When you run a small business, you’re often pulled in several directions all at once. Not only are you in charge of everyday operations, but you must handle payroll, employee issues, and anything else that pops up.
You work hard running your small business, so let your Android smartphone or tablet help you by downloading the right apps. Desktop PC apps keep you on top of things at the office, but why stay chained to your desk when you have a powerful computer right in your pocket?
If the demands on your time feel overwhelming, take heart: There are thousands of productivity apps out there that can help you do everything from keep a neat to-do list to delegate tasks to employees and stay on top of your business expenses.
Read on for 10 of the best Android apps to help you run a better small business.
With Evernote, you can clip bits and pieces of information from the web, tag them for easy searching, and alter any of them by adding to it, condensing it, or embedding pictures, tables, audio, video, and the like. You can also use Evernote for organic notes and journaling, to-do lists, recipes, contacts, and even storage for tweets or emails that you want to keep handy.
All of that is free in the basic version. Evernote also has a business version that costs $12 per user, per month with several added features including administrator controls and unlimited space for uploads.
2. Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) – Free
3. Google Docs, Sheets and Slides (Free)
The best productivity suite for Android smartphones is still Google’s own collection. The apps include word processor Docs, spreadsheet editor Sheets, and presentation maker Slides. Google’s apps have more features and a cleaner, more attractive interface than competing office apps on the platform. They also offer better tools to insert tables, images, charts and other complex elements into your documents, and they’re compatible with Microsoft Office files, so you can seamlessly transition between your desktop computer and your mobile device. And since you can edit offline now, you never have to worry about losing service.
4. Google Drive (Free)
There are quite a few solid cloud-storage options available for Android, but Google Drive is our top pick, because this service comes built right into the operating system. Like similar services — Dropbox, Box and OneDrive, to name a few — Google Drive lets you store files and documents online, so they’re backed up and accessible from anywhere on any Android device with an Internet connection. As a bonus, Google Drive is integrated with QuickOffice; just sign in with your Google account credentials to get access to all documents stored in the cloud. Plus, every edit you make in QuickOffice is automatically backed up to Google Drive.
How many times have you run across something interesting, but you didn’t have the time to read it right away? If Evernote feels overwhelming to you, Pocket makes it easy to save videos, articles, and whatever else you find online so that you can peruse them later.
When you’re tired of social networking but still want to wind down at night with something interesting, Pocket might be your best friend. Even better, you don’t need an Internet connection to view what you’ve saved. Pocket is simple to use, and best of all, it’s free.
Wave is a free, easy-to-use accounting software platform made specifically for small businesses, independent contractors and sole proprietors with nine or fewer employees. It lets businesses track sales and expenses, manage invoices and customer payments, pay employees, scan receipts and generate accounting reports. And the company recently added free personal finance software to help small-business owners manage their finances in one place.
Wave’s software is available for download on the website, while its invoicing and receipt-tracking mobile apps are available for download in the Apple store.
7. AirDroid (Free)
Checking your smartphone for messages from clients or employees can break your concentration and make your productivity plummet. That’s where AirDroid comes in. Just install the app on your Android smartphone, then install the desktop client on your computer to read and send texts and view call logs on the big screen you’re already focused on. The app also makes it easy to quickly add or remove files from your phone’s internal storage.
8. Microsoft Remote Desktop (Free)
For small business owners, Microsoft’s Remote Desktop app is a reliable – and secure – way to connect remotely to your work PC from your Android phone or tablet. It’s also a simple way to use your Windows applications on the go. For example, you can take advantage of the full desktop versions of Microsoft Word or Excel right from your smartphone or tablet to view and edit documents from anywhere.
If you know you waste too much time on digital distractions like Facebook, Twitter, or online shopping, RescueTime can hold you accountable. It breaks down where you spend your time by application and website and lets you set productivity goals. A premium version even lets you block certain sites, track offline activity, or set notifications (like if you’ve spent too much time on one activity, for instance).
The basic version is free, while premium will set you back about $9 a month. Though RescueTime is available for Mac, PC, and Linux, its app is only available for Android phones.
10. Skype (Free)
If you need a solid video conferencing app to meet remotely with employees or clients, it’s hard to beat the service that’s synonymous with video chat. The Skype app for Android lets you make video calls using the front-facing camera on your handset. The platform is flexible, so you can connect with users on nearly any device. And if you’re away from the office, it can virtually drop you into a staff meeting.