The right business apps can benefit small business tremendously by making work more efficient, teams more aligned and information more organised. Cutting down on tedious and time-consuming tasks can help business owners and their staff become more productive and focused, allowing the business to grow on solid foundation of good business practices.
So what are the 16 must-have business efficiency and productivity apps of 2018?
Team communication tools:
1 Tipi is the newest team communication tool. It encourages an asynchronous communication model where people do not need to respond to messages in real-time. This boosts productivity, team alignment and optimises time and resources. Some of the main features include real-time chat, private and public folders, and convenient integration with email. The app has a cool feedback feature that can help increase team engagement. Available on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS, Linux, web-based.
2 Slack―one the most widely used team communication apps, best known for facilitating instant communication between team members and fun integration of tools like Giphy to get your cat photo fix of the day. In some circles, however, it is receiving some backlash for being too addictive, with teams spending a lot of time chatting about work as opposed to getting work done. Available on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS, web-based.
3 Join.Me is an easy to use voice and video conferencing solution. Even though Skype remains the most popular voice and video communication tool around the world, join.me is a great alternative for those who need advanced voice/video meeting capabilities, including instant screen share, file transfer, internet calling, meeting tools (annotation, presenter swap), salesforce integration and more. Available on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS, web-based.
Task management tools:
4 Trello is an app that can help your team manage multiple projects in an easy to navigate platform. In essence, you can use the app to create and assign project tasks that are organised as movable cards. Organise what you are working on by creating, assigning, updating and monitoring how different tasks are being completed. Available on Windows, Android, iOS, Mac OS, web-based.
5 Zenkit integrates a lot of work organisation tools into one. It offers a Kanban board, mind mapping tool, to-do list and a calendar. It is essentially a project management resource library that helps with task management, scheduling, resource allocation and even budgeting. People who like making to do lists swear by this app. Available on Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Mac OS, web-based.
6 Basecamp helps organise your team’s workflow by compiling the information into projects. You can discuss the project progress in a chatroom or message board, upload files, create to do lists and make use of a calendar to mark important project dates. Available on Windows, Android, iOS, Mac OS, web-based.
Motivational task management tools:
7 Carrot is a to do list with a personality. If you need a nudge to complete tasks, Carrot can certainly help with motivation. All you have to do is get things done to get rewarded. You don’t want to know what happens if you don’t complete the tasks at hand. The Carrot does not like slackers. Available on iOS.
Productivity tool platforms:
8 Parallels Toolbox helps speed up a variety of simple tasks by offering a plethora of tools you can access with an individual or team account. Access a number of tools that can help speed up building presentations, perform screen captures, launch several apps with one click, or archive files in bulk and more. Available on Windows and Mac OS.
9 Astro Mail―an AI-powered application that can take care of your emails from multiple accounts, prioritising emails by way of importance while cleaning up unnecessary clutter. Interesting features include smart notifications, email snoozing and calendar customization. Available on iOS, Android and Mac OS.
10 Fuze―high-definition, cloud-based video conferencing tool that integrates messaging and a convenient file upload system in the hopes of enhancing collaboration for an ever growing mobile workforce. Available on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS.
Time saving business tools:
11 Pocket. If you go through a lot of published content and want to save articles or even app content for later reading, Pocket is an app that lets you to do that. Save links to news pages, images, videos and pretty much anything online to come back to later via a neat panel. Access saved pocket account info via iOS, Android, Kobo, and web browser.
12 TripIt is a tool that can consolidate all of your travel plans into an organised itinerary that can be accessed on any device. The TripIt app collects all the travel information you email it. Later, when it’s trip time, you can access organised information along with helpful location-based travel tips about the weather, directions and so on. Available on iOS, Android, web-based.
13 Evernote―users can make, save or upload personal notes, images, audio, video and more to the app with easy sharing capabilities. You can easily scan your documents, receipts, notes, pictures, whiteboards or other text, or save information found online―neatly saving as high quality jpegs or PDFs that can be shared and sent quickly to your work team members. Available on iOS and Android.
14 Proven is an app that consolidates your HR-related tasks. Proven helps you post your job listings to multiple job boards with one click on your phone. Once you start receiving responses to your listing, you can look through the application responses in the same platform―categorising the candidate applicants into yes, no and maybe categories, noting when you need to follow up with a candidate. Available on iOS, Android, web-based.
15 Canva is a fast design solution that can save you time. Rather than designing from scratch, a virtual design platform allows you to choose from a huge selection of template layouts, design elements and a huge library of images. Available on iOS, Android, web-based.
16 The Hootsuite app allows businesses or individuals to schedule posts for various social media accounts, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. You can monitor your social account status and measure the impact of your campaigns by using Hootsuite’s reports. Available on iOS, Android, web-based.