There are lots of apps and web services out there that help you run your business smoothly. But how to find the right ones for you? Have a look at the second part of my tool series for small businesses with all my favourite little helpers that save you time and money. (Find the links to the other parts of the series below.)
Let’s get going
As a small business owner you don’t have much time, so I get straight to the point: This time, I’ve collected another list of productivity tools that I can’t live without anymore. And best of all, they are all available for free. Have a look:
Time logger and tracker
This is not just useful if you’re charging by the hour, a time tracker let’s you see how much time you spent on your bookkeeping, your quotes, your website and your networking events. This way you cannot only check if your estimate for a project was sound, but also if you spend too much time (or not enough) with unbilled tasks:
Paymo: Now there are loads of time trackers out there that also let you create invoices. But Paymo is by far my favourite because it is also a time logger. I always juggle several tasks at a time (as you do) and would most of the time forget to stop the tracker and reset it as soon as I started a new task. Not so with Paymo: As soon as you switch it on, it automatically logs everything you do on your computer (safely of course), so you can simply work away. At the end of the day you can see the list of programmes and websites you’ve worked on and how much time you spent on it. These times can then be easily attributed to your clients, projects and tasks. Amazing!
I don’t know about you but I have reached my limit for memorising passwords ages ago. I’m waiting for everything being unlocked and locked by my fingerprint but until that is available on all devices I have found myself a pretty good app to store my passwords:
1Password: Available for free and for all devices (Mac, Windows, iPhone/iPad and Android) this is one of the first ones to implement Apple’s fingerprint scanner to open it (I know, the irony!). But apart from that it stores all your passwords in a neat little system, suggests passwords for you if you run out of ideas and has great little add-ons for your browser so you can let it put in your login information whenever and wherever you need it.
I’ve never figured out what to do with all these business cards you collect at networking events, trade shows and workshops. So I slowly started to digitise them to reduce the stack on my desk:
CamCard: I’ve ended up using CamCard to scan and store my business cards. You can add information and notes to every entry and upload them easily to your phone contacts. As this app is available for all devices (iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows, Blackberry) it also syncs across all your apps in seconds.
The times are over when you had a huge scanner on your desk to digitise sketches, prints or similar things. Now that even phones and tablets have cameras, it’s so much easier:
Genius Scan: Take a photo of the documents you want to scan and export it by email. Save it on your computer or store it in your Dropbox for your team to access it. It’s great when on a business trip or if you want to archive your old documents.
Oh, my favourite subject! Getting your finances in order and a healthy cash flow are the most important things for small businesses. Thank goodness there’s an app for that:
Wave: This is a real life saver. If you’d rather not use spreadsheets for your bookkeeping, wave is the app to go for. It’s free, will stay free and it’s awesome. It automatically uploads your outgoing and incoming payments. You can scan your receipts easily with an additional app and attribute the expenses or payments to customisable accounts. It’s brilliant!
If you are interested in reading more about this topic, have a look at these:
Tools for Your Small Business Success Part 1
Tools for Your Marketing Success Part 1
Tools for Your Marketing Success Part 2
Be Less Busy – 5 To Do Apps for Small Businesses