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8 Apps that will change the way you do business
Written by Rowan Govender
26 November 2012

As a business owner, efficiency is important. Nothing is more important in today's digital workplace than having the best apps for the job. Here are 8 apps that can help improve or even change the way you do business. 



Asana is an app that allows for collaborative task management. Asana is designed to help teams and individuals manage their work using Asana's system of Workspaces, Projects, and Tasks. A team can be assigned to a Workspace which consists of Projects, which are in turn made up of Tasks. Tasks are assigned or can be taken on by members of the team. Tasks can also include Notes, Comments or Files from team members. As Tasks or Projects are completed, team members will be updated so that everyone is on the same page. Asana is free for teams of 30 members or less. If you have larger companies with teams greater than 30 members, you'll need to purchase Asana Premium Workspaces. 



You meet someone who'd be a great contact for your business. You exchange business cards only to go digging through your wallet one day and find out you've lost the card. Bump is an app that completely eliminates that problem by allowing you to easily exchange contact information with someone by first selecting the information that you want to share, and then simply bumping the two smartphones together. Bump also allows you to exchange files such as photos, or even to transfer funds between PayPal accounts. Bump is available for free on both Android and iOS. 



Have you got an iPad or Android tablet and are less than satisfied with the word processing tools on it? CloudOn is the app you need. CloudOn allows you to use Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint without any limitations. CloudOn works by hosting the software on its servers, and storing the documents themselves on one of several cloud storage services. This allows you to access Word, Excel or Powerpoint from anywhere you have your tablet and an internet connection. Using CloudOn is completely free. 


Dropbox /Google Drive/Sky Drive

There are quite a few cloud storage services that offer the same basic service: they all allow you to store your files online so that you can access them from any place with an internet connection. Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, and Dropbox all offer the same basic functionality, but you'd need to see which service is best suited to you. Dropbox and Google Drive offer users 5 GB of free storage, while Microsoft SkyDrive offers 7 GB of free storage to users. 



Evernote is an app that is designed for capturing notes, as well as for archiving. Notes need not only be pieces of written text, but can also include photographs or voice memos. When you create a note, you are also able include files as attachments. The key thing about Evernote is the fact that it offers online synchronicity. You can create a note on your smartphone while you're waiting in a queue, and then get home and access the note on your PC. You don't need to worry if you have an iPhone in your pocket and a Windows PC at home, as Evernote is a cross platform app that includes support for most major operating systems. Evernote offers a free service which has a 60MB per month limit, as well as a Premium service which allows you to use 1GIG per month. 



QuickBooks is the accounting application that has been a favourite for small businesses for many, many years. QuickBooks provides you with a variety of tools that you can use to manage costs, inventory, salaries, sales, as well as many other accounting tasks. Many QuickBooks tools are now web-based, such as remote access capabilities, remote payroll assistance and electronic payment functions. QuickBooks offers specialised versions that are suited for specific industries. You can either purchase a once off QuickBooks license, or subscribe to the QuickBooks Online Edition which is accessible through a web browser. 



Wunderlist is basically an app that allows you to create lists of tasks, and syncs them online. Wunderlist isn't directed at team management the way Asana is, but rather offers individuals a simple and easy to use app that allows you to keep track of tasks on any major operating system, including OSX, Windows, Linux, or Android. Another great advantage is that Wunderlist is completely free since its open source. 



If you run any kind of business that needs to stay cutting edge and want the latest news and information, you'll probably want to take a look at Zite. This is an app that labels itself as a “personalised magazine” and is available on iPad, iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7. Zite works by scanning for relevant articles and putting them in one easy to find place. Zite learns as it's used and searches for more specific content. You'd expect to pay for a service that brings content to your door but Zite is completely free.

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