I love asking friends and other entrepreneurs to show me the home screen on their mobile device. Why? Because the home screen, that first screen on a phone, is a great indicator of which apps are most important to its owner. So here’s my home screen:
I listen to a lot of music, I like shows on HBO and Netflix, I take a bunch of pictures, and I keep up on social media. I bet most people’s home screen looks pretty similar in that regard. But then there are a number of other apps that I view as essential in running my business. So based on my home screen, here are 7 mobile apps that I believe every entrepreneur should use…
You’re not still using that default calendar app that came on your phone are you? If so, install Sunrise immediately. It’s not only a much better looking calendar, it’s way more functional than other calendars you’ve used. Meeting attendees’ social profiles are pulled in and there are a ton of integrations and interesting calendars you can include. But best of all is their feature called Meet. Meet is actually a keyboard that installs on your mobile device that lets you suggest multiple meeting times to someone and all they have to do is pick one and it automatically books it in your calendar. It’s incredibly simple and useful.
Slack is a messaging app that is on a mission to kill email as the predominant communication tool within companies. After using it for a few months, I’m convinced they’ll accomplish this. Our teams often work remotely and this app has made them feel more connected. I receive so much email that it’s easy for me to lose important items within my crazy inboxes…but with Slack I’ve had so much of a better ability to respond to team needs. We’ve already set plans in place to start using Slack with clients as we know it will increase our responsiveness and allow for better shared information. In fact, I’m thinking I might just go ahead and replace that “Mail” app on the bottom of my home screen with Slack and move it to another page.
I separate LinkedIn from my other social apps as it’s more important to me as an entrepreneur. I find it more efficient to scan news about companies and industries I follow, track changes in colleagues and clients’ positions, and to increase my professional network for both business development and talent acquisition all in one place. Plus I don’t get sidetracked looking at friends’ cat pictures.
We all need to-do-lists and this is by far the best I’ve used. It’s quick to use and has a really clean interface. It works online and offline across a ton of platforms and it integrates directly into my Sunrise calendar so I can see appointments and task items in one place. I also like that it’s gamified in that you can achieve various “Karma” levels by how effectively check off tasks on your lists. I’m currently on the “Professional Karma” level, but “Expert” is up next!
You probably know about Waze as it’s a very common navigation app. So if you’re traveling in a new city, Waze can help you get from point A to point B. But even if you’re in your home town, its real-time traffic updates help find quicker routes and save you a ton of time. Plus, I hate running late to meet someone, but if I do, I like to send them a Waze update so that they have up to the minute status as to where I am and what time I’ll arrive. The Waze update system is much better (and safer) than constantly calling and texting how far away I am. And my favorite feature is Waze’s calendar integration. When integrated properly, Waze will tell you what time you have to leave to be at your next meeting on time. Genius!
My brain forgets things so I like outsourcing things I need to remember to Evernote. My meeting notes, ideas I’m working on, suggestions team members give me, and even whiteboard sessions all get recorded in Evernote. There are probably endless uses for Evernote, but I like to think of it as a simple dumping ground for information that’s easily searchable. Because of how strong Evernote’s search functionality is (even the ability to search text in images), I don’t have to worry about being overly organized in how I store or file information. I just send it into Evernote and it’s there when I need to recall it.
I’m just going to make the assumption that you’re using either QBO or Xero as your accounting system. If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re not, well we need to talk because you’re doing it wrong! But if you’re running a business, you definitely need to have access to your financial information at your fingertips. In fact, if you’re logging into your bank account to check balances regularly, you should really do it through your accounting system’s app as both QBO and Xero will allow you to see all of your bank accounts simultaneously, making it quicker and more efficient to track cash. Also, your accounting system can show you items that are about to hit your bank account like uncashed checks. There are a multitude of other financial reports you can access and you can even invoice customers through the apps, if you like.
Hopefully some of these apps will prove helpful to other entrepreneurs who are on the go. If there are some that I’ve missed that you can’t live without, let us know or send us a screenshot of your home screen!
Looking for ways to save time on your accounting function and spend more time growing your core business? Follow these 5 Tips To Put Your Accounting On Autopilot.