Updated: July 20, 2016
One of the things that nobody tells you about being a business owner is how time-consuming simply running your business can be. Between keeping track of client projects, sales, deadlines and all your staff, it can quickly start to feel like you’re drowning in to-do’s.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of my favourite productivity apps to keep your dates straight and your head on your shoulders:
1. Google Drive
I can’t stress the importance of this tool enough. Firstly, it’s a huge storage system. You can store all your company’s information such as images, old documents, files etc. on your Drive and access them whenever. Google Drive also lets you create documents that you can work together on in real-time with other contributors.
Evernote provides you with a workspace where you can store your notes, information, documents, images and much, much more. It’s a great way to stay organized on-the-go and has a powerful search feature which saves you from flipping in and out of folders trying to find a single document.
Evernote works like a digital notebook that stores almost anything you can think of – audio clips, web pages, PDFs, to-do lists… you name it. Whatever it is, it’s likely that you can save it to Evernote and then search its powerful index to quickly find what you were looking for.
Shopify is a Canadian-based ecommerce solution that provides you with everything you need to set up an online store on your site. From setup to selling your products, Shopify provides an easy alternative to, say, setting up a store in WordPress or a similar website.
One of the challenges of running an online store is that you have to worry about your hosting’s speed and security at all times. Luckily Shopify offers a super-fast and secure alternative, meaning your store won’t go down the moment you have a sale, and you don’t need to worry about the security of your customer.
It’s far and away the best option for ecommerce, which leads me to my next point…
4. Bold eCommerce’s Shopify Apps
Manitoba-based business BOLD features a selection of apps designed to work with Shopify and make your life easier. They offer a ton of apps that cater to customer service, sales, social media… they basically have an app for everything.
While Shopify can be great, if you’re getting into the nitty-gritty of running a store you might find yourself a bit limited in your customization options. BOLD’s apps are a huge time-saver in the long run and can really accelerate your online store’s growth.
Trello organizes boards based on visual “cards” so that you can see what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in the production or development process. Because everything is organized into “cards” it’s really easy to understand everything at-a-glance, and you can drag and drop the cards from one column to another to keep things organized.
Additionally, the simple layout means that any new user can easily understand the structure and can easily join in on a project or create their own without a huge learning curve. If you missed it we also mentioned Trello in our list of 9 Critical Apps for Manitoba Small Business.
Vancouver-based Hootsuite breaks each of your social networks down into easy-to-read “streams” which helps you keep track of what’s happening on each social media “feed” for each profile. For example, you can create Twitter streams to easily switch between your feed, people who have mentioned you, Tweets you’ve sent out, and scheduled Tweets. The app also offers powerful analytics tools and a “conversation” tool that allows you to have real-time, internal conversations with everyone in your organization or individuals without leaving the dashboard.
Dropbox is super-affordable and has one of the best cloud backup services for long-term data backup. If you accidentally delete a file from your Dropbox Pro account you have 30 days to recover it, and you can also pull up an unlimited number of past versions of documents changed within the last 30 days, so even if you lose or make a mistake you can easily recover it.
Letterspace is a gorgeous note-taking smartphone app that uses hashtags (#) to organize your thoughts and uses a swipe bar to move around. It’s a welcome relief from the built-in Notes app and makes taking and navigating around your notes a breeze.
If you’re tired of the standard contact app that comes with your device, look to FullContact. “Thousands of your contacts sync across all your platforms and devices.” Contacts will not only pull from your regular contact list, but from your Google accounts, social media accounts and via their built-in business card scanning. They’ll clean and merge your duplicate contacts as well — handy when you’ve got a John Smith in two places, but not sure if they’re the same. Plus they back everything up to the cloud, so if you happen to lose your device you’ll still have access to your valuable contact lists.
Slack is a great way to keep in touch with your team while you work without having to sift through a pile of email conversations. It functions like a chat room that runs in the background without interrupting your workflow. In addition to streamlining your team-based workflow, it allows you to create smaller channels for individual team projects. You can also tag specific people to be included so your conversation doesn’t disrupt anyone else.
And for a fun way to present their product, Slack made this video featuring their employees talking about the ways they collaborate.
Bonus #11: Your Favourite Productivity App
What is your favourite app to stay productive with mobile devices?
We’re creating a brand new article and want to feature your selections. Tell us your picks in the comments section below.