Mobile application usage is at an all-time high. ComScore, an organization that measures online and mobile behavior, reported last November that more mobile users were downloading and using apps than were using mobile browsers. Apps edged out browser usage by a score of 44.9 percent to 44.4 percent, according to the survey.
Granted, many app users are playing games or listening to music. But as mobile applications proliferate, small business owners have plenty of opportunity to be more productive while on the go. If you’re a mobile entrepreneur, business apps can help you track your expenses, edit documents and presentations, share files and much more.
Whether your mobile device is a smart phone, tablet or both, you will discover an exploding array of choices in the Apple and Android markets. If you’re a Windows mobile device user, you won’t be left out – but the Apple and Android operating systems are still kings of the mobile marketplace.
Following are four top-rated apps available for your Apple and/or Android device that can help make you more productive and efficient when you’re away from the office – or even when you’re not.
Platform: Android or Apple
Dropbox is a free storage and sharing application available for your Apple or Android device. Installing Dropbox on your mobile device lets you store, share, organize and access your documents, PDFs, photos, videos, presentations and other files. If a large file exceeds your email attachment limit, you can use Dropbox to share it with your clients or business associates with a few taps. Install Dropbox on your office laptop or computer and you can automatically save and sync files back and forth between your computer and your mobile device. You can even use Dropbox to save email attachments and read and edit documents.
Cashbook Expense Tracker
Developer: Frank Android Software
Cashbook Expense Tracker is an award-winning Android app that gives small business owners the tools to keep track of expenses, income, sales and mileage records for taxes and other purposes. You can generate charts and export reports in spreadsheet format. Cashbook is a versatile and convenient tool that even lets you snap a quick photo of your receipt, which is then stored with its related expense. Grabbing a meal when you’re on the way to or from a client site? Use this app to record the transaction, make notes about the business purpose, take a receipt snapshot and save the transaction to the appropriate account in minutes. The mileage tracking tool can use GPS to automatically calculate mileage for business trips. The app comes with calculators and other handy tools and features. Reports can be viewed by day, week, month or year and can be filtered in multiple ways. If you’re a bookkeeping procrastinator, making Cashbook a habit could help you get organized and slash your stress at tax time.
OfficeSuite Pro 6 + (PDF & HD)
Developer: Mobile Systems
Very popular among users and major corporations, OfficeSuite Pro 6 + provides Microsoft Office features for your Android device that you thought were only available on your PC. OfficeSuite gives you on-the-go access to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files and integrates with other productivity apps such as Google Docs and Dropbox for file management capabilities. View, edit (including headers and footers) and manipulate text and data in documents, spreadsheets and presentations. View PDFs, read emails and open password-protected documents and ZIP files. OfficeSuite Pro 6 + is a feature-rich app that business people will find indispensable for staying productive while traveling.
Developer: Evernote Corp.
Platform: Android or Apple
If you’ve ever had a great idea that hit you out of nowhere, then you know how frustrating it is when you can’t remember it later. Even if you jot your idea down, you could lose the notepad (or napkin). And if you record your note on one mobile device as a voice recording, for example, what if you accidentally drop your device on the pavement, losing all your stored data? What if that idea you forgot was the one that could have taken your business to the next level? Evernote, an award-winning app available for Android and Apple, gives you a centralized place to record all of your notes, organize them in customized folders, share them with others and sync them across all of your mobile devices and computers (simply install it on all devices and create an online account). You can even share your notes with collaborators, giving them permission to edit. Among many other features, Evernote can be used to track business expenses and manage travel itineraries.
Explore the Marketplace
These are only a few examples out of the literally thousands of mobile productivity apps available through the Android or Apple marketplaces. Browse the apps, download some of them and experiment to find out which ones best suit your business needs and lifestyle. They can help you get organized and be more creative, efficient and productive. You can easily track and record your business expenses; simplify operations; and stay better connected with partners, collaborators and colleagues.