Apps. What are they good for? When you look past Candy Crush, they can be incredibly helpful in your business if you choose the ones that suit your needs and your working style. But do you have the time to wade through them all to find the app that will assist you? We know you don’t, so we’ve had a look at some of them for you and have some recommendations that might save you some time and money!
THE WEARY TRAVELLER
TripIt is a brilliant app that takes you travel plans and pops everything into a master itinerary that you can access at any time on any device. All you need to do is forward your confirmation emails to a set email address and the TripIt will automatically transform you emails into a master itinerary. Doesn’t matter if you’ve booked online or through a travel agent – it all works. You can see information about your confirmation numbers, reservations, contact info, share it with select people, make manual changes and so much more. And that’s with the free version! The Pro version has even more and the $49 annual fee is reasonable if you travel a significant amount for business and/or pleasure.
You could think of this one as a Formula One to do list with added extras. Asana can be used by an individual or everyone in a company as it allows you to set up projects and allocate tasks. You can follow progress on the board, share notes, upload files and communicate without having to rely on email. But wait, there’s more…. You can set up meeting agendas, manage approvals and find at-risk work so that nothing slips through the cracks again, manage a marketing campaign, event management, and so much more. I’ve been using the free version for a to do list that I find really helpful as it will email me updates and reminders but if you want to take it further, the premium version comes in at $6.25/per licence/per month with discounts for paying annually over monthly.
LET'S TALK ABOUT IT
If you want to reduce the overload of emails and get a quick message out and a quick response in – or have a two, three or more way conversation that allows a matter to be resolved or an answer to be given so everyone can more on with their work, then Slack is for you. You can set up channels based on projects so only the relevant team members are included in the chat thereby avoiding the nightmare of everyone being caught in an email conversation that is not relevant to them. You can set up Do Not Disturb notifications too so you can get on with your work and not be impacted by messages coming in until you are ready. It’s a handy tool but it works even better if you establish rules around how it is used so that it doesn’t become a tsunami of pointless messaging. Slack is free and will deliver most of your messaging needs but there are paid packages that allow for greater functionality if you require.
SHOW THEM THE MONEY
We all know that both the submitting or paying expenses is a pain in the neck. Staff losing their receipts, getting them to remember what they were for, having your employees submit them in a timely fashion. And don’t even start me on what you need for tax time…. But Expensify is an app that allows a photo to be taken of a receipt and then the app automatically captures the info and submits a report for approval and payment. It even integrates with programs such as Xero and Quickbooks for easy coding and payment so you can get back to your business and reduces some of your admin time. At $7 per month per user, it seems cost effective if you have employees who have to submit a lot of expenses.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
A time tracking app that is incredibly easy to use. Set up projects or ongoing tasks and manually start and end the timer so you can see where your time is going. Have your team use it and see how time is being allocated and where lost productivity may be occurring. You may find it highlights an issue that can be easily resolved and voila, increased output in your business! The basic program is always free but it does have low cost advanced options that allow for greater reporting and integrations with other apps.
** Any pricing quoted is accurate as at October 24, 2018