You’ve determined that you’re going to do it; you’re going to take a breather this summer and get away for a bit. Maybe it’s because you read our previous piece on why you should and deserve to take a break. Either way, you’re doing it–good for you!
The thought of leaving business to your staff or missing out on work days can be a lot less scary if you have a plan in place—a set of tools that will keep you productive and avoid the possibility of falling behind. With the smartphone applications at our disposal today, it’s easy to stay connected (not too connected, remember: you are taking a break here) to your business and your trusted staff. Who says it can’t all be done? Better yet, who says it can’t all be done from an island resort?
Whether priorities for your business require you to stay in touch with email, inventory, meetings or accounting, there’s an app for you. And just to give you a feel for what’s out there, here are some apps you’ve maybe never considered:
1. You’d like to: Access your desktop computer from your vacation location (you were so excited to start your getaway, you forgot to send yourself those important files you wanted to glance at!)
The app: LogMeIn gets you into your work computer remotely from your laptop or mobile device, securely.
Cost: Free 14 day trial. After that, packages range from $41-174/month depending on how many computers will have access.
2. You’d like to: Sign off on important documents and take a look at in-progress projects in order to stay productive while away.
The app: Hightail gives its paid subscribers unlimited file storage and the ability to access, share and edit work from any device. Coolest part: this app actually lets you virtually sign documents, allowing you to rest a little easier being out of the office.
Cost: Free for their Lite Version. Other packages range from $15.99-24.99/month.
3. You’d like to: Review or create a Powerpoint presentation, work on an Excel document at the same time as a team member, use Microsoft Word.
The app: CloudOn allows you to use Microsoft Office on your portable devices. You can also store the documents and share them with your team, along with having access to each other’s comments.
4. You’d like to: Check in with your team all at once; instant message, or have a quick conference call.
The app: Campfire is an instant messaging app designed specifically for groups. You can send pictures, messages, documents…all in a private and secure place. Best part: everyone can be apart of the conversation from anywhere.
Cost: Free 30 day trial. After that, packages range from $12-99/month.
5. You’d like to: Keep track of expenses for the month, take a look at the money going in and out of the business while you are away.
The app: Freshbooks is a cloud accounting app that lets you keep track of your business’ expenses from any device. Billing, payments, expenses–it can all be done through Freshbooks. The app even lets you keep track of feedback from customers.
Cost: Free 30 day trial. After that, packages range from $19.99-39.95/month.
6. You’d like to: Jot down the ideas that keep coming into your mind as you sip on cocktails and get some sun. Maybe even take some inspirational photos of where you are and share them with the team to spark some new business ideas.
The app: Evernote is a lot more than just getting your ideas down on “paper”, but since you are supposed to be taking a break, this app’s Presentation Mode might be perfect. It allows you to show your team your rough notes- in a beautiful layout. From there, you can collaborate and stay productive.
Cost: $10/month for business package.
7. You’d like to: Keep tabs on inventory and see what’s selling and what’s not while you are away.
The app: Lettuce is an online inventory management system where you can access all your sales channels in one place—perfect for you to be able to keep up with the business from afar. It even syncs with Quickbooks!
Cost: Free 14 day trial. After that, packages range from $39-179/month.
One of these apps could be your ticket out of town, state or country for a few days to get the rest and relaxation you need to come back to your business refreshed and rejuvenated. Give them a try and let us know which ones work best for you!