Running a small business can stress you out, but technology is here to help.
These apps can help you keep your business information safe, expenses organized, and stress levels under control. Here are five of our favorites.
- Google Drive. If you’re not already storing your business documents in the cloud, what are you waiting for? Hard drives fail, flash drives get lost, and most computers can’t even play CDs anymore. With Google Drive, your business’s spreadsheets, photos, presentations, invoices and everything else have a safe home your whole team can access from every device they use, including phones, tablets, laptops and desktops. Files sync automatically with a folder on your computer, so you always know you’ve got the most up-to-date version. Monthly business plans start at $10/user, with online guidance to get you set up.
- Shoeboxed. Keep track of receipts and business expenses with Shoeboxed. Snap a photo of your receipts in real time; the app extracts the important information, categorizes the expense, and files it away for when you’re ready to create a report. True to its name, Shoeboxed also offers a do-it-for-you option: Stuff your receipts, business cards, and other records into a prepaid “Magic Envelope,” and they’ll do the imaging for you. Their $29.95/month Classic plan covers 150 documents and two users.
- When I Work. How long do you spend every week making up employee schedules – or reworking them every time someone makes a request for time off or calls in sick? The biggest stress-reducer of all for businesses that depend on hourly employees, When I Work (that’s us!) saves time, reduces no-shows, and makes it easy to communicate with your team. We built When I Work specifically to meet the needs of restaurant owners, retailers, spas and salons, customer service teams and more.
- MileIQ. Tracking mileage for reimbursement has to be one of the most irritating tasks in the small business universe. MileIQ makes it easy by automatically capturing every trip you take, then prompting you to categorize them as personal or business in one swipe. For $59.99/year, the app captures and logs unlimited trips. Their detailed reports integrate with Freshbooks and Concur, making mileage reimbursement, bookkeeping and tax time easy as pie. They’ve even got a version for teams, perfect for small businesses where employees use their own cars to make deliveries or visit clients.
- Headspace. When you’re ready to pull your hair out, boot up the Headspace app and take a meditation break instead. Start with their free 10-day program to learn the basics of meditation in 10 minutes a day, then subscribe ($7.99/month if you sign up for a year) for guided meditations and mindfulness content tailored to specific goals or situations. Use their buddy system to pair up with fellow entrepreneurs or employees to keep each other on track. They’ve even got a series specifically for “meltdown moments” – every small business owner knows about those, right? And you’re not only helping yourself: For every subscription you buy, Headspace donates one to someone in need.
Having the right apps keeps your business running more smoothly and your stress in check. Which apps help keep you sane? Share your favorites in the comments.No Time to Relax? There’s an App for That! (5, Actually) Erika Kerekes