The list of the best productivity apps can be overwhelming. Which ones are really the best? It often boils down to your type of business and your personal preference. But to save you wading through an endless list of apps, here are seven tried-and-true options to get you started.
1. General Productivity: Pocket
How many times have you run across something interesting, but you didn’t have the time to read it right away? Over 15 million people use Pocket to easily save articles, videos, and more for later. All of your content goes to one place, so you can view it anytime, on any device.
Even better, you don’t need an Internet connection to view what you’ve saved. After you’re done reading, send the articles and videos you love to another friend’s Pocket, or share to Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, or Email.
Pocket is simple to use, and best of all, it’s free.
2. Time Tracking: Toggl
Tracking time as you work results in more accurate invoices than estimating time worked after the fact. This creates trust for your clients, but also benefits your business too. When you know how you spend your time with high accuracy, you can analyse it and make smarter business decisions as a result.
Toggl allow you to track your time across different projects easily, simply, reliably, and for free (for up to five users). You can track as many projects or clients as you want, view colourful graphs, export timesheets, and sync your numbers with several project management apps.
3. Project Management: Basecamp
Basecamp probably the most well-known project management app, and it might be the easiest to use of the bunch. It allows you to organise projects that act as a central location for everything and contains such things as to-do lists, notes, events, files, and much more. You can also create helpful workflow calendars that keep everyone on track and on the same page.
You can’t, however, do advanced reporting or budgeting, and it’s hard to see everything in one glance. But if your projects are straightforward and you don’t want to devote much time to learning a new system, it could be a good pick. You pay per project instead of per-user—users are unlimited.
4. Team Communication: Slack
Not everyone finds the UI simple, but it’s definitely slick and allows for easy filtering and searching. You can create channels for just about any conversation theme: particular projects or clients, general water cooler chat, or whatever else works best for your small business. It also permits a lot of third-party service integrations, such as Google Drive, and the list is ever-expanding.
The best part is that basic Slack is free for an unlimited number of users, although the paid-for versions provide more advanced features, including unlimited searches and unlimited app integration.
5. Customer Relationship Management (CRM): HubSpot
HubSpot records your customers' contact information and remembers the details of your relationship and every interaction—whether by phone or email, and nowadays across other channels such as social media or even your customer helpdesk. This information is a gold mine of opportunity, letting you identify prospects for up-sell or cross-sell, convert existing customers to new products or services, target new marketing, or even track invoices.
HubSpot’s CRM is 100% free forever and now includes free email marketing, ads and forms. The fact that it’s free, its friendly interface, and customisable capability makes this an easy pick for smaller businesses looking to get into a CRM quickly.
6. Payments: Square Point of Sale
This free point-of-sale app allows you to facilitate tap-and-go cards and mobile payments, such as Apple Pay, and simultaneously keep track of sales and inventory. Simply install the Square Point of Sale app on your smartphone or tablet and pair it with a Square contactless and chip reader or a Square chip card reader (cost $49). You can then accept credit card, debit card and mobile payments easily, with money deposited into your account within one to two business days.
Square is a good choice for small business owners, particularly mobile ones, such as farmers' markets and art fairs or businesses with small transactions, such as coffee shops. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are all valid, but a fee of 1.9% applies to each payment.
7. Accounting: MYOB
MYOB is the most popular accounting software in Australia, with over 618,000 subscribers. Further, about 60 per cent of accountants use MYOB as their main tool for assisting clients.
Accounting software experts have branded MYOB Essentials as the easiest full-featured small-business accounting program available in the market. It comes with all the accounting features small businesses need to run their accounting, payroll, timesheets, and more. After a free trial period, packages start from $27 per month.
These tried-and-tested productivity apps stand out from their peers and admirably help small businesses cover their software needs.