As a small-business owner, you’re busy. After all, you’ve got to sell your product, manage inventory and employees (if you’ve got them), pay the bills, and even sometimes take out the trash. Luckily there are some handy applications available that make running your business a bit easier — at least until cloning yourself becomes an option. Check out these ten apps to increase your productivity, handle time-consuming tasks, and more.
Your digital calendar gets a shot of rocket fuel with Mynd. It works with your existing calendar, but adds in useful features like an at-a-glance home screen to show you what you’ve got going on that day, suggestions on when to leave so you’re not late for a meeting, and the contact and social media info for anyone you’re meeting with. (Free: Available for iOS)
Running a small business doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of software often associated with large enterprises, like customer relationship management (CRM) apps. Many CRM systems are meant for bigger businesses and are too feature heavy — or expensive — for most entrepreneurs, Insightly is available as a online service and in mobile app versions, and makes it easy to organize your contacts, keep track of conversations and emails, and assign and follow-up on tasks. (Free. Available for iOS and Android)
For entrepreneurs who travel a lot for business, keeping up with itinerary changes, rental car confirmations, and hotel reservations can add significantly to your workload. Tripit houses your details, and even shows you maps and weather for where you’re headed. (Free. Available for iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone)
4. Zazen Meditation Timer
A mindfulness and meditation app might seem counterintuitive to boostng productivity, but stepping away from your work even for a moment can help you refocus on the task and come up with new ideas or tackle problems more creatively. Zazen lets you set reminders to stop what you’re doing, take a walk around the office or step outside, and then recenter. (99 cents to $1.99. Available for Android, Kindle Fire, and iOS)
5. Lemon Aid
Make lists and to-dos, set and track goals, and take notes from the convenience of your mobile device with Lemon Aid. (Free. Available for Android)
If you’ve reached the point of hiring staff, you may not have the luxury of being able to take a week out of your busy schedule to interview candidates. Go mobile with HireVue, which allows applicants to record videos answering your questions at their convenience. This can drastically cut the time you spend on the recruiting process without sacrificing the chance to “meet” candidates face to face. You can always have them come in for a final interview in person. (Free. Available for iOS)
Whether you’re a solopreneur or manage a team, project management apps like Podio come in handy. This web and mobile app lets you create projects, assign tasks, manage deadlines, and share files. (Free. Available for iOS and Android)
Managing your social media accounts can be difficult, and dealing with updates on the go isn’t always easy. Hootsuite simplifies managing multiple accounts (Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, and more) from one place. You can schedule updates to save time as well. (Free to manage up to three social media profiles. Available for iOS and Android)
9. Achieve – Productivity Timer
If you find yourself losing track of time when you get involved in certain activities, try Achieve. It will help you keep track of the amount of time you spend on a task, and allow you to schedule breaks so you can come up for air. (Free. Available for Android)
When you have staff, such as employees for a retail shop or restaurant, you can invest a lot of time creating shift schedules on paper. ScheduleBase lets you handle scheduling faster with its internet and mobile app: You can view employees’ availability from your phone, set a schedule, then email or text it to them. (Free for to try for 30 days. $10 a month and up depending on number of employees. Available for iOS and Android)
With these online and mobile apps at your disposal, you can get more done in less time and make it easier to run your business and focus on growth.