For a business owner, crunch time is basically all the time. There are tons of apps for optimizing entrepreneurs’ schedules—but which ones work best? We asked business owners for their must-have apps to balance work and life. Here’s what nine of them said:
There are tons of apps for optimizing entrepreneurs’ schedules—but which ones work best?
Do your to-dos anywhere: Any.do is a great to-do list app. All of my events, tasks, lists and reminders are in one place, synced to all of my devices, and I can share them with co-workers. Recently my doctor was running about 40 minutes behind on appointments, and with Any.do, I was able to identify tasks—phone calls, document approvals—I could do while I waited. —Vladimir Gendelman, founder and CEO, Company Folders, Pontiac, Michigan
Trim time-wasting: I’ve found ZenScreen to be very useful in boosting my productivity. It helps to track and limit screen time on your smartphone. I can set app controls to stop me from wasting time, and I can make sure my emails are off-limits when I should be enjoying a meal with my family, or reading the kids a bedtime story. —Ian Naylor, CEO and founder of AppInstitute, Nottingham, U.K.
Tame your tabs: If most entrepreneurs are like me, they have way more browser tabs open at all times than they want to admit. The problem is, it’s really distracting and also a huge CPU memory killer. I use two Chrome extensions to cure “tab creep”: OneTab, which converts all your tabs into an easily accessible list, and Tab Snooze, which lets you snooze a tab for a time period that you determine. —Adam White, founder, SEOJet, Phoenix, Arizona
Find motivation to focus: I use the Forest app every day to reward myself for staying off my phone (#instagramaddict). The app partners with a tree-planting organization and lets you spend virtual coins you earn to plant real trees. It feels nice to be more productive while doing a good thing.—Callee Ackland, founder, Bestowed Essentials.com
Get on board: My team uses the Trello app’s boards and cards to manage orders from start to delivery. As for personal use, I’m currently using Trello to keep a house renovation on track. Well, as much as anyone can keep contractors on track! —Vickie McFadden, owner, PROMOrx, Greenville, South Carolina
Park smarter: Waze gets me through traffic to my appointments on time. BestParking lets me book a space in advance and gives me a discount on parking, but the best part is I don’t have to drive around looking for parking close to my appointments. ParkMobile for meter parking is great when I need a short-term run in/drop off. —Sandi Webster co-founder, Pandi LLC, Brooklyn, New York
Track and adapt: I enjoy using the Toggl productivity app because it’s fairly straightforward. One of its best features is that you can download reports based on your weekly and monthly activity. This gives me insight into which tasks are taking up most of my time, and helps me plan the work that my VAs will be doing to help me manage my time better.—Max Robinson, Owner, FishTankBank.com
Streamline appointment-setting: I use the ScheduleOnce app to allow people who need to meet with me access to my calendar. It lets me set rules for my appointments, such as “allow 30 minutes between appointments” or “make sure the person booking the appointment provides three choices of times they can meet.” This saves me dozens of hours of back-and-forth trying to find a time to meet or have a phone call.—Paige NeJame, owner, CertaPro Painters of Boston
Sync swimmingly: I swear by Evernote for all kinds of notes, but especially for writing letters when I’m out of the office. I create a folder for client notes and dictate the content of a letter into the note, and sync it with my laptop. When I’m back at the office, I copy and paste the content into an automated template, and the letter is done. —Michele R. Hart, Esq., Michele Hart Law, Morristown, New Jersey
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