The Business Set: 10 Apps to Enrich Your iPhone
Well, you do your business, so you need to be online all the time. But, since iPhone is more than just a phone, and iPad is even greater (and bigger, of course), do we have to stick to desktops or even laptops? The answer gets more obvious with each new app we review. iOS turned out to be the native environment for a great variety of different business apps.
Managing your files? Making notes? Sending letters or making new connections? Put aside your stereotypes about phones only good for selfies or playing music. Here is the set of 10 apps quite good for taking your personal desk wherever you go.
Ride on time
No wonder we put this one first. Time management is crucial for being successful in any business, because it’s about doing things. MyLifeOrganized is a good help with all the other apps from this list; no matter how good they are, they’re no use if you just don’t remember your plans. MLO is the opposite to MIB; it won’t let you forget. It’s a feature-packed project manager that supports task lists, timelines, tasks hierarchy, reminders, and so on. Mobile version offers location-based alerts, customized view and syncing to the desktop via Wi-Fi.
There are versions for most platforms, so you can sync them through MLO cloud. The subscription is paid, though there is free version for local usage.
An advanced email client
In fact, you already have an email app in your iPhone or iPad, and not that it’s bad. But for more features, you need a third-party powerful app, and Spark is the one. First of all, it integrates different services; so you can access (for example) your work email by corporate servers, private Gmail and Yahoo account you use for subscriptions from the same app.
In addition, Spark offers its own smart filtering, flexible notification system, dialogue mode, quick replies and all it takes to make emailing most comfortable.
Better Contact Management
And again, iOS built-in tools can handle your contacts, but something (we mean, Full Contact) does it better. It can contain much more data on contact, transforming it from a brief note to a thick dossier. Its tools can avoid duplicating contacts, help to import business cards, sort them into groups by spheres or priority, or integrate social profiles into advanced cards. The latter option gets you rid of the necessity to know more about persons in the list; they deliver the info themselves.
The app is cross-platform, so if one day you have to use it from your desktop or switch to Android phone or tablet, you won’t have to get reused to it. If your job means constant interactions with a lot of people, this app is impossible to overrate.
Your desktop everywhere
The trendsetter of today’s cloud storage services, Dropbox is still ahead of most due to its unique features. The basic feature is familiar; store your files in a cloud, set up automatic sync, and when you finish working on one of your devices, you can go on an any other with Dropbox connected.
Though it has many rivals now, Dropbox is still the king due to its specific features, including third-party services integration, storing versions history (so if you lose your work by some accident, you may just open the previous version and go on), a built-in doc scanner, file sharing feature, and flexible sync system.
Note-taking service by Microsoft
What are notes meant for? For saving some ideas or drafts, you don’t want to forget or lose. So it makes sense to store your notes in the cloud to prevent the loss. Microsoft OneNote is a special note-taking service, and the OneNote app has become a part of MS Office. The interface is common for OneNote and (e.g.) Word both in desktop and mobile versions.
Just like its major rival, Evernote, this app supports not only plain text, but also rich formatting, integrating media (pictures, videos, audios), handwritten texts (especially great for touchscreen devices), and metadata like locations or date and time of creation. And yes, you can share the notes right from the cloud, and it doesn’t mean access to the rest of your notes.
The most persuading reason for some is Microsoft providing more for free than Evernote. It only takes an MS account to get almost unlimited free syncing.
The best calendar remake since Gregory XIII
There’s always a better app than any default one. Fantastical 2 is a calendar app with a built-in reminder system, and it has much more in store than Apple’s calendar. First of all, it has its own AI that understands natural language, so you can create smart events, and the calendar will react. It will remind you of an event beforehand, in the time you’ve set for it.
An important part of any calendar app is a birthday reminder. Not only does this app remind about your contacts’ birthdays, but also provides the best way to send your congratulation directly from the calendar. You can do it via email, Twitter, WhatsApp or simply text.
It’s also integrated with Google Maps and Google Chrome (the apps we didn’t list because there’s more to them than business use, but yes, in some ways they outrun the preinstalled analogues too).
Never forget, just postpone
If you have no time right now to read some article or to watch some video, because MyLifeOrganized tells you to focus on other missions, you may still want to give them the time later. Maybe on another device. That’s where you need your Pocket.
This services store links you’d like to visit later; as they’re in the cloud, you can authorize from virtually any device and see them. The most probable scenario is that you save the links from your office PC and then read the pages or watch the videos later at home or on the way home, while the links are always available.
You can even use Pocket together with MLO or Fantastical 2, setting reminders to read this or that at the moment you might need just this.
A digital assistant for travellers
If your business got you on the road, you don’t have to create a reminder to view your Concur records when you get back. You can do it on the go, with Concur mobile app.
The developers keep in mind that a traveler has some specific needs. So there is a special booking section where you can book a car, a flight, or a hotel suite, and your expenses will be listed and specified automatically. There are also special features for setting up meetings, for reviewing invoices, travel requests and other documents, for scanning credit cards data and so on.
So, Concur is the ultimate tool for a business traveler, and it always stays connected with a general purpose Concur service at your head office.
Your pocket accountant
No matter where you are; cash must flow, and if it’s your responsibility, Freshbooks is your little gnome assistant that helps you keep the finances in order. With this app (or rather a service) you can control your financial affairs right from your phone.
The app has all it takes to organize expenses, create invoices, receive and send payments online, track your hours and so on. Its interface is straightforward and worth spending some time mastering it.
If you give it access to your payments (do you need it at all otherwise?), it will track and record them all. Too complicated for home use, it’s just perfect for small business.
Stand Up! The Work Break Timer
Keeps you active
Don’t tell us how much energy your brain consumes while sitting at your desktop or at meetings. Tell it to your body, and it won’t believe you at all. No matter how important your work is; you have to move.
Stand Up! is an app that reminds you not to sit still for too long. As you hear the sound, you better stand up and walk around for a while. The resting period can be adjusted in settings, as well as the message you receive when you have been moving long enough.
You can customize your breaks schedule for weekdays and weekends, according to your plans. The smart features even include selecting special plans for certain locations; for example, if you’re up all day wandering the city, you don’t need reminders; but if you’re bound to your desk, you certainly do.
Of course, you can find an alternative for each of these apps. The niches are too large to place only one service, so the rivalry is hard, and the number of good apps is overwhelming. We are sure you can do a little searching and find even more attractive apps (at least, for some of those above). But this collection is a good choice to start from and then replace separate apps by better analogues (if you find those). None of them can install a business state of mind into its user, but you can upgrade yourself with it.