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Mobile Productivity

5 Essential Apps for Working on the Go

Business trips can be fraught with angst. It’s so easy to leave home without that crucial document, folder or thumb drive. Or forget the one password you need right before you’re ready to give a killer presentation. How many endless hours have you wasted searching for random receipts to satisfy your accountant? All that stress can be taken away. As part 1 of a 2-part series, we have compiled 5 popular mobile apps to take the worry out of your traveling. Try them out and boost your productivity at the same time!

1. Problem: Your brain is overflowing with to-do lists, mental notes to yourself, and interesting articles you meant to send to clients…if you could only find the link again.

Solution: Think of Evernote as a digital file cabinet where you can store everything from written notes, documents, images and videos to Web pages, emails, tweets and voice recordings. While there is somewhat of a learning curve, Evernote’s ability to sync across all your devices and platforms, retrieve everything you store using search and/or tags, and share all of it with others when needed makes it the do-it-all, store-it-all, remember-it-all app.

2. Problem: Your upcoming business trip has generated so many confirmation emails from airlines, hotels and car rental companies you can’t keep it all straight.

Solution: TripIt. Just forward all those emails to the free TripIt app and it automatically generates an itinerary that includes all the details, can be accessed anywhere and is easy to share with others. Not having to hunt through tons of emails or access numerous individual apps (for hotels and flights) can be a massive time-saver.

3. Problem: Your coat pockets, wallet and briefcase are stuffed with random receipts from your trip and you have no idea what they’re for. Try as you might to label every receipt, it just doesn’t happen sometimes.

Solution: Expensify, a free app that makes tracking expenses as easy as scanning receipts with your cell phone. The app also imports credit card transactions automatically; tracks mileage, time and other billable expenses; and lets you charge everything to specific clients or projects.

4. Problem: You’re speaking at a conference and hoping to sell copies of your book/software/training program. Customers are lined up to buy, but most of them don’t have cash.

Solution: No cash, no problem. If you’ve got the free Square app and card reader, accepting credit card payments is as simple as swiping the card using your smartphone or tablet. One of the best features of Square is there’s no commitment or monthly fee (you just pay Square a flat 2.75 percent per transaction). That means it can work for your business whether you need to accept mobile payments daily or once a year.

5. Problem: All you need to do to start the presentation you flew 3,000 miles to give is log in to your account and … uh-oh, you forgot your password. To reset it, all you need to do is fill in a form, click a link, wait for an email … and wait … and wait. You’re slowly sweating through your shirt as a roomful of people impatiently tap their fingers.

Solution: LastPass. This free app tracks and secures your usernames and passwords, then autofills them when you go to a site login. Best of all, it syncs with all your data so that even if you changed your password on your desktop last week, your tablet will know the new password today.

The right apps, when used productively, can be a lifesaver to the working professional. Watch out for our second part, where we will provide 5 more simple solutions to frequently encountered problems.

Photo Credit: michaeljung/iStock

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky

Contributor at Fundera
Rieva Lesonsky is a small business contributor for Fundera and CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company. She has spent 30+ years covering, consulting and speaking to small businesses owners and entrepreneurs.
Rieva Lesonsky