Whether they make your personal life easier or help streamline your business, there’s an app for just about everything. At Thanksgiving, business owners and executives, like everyone else, are thankful for family, friends and good health. We had a sneaking suspicion there might be a few apps they were thankful for as well this holiday season, so we asked. Here’s what we found out.
The one application that I truly love is Infusionsoft. It is the most amazing CRM/business automation tool that I’ve ever seen. It has allowed me to completely automate my sales, marketing, and operational processes so that nothing falls through the cracks. The time savings has allowed me to spend tons of additional time working on (instead of in) my business and spend additional time with my family.
Jeff Arnold, President of 4Spot Marketing
I’m so thankful for the Headspace app. As an entrepreneur and a mom, I occasionally find myself racing through the day slightly breathless, sometimes even with a mild ache in my chest. Whenever that happens, it’s a clear sign to me to that I’m letting stress get to me and that it’s time to put on the brakes, and sit quietly with a Headspace guided meditation for 15 minutes. I’d love to view myself as someone who meditates daily, but I lack the patience to sit down and really “learn” it. For me, Headspace feels a little like cheating… a shortcut to inner calm. Only 15 minutes, and I come away feeling refreshed and re-energized. The breathlessness is gone, my mind is quieted, and I feel physically and mentally great. Did I mention it’s only 15 minutes? I have no idea what I paid for this app, but I’d buy it again ten times over.
Rebecca Horan, Business + Brand Strategy Consultant at Rebecca Horan Consulting, LLC
I’m a partner in a boutique law firm that represents a lot of startups and corporate clients. We have one office in Boise, Idaho, and another in Pago Pago, American Samoa. Having offices in two extremely remote cities makes communication a pain. We’re thankful for Slack, a mobile and desktop app that allows us to communicate by group and direct message. The messages are sorted into channels by subject matter, they stay out of our email inboxes, and are fully searchable. We can lock some channels to keep them private from staff if necessary. Beyond the messaging, we can share files and initiate both audio and video calls. And those are just the features in the free version. Oh, one bonus feature: using Slack gives us serious cred with our tech sector clients. They use it all the time.
Steven Wieland, Corporate Attorney at Mooney Wieland Smith & Rose PLLC
I am most thankful for Calendly for scheduling meetings. It’s easy to set up my available time slots so people can quickly schedule a meeting. It integrates with my main Google calendar so it both updates it when a new appointment is scheduled, and prevents scheduling conflicts. Gone are the days of sending emails back and forth to schedule a meeting. It’s perfect for clients, prospects, and our internal team to quickly find a time to connect.
Stephen Gibson, Founder of Vyteo.com
I built my ecommerce store on Shopify, an awesome, all-inclusive platform. The Shopify App lets me see my sales, my page visits, my storefront–and it makes a cha-ching sound when I make a sale. Gotta love that!
Amanda Austin, Founder & President of Little Shop of Miniatures
The best app I use is Pocket. It allows me to scan the subscriptions that arrive in my inbox, then I can click on those articles and save to Pocket, which gets rid of the ads and puts into my phone so I can read when I am not being productive – like standing in lines, or in areas without access to the internet. For the articles that are worth saving for future reference, I just export to Evernote.
Jeff Howell, Director of Growth at AlayaCare Home Care Software
I’m thankful for the LinkedIn app. It makes it easy grow and stay connected to my professional circle. Being able to send InMail to connect with other entrepreneurs is my favorite feature LinkedIn offers and the user interface makes it really easy to send and read messages all from one app.
Sean Yang, Founder of Nutrl Towel
Trello organizes my work life, my personal tasks, my life. One of the things I like most about Trello is just how simple and intuitive it is. I use it for small or large projects, and even for personal projects and goal tracking. It doesn’t force you into specified templates of planning or communication. It’s an easy way to get everything organized with a minimal learning curve.
Ian McClarty, President of PhoenixNAP Global IT Services
I love Dropbox, which I can access on my phone. No matter where I am I can access my cases which really helps to be more efficient and productive. Plus, I can sleep well knowing all my cases are stored in the cloud, in the event of a catastrophe.
Christopher Earley, Esq., Personal Injury and Workers Compensation Lawyer at Law Office of Christopher Earley
There is one app that I just couldn’t live without — WAZE. Traveling in other cities has become so much easier thanks to mobile map technology such as WAZE. First there was paper maps, then those bulky GPS devices, but now I don’t have to remember to bring anything when I go on a business trip and am attempting to navigate in uncharted waters. The best thing about WAZE is that it will re-route you around the bad traffic. Now, that’s a business life saver!
Bob Bentz, President of Advanced Telecom Services
An innovative business app that I am thankful for is Intercom.io. Intercom is a customer engagement tool that allows you to interact with your customers at any point in time while they are on your site. With this tool, we have inserted ourselves into our 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 over a 40% uplift in conversion after implementation.
