Small businesses need to complete activities efficiently and quickly to ensure business success. Dealing with paperwork and organizing information can be time consuming so it’s essential for small businesses to make sure they use the right software for organizing and cataloging this information. Furthermore, the iPad is quickly replacing laptops and PCs for small businesses — especially for those who are constantly on the go. For example, if you’re running a small design firm, you’ll need to manage accounting records, bank records, contracts, and corporate records — just to name a few. There are several affordable and free apps that work with the iPad to effectively manage information — and won’t break the bank in the process. Here are five apps that will get your small business on the road to success.
Note Taking and More — Evernote
Evernote is extremely valuable for small businesses — especially if your business is on the move. It’s a cloud-based service so whatever device you’re using at the time — whether it’s your iPad, laptop, or smartphone — you can store and access your information. Traditionally, Evernote has been used for best-in-class note taking — allowing anyone to organize their thoughts, record to-dos, and to assist them in recording creativity and brainstorming sessions. The benefit is you spend less time remembering information, and more time investing in your creative and inspirational ideas.
As Evernote grows, it’s becoming more than note taking. Small businesses can capture any documents, such as receipts or invoices with an Evernote compliant scanner and store those documents. Evernote also includes powerful tagging and sorting, which allows you to find the information that you need quickly and efficiently.
And recently, Evernote unveiled Evernote for Business. The new offering provides functionality above and beyond the basic version — including spreadsheets, presentations, mockups, and task lists. Also, business notebooks and personal notebooks can be maintained separately.
Cloud File Storage and Sharing — Dropbox
Small businesses can benefit from having access to their documents, receipts, photos, and videos from wherever they go. This cloud-based service lets you access your files from your PC or mobile device — anywhere. Your files can be shared with invited users or kept private. This software is very handy for businesses such as design firms or publishers for sharing large files such as videos or graphics that can’t be sent via email due to the large sizes. Simply share a folder or file with collaborators. It’s especially useful when working on large projects with clients. For example, imagine you’re an independant graphic designer and you’re working with an outside company to create graphics for their website. Dropbox is a perfect solution in this situation to deliver graphics for review.
Document Management and File Storage — Google Drive/Google Docs
Google Drive/Google Docs combines its document management suite with file storage in the cloud. Not only can you create spreadsheets, documents, presentations, and more, you can seamlessly store these documents in the cloud. And with Google Docs, more than one person can collaborate simultaneously so it’s not necessary to print files when collaborating in a meeting. Google Docs provides true, real-time collaboration for business users. For example, your team can open a presentation, spreadsheet, or other file with their laptops or mobile devices, and all make changes at the same time — from any location.
Google announced on Dec. 6, 2012 that businesses that sign up for Google Apps are now required to pay a fee. However, companies that are currently using the free version of Google Apps can continue without the fee, and this only applies to new accounts on or after Dec. 6.
Productivity and Organization — LifeTopix
Making sure that you keep your projects, tasks, and to-dos on track is essential for small business. Delivering goods and services on time is a number one priority for small business success. Using a productivity app is crucial for achieving this goal. LifeTopix is a complete productivity and organization app that focuses on 12 topics that seamlessly bring in work and personal life into one place. These topics include Tasks + Projects, Shopping, Events, Travel + Places, People + Services, Health + Activity, Finances, Home + Assets, Education, Notes + Files, Media, and Bookmarks. What’s truly special about LifeTopix is it’s flexible enough to manage something simple such as a to-do list, to something complex such as a large remodeling project for a client. It also works with Dropbox, Google Drive/Docs, and Evernote — so you can associate documents that are stored by using these tools — bringing the documents into context. For example, within your remodeling project you can associate all of your receipts and invoices that are stored in Dropbox, Google Drive, or Evernote. You can also launch many other apps directly from LifeTopix so you don’t spend your valuable time searching for your other apps.
Business Card Scanning — Camcard HD
When working with clients, you’re likely to gather hundreds of business cards each year, which normally pile up in your office drawer or in your handbag or wallet. Electronic storage is a great way to store and locate your important business contacts. With Camcard, you can easily take a picture of a business card from your mobile device, the app recognizes this information, and then saves it. You can save contact information to your iPhone address book, Gmail, or Exchange account.
Those guest post was written by Marilyn Rogers. You can email her by clicking here.