One of the things I love about working as a consultant is I can do business from anywhere. My office can in be a Panera or a Starbucks for long hours or a break from my home office. When I leave my office to meet with a client, I have to trust technology, apps and the cloud to sync all my business files.
Use Evernote to type notes, documents, and add photos to create a note with ease. Every note can have a title and category tags to find later. New notes automatically sync all your Evernote apps that are on your desktop, smart phone, and tablet! Need to share a note? Email it to multiple people, save it once to sync all your devices, or send it to a social media page. If I get an email with an attachment, I can open it in Evernote. Evernote Basic has an upload limit of 60MB per month. Need more storage? Evernote Premium allows you to upload 1GB each month for $45 a year.
Time is money. Keeping good records of time and invoices is essential to any business. Harvest makes it easy to log hours and send invoices. There is an online version and a smart phone app version with easier navigation for the features you use the most. There is a section to add expenses accumulated by project and separated by time period. (For basic accounting this can suffice, but I use Quikbooks for more detailed records). It uses the cloud to sync the time from the app to your online account. Each client can have projects with allotted hours. A project budget can be assigned to help you stay within the hours you assign to each project. A detailed report is easy to generat for project hours used or remaining by specific task or by client. The Harvest app is free, but an account is $12 a month.
If you’re an Mac user, you are probably already familiar with Reminders. On my iMac I set reminders over the cloud and when I turn on my iPad mini somewhere else, I can see them there. My iPhone has a Rreminder app, but I haven’t figured out how to get this on the cloud. (I have a 4, so maybe the updated iPhones have this feature.) Like the name implies, it “reminds” you of tasks. I categorize e-v-e-r-ything in my life from grocery items, RTC projects, connections, relax, crafty, and so on. You can remind yourself with a reminder on a set time and date. The features are similar to Wunderlist, but I found it hard to sync on all my devices consistently.
When I speak at an event, I use Prezi. What’s that? Think of a powerpoint with more functionality than showing the audience slide after slide. You can create a presentation online and then save it. Download the Prezi app (for smart phone and tablet) and download your presentation on your device. You can create, edit, and download each presentation to your device as long as you have an internet connection. After you download the presentation, you can view it with or without an internet connection. This app has been a life saver! At my last speaking event, the projector wasn’t working right. I pulled out my iPad mini and had something to show the audience as I spoke. It is free to join prezi and to download the smart phone app!
When I start working with a client, we often create a marketing strategy. Instead of sending a string of e-mails to update the strategy, I use Teambox. There is a smart phone app and a desktop version to create a “team” to collaborate. Invitations are sent out to members of the “team” with assigned features and roles. In the “box”, files are uploaded, comments are easy to make, and you can leave messages for other team members. The “to-do” list feature allows you to assign team members to do what. Communication is easy and keeps your e-mail filled with other things. There is a filter to send you e-mail notices of updates on Teambox if you want updates. Teambox is free up to 5 “team members” and “projects” up to 5GB of uploads. Teambox Pro offers unlimited “team members” and “projects” with a fair use upload starting at $5 a month.
What business apps would you recommend for me to use? Why?