From productivity to presentations, travel to time management, these apps for business are like the perfect PA – in your pocket
It’s now possible to run a small empire from your smartphone, from downloading documents to editing in Excel to holding a meeting via Skype in the back of a taxi. And there’s new apps released every day to help you squeeze more minutes out the day, find the best business travel deals and build a killer network.
Here are our top 30 apps for making you more productive on the go. And don’t forget to check out Flexible Working Week on LondonlovesBusiness.com all next week (14 – 18 May) for more info-packed, pragmatic articles on working from anywhere, any time.
Best apps for productivity
A voice recognition app, ideal for transcribing meetings. Dictations can be posted straight to social networking sites – though the accuracy is a bit suspect, so probably best check first. Free; iOS.
Tasks keeps a note of your appointments, meetings, notes, to-do lists and other things more typically consigned to Post-It notes. £0.69; iOS.
A personal assistant without the paycheck, Astrid is an organisation app with reminders, subtasks, lists, and widgets that synch across phones, tablets and Astrid.com. Free; iOS and Android.
Always forget to turn your phone off before meetings? Locale lets you set up quiet zones so that whenever your phone is in a certain location it automatically switches to silent – and turns the ringer back on as soon as you move on. Free; Android.
Best apps for virtual meetings
Styled after Google’s Gmail service, Google Voices is a Skype-like system for PC-to-phone and PC-to-PC voice and video calling, which also lets you read voicemail as email. Free; iOS and Android.
Perfect for smooth business calls over wireless connection – cutting costs and letting you see the whites of your colleague’s eyes. Free; iOS and Android.
Best apps for document sharing and editing
Creating, editing and sharing of Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets and presentations from anywhere. £9.20; Android.
Promises to “simplify your life”, which may be out of the reach of an online hard disk that stores and transfers your photos, documents and videos, but very useful nonetheless. Free; iOS and Android.
Documents To Go
Allows you to view and edit docs with an all-in-one application with support for Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, PDF, Apple iWork and other files and attachments. £6.99; iOS.
Another full suite that allows you to read a variety of document formats on the move, sync your videos and music to Google cloud and enjoy them while you’re away. Edit and share documents and spreadsheets, download for offline use. £2.99; iOS.
Best apps for ideas on the go
Text-based and supposedly “hassle-free” notepad and reminder system, which lets you jot down bright ideas in the pub – and send them to your boss via SMS. Free; Android.
A multimedia scrapbook – lets you take down snippets of text, photos, voice memos, files or handwritten “ink” notes and organise them into files. Includes synchronisation and backup. Free; iOS and Android.
Paper by fifty three
Specially designed for the iPad, Paper is an intuitive use of the touchscreen interface to let you take notes, sketch diagrams and doodle – great for creative meetings (and dull ones). Free; iOS.
Best apps for presentations and pitches
Lets you view and control PowerPoint and Open Office slideshows from your phone, unshackling you from the projector. Free; iOS and Android.
Lets you create presentations with easy-to-use tools and a range of effects using the touchscreen on an iPad or iPhone, then save and send them as PowerPoint files. £6.99; iOS.
No more frantic hand signals to get the next slide up – mbPointer turns your iPhone into a wireless remote control for a PowerPoint slide show. £1.99; iOS.
Best apps for marketing
Who’s watching you? Provides information on realtime data about the sites on your Google analytics account from your iPhone. You can check out visitor information for multiple websites in a matter of seconds. £2.99; iOS.
Not just for Hipsters, major fashion and consumer brands are picking up this social photo app – now owned by Facebook – as a marketing channel. Free; iOS and Android.
Not only for 140 character updates on what you’re reading or eating, Twitter is a bona fide newswire, recommendation service and marketing channel. Free; iOS and Android.
Best apps for networking (online and offline)
Promises to “cut through the clutter” by allowing you to create a single profile across a number of social networking and instant messaging sites. Free; iOS and Android.
Share contact information and photos by simply bumping two phones together. Just open Bump, hold your phones, and gently bump to share information. Free; iOS and Android.
The classic tool for networking, seeking job opportunities, participating in discussion groups and connecting with old colleagues, presented with an intuitive interface for smartphones and tablets. Free; iOS and Android.
Does what it says on the tin – allowing you to scan cards in a seconds onto your phone. The reader has cloud backup and syncs across multiple devices, so you can access the card details from your browser. £4.99; iOS and Android.
Best apps for finance and business news
The gold standard in finance and business news, Bloomberg’s app gives subscribers access to breaking news, market data and tools that let you track your portfolio on the bus or in the limo. Free, iOS.
XE currency converter
One of the most popular currency converter sites in app form – gives access to live currency rates and charts, with a clever swipe-and-type interface that makes it easy to see how many pesos you get for your shilling. Free; iOS.
Capitalism to takeaway – the US TV channel has an app that pumps out real-time global stock quotes, currency data and market-moving headlines in brash primary colours before, during and after market hours. Free; iOS.
Best apps for doing business on the go
Turns your iPhone into a credit card terminal, allowing you to take payments pretty much anywhere. While the app is free, there are pretty steep monthly and per-transaction fees. Free; iOS.
Best apps for business travel
Perfect for frequent flyers or plane spotters. Lets you see live departures and arrivals, gate numbers as well as information on delays and alternative routes to where you want to go. £2.99; iOS.
Need a hatchback in Malaga tomorrow morning? LiveCarHire.com’s app lets you search more than 500 suppliers worldwide, arrange pick-ups and pay online by credit card. Free; iOS.
Uses the GPS on your iPhone or Android device to search a worldwide database of registered cabbies who can rush to your aid. Great if you’re running late at the office or the pub. £1.49; iOS and Android.
Like this? Come back next week (14 – 18 May) for Flexib
le Working Week – we’ll have info-packed, pragmatic articles on working anywhere, anytime on the homepage and in the Tech section all week.