I wish there was more time in the day! I really do. If there was more time in the day I would be able to get to the things that always seem to fall through the cracks. I would wash my car, give my dogs a bath, send that package I’ve been meaning to and maybe even take a deep breath. That’s what more time allows for- it allows for you to be more productive! Unfortunately, I have yet to figure out a foolproof way to create more time for myself (that flux-capacitor is a tricky bugger to create and I think my wife is tired of the small fires that I keep setting in the garage while building them very unsuccessfully). There is good news though! Fortunately for all of us, there are some very smart folks in the technology field who understand our time angst and they have thrown us a bone or two in how to add more time to our day. Specifically, these time travelers have created some outstanding applications for the smartphone carrying crowd that will make their day more efficient and productive. Especially useful to the business owning crowd, who seem to always be playing from behind in the time game.
Here are 5 outstanding apps under three bucks that will keep your day moving to the tune of a timely drummer and keep me from burning my house down (as generating one-point-twenty one-jiggawatts is much harder than it seems without plutonium):
1. Boost Magic (FREE)
When I look at my smartphone and it tells me that I have 86% of my battery left, I have no idea what that means. It might as well say I have 435% of my battery left because I wouldn’t be able to compute that into usable information either. Does 86% mean I can talk for an hour? Two hours? How long can I go on the internet for? This type of information would be very helpful in determining how to use my precious battery life. Well, this is a dilemma no longer! The wonderful people at Boost Magic have taken the crazy mathematics of turning “86% battery life” into a useful breakdown of how long you can do certain activities on your smartphone. This app will tell you how long you can talk on the phone, surf the internet (via wifi or 3/4G), play music or video, use apps and games, follow your GPS and even take photos or video. This information is very helpful when I need to decide whether or not to call my wife to tell her I’m running late, or finish that addicting game of Bejeweled.
2. Google Drive (FREE)
As I discussed in “5 Money Saving Tips for the Bootstrapping Startup”, you should take advantage of things that are free in life. Specifically, free things that are very useful to helping you manage your time and important information. Enter Google Drive. A fantastic app that allows you to access all of the wonderful documents you have created on Google+. You can be anywhere at any time and still have access to those sales reports you created. Google Drive also allows you to access any shared calendars you’ve created, so no more worrying that you forgot your day planner at your desk…it is right in your pocket!
3. TurboScan by Pixoft ($1.99)
Imagine you are on the road and you receive an urgent email from a colleague asking you to email them a copy of that document you brought with you. Problem is you only have the hard copy you brought with you on the trip and you won’t be able to get to a fax machine until it’s too late. Well, this WAS a problem in times past. Not anymore due to the fine people at Pixoft who created the app TurboScan. TurboScan allows you to take a photo of documents using your smartphone and turns them into unbelievably clear PDF or JPEG files. Files that you can email back to your colleague in a flash (pun intended) and look like you always happen to be carrying a scanner with you.
4. Voice Calendar by vThinking Studio ($1.99)
Keeping an up-to-date calendar is a critical component of keeping yourself organized and productive. Sometimes you have to enter things to do or important appointments on the go, and those stubby little fingers aren’t very helpful typing while you are on the move. With Voice Calendar all you need is your sweet voice and the app takes care of the rest. Say things like, “schedule a sales call with Mike on September 10th at 9 AM” or “email Dennis the sales proposal tonight at 6 PM” and those to-dos appear in your calendar. In addition to helping you keep track of your days, Voice Calendar can also let you know exactly how many days are until Thanksgiving and what day of the week December 1st falls on.
5. Group Text! by Vettori ($2.99)
You have important information that you need to get out quickly to your customers. Generally you would send out a mass email, but you need responses quickly because there is a shelf life to the information you’re sending them. The good news is you have the cell phone numbers of these customers but calling all of them directly will take too long. Group Text to the rescue! This great app allows you to send mass text messages to any group you designate quickly and accurately. You can use your existing address book, create special distribution lists and create templates to use for recurring messages. This is a wonderful time saver and money maker for your business.
Who knew that smartphone in your pocket could save you so much time and even make you money?!
Check out this awesome article from PC World on how to run your business from a smartphone.
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