Top 10 business apps
With Plusnet offering a dedicated business product and 24/7 support team, we know all about the broadband demands of small businesses and how our customers rely on reliable connection to operate effectively. Today, more and more businesses are relying on the internet for marketing, sales and contacting potential customers. Having a great website is a no-brainer but what if you also want the very best business apps to make your professional life a little more… professional? We've teamed up with Dean Reilly from telecoms advice service Cable.co.uk, to provide a guide to the 10 essential business applications for your mobile, tablet and PC.
Available from: iTunes Store, Android Store, Blackberry Appworld, Evernote.com Price: Free Developer: Evernote Corporation There’s a reason why Evernote makes it to the top of virtually every business app list: it’s one of the best (free) note apps you can get. Moreover, it syncs up any of these notes, plus pictures, audio files, video clips and checklists to your Evernote account. As a result, you’ll be able to access them no matter what platform you log in from. It works just as effectively on desktop computers as it does on mobile devices, you can email content directly to it, share your notes with others if you’re all working on the same project, or password protect sections of it for those ‘need to know’ moments.
Available from: iTunes Store, Android Store, Blackberry Appworld Price: Free Developer: LinkedIn Corporation LinkedIn is like Facebook for business networkers, and it has become the go-to place to check in on past, present or (potentially) future colleagues. Chances are you’re already using it to some degree, so the good news is that the functionality of desktop versions is replicated perfectly on the mobile apps. As such, you’ll be getting recommended job opportunities, updates on when those in your social network have moved to different companies, and the opportunity to endorse the people you know – and for them to do the same in return for you.
3. Voice Recorder HD
Available from: iTunes Store, Android Store Price: £1.49 Developer: eFUSION Co. Ltd For those meetings where there’s just too much being said to keep detailed minutes, or for dictating ideas and recording important conversations, Voice Recorder HD offers high quality audio capture with a simple user interface. With unlimited recording time, the option of running it in the background while you use other applications, plus the facility to automatically upload files to Dropbox or the iCloud, there’s a lot of features to play with. However, the big selling point is in the title: all your recordings will be high quality. Add this to other nice touches such as the app automatically resuming its recording if interrupted by an incoming call, and you’ve got a very useful addition to your essential business app list.
4. Trello - Organise Anything
Available from: iTunes Store, Android Store Price: Free Developer: Fog Creek Software When a large team is working on the same project, it can be difficult finding ways of everyone knowing what everyone else is up to. Fortunately, free app Trello offers a great and very visual way of managing your important jobs. Best suited for organising production schedules, production pipelines or editorial calendars (but usable with almost any business project), Trello displays real-time updates of where your team members are on their current jobs. Individual lists can be arranged on boards, which in turn contain cards that can be easily dragged and dropped on the screen. It’s easy for one member of staff to pass the card onto another once they’ve finished their part, so for any task that involves different stages, Trello really comes into its own.
5. Calc VAT - UK VAT Calculator
Available from: iTunes Store, Android Store Price: 69p Developer: Smart PC Solutions Ltd This one can be summarised pretty quickly: it’s a VAT calculator that will figure out how much you’ll pay on any sum you enter into it. There are settings to adjust the current rate of value added tax, so you can alter the percentage accordingly if it changes. You can determine how much you’re paying for a VAT-inclusive product or service, or quickly add up how much you should add if the tax needs to be factored in on top. No frills, no special features and realistically nothing you couldn’t do on a built-in calculator – but if you’re after an app that does a little bit of hard work for you, this is it.
6. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock
Available from: iTunes Store Price: 69p Developer: Northcube AB While technically not a business app, it could make a big difference to how productive you are during the day. This smart alarm clock analyses your movement during the night so it can wake you during a period when you’re at your lightest sleep phase. Although this means you won’t be able to dictate the exact minute you’ll be woken (you’re limited to setting a 30-minute window during which the alarm will go off), you will in theory only be roused at the time when you’re most likely to feel rested and ready to go. Aside from the alarm clock function, it will also present you with analysis of how your sleep patterns pan out during the night and how long you’ve slept for. The results are a genuine curiosity as most of us don’t analyse how well we sleep. You’ll never look at a snooze button in the same way again.
7. Jaguar Mileage Tracker
Available from: iTunes Store Price: Free Developer: Creative Grid Ltd You don’t have to own a Jaguar car to use this free mileage calculator… but if you do, you’ll recognise how the app looks like it’s stepped straight off the dashboard of a shiny new XF. It enables you to keep track of the mileage you’re clocking up while travelling the country on business, by either asking you to enter your start and end points or switching on the GPS tracking mode. From there, the Jaguar Mileage Tracker can calculate how much your journeys cost or export the results into a pre-formatted spreadsheet and send them to an email address of your choice. Admittedly, there’s some rather heavy handed marketing in there (there’s a sub-menu that shows you where to find Jag dealers, for example), but if you overlook that, you’re getting a well-designed, sleek and effective app.
8. Snag List
Available from: iTunes Store Price: £1.99 Developer: Creative Grid Ltd For those who work in insurance, construction, interior design, are landlords or estate agents, Snag List is a handy app that allows you to record lists of problems or defects. With it, you can snap a photo of any snag you’ve found, add a description to that fault, catalogue it in a particular order, or publish a PDF report that collates all the defects in one place. Particularly useful if you’ve got to run through a series of quality assurance checks before signing off on a project, this app is also worthwhile for homebuyers to help them assess any work that might need to be done on a property before they make a commitment to buy.
9. SayHi Translate
Available from: iTunes Store Price: £1.49 Developer: SayHi LLC Determined to work in the global marketplace, but perhaps not quite ready to hold your own when it comes to speaking a suitably wide range of global languages? If that’s the case, then you could make good use of SayHi Translate. This translation app will either listen to your words and then speak them in another language, or do the same to text you’ve entered via the keyboard interface. Voice to voice translation is available on 41 of SayHi’s 100 supported languages, but with all of those 100 languages you can output what you’ve said into text so you can show it to whoever you’re chatting with to convey your message. It’s handy for those who deal with overseas clients or suppliers and are looking for a quick way of breaking down communication barriers.
Available from: iTunes Store, Android Store, Blackberry Appworld, Apps.Microsoft.com Price: 69p Developer: IntSig Information Co. Ltd If you’re constantly collecting business cards when you’re out networking, but hate the data entry side of getting the contacts into your address book, you’ll be pleased to know there’s an app for that. CamCard allows you to quickly take a photograph of any business cards you want to keep a record of. From there, the app detects all the important information you’ll need from it (email and web address, telephone number, name, role or even company logo) and creates an entry in your address book with all of those details automatically filled. Clever. Once they’re in, it’s easy to group cards, share them with other CamCard users or translate them into other languages (over 200 are currently supported). What’s perhaps most interesting is what it allows you to do with your own cards: making it possible to add multimedia elements to your card when it’s read by the app. These augmented reality features mean you could include photos, audio clips or short videos about you or your business that play when your card is scanned by CamCard users.
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