Whether we like it or not, our smartphones have become indispensable business tools.
From push email and weekend calls to research on the train and meeting prep on the sofa, our professional lives are increasingly creeping into what would otherwise be private time.
However, there are compensations for the loss of clear work/home life boundaries.
Today’s business apps are designed to simplify and streamline our careers, while cloud-hosted software and documentation enables us to work anywhere.
Today’s smartphones are incredibly powerful, always connected, and capable of running multiple apps simultaneously.
WiFi means it’s possible to access apps on trains, in cafés or even from our beds. Equally, Bluetooth connectivity supports wireless peripherals like roll-up keyboards.
This is supporting a rise in the number of people using their phones to work at home, or adopt flexible working conditions.
Below, we take a look at some of the best business apps currently available.
- Fuze. The diversity of mobile hardware often makes it difficult to find communications tools which suit everyone. Fuze works across all devices and OS, from Chromebooks to iPads, delivering HD video and clear audio through an easy to use app.
- Trello. Increasingly common on lists like these, Trello’s card-based interface is great for company-wide workflow management. There’s extensive integration with the likes of Slack and Google Drive, while clickable links and multiple attachments increase practicality.
- Dropbox. Being able to manage files and folders from anywhere is a blessing for employees who are regularly on the move. Cloud-hosting specialist Dropbox claims to have 500 million users, while online file storage limits are generous – and always accessible
- Rescue Time. We’re all guilty of procrastination, but the blend of leisure and business apps on our phones makes it far too easy to get distracted. Rescue Time tracks and notifies users about their e-commerce and social media activity, and it’ll even block certain sites.
- ServiceM8. The paperless office moves a step closer with tools like ServiceM8, which provides a top-down view of company records, scheduling and finance. It’s ideal for managers because individual staff and jobs may be monitored in a live overview format
- Timecamp. More focused but less all-encompassing than ServiceM8, Timecamp is becoming one of the more popular business apps. It’s used to regulate budgets and timeframes, from reporting technology time sheets to visual tracker tools.
- PayPal Here. Ideal for companies taking payments on the go, PayPal Here dovetails with a card reader to work as a portable payment gateway. PayPal Here is robust and secure, with no recurring fees and instant payments, though it does require an internet connection
- QuickBooks. When it comes to connectivity, few platforms can rival QuickBooks. This iconic software links to thousands of financial portals and service providers. Automatic data uploads support simplified finances, expenses, tax calculations and more.