5 Time-Saving Apps for the Busy Small Business Owner

At one time, the paper-based day planner was the lifeblood of the busy executive. In the electronic age, to-do lists are easily lost in a flurry of e-mails, meeting requests, and text messages.

It is possible to put apps to work for you, automating day-to-day processes to help you stay on top of things. Some of these apps are even free!

“Small business owners are looking to spend more time growing their businesses and less time on the administrative burdens of running them,” ADP President Regina Lee said in a Small Business & Entrepreneurial Council (SBE) report, titled Saving Time and Money with Mobile Apps. The report analyzed the increasing reliance on mobile devices in the business world.

Some of the more notable time-saving apps for the hard-working small business owner include:

  1. Future-Text. Do you have reminder lists about texts you need to send tomorrow, next week, or next month? Future-Text lets you set up texts to send at a later date and time you specify, similar to Microsoft Outlook’s Delay Delivery feature. The full version of Future-Text is $1.99, but you can try the Lite version  for free. The paid version gives users access to a web-based console where texts can be entered and managed. The paid version also allows for recurring texts and has support for texts to be delayed far into the future. Since users can sometimes forget they’ve pre-set a text to go, the app reminds users before sending the delayed text to the other party. The app is also available for Android.
  2. HootSuite. Staying on top of social media is vital for success in today’s competitive business market, but who has time to Tweet and Facebook all day? HootSuite gives you a “dashboard” on which to manage all of your social media profiles. See all of your latest activity in one place and post updates to all your profiles at once. You can also set HootSuite up for multiple users at your business to log in, allowing for team effort in keeping your social media profiles updated.
  3. Evernote. Their slogan, “Remember everything,” says it all. Think of it as a mobile version of that desk pad calendar where you scribble everything. No matter where you are, you’ll have access to notes you place there. Save sections of webpages, text…even voice memos from your phone and access them from anywhere.
  4. LucyPhone. Don’t waste time on hold. With LucyPhone, you just press *** and hang up. When someone finally answers, your phone calls you back and you’re immediately connected.
  5. EasySign Mobile. Tired of printing documents to sign, only to have to scan them into your computer so you can e-mail them back? There has to be an easier way, right? Thanks to EasySign, there is. The app lets you pull your document in, insert your signature, and save it as a PDF…all within the app. Better yet…EasySign Mobile is free!

With so many mobile apps, many available at no charge, you can organize your day, taking laborious, time-consuming administrative tasks out of your daily job duties and freeing you up to focus on the business of running your business.

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Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who worked in information systems for more than a decade. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.

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