Over the past few months we’ve posted frequently on these pages about the benefits a few well-chosen apps can have on your business life, from optimizing productivity to tracking spending, setting budgets, file-sharing and organizing webinars and conference-calls.
We’ve found that the Windows Phone Store is a real treasure-trove for employers, workers, small business owners and corporate users. Now, we’re interested in which of our featured apps you find most beneficial. We’ve compiled a list of the ten apps that have worked best for us: vote now, and let us know which one you think is the most useful.
If you make use of web conferences in your business life, then we recommend this app: it’s packed with features optimized for both meeting attendees (view shared content, view other attendees, automatic callback) and hosts (schedule, start and manage meetings, expel attendees, share host duties with others). It’s a free app from a company very experienced in developing similar products.
This is a fantastic tool for mobile workers: it gives you remote access both to your computers and to those of your co-workers (as long as they use the service too, of course. You’ll be able to switch on your computer and make changes – such as, for instance, upload files to the Cloud so you can the access them on your WP or another device. It’s compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux, so it works for all users.
We all love social media, but it can be a scourge to productivity. Turn it to your advantage by getting your team onto Yammer: a Facebook-esque system that restricts your contacts to people you work with. Use it to share ideas and files, ask questions, and open documents: it’s a communication tool and a collaboration tool all in one.
This is Microsoft’s cloud-based storage system, which allows you to access your saved files across devices. The basic account gives you 7GB for free, which is quite substantial, particularly if you’re dealing with text-based media. Again, it’s handy for mobile workers, as well as being a useful failsafe in case your computer crashes. It’s also integrated into the WP environment, so that all your photos are automatically uploaded to your OneDrive account – a feature that gives you another 3GB of storage automatically, absolutely free.
A time-management tool that lets you log and analyze exactly how you’re using your time in the workplace. Particularly handy for people billing clients by the hour, it’s also a good way of analysing productivity levels across the day and then streamlining those processes. The app can be set to sync to the Windows desktop version, and data can be imported and exported that way too.
6. Lync 2010
Lync is an integrated Windows messaging service: it will tell you whether or not your colleagues are online, and it can be used for pain-free conference calling by eliminating long, awkward passcodes or numbers. You’ll need to ensure that your workplace runs a Lync server, or that it’s signed up to an Office365/Lync Online account, but as long as the infrastructure is in place, it’s a great way to smooth out intra-office communications.
Business Trip is a very convenient way of organizing and tracking your trips and their associated expenses. Use it to plan (search for and track flights, cars and accommodation) and to take note of your expense claims. Record your spending by photographing receipts and listing your expenditure by category; later, use it to set up reimbursement reminders and to generate expense reports. The perfect solution to a manila file stuffed with paper receipts.
This is another excellent time-management tool: its nine different functions allow you to work out how long you’ve been at work; how many working days stand between two specific events; convert smaller time units into larger ones and vice versa; perform time-zone difference calculations, and more. Use it for calculating billable hours, project scheules, international conference calls and travel times.
An excellent note-taking tool, for business and personal use alike, this syncs with the cloud so you’ll never lose your data. Use it to make notes and create to-do lists, and to organize your notes with custom tags and in user-defined notebooks. It lets you search inside notes and share them with others, too.
10. Citrix Receiver
Finally, this app lets workers access their office’s files, applications and desktops remotely, so that they can operate from anywhere. It will link you to your computer, to webinars and to meetings, and let you access your MS Excel, Outlook, Evernote and Linkedin accounts from within the app. It increases productivity by allowing anybody to work anywhere, but unlike basic cloud-based file-sharing services, it’s linked specifically to the workplace – so your employer will have to be signed up to Citrix. Highly recommended.
Needless to say, there are plenty more business apps out there. So, if your favourite isn’t amongst those listed above, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
Image credit: Sean MacEntee