We live in a time where mobile devices allow us to complete tasks, get work done and essentially run companies from. Because of this, apps have become the tools of trade for entrepreneurs. There is an app for everything — literally everything.
I’m always on the search for new apps to try out, both new and old favorites, so I decided to ask fourteen entrepreneurs to tell me their favorite app, and why it’s their go-to. See their suggestions below — maybe you will discover a new favorite. Also, if you have some to add, make sure to leave your suggestion in the comments section below.
As an entrepreneur, you are often working in a busy environment with many moving parts and are always on the go. This makes it easy for you to get distracted, become less efficient with your time and forget what tasks you need to get done.
To ensure that you hold yourself accountable, stay on track, and remain productive, download and implement the phone and desktop app, Asana.
Asana will not only help you keep all your upcoming tasks in order but will also help you better determine how much time you are spending on a given task, allowing you to set reasonable goals based on the amount of time you are able to dedicate to each task. As a result, you are then able to build a clear view of how to best prioritize and adjust your time. Asana also lets you track and assign projects to your fellow co-workers, making it easier for you to stay on top of what everyone is doing, even when you are out of the office.
Although you can always track your time and create a balanced schedule the old fashion way, the Asana app has made time and task tracking, as well as collaboration, seamless.
Sacha Ferrandi, Source Capital Funding, Inc.
I travel a lot. Often around the world in just a few days. I’m conscious when it comes to flight costs, buying hundreds a year for myself and members of the executive team. My favorite app is Hopper, an award-winning app that tells you the best time to buy tickets, allowing you to buy them right through the app.
The best part about this app is that the flights are actually available. Other apps and sites will often say there’s only two left and then the price gets hiked. It’s like having your own personal travel consultant on your side.
Kevin Mako, MAKO Design + Invent
With the Shapr app, I can create a profile for myself and include my interests such as entrepreneurship, networking and startups, and get connected with like-minded people with those same interests. It’s one of the best and convenient ways for me to get connected with individuals in my area. It’s also completely free and helps me expand my network with my business. I’ve met a few dozen entrepreneurs in my area so far.
Brian Meiggs, My Millennial Guide
I’ve used several enterprise-level BI tools in my career and found that generally speaking, with an increased customization and “power” comes increased convolution as every user has slightly different definitions of the data. Minor nuances in how reports are created can render the data near useless when trying to compare datasets. This issue is compounded even further for companies that don’t have good data hygiene and can often lead to requiring one or more employees to focus a disproportioned amount of time simply managing a tool that the Exec team, often, loses confidence in.
DataBox’s simplicity enables the entire nDash.co team to monitor a much more focused set of KPI’s with much less room for interpretation. We have a single primary goal for each department that everyone has visibility into, leaving zero room for polluting goal progress with outlying information.
The increased accountability improves alignment and visibility across departments. While DataBox’s web app is a pinned tab in my browser, their mobile app makes it extremely easy to get visibility into the key metrics the team is focused on. It’s clean, focused and effective.
Matt Solar, nDash
My favorite app is Pocket. I love reading all kinds of articles: trends, research and all kinds of things. But I don’t often have time to read them right when I find them. So, if I see an article via email or one that I see on social media throughout the day, I just save it to Pocket. Then, whenever I have time to read, I have a list of articles saved and ready to go.
The app has remained very easy to use over the years. I’ve been using it a long time and the design has remained simple. They haven’t added new features and I love that. So many apps try to keep adding things and they always seems to make the original appeal fade away.
Also, so many online publications inundate you with popups, auto-play videos and auto-play audio. Pocket strips that all away, providing a better user experience than so many publications.
Dayne Shuda, Ghost Blog Writers
My favorite app forces me to focus on only one task during the day. It’s called One Big Thing.
Every morning you spend a few minutes typing out the one most important task for the day – the one thing you must get done. You can also add three more secondary tasks under it, then a few more below those.
The idea is that when you start work, you focus only on that one main task, which is reasonable and doable. Don’t think “develop this website,” think “create portfolio for this website.” Once that task is complete, you tick it off and have a sense of accomplishment for the day. You can then focus on the other three tasks, but at least you got the one big thing done.
I couldn’t believe how much this helped me mentally. I can’t count the number of times I’d have an unstructured to-do list written down and at the end of the day realize I hadn’t completed any one of the items on that list.
Honestly, this app is a game-changer.
Chris Burdick, Lemur Bags
I’ve recently fallen in love with Evernote. I know it’s been around forever now, but it was one of those apps that I had always overlooked. Even as a pretty tech savvy person, I used to take most of my notes in notebooks. Eventually, this habit caught up with me.
As my business grew, it got really hard keeping up with the locations of all my different notes. Client notes in one notebook, biz dev in another, personal things in yet another one. When a notebook filled up, it took up space on my shelf, but I rarely revisited it for the content inside.
Taking notes on paper, to me, is like having an extension of my brain. So it took a lot of convincing for me to switch to digital note-taking. Evernote is powerful but super easy to use. I love that I can take photos and notes at a conference on my phone and revisit them in their own “notebook” on my computer. Adding any kind of attachment, whether it’s an audio note, quick video, or other file, is a piece of cake. Sharing notebooks is also super simple.
And unlike web-based text editors, Evernote has created a peaceful writing environment. When I want to pour my ideas out without the distraction of my browser, I go to Evernote. It’s also become my go-to for capturing middle of the night aha! moments from bed, right on my phone.
