, message your team or even block distracting websites; there’s an app for that.
There are so many apps on the market designed to help streamline processes and stay organised it can be difficult to choose the right one for you. With that in mind, here are my top ten picks for business apps in 2019:
https://otter.ai/, Android, iOS
Otter is a transcription app that records audio and converts speech to text on the fly. No automated transcription app is flawless, but Otter does an excellent job. I’ve tested it with a variety of scenarios and a broad range of accents, and I’ve been impressed by its accuracy. Otter pairs the audio and text so you can read the transcript while listening back to the recording. You can also edit any inaccuracies manually if needed. The sharing tools come in handy as well. You can get 10 hours transcription free per month, and premium plans are available from around $10/month.
Notability is a great note-taking app that allows you to combine typed notes, handwritten notes, photos, and sketches. One handy feature is the ability to record audio while taking notes. This is helpful if you’re trying to take notes of what’s important and you want to keep an audio recording of what’s being discussed. You can also play back the recording and watch the notes unfold in real-time. The ability to annotate PDFs and syncing/sharing notes through Google Drive, AirDrop, Dropbox, and email are big bonuses too.
https://zoom.us/, Android, iOS
Zoom is filling the gap that Skype has left since its much-criticised redesign in the last few years. The audio/video quality is consistently good, and it’s straightforward to use. For occasional use there’s a free plan, but if you want to make conference calls regularly, you’ll want to upgrade to a paid plan. Despite recent security concerns, it’s reached a critical mass of users, securing its place as the go-to app for video conference and webinars.
https://gsuite.google.com, Android, iOS
G Suite provides all the Gmail and Google Drive features you can get from a basic Google account, and adds useful tools such as administrative tools to manage accounts, and custom email addresses at your domain – so instead of [email protected], you can send and receive messages from [email protected] You also get some cloud storage included per account.
https://monday.com/, Android, iOS
Monday is an incredibly versatile team and resource management tool. Its primary use is designed for tracking projects and tasks, managing deadlines, and team collaboration. However, you can do so much more with its automation and integrations – provided you’re willing to spend some time learning how to use it.
https://www.linkedin.com/, Android, iOS
LinkedIn can be incredibly helpful once you get past the incessant emails. The size and scale of the network means that if you’re looking for a specific contact at a particular company, there’s a reasonable chance that you’ll be able to find them or someone who knows them. The paid-for subscriptions (like Sales Navigator) can be really helpful with tasks like lead generation. And if you’re at a conference, you can use the QR scanner and the Find Nearby tools in the app to connect to new acquaintances without worrying about whether you’re going to lose a bunch of business cards while travelling.
https://www.tripit.com, Android, iOS
Tripit is a convenient tool if you travel a lot. It shares a lot of its functionality with the much-loved and now defunct Google Trips. Tripit organises your travel plans into a convenient and straightforward itinerary, so you don’t have to search through multiple emails to find your trip details. The basic version is free, but the Pro version ($49/year) adds a lot more features like a loyalty point tracker, check-in reminders, flight status updates, and much more.
https://slack.com, Android, iOS
Slack has effectively become the default choice of messaging app for many teams, and with good cause. It’s quick to set up and easy to use. The free version offers plenty of functionality for many, but the paid versions provide lots of useful extras (such as the ability to search everything in your message history, unlimited integrations, and guests being able to join your account). The paid version can be quite pricey, but for many, it’s become an essential tool.
https://freedom.to, Android, iOS
It’s terrifyingly easy to allow distractions to divert you from things that need to get done. Freedom helps you stay focused by blocking distracting apps and websites, or even the entire internet. You can schedule the blocks in advance, so they recur daily or weekly. It is relatively intuitive, and even includes a hardcore Locked Mode that prevents you from modifying the blocked sessions when they are running. It provides a free 7-use trial, and the premium version is around $2.42/month for a year.
https://www.freeagent.com/, Android, iOS
FreeAgent is an online bookkeeping tool that is designed to manage projects, send and track invoices, organise expenses, and sync bank accounts. It’s helpful for people who might not necessarily be financially savvy, as it cuts out the complicated jargon and is very intuitive with its straightforward interface navigation. It does, however, only offer a single tier – making it an all-or-nothing choice that starts with a free trial before transitioning to a monthly cost.
Running any business – especially a small business or startup – can be very challenging. But more than ever, the tools we need to save time, improve efficiency, or reduce costs are just a tap away, allowing us to focus on the tasks that really matter. It’s impossible to cover every need for every business in a single list, but hopefully these apps will provide a useful starting point for the vast wealth of tools that can help you run your business.