Manage your office on-the-fly with these must-have business apps…
It’s been said that time is the greatest innovator, and many innovations try to return the compliment by saving us time. Improving productivity levels has become more important than ever in today’s pressurised workplaces.
Ironically, the mobile devices that prevent us from ever fully leaving work also offer a rich variety of apps aimed at helping even the most time-poor employee to maximise their efficiency and effectiveness. Here are ten apps that no self-respecting professional should be without:
- Evernote [Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone]. With a reported 18,000 corporate clients, this information-sharing platform is as close as apps get to being a veteran market leader. Premium versions (costing up to £35 per year) offer additional features like email compatibility, PDF annotations and the ability to scan and digitise business cards.
- Asana [Android, iOS]. The cinematic video on Asana’s homepage presents this team communication app as an alternative to email, uniting communication and tasks in a single place. It assists with the management of multiple projects by helping to assign tasks, theme conversations together and unite disparate documents in one easy-to-access location.
- GoToMeeting [Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone]. Eliminating the requirement to actually attend a meeting, this interactive app displays presentation content on your smartphone screen in real time while audio is streamed via WiFi or 4G/3G. Not all platforms support video conferencing, and hosting your own conference involves a subscription, though it’s free to attend as a guest.
- Google Maps [Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone]. There’s something addictive about Maps, with its spookily precise GPS mapping. Apart from being able to zoom in with remarkable clarity on landmarks and streets, the turn-by-turn sat nav instructions are extremely useful for navigating urban areas, particularly once you’ve ditched the car and set out on foot.
- LinkedIn [Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone]. Effectively Facebook for professionals, the revised LinkedIn app has been receiving far better reviews than its unwieldy predecessor. LinkedIn is a useful discussion forum beloved by recruitment agencies and prospective employers, and it’s also the best place to show off achievements and awards.
- Adobe Reader [Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone]. Working smoothly with Dropbox and Google Drive, Adobe’s Reader is a surprisingly flexible tool that can turn a camera phone photograph into a PDF, and even incorporate signatures into PDF files. This particular app also contains email compatibility and the ability to highlight or strikeout text for on-the-fly document revisions.
- PayPal Here [Android, iOS]. Although it hasn’t been launched at the time of writing, PayPal’s upcoming next-gen Here platform will improve on its current incarnation by offering NFC (or Near Field Communication) for one-touch payment. With a physical card reader controlled through an app, PayPal applies a transaction fee of roughly three percent in exchange for the ability to get paid anywhere at any time.
- Splashtop [Android, iOS, Windows Phone]. This handy app provides full access and control over your PC or Mac desktop from your mobile device, either through WiFi (free) or online (with an annual subscription). Users can edit hard drive Office documents, browse the web with Java and Flash compatibility, and even play games using 256-bit SSL encryption software.
- Buffer [Android, iOS, BlackBerry]. Keeping up with daily social media activity can be difficult, which is where Buffer comes in. Capable of storing and sending out posts/updates at preordained times, in-built analytics can monitor response rates in real time. Buffer can manage up to ten different Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn accounts simultaneously.
- Dropbox [Android, iOS, Windows Phone]. Although Dropbox may seem simple compared to some of the apps listed above, cloud storage is rarely done this well. The drag-and-drop simplicity of this file-sharing platform is its greatest asset, with £8 per month securing 1TB of storage and customisable access privileges for each individual sub-folder.
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