Gone are the days when doing business meant sitting at a desk from nine to five. Now you’re just as likely to be replying to emails on the train or checking the latest share prices on the way to a meeting.
Technology has revolutionized the way companies and individuals conduct business and, whilst smart phones may have been dismissed as toys or even time-wasters people’s views have definitely changed.
Adverts seem to concentrate on the personal uses of the phone suggesting you use it for “checking snow conditions on a mountain” or to check “how many calories are in your lunch”.
But along with all the apps for hobbies, leisure and the down-right silly ones, there are others which are gaining popularity among the business world. Applications can support mobile working and don’t require a huge investment. Here’s our pick of some of the best on Apple and Android devices.
gAnalytics – Google Analytics
Most businesses have their own website and, for site owners and bloggers, keeping tabs on traffic doesn’t have to be a desk-only job. Google Analytics is a great desktop tool. It gives you access to a wealth of information, making it easy to measure and understand engagement on your site. For the iPhone, there’s the Analytics App. It’s easy to set up – you just need to enter your Google account credentials and you get access to a host of different reporting options.
From the main page you can see your Visitors, Content, Goals and eCommerce reports. There is also the option to set a time period to find the number of visitors, page views, new visits and bounce rates our a set amount of time.
Okay, we all know about the leading social media site for business. But having mobile access to LinkedIn is more useful than you might think. It means you can do away with that disorganised pile of business cards littering your desk. Instead of exchanging business cards when you meet someone new, you can just add each other to LinkedIn on the spot, so you need never lose a valuable contact again.
The LinkedIn app also gives you access to your calendar, the latest news from your connections, messages and the people you follow.
If you need to keep files and folders in good order and spend time using different machines, as well as a tablet, then you’ll certainly want to get kitted out with Dropbox. This is great file management and storage software and is now easier than ever to use. What’s more, it allows you to sync any content between all of your devices and computers, while the tablet version can be fired up and called upon at a moments notice. Definitely a productivity must-have.
mbPointer (Apple) / RemoteDroid (Android)
You can make your iPhone double as a PowerPoint presentation pointer during your next pitch or slide show. It makes for a much more fluid presentation if you’re not rushing back and forwards to your computer to move your slides along, and there’s no need to buy an expensive remote. You need to install the free companion receiver application and then mbPointer connects to your PC via Wi-Fi and acts as a remote control for your presentations. It also lets your iPhone serve as a regular touchpad for your PC, allowing you to perform mouse movements with your finger on a virtual pad.
This is one of those little bits of software that, once you’ve experienced it, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it. Instapaper allows you to gather the content of some 500 or so pages from the internet and then read them at a later date, which is especially good if you have some time to kill and no connectivity. So, it’s perfect for taking the strain out of a long flight or lengthy train journey.
The other great thing about Instapaper is that it also provides you with some nifty little content management tools too, meaning that no matter how many links and web pages you amass, you’ll still be able to get it all sorted into convenient folders for referencing later on down the line. Thanks to Rob Clymo (Broadband Genie)
If you’re a freelancer and you struggle to manage your time effectively, this one could be for you. ClockIn allows you to monitor the time spent on individual and multiple projects. With a few taps you can punch in and out as if you were clocking in for a shift at work, so you can check how efficiently you are working and keep track of exactly how much to bill your clients. It concentrates your mind when working at home, making you think twice before you get up to put the washing in or make yet another cup of tea.
Especially good for creative types who jot ideas down on bits of paper, only to lose track of where they put their latest brainwave. Evernote lets you gather notes, voice memos, ideas or snapshots on your iPhone and then syncs them with your computer. If an idea strikes you while walking along the street, you can just use the voice recording module so you don’t forget. Or if you’ve been inspired by something you’ve seen, you can snap photos of things you want to remember, safe in the knowledge it all be stored in the same place when you return to your desk.
Contributed by Liz Hands who is a financial writer for currencyconverter.co.uk