Apps, the relatively new way that many of us access services online, are now available everywhere and not just on your mobile phone and tablet. Apps are becoming ever more popular now on PC’s, laptops and televisions. Is the day coming where we will hardly use web browsers at all?
Of course apps come for all different uses and also of varying quality. I’ve covered this topic before and it was quite widely read! So here are the five most important apps that I use in my business today – I use these every single day and across a range of devices.
So, I’m starting with Accounting software and its attaching app! My accountant introduced me to the online accounting software Xero about 18 months ago. It has had a transformative on the financial management side of my business. I now have real-time profit & loss statements, balance sheet and a host of other useful reports that are available at the press of a button. All my invoicing and bank reconciliations are done through Xero, as is management of expenses. My accountant and I can both view the up to the minute real time information about my business, which speeds up the dealing with any questions I have. I’m saving hours every month with this software and have much better information available to me.
Specifically with the app, I now simply photograph my receipts and they are automatically added to my accounting records. I’ve full view of my outstanding invoices in the App and other important information. I really couldn’t live without this now!
2. Sidekick (part of Hubspot Sales)
This is an app from Hubspot that used to be called Sidekick, and now is part of a wider Hubspot Sales package. The purpose of the (desktop) app is to alert me when someone opens an email that I’ve sent to them. While it’s not perfect (for example it can’t always identify who opened the email when you’ve sent it to multiple recipients), it is fantastic in helping me to time when to follow up an email that I’ve sent. For example, I might have sent a proposal 3 or 4 weeks ago and suddenly see the recipient opening the email again. Might be worth a follow-up call while I know the recipient is considering the proposal again… I was lucky with this one, as I was a relatively early adopter and have a very low cost package ($10 per month). Hubspot has now added a few more services to the package and has upped the price to $50 per month which will make people stop and think a little more before committing to it.
This is a great free app I came across about 6 months ago and it saves me loads of time. Like most of you (I imagine), I’ve ended up subscribed to lots of blogs, email newsletters and other regular communications from businesses and clubs etc. With all of these sources now sending out more and more emails, I was losing a lot of time through being distracted by these emails, which were pinging in throughout the day. Unroll.me has been a great solution to this problem. First of all by using your email address, Unroll.me identifies and lists all of the communications you are subscribed to. It then gives you 3 options;
- To keep receiving the emails as before into your inbox
- To unsubscribe from individual communications – you’ll be amazed how many you’re happy to get rid of. Hopefully not this one though!
- To add the communications to a “rolled up” email. This takes all of the emails that you request to be rolled up, and presents them to you in a single email at a time of your choosing each day. If an individual email catches your attention, you can then just click through to the original. So now rather than getting maybe 30-40 emails each day, now I read one email while having my morning coffee!
This is an app I use all of the time. Pocket is my scrap book of articles that I’ve “cut out” and saved for later. As I see articles of interest on the web or that come through to my content store, some catch my attention to be read later when I’ve a bit more time on my hands. With 2 clicks, I put them in my Pocket and can also tag the articles for different purposes – it might be to share out later, to rewrite with my perspective, maybe to help me develop a new angle for my proposition etc.
I can then go back into Pocket when I want to carry out an activity and simply click on the article that I’ve saved for that very purpose. It’s all very easy and it means you don’t lose great articles that you’ve read.
OK it’s not very original… but it’s very useful. I’m a huge fan of LinkedIn (I might have said that before!) and really believe that when used properly it’s a rich source of new clients. The app is very useful for checking in on new connection requests, notifications and to flick through updates in your news stream. It’s a mini version of the full desktop version.
So these are my current favourites… I hope you find them useful. Are there any apps that you use that you think I’d like to know about?