5 Productivity Apps for Small-Business Owners

Small-business owners are always seeking ways to boost productivity. When you’re wearing multiple hats, juggling dozens of clients, managing a team, and more, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.

These five mobile apps can make your workday more efficient, from streamlining your social media management to reducing your email inbox clutter.

1. HootSuite (free for up to five platforms; Android, iOS) — Every small business needs a social media presence. But what if you don’t have the financial resources to hire a social media manager? HootSuite lets you manage multiple social media channels — including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Foursquare — from a single app on your smartphone. Not to mention, you get great analytics and the ability to schedule posts, so you can coordinate your entire social strategy in about 15 minutes a day.

2. Evernote (free basic version; Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows) — The number of items that run through a small-business owner’s mind on a daily basis is astounding. How do you keep track of all those critical thoughts? You could cart around a notebook and a pen. Or you could download Evernote. Among its many features, the app allows you to sync and access your notes and task lists among multiple devices, letting you flag and tag each idea for easy searching and later reference. For even more functionality, consider upgrading to Evernote Business.

3. Tracky (free basic version; iOS only) — Streamline project management and marketing with Tracky, which lets you collaborate with team members, manage projects and social sharing, curate content, and a whole lot more. For example, share files, organize tasks and projects into “tracks,” monitor project time, and see it all visually in calendar view, so you know exactly when you’re available for meetings and appointments. With drag-and-drop functionality, organizing your entire business and personal life has never been simpler.

4. MindNode ($9.99; iOS only) — If you’re not using mind maps to organize ideas, projects and concepts, now’s the time to start. Mind maps create visualizations with logical hierarchies, so you can clearly visualize steps, components, subcategories, and related concepts in an easy-to-understand format. MindNode lets you accomplish all that and create masterful graphics with ease. Brainstorm ideas, organize thoughts for content creation, create shopping and task lists, or take meeting notes in a visual, structured format.

5. Mailbox (free; iOS only, but also works with Gmail) — Inbox clutter is a standing Monday-morning nightmare. But you can overcome it with the Mailbox app. Mailbox lets you flag incoming messages to quickly sort through what’s important and what’s trash, allocating meaningless emails to “File 13” with a quick swipe. Critical messages you want to read later — but not this second — can be snoozed, and they’ll pop up in your inbox again, so you don’t file and forget them. Mailbox checks for new emails via the cloud and delivers messages to your mobile device, with push notifications if you prefer.

About Angela Stringfellow

Angela Stringfellow is a principal at CODA Concepts, where she develops strategies and produces expert content for a variety of clients. Topics include small business, digital marketing strategies, management, health, and lifestyle. Her work has appeared on a wide array of websites, such as Unbounce.com and UpCity.com.
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