As my business continues to grow, I weed out apps that don’t have all the features I need. Evernote is super stable, easy to navigate, and just gets the job done.
Ieva Urbaite, The Friendly Publicist
I use Instapaper daily with the daily newsletters I’m signed up for that provide entrepreneur related content. I can simply click those links and save them to Instapaper for later. Also, Instapaper allows you to create folders, so I can save topics based on email marketing versus social media and go even deeper in social media with folders specifically for Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. If I’m not sure right away, I can just save it to my general feed and sort it later.
Another great feature is the search component. My friends and I are constantly masterminding through text and the search option makes it easy to reference old articles, especially when someone asks, “Do you remember that article on [insert topic]?”
The easy social share integrations make it simple to share articles and the links in Instapaper always make it easy to refer back to the original article on the web.
All in all, Instapaper is a great app to capture news and information that you simply can’t read at that moment.
Dr. Eric L. Patrick, Black Market Exchange
An innovative business app that we cannot live without is Intercom. It is a customer engagement tool that allows you to interact with your customers at any point in time while they are on your website.
With this tool, we have inserted ourselves into the on-boarding funnel and can reach and talk to customers and get real time feedback during critical moments of the sign-up process. With this data and real-time feedback, we can make design or copy changes to improve our click-through rate and overall customer experience.
With these practices in place, we have seen more than a 40 percent increase in conversion rate.
Gene Caballero, GreenPal
My favorite app is the messaging app Slack. We use it at my company to always stay connected with the different teams and across our offices in Spain, San Francisco, Utah and the Philippines. It helps us to quickly communicate important updates, share files and improve internal communication and employee engagement.
With Slack, you can create different channels and groups and add specific members to it which makes communication very effective and organized by different topics and teams. Our engineers for example always post their newest updates about app developments in the engineering channel. That way everyone is always up-to-date about what each team is working on and this is amazing.
Especially now that we opened the new office in Spain, Slack makes it very easy to quickly communicate with the team over there and keep them updated about what’s going on in our office in San Francisco and vice-versa. We can also send and share images, files or any kind of documents. We also have channels like “random” or “fun,” where we can share all kinds of things with everyone, from funny or interesting articles, to pictures of our office dogs or team activities. This really helps us to stay connected and build a strong community.
Steven Benson, Badger Map
As a business owner and video editor, I understand the impact of using compelling video content for my brand. It has the potential to be one of the most powerful profit-generating tasks in our businesses. According to HubSpot, 52 percent of marketers said videos were the type of content with the highest return on investment, and a report by Facebook and Neilson found viewers of video ads experienced increased purchase intent.
Despite this, sometimes you don’t have the time to sit down and edit a full film. That’s where Splice comes in. I love this app because it’s easy to put together quick videos for social media right on my phone. Splice includes a vast library of free music and the ability to add titles, audio or transitions. Then, you can share the finished video directly to YouTube, Facebook or Instagram. As an entrepreneur who is always wanting to share video content with my audience, Splice makes the process easy.
Annabelle Needles, Evergreen Lane Productions
Trello is a free task management application used in a wide range of different settings. I’ve used Trello for quite some time now, mostly for software development and product management. Not only is it free, but it’s incredibly powerful.
For product management, users can set up lists for different purposes and cards within those lists. Cards have lots of great features. Users can attach links, files, and assign tasks to team members. One great feature is the use of labels for different kinds of tasks.
Outside of product management, I’ve started using Trello for all kinds of other goals in my personal and professional life. It’s a great repository for ideas and complex projects.
Marcus Harjani, FameMoose
Hands-down my favorite app, and the one that is most useful to me as an entrepreneur, is HotelTonight. Many times, a last minute business trip will come up and I’m left scrambling to book my flight and find accommodations in the city I’m traveling to. In the past it was very stressful for me when a situation that came up required last minute travel.
However, now in the case of last minute travel I never have to stress about finding a great place to stay because of HotelTonight. The beauty is that on the HotelTonight app the prices of its listed hotel rooms are reduced significantly for last minute bookings, as compared to other sites where prices are often higher at the last minute.
Not only is it convenient at the last minute, but I’m also able to stay in amazing hotels that I wouldn’t otherwise stay at if I booked further in advance. It’s not rare to find a hotel room that retails for $500 to $600 per night for $130 to $150 per night. Since I’ve had a great experience with HotelTonight for business travel I’ve actually started using it for personal travel as well, and just booking rooms at the last minute for vacations.
Jesse Silkoff, FitnessTrainer.com
The most important lesson I’ve learned in networking, which I’d wish I’d known years ago, is to take every advantage possible to meet new people.
WhenI decided to launch a dating startup, I had no idea what I was getting into. I was an architect that just came up with an idea I felt so strongly about, that I had to make it happen. Infusing myself into the NYC tech scene was the first very helpful and crucial step. Networking has been the most fruitful tool to date, which is why I’m loving the newly launched mobile professional networking app called Networkd.
It makes IRL connections for people looking for networking opportunities. The way that people currently network at both small and large events is a disaster. I’ve attended hundreds of events all over the world and no one knows who’s who. As a speaker, you have no idea who is in the audience. As an attendee, you have no idea who is sitting next to you and the networking opportunities are never that fruitful. Networkd allows attendees to make real life connections at events when someone within their interest is within a 30-foot radius.
Lori Cheek, Cheekd