- July 10, 2016
- Posted by: Rebekah Dull
- Category: Consulting
Every entrepreneur has a go-to tool. Just like every super-juggernaut companies have go-to employees. They’re c-level and executives. For a small business, technology is the typical go-to. Technology is providing all types of entrepreneurs with applications (aka- apps) for all kinds of solutions.
Small business technology apps are everywhere. They can also be overwhelming. To everything simple, let’s use the definition for clarity. The definition of business software is “a set of programs that are used by business users to perform business tasks.” Although Wikipedia isn’t always accurate, but for simplicity sake I think this is a good explanation.
In this blog, I’ve laid out my top 9 small business technology apps I use for my small business. There’s more, but I didn’t want to write a book. However, these are my exciting toys.
Current technology is amazing. Once you start using applications and software to simplify your business functions it’s so addicting (yes, I’m a workaholic). I’m always on the lookout for new tech toys to improve our processes and my business’ productivity.
Here are my top 9 small business technology apps:
1. Evernote – Organization
Evernote is the ultimate note taking and organizing system that connects across all platforms. You can take notes on any mobile device or desktop. I love this because it allows me to take notes digitally when I meet with clients. One of my favorite features of Evernote is that you can have different notebooks. For example I have a notebook for N.W. & Associates (for-profit) and for Dream Big Community Center (nonprofit). Each contain different topics and ideas but can be housed within the same application.
2. LastPass – Management
If you are anything like me, you have problems remembering and storing passwords. I honestly have no idea what I did before I started using LastPass. Oh that’s right, I went crazy. LastPass is a secured password management application that you can access from anywhere with internet or Wi-Fi. It’s easy to use and gives you the ability to store all your passwords in one place. They also help you create passwords.
3. GMail – Communications
You may not have thought of gmail as a technology app, but it is. It’s one of the best web-based email services I have ever used. It’s ease of use is attractive. According to Tech Crunch there are 900 million active users on Gmail. This web-based email service also offers features such as Google Hangout (video chatting) and Google Drive (cloud storage).
4. Any.Do – Organization
With a plethora of many to-do list applications, this is one of my favorites. Any.Do allows me to create folders, tasks, sub tasks, and reoccurring to-dos. To-do lists are not for everyone, but I strongly recommend it. See if it works for you. I’ve found it to work wonders for me. It allows me to stayed organized, keep track of what I have to do and what I’ve done.
5. QuickBooks – Accounting
If you are looking for a system that tracks your transactions, deposits and expenses this is perfect. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it. You have the ability to create and send invoices, view a financial dashboard to see year over year trends, reconcile bank statements and run reports.
6. Canva – Design
Canva is a basic graphic design platform. You can create social media posts, posters, presentations and much more. The best part is that Canva is free to use. Within the applications there are options for paid templates. I’ve written a blog specially on creating graphic designs with Canva. Although you can make graphic designs yourself, I recommend you retain a professional graphic designer to bring vision and beauty to your brand on larger projects.
7. RescueTime – Management
As a business owner or nonprofit leader, do you ever wonder what and where you really spend your time? Wonder no more. RescueTime is a time management tool to help you analyze and report every detail. It tracks every minute and every site you visit on your computer. Plus, it has the great feature of being able to enter your offline time. For example, you could record your meeting time at Starbucks while you were away (it wouldn’t be tracked because it’s not on your computer). As a small business owner, I didn’t know how many hours I really worked in a week. Once I started using this tool, I was in disbelief I worked upwards to 50-60 hours a week.
8. Skype – Communications
Do you have employees, business partners or clients who are across the country? No problem. Skype can help you stay in communications with them face to face, virtually of course. Sometimes a phone call just doesn’t suffice the need of staying in contact. I’m a fan of Skype because I can connect with whomever, share my screen, share files and messages to an individual while on video call.
9. Friends+Me – Marketing
Among many others, Friends+Me is a social media scheduling tool that allows you to plan posts out in advance. It saves you time with the ability to cross-post on all your social sites. I have used other social scheduling applications but this is the most reliable one I’ve used. Other apps have failed to post my scheduled items.
There it is. My top 9 small business technology apps. Now, it’s your turn. Do your research. Test drive them. Most apps have free trials, so you can get your feet wet before taking the plunge to purchase.
Rebekah A. Dull, BA
Consulting | Marketing | Websites