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7 Must-Have (Free) Mobile Apps to do Your Job Better

Ključne besede: usefull mobile apps, social media, notes, Brewster, Here on Biz, HootSuite, Dropbox, Trello, Evernote, UberConference, Nimble
Vir: BusinessInsider, 2013

Ryan Holmes

CEO at HootSuite

Brewster: Instant Rolodex - Between Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn - not to mention your email client - you likely have hundreds, if not thousands, of colleagues and customers you interact with. Brewster is a handy mobile app that pulls in contact info and other details from all of those platforms and creates eye-catching, in-depth profiles for each and every person. Using a “relationship algorithm,” the app automatically sorts contacts into “favorites,” “trending” and other lists, and even sends out gentle reminders when you’re falling out of touch with someone. Another benefit: Brewster is fully searchable - not just by name, but keyword, location and even photo.

Here on Biz: Meet your LinkedIn contacts in real life - Virtual connections are great, but nothing beats a face-to-face meeting. With Here on Biz, you can instantly see which of your LinkedIn contacts (as well as other LinkedIn users) are physically nearby, segmented into visitors and locals. Request a connection and you can chat directly via the app, ideally setting up the kind of in-person encounter that gets results. Here on Biz proves especially useful at conferences when trying to make sense of a sea of new faces and maximize meeting time. The app is free to use, though it is somewhat limited by the fact that only LinkedIn users actually running the Here on Biz app show up in searches.

HootSuite: All your social media, anywhere - Yes, HootSuite is my company. But it’s not just fatherly pride when I say HootSuite Mobile is an amazing app for handling social media on the go. Just like the web version, the app allows for publishing to all of your social networks - Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc - from one interface. You can schedule messages for optimum times, attach files and photos and shrink links, all with a few taps. Advanced users can even set up streams for monitoring customer feedback on social networks, track clients and keywords across different platforms and more. But don’t just take my word for it. Says Mashable: “[HootSuite is] the premier dashboard for companies looking to get analysis of their social media efforts.”

Dropbox: Your hard drive, anywhere - Here’s an oldie but goodie. According to urban legend, Dropbox was hatched back in 2007 when MIT grad and founder Drew Houston got fed up with always forgetting his memory sticks around campus. His solution: a seamless, cloud-based system to sync files across all of your devices. Just drag files or folders into the Dropbox folder, and they’ll sync across phones, PCs, laptops, tablets, etc., automatically. Edit from anywhere and changes are saved and synced (You can even access older and deleted versions of files). Dropbox gives you 2GB for free (or up to 18GB if you refer friends) and has paid plans for users with bigger needs. You can also designate certain files as favorites, making them available offline - especially handy for frequent flyers and off-the-grid travelers.

Trello: Beyond to-do lists - Back In the early 1950s, engineers at Toyota pioneered a deceptively simple scheduling system called Kanban, based on index cards passed from one part on the plant to another. Trello takes this concept into the mobile era. Tasks (or Lists, in Trello lingo) are represented as columns on a virtual corkboard. Add as many cards as you want to a List, then customize each card with comments, checklists and attachments. You can loop in other team members and assign them cards and even drag cards from one List to another as a project moves toward completion. Uniquely flexible and collaborative, Trello is as handy for personal to-do lists as it is for coordinating complex projects among big teams - from managing sales leads to producing films.

Evernote: Junk drawer for your digital life - Another indispensable classic, cloud-based notetaking app Evernote is quite possibly the world’s most incredible junk drawer. You can throw all the random stuff of life in it - photos, voice memos, attachments, clips from the Internet, typed and even handwritten notes - and it makes everything searchable, synced and accessible across all of your devices. The uses are really limitless. Record a sound bite at a conference on your phone and listen to it later on your work PC. Jot down some inspiration on your tablet on the bus, then finish the thought later on your home computer. Take a photo of a business card or handwritten Post-it note, then - courtesy of Evernote’s OCR handwriting recognition - search its contents at a later time. The free mobile app lets you upload up to 60 megabytes a month. Upgrade to Premium ($5/month, $45/year) and you get a gigabyte of uploads, collaborative notebooks (which colleagues can log into and edit) and access to your notes even when offline.

UberConference: Conference calls on the go - Organizing conference calls is a logistical feat under the best of conditions - emailing colleagues to set a time, sending out access codes, waiting for everyone to call in. Trying to do all that on the go can be nearly impossible. That’s where UberConference comes in, the brainchild of Google Voice guru Craig Walker. You select attendees from your phone’s contact list and UberConference automatically calls, emails or texts them to join, no PIN required. Once the call is underway, the app’s nifty display shows photos and social profiles of all callers and even indicates who’s speaking at any given time. Though it lacks the ability to schedule calls in advance, UberConference definitely succeeds in making the conference call experience a bit less painful

Nimble: Salesperson’s best friend. Social media has shaken up the world of sales, with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter offering new ways to hound leads and unprecedented insights into clients. The problem is keeping track of it all. Nimble’s web-based dash consolidates all of a potential customer’s social activity—Twitter, Facebook, email, etc.—into one stream for easy monitoring. Meanwhile, shared social connections between you and the client show up automatically, paving the way for personal introductions. All past correspondence is catalogued for reference, while team functionality makes it easy to loop in co-workers for an assist.

Sadly, there’s still no app for turning Mondays into Fridays. In the meantime, these social business apps might be the next best thing for simplifying your job in 2013.