Five apps all small businesses should be using

At Suite, we’re big believers that SMBs shouldn’t miss out on the big business value that smart technology can provide just because they’re small in size. In a fast-moving world it can be hard for small businesses to compete, but using the right tools and technology can help SMBs stay ahead. That’s why we’ve swiped through our app menus and downloaded our top five recommended clever mobile and web apps to help your business run more smoothly below. These five are easy-to-use, cloud-based, and scalable, so that they’ll grow along with your company.

 

For Information Management: Evernote

Evernote taking out the number one spot is like Tom Hanks winning an Oscar – predictable but worthy. There’s a reason this task management tool always tops lists just like this one. Think how many times you go to reach for a post-it note during your typical work day, now turn to your fluoro friends and let them know you’re downloading Evernote instead. Whether it's meeting minutes, phone messages, to-dos and task lists, or important email excerpts, all this ‘daily data’ can be stored and sorted in Evernote. You can choose to share certain notebooks with others too, so it’ll keep your team organized as well as you. We’re working on being paperless here at Suite, so keeping all this information digital in Evernote is a real help to our sustainability.

 

For Networking: CamCard

The Suite team are always off to a conference here or an expo there. We meet and greet a huge number of people every month, and while the Rolodex has a certain retro cool vibe about it, we think easy digital conversion of business cards is even cooler. CamCard snaps a photo of each new business card, uses clever OCR technology to read and extract the info and then saves it to our phones and syncs across our devices.

 

For Expenses Management: Abukai

If you’re currently slave to a clunky expense claim process and your groan when you get to the end of the month and have to fossick through every nook and cranny of your wallet for receipts can be heard down the street, then this next app is for you. Abukai is a slick little app that takes the pain out of making expense claims. Just like CamCard, you simply take a photo of your receipt and let the app extract the data for you. What makes Abukai even better is that, just like SuiteFiles, it integrates with our favourite accounting software, Xero. ABUKAI even handles the coding of the receipt data automatically as part of its service – it will select the most appropriate account code from your chart of accounts or create a supplier if it does not yet exist.

 

For Brainwaves of Brilliance: iThoughts

This one is an Apple fan exclusive. The entrepreneurial mind of an SMB owner tends to work in overdrive most of the time, but luckily there is an app to get even that in order. Particularly suited to the iPad experience, the iThoughts mind-mapping tool allows you take advantage of the creative power of touch, scribbling away to put big your ideas in order and configure your brainstorming with different shapes, icons, and colours. Once a map is finished, it can also be exported in several ways for use outside of the iPad environment.

 

For File Storage/Sharing/Management: SuiteFiles

Just the slightest bit of bias helps to close out the list with SuiteFiles, our very own cloud-based, file management app for Office 365. With SuiteFiles you can use all your favourite Office tools (Word, PowerPoint, Excel etc) to create and edit files in the cloud, meaning you can take your business on the go. SuiteFiles is designed for SMBs – taking away the pain and expense of configuration and adding extra value with features optimised for small business like templating, sharing and archiving