In this globally-connected marketplace, it is important to find tools to help your company stay organized and connected, and apps are ideal tools due to their accessibility and rapidly evolving innovation.
In a recent article in The Guardian on the top apps for boosting business productivity, the author notes that “apps for smartphones and tablets are playing an ever-increasing role in the day-to-day running of small businesses, with employees now able to write notes or articles on the go, collaborate with colleagues across the world, manage social media accounts and even pay suppliers.”
Here are three of those top apps you might find helpful to help manage your day:
The original Evernote is a popular note-taking app that allows users to create and organize notes into notebooks, ideal for almost any meeting or class, but Evernote Business has taken these capabilities to another level. Evernote Business creates a central location for employees to collaborate, share and create from any device, at any time, even offline. Through the use of “Notebooks,” users can share content, create content, store and search. The app features Personal Notebooks, which are private and designed for an individual, and Business Notebooks, which are publicly shared with chosen individuals for easy sharing and collaboration. In addition to basic content creation (like note-taking at meetings), and storage, users can also transition notes into presentations with the Presentation Mode.
Evernote Business is ideal for coordinating projects and communicating between employees or as an entire company. For project coordination, managers can use the Activity Stream feature to check employee progress and communicate in real-time.
This app is also a great way to go paperless from top to bottom: admins can store HR documents, employee handbooks, and other documents so employees always have access to files without the need to print or copy. Meetings are more productive since everyone can come prepared, and after every meeting, notes can be shared and easily archived, making them searchable at any time.
Evernote Business is free for a 30-day trial and is $10/user/month after that.
Any.do is a popular app for personal and professional use with features that aim to keep you on top of things from the minute you start your day. Like other productivity apps, Any.do allows users to easily share and upload files, but what is attractive about this app are the list management capabilities.
Users create tasks and subtasks that can be shared and managed with the click of one of the icons: “Today,” “Done,” “Later” and “Delete.” You can attach notes to tasks, and set reminders and notifications for every task. Any.do links time management and task management to help you make the meeting and organize your tasks easily. For example, after a meeting, simply share the to-do list with your team before even leaving the room, and then set reminders or add notes to make sure the tasks are understood and completed on time.
And if you’re an Android user, Any.do also has the Cal app for Android, with its new update, the meeting-focused feature called HeadsUp. HeadsUp “aims to help users before, during and after meetings, offering them access to the tools they’ll likely use during meetings, and eliminating the need to quickly swap between apps to complete basic tasks.” As a single integrated set-up, HeadsUp reminds users using push notifications with actions you may need to take in preparation or follow-up from a meeting.
Any.do is free for a basic account, or for a premium account, $26.99/year or $2.99/month. The premium upgrade includes unlimited file uploads (versus 5 MB per file cap for basic), colorful theme options, and unlimited sharing and collaboration (versus two members per task for basic).
The productivity app, Quip, is focused around collaboration with the motto “work with people, not files,” and that is exactly what makes this app so effective for business management.
Like other productivity apps, Quip allows multiple users to edit documents from any device, at any time, with real-time changes and automat syncing, but also includes a chat feature sidebar along with every document for easy collaboration. The interface includes both documents and a chat feature at the same time, so collaboration is quite easy.
Another popular feature is the ability to embed, mix and match spreadsheets, an option just recently added. Spreadsheets are a part of the document, with images, text, etc. all embedded on one page so you do not need to pull up a spreadsheet and change screens. Having everything in one place makes this app quite efficient and ideal for meeting management, project management, or basic collaboration.
In addition to document collaboration, Quip allows users to create checklists to be added to any document. By adding users, it becomes a “shared task list” which can be visible to all users added to the checklist. In fact, in a recent article on productivity apps, Quip’s cofounder and CEO, Brett Taylor, commented that “checklists have become the app’s most popular feature.” This app is perfect for managing meetings as users can bring literally everything they need, from spreadsheets to docs or images, to every meeting, every time.
Quip basic is free, but Quip Business costs $12/user/month. Quip basic only includes the ability to create shared folders, whereas Quip Business includes all of the features of file sharing, collaboration and document recovery. Users can also sign up for Quip Enterprise, which is the cost of a domain license and includes enhanced security features and the ability to create multiple teams and manage usage stats.