There are countless business-orientated apps out there vying for the attention of the digitally-savvy entrepreneur. To help you separate the wheat from the chaff, we’ve picked ten of the best.
Evernote (Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry)
Evernote is a note-taking app full of features. You can save ideas or reminders as audio notes, write down to-do lists on your screen as an ink note, or save text and screenshots to share with colleagues. You can synchronise your notebook across all your devices and create shared notebooks that can be used by everyone - great for sharing minutes or meeting notes. There’s even an expenses functionality. It’s like having your own PA, in your smartphone.
CloudOn (Android, iOS, BlackBerry)
CloudOn is a cloud-based service that allows you to use Microsoft Office on your smartphone. You can create, review and share documents, spreadsheets and presentations from any device. Because all versions of your documents are saved in the cloud, you’ll have you’ll never lose changes to a spreadsheet or need to email documents to yourself again. You can also connect to your Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive accounts, and send or share files with colleagues and contacts via email directly from the app, making it ideal for teams in different locations.
Dropbox (Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry)
Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, documents, and videos anywhere and share them easily. It’s a bit like a virtual locker and is ideal for transferring large presentations or high resolution images. Multiple people can log in on multiple devices and, once synced, your files will stay synced across all devices. Dropbox also functions as a cloud backup service, allowing you to recover deleted files and revert to previously saved versions if you delete something by accident.
LinkedIn (Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry)
A bit like Facebook for work, LinkedIn is ideal for networking, promoting your business and finding new employees. You can also start group conversations with other business owners, follow significant people in your industry, keep in touch with former colleagues and contacts and stay up-to-date with your favourite LinkedIn groups.
Cardmunch (Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry)
If you have to network a lot and lose track of contacts’ business cards, Cardmunch lets you scan them on your smartphone, stores the details to your address book contacts and connects to their LinkedIn profile.
Hootsuite (Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry)
If you use social media for your business on a regular basis, HootSuite is a godsend, as it manages all your accounts in one place. It can handle multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts, LinkedIn, and even Foursquare. You or your team can use it to send messages on multiple platforms at once, or to check customer tweets and comments while you’re on the move. You can also set up alerts for when someone mentions your company in a tweet, to allow you to respond quickly.
Waze (Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry)
If you drive for business, one of the cleverest apps we’ve found is Waze – the world's largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Drivers share real-time traffic and road information from wherever they are and the app uses crowd-sourcing capabilities to constantly update the information and direct you accordingly. This extra information means you miss out any accidents, traffic jams or bottlenecks on your journey – saving you valuable time, petrol, and possibly even your sanity.
Logmein (Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry)
LogMeIn is a remote login app that lets you access your desktop from any computer with an internet connection. You simply log into the app and your desktop appears exactly how you left it, so you can access all your documents as you would on your own PC. A lifesaver for anyone who has forgotten something for an important meeting, or urgently needs to email something.
Salesforce Mobile (Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry)
Salesforce is used by sales teams to log customer calls, opportunities and leads. With the mobile version you have all your client details to hand if they get in touch when you’re out of the office, making it easy to work on the road and update your staff at the same time. You can see how well your sales team are doing, even if you’re away on business.
Skype (Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry)
Many businesses use Skype video calling and instant messaging in the office, but not everyone knows it is also available for your smartphone and tablet. The app can be used anywhere and lets you connect with users on nearly any device. If you're away from the office you can still virtually join a team meeting or speak to a client, making it ideal for home workers and sole traders.