Turn your smartphone into a business tool
Forget your laptop, your diary and even your PA. Now you’ve got a Smartphone. It’s cheaper, easier, and (gasp) maybe even more intelligent. If you don’t, you will do eventually. According to a 2012 report by Ofcom, 2 in every 5 adults own a Smartphone. That’s approximately 40% of all adults. It’s a lot. And my bet is it will only increase as more and more phone companies create their own intelligent Smartphones.
If you are the proud owner of a Smartphone, you’ll know that they’re not just phones. They are powerful and dynamic business tools that can be made even more powerful when used with the appropriate apps.
For this week’s blog post, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of business mobile apps. Not all of these apps are available on both the iPhone and Android operating systems. For this reason I’ve listed a few extra under each category. Mind, not all of these apps are free. Feel free to add your recommendations in the comments section at the bottom of this post.
Mobile sharing and communication apps include:
- LinkedIn – scan before a meeting with a client and add all the contacts you’ve met after a meeting.
- Evernote – a clever screen capture tool so that you can save anything you see online for later viewing or reference. You can access evernote anywhere and a powerful search function enables you to find what you’ve saved fast.
- Skype – a free peer-to-peer communication app. Make calls to other skype phones for free, and even international calls at a fantastic rate. Use the chat feature for quick messages. Even does conference calls and best of all – almost everyone is on it.
- Voxer – a ‘walkie-talkie’ style app that is perfect for sending instant ‘voice texts’. Instead of typing your message just send it to colleagues in a short sound bite. You can even send photos.
Access your documents anywhere:
- Dropbox – dropbox is free and it’s on the cloud. It’s a great way to take your documents with you wherever you go. You’ll never need to email yourself a file again. Simply drop them into your dropbox and access it on another computer.
- GoDocs – access your google docs account on your smartphone. For those who like to keep it in the cloud.
- SharePlus – an alternative to Google Docs. Similar features depending on your subscription. Take your office docs with you.
- File Magnet – Another ‘take your docs with you’ app. What’s great about this one is that it’s compatible with a wide variety of file formats so that you can read all you documents on the go and in one place.
Edit your documents on your mobile:
- Documents to Go – gives your phone the ability to edit MS office-format documents and to view adobe documents. It also allows you to view, edit and sync files stored in Google Docs, Dropbox, SugarSync and so on.
- Pages – An incredible word processing app that allows you to create, edit and share beautiful reports, letters, flyers and brochures.
- Quick Office – allows you to access, edit and share Microsoft office documents.
- PDF Reader Pro – create and access high-quality PDFs and other files. You can also fill in forms, sign documents, highlight text and add comments to PDFs. It’s even endorsed by Apple. A must have for business purposes.
All you really need to perfect this tool is a pocket smartphone projector.
- Keynote – create and deliver amazing presentations right on your phone. This app by Apple is a first class presentation tool and enables you to build presentations from the ground up. Mind, there’s small charge.
- Conference Pad – control a presentation or PDFs on numerous iOS devices, wirelessly over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. A great alternative to print outs of slideshows.
- mbPointer – Turn your phone into a wireless Power Point remote control. To move the cursor just twist or tilt the phone, add or erase annotations and Twist and tilt to move the cursor; add and erase annotations using a pen, as well as easily navigate through slides.
- Minimal Folio for iPhone – A simple way to present images, videos and PDFs. Sync to multiple devices and transfer files using iTunes.
- Presentation Clock – Keep track of time when delivering speeches, training, or presentations. This app’s oversized numbers change colours at thresholds you decide so that you’ve got a better idea of how long you’ve got left.
- ProPrompter – Use your phone as a professional teleprompter. Adjust and personalise fonts, backgrounds, scrolling speed, orientation, countdown and more. Control a second iOS device running ProPrompter with enhanced remote.
- Scatterslides – run your presentation from your phone and gives you the option of using your phone as a remote control
Stay on task
- Omni focus – keep track of tasks by project, place, person or date.
- iThoughts – a mind-mapping tool for the iPhone.
- Whiteboard Capture Pro – capturing great looking whiteboard images. Turns grungy gray shots of whiteboards into actual whiteboards with easy-to-read text.
- Business Card Reader – a time and cost-efficient way to enter and organise important contacts. Take a snap of the card and import all the relevant information into your contacts.
- Salesforce mobile – view and edit information, log sales and service activities, and receive new leads and customer requests.
Create and Sign Forms
- Adobe ExchoSign – securely capture and send e-signatures using your echo sign account. Send documents from multiple apps, and track contacts and agreements with real-time status updates
- DocuSign – create and modify documents securely with legally binding signatures in minutes – from anywhere and at anytime. Send documents for signature and track their status in real time
- DocuSign Ink – import docs from email, iOS apps, Google, or your camera. Add a secure signature
- iForm – turn iPhone into an enterprise-grade data collection device for conducting survey, inspections, audits, walkthroughs, clinical trials and more
- PDF Expert – Read and annotate PDF documents. Make notes, highlight text, and save in formats compatible with popular PDF readers. Fill out PDF forms on your phone.
- Numbers – create tables and charts, design spreadsheets, add photos and graphics and enter and edit data wherever you are.
Apps for business professionals on the go:
- Open Table – scheduling a lunch for a meeting or conference. Can reserve and check which tables are open
- Locale – knows where you are and sets your phone to the appropriate setting – silent, vibrate or general
- Flight Track Pro – Staying on top of flight delays and gate changes is easy with this handy travel tracker. Import trip data from an airline confirmation email, and it will monitor your itinerary, alerting you to delays, cancellations and alternate boarding plans. The program also provides satellite and weather imagery and maps of airport terminals — in case you need to sprint for a connection.
- XpenseTracker – track expenses and mileage on the go. Take pictures of receipts and tag them with location information before exporting.
- Tripit – keep all your travel plans in one place – upload photos, perform local searches, get itinerary maps and much more.
- Currency Converter – a simple converter that lets you track currencies from all over the world. Create a list of your favourite currencies and view graphs of the currencies over time. Get latest news on them as well.
- TED – If you’ve got a bit of time to while away, do it intellectually. TED allows you to listen to some of society’s most influential and creative speakers.
Apps for meetings/events
- Bump or Hoccer – bump two phones together to share photos, contacts and apps. This great little app work across most platform.
- AK Notepad – a free app that allows you to jot notes on the go, set reminders, export notes to Evernote, share and much more.
- Dragon Dictation – instead of typing, just dictate.
- My Caption (same as Dragon Dictation but for blackberry users).
- Podio (iPhones only) – a free app for project and event management.
- TeamViewer for Meetings – online and mobile meetings on the go – see screens as though you’re right there.
- Projectorfy – run live events on a TV screen, projector, or any output device. Create live polls so that attendees can vote using their mobile device. You’ll also be able to see the results live during the event.
- QuickTapSurvey – create surveys quickly and easily. This app even allows you to collect data with or without the internet
And that’s the list. If I’ve missed anything out, add it in the comments section below or tell us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear what’s worked for you.