Jan
28

5 Essential Apps for Busy Entrepreneurs

By

Businessman with laptop sitting next to swimming poolTechnology is supposed to make us more productive, help us accomplish tasks more quickly, and access the information we need while on the go. While some apps are more likely to mysteriously chew away at our waking hours (Fruit Ninja, anyone?), here are five apps that truly help you make the most of your work day:

(I purposely skipped apps like Skype, Dropbox, and Evernote because… well, they’re pretty obvious choices.)

1) Oktopost. Like it or not, social media engagement is a necessary part of marketing your business. But with profiles and business pages across multiple platforms, it can be difficult for entrepreneurs to establish and maintain a consistent social media presence on each one.

Oktopost provides a simple way to compose, schedule, and post content on Facebook profiles and business pages, LinkedIn profiles and groups, Twitter, and Google+. Posts are saved as “message assets” that you can quickly repost on other pages or social platforms in a matter of seconds. The intuitive dashboard allows you to schedule posts for optimal viewing times and see when your content will be posted to each account via the calendar. You can also access engagement data for each post and campaign so you’ll see which posts give you the most mileage.

You’ll get a 30-day trial without having to provide your credit card information. After connecting all your profiles, groups, and pages, though, you probably won’t want to give up the ability to schedule posts on the fly. Plans range from $9 to $249 a month, depending on the scale of your social media efforts.

2) Unroll.me. Entrepreneurs are always looking for new and useful information, even if it means we have to cough up our email addresses to get it. Over time, though, this translates to hundreds of marketing emails every day. Late last summer, I found out that I was wading through about 500 emails a day, only about 20 of which were important. That’s a lot of time spent skimming over emails from marketers long forgotten.

Unroll.me is a free app that compiles your subscriptions and unsubscribe with a single click. I have to admit, I had a nice little surge of megalomania when I systematically exiled more than 90% of my daily email senders in about two minutes. The app also lets you consolidate your favorite subscriptions in a daily digest (you pick the time of day you want to receive it) so that you can get all of your email reading out of the way at once.

3) Genius Scan. We live in a paperless world, right? Hardly. You might receive vendor invoices and manage projects electronically, but there is still plenty of necessary information floating around on that pesky paper stuff. Genius Scan lets you use your iPhone or Android phone as a portable scanner and organize your scanned documents into categories for easy access.

I love my business lunch tax deductions, but the receipts usually end up wadded up, faded, or casualties of the washing machine. Genius Scan keeps digital scans of my receipts in a dedicated folder, which makes makes tax time a lot less unpleasant. It’s also nice for capturing and organizing snippets from books, epiphanies scrawled on Post-it notes, and business cards. You can even instantly export scanned data to Dropbox so you won’t lose your info when you drop your phone in the urinal.

4) WebEx. A little Skype, a little Google Hangouts, WebEx is an impressive app for multi-participant video conferences. Touches like voice-activated camera switching and the ability to view content and video at the same time make this app a valuable brainstorming and collaboration tool. And since you can record virtual meetings, you can review the conversation later to pick up on anything you might have missed. On screen content sharing with annotations helps amp up the productivity of your business meetings.

5) Prismatic. You need the latest news articles in order to stay on top of your business, but how much time do you really want to spend each day wading through content that doesn’t meet your needs? Enter Prismatic. Think of it as Pandora for news content. You choose the content you want to see, then vote each article up or down depending on its relevance to you. Like Pandora, Prismatic customizes your content as it learns what you want. This app helps you find valuable, timely information in less time.

I certainly didn’t cover every app that an entrepreneur should have at her disposal. What are some of your other favorites?

 

Leave a Comment