Top apps for small businesses' mobile workforce
If you've got a mobile workforce, they need the right tools to be efficient out there.
Here's a short collection of some of the most useful mobile and tablet apps for small businesses:
Free for Office 365 subscribers
Android, iOS and Windows Phone
Handy if you have Office 365 on your desktop or are tied to Microsoft
But there are non-MIcrosoft alternatives:
Android, iOS, web
Cloudon puts Microsoft Office on your tablet and phone: Create documents or edit pre-existing Word, Powerpoint and Excel files. Its file viewer opens PDFs, JPGs, PNG and GIFs. You'll need a Dropbox account, which is free too.
Android, iOS and web
Recommended if you switch between Android and iOS devices. There is no native Google Drive app for Windows Phone.
Macs, iOS and web
Apple's iWork will also work on PCs using a browser. Recommended if you mostly work on Apple devices.
All the above mentioned apps will keep your working files in sync so that you pick up where you left off.
A solution to inbox overload, Mailbox is a fast interface to prioritise your emails.
Swipe to assign scheduled reminders to emails so it will appear in your Inbox only when it's time to deal with it. Drag to reorder the most important emails to the top. Swipe to get rid of emails you've dealt.
Mailbox is limited to Gmail and iOS accounts but Mailbox for Mac is in public beta and Microsoft Exchange support is supposedly in development.
This video shows how the app works.
Creative visual diary
Paper by Fifty Three
Free, but you pay for in-app purchases
Paper by Fifty Three won Apple's Design Award in 2012. Sketch concepts or notes then organise them into a visual diary to track your ideas. Sharing ideas, designs or pitches on the go.
App suggestions continue below
Get advice on mobile retailing
For more information and advice on how to make money in the mobile marketplace, visit your Telstra business centre in:
iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Windows 7 Phone, Web
Free for basic account, upgrade account for an additional monthly fee
TripIt scans your emails to build a digital itinerary. Add your own activities, maps and notes. Keep it private, choose others who may view or change, or share your travel plans. Great if you travel for business and need someone to know where you are.
Business info sharing
iPhone and iPad (iOS 5.0+)
$25 per user per month
Business teams can communicate wherever they are. Share documents and videos with staff. Gather customer and sales data, create training quizzes and offer rewards.
Android, Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, Windows/Mac Desktop
$20 per user per month
Build your own digital forms - work orders, expense reports, checklists. Attach photographs and electronic signatures.
iOS, Android mobile or tablet devices
$20 per user per month
Schedule or assign jobs based on a mobile employees' location. Create digital time sheets, track parts and materials used, create quotes and invoices on the go.
iOS and Mac
The easy-to-use, gesture-driven Clear simplifies your to-do list, keeping everything in sync on a notebook, iPad or iPhone.
Free, additional costs for premium accounts
iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Blackberry PlayBook, Windows Phone 7, Web, Mac, Windows
Evernote captures notes in the form of text entries, photos, attachments, audio recordings, location based information, calendar links and email. Notes are indexed, organised, synced, searchable and backed up.
Free 30 day trial. Different prices for iPhone/iTouch, iPhone, iPad and Mac. Free on Android.
Available on: Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad, Android
Instead of remember your 793 passwords, you need only to remember your 1Password account password. It also remembers numbers like your credit card and software serial numbers.
Free version available. Upgrade for about $2
CamScanner turns photos into multi-page PDFs so they can be emailed, faxed, printed and stored to the cloud. It has a photo editor to crop and enhance.
$2.49 + pro features available as in-app purchases
Scans documents to PDF or JPG for email or upload to your cloud service.
Android's competition for Apple's Siri, the voice-recognition app. Robin boasts the ability to give directions and traffic info, supply news from social media, predict the weather, set reminders and send texts. Doubles as a GPS navigator.