Gene Caballero, Co-Founder of GreenPal
My favorite time saving tool is called OneNote. I’m able to document everything relating to all of my projects, including typed notes, audio recordings, pictures, and much more. I like it because when I save my notes, everything is synced to all of my devices. There’s a variety of formats included as well. So you can make checklists, conduct research, attend meetings, and record lectures while taking notes. Another great feature is that it’s built for collaboration. Multiple users can be connected to the same notebook to either view the information that’s stored there, or make edits. Everything that gets edited is highlighted so everyone involved can easily see the recent changes. It’s really proven to be useful in my day to day business interactions and made my life quite a bit easier.
Dan Roberge, President of Maintenance Care
I’ve used many video conferencing platforms in the past, but my favorite one is UberConference. This has helped me stay organized and increase my productivity. I have tons of conference calls every day and this allows me to host an unlimited number of calls. Each of my guests can either call in or connect through the app. I can record all of the calls, and I’m also able to mute specific people or send messages privately. The interface is really intuitive and allows me to quickly and easily perform certain commands in the middle of a call. Screen sharing is another added benefit that has proven incredibly useful when trying to share visual data and other important topics with clients. It’s free to use, or businesses can pay $10 per additional line billed annually. Overall, UberConference will prevent a lot of headaches when trying to organize conference calls.
Adnan Raja, Vice President of Marketing for Atlantic.Net
I’m thankful for the Stand Up app. I tend to spend a lot of time glued to my chair, which is not healthy. So, when I get the alert reminder to stand each hour, it makes me giddy. Plus, when I’m feeling lazy, it motivates me to get up and move for a few minutes and to drink another 8 ounces of water. The simplicity of the app makes me thankful year round.
Sherry Harris, Founder of Sherry’s Life
One app that I’m definitely thankful for is Wunderlist. I travel quite a bit for my career and Wunderlist gives me peace of mind that nothing falls through the cracks when I’m away. Through Wunderlist I can keep track of my to do list, delegate tasks to employees and follow up on the status of various projects. There’s a feature that allows me to set due dates and reminders, which really helps to ensure that all deadlines are met and everything gets done. One of my favorite things about the app is that it allows for real time collaboration – my employees can comment and ask questions about each individual task they are assigned and I am notified instantly so that I can respond through the app right away. The app automatically syncs with my iPhone, laptop and Chromebook so I access up-to-the-minute information wherever I am.
Samantha Crafton, CEO/Founder of Samantha Crafton Public Relations
Evernote is a great tool that helps me stay on top of my notes about customers or my to-do’s. Evernote syncs all my notes and makes them available on all my devices so I never forget anything. It’s super useful to stay organized and I can even search for keywords or tags to find
specific notes easily.
Steven Benson, Founder and CEO of Badger Maps
I am seriously thankful for my Honeybook app. It allows me to have complete organization from start to finish with all my proposals, timelines and billing in one place. It links events to my Google calendar as well, which is an absolute timesaver.
Katelyn McCullough, Co-Founder of Elwynn + Cass, LLC
Spotify is crucial; I have trouble working without music playing in my headphones. Out of all the music apps out there, I find Spotify to be the most flexible and reliable for finding music that matches my mood while working.
Travis Sevilla, Marketing Manager at GoShare
Tracking mileage for business is no fun, so if you don’t have this app, get it now! No more going back later and running a google map to figure out how many miles you drove. This app tracks every single drive you make and then you can logon and see each drive. You then swipe right to mark the drive as business or left as personal. After the end of the month, they’ll send you a report showing all of your business miles.
Stephanie Thacker, Founder and Lead Bookkeeper at Steadfast Bookkeeping Co.
I’ve recently switched phones and the first app I looked for and installed is Todoist. I’ve always struggled with time management until I discovered this amazing app. I actually have it synced with all my electronics so that I’m always reminded to get work when the time comes. The best part of using Todoist is that I can schedule tasks ahead of time, be reminded via email when I missed the deadline or don’t start working on the tasks, and even better yet, I can mark the task complete when I’m done. It just makes me feel good every time I cross an item off that tasks list and I can’t wait to do it once again for the next task. I’ve become at least a 100% more productive since the first time I used Todoist and I encourage everyone to use it as well.
Youness Bermime, Owner of WritersDo
One app I recently started using that I’m very thankful for is the Starling Bank app. I’m constantly seeing new apps coming up claiming to ‘revolutionise’ banking – but these guys are genuinely delivering on that promise. The app breaks down what I’m spending, where, and even separates that information into clear categories. The granular control over your spending that this app gives you is why I’m so thankful for it. Starling even offers a phenomenal security, you can ‘lock’ your card in one tap if you think you might have lost it, for example. These days, I use my Starling card for most day-to-day spending. I’ll just transfer some money from my main account at the start of the month, so at the end, I can analyse what I’ve been purchasing.
Ian Naylor, CEO & Founder of AppInstitute
Time is money in my business. As a professional voiceover talent, each session I book is money in the bank. I don’t know what I’d do without my Google Calendar app. Since I started KB Voiceovers, I’ve tried various calendar apps, and last year, a client told me about Google Calendar. I love that I can input on my computer directly from Gmail and that it syncs with my phone, so when I’m out of my studio I still have full access and can add VO sessions on the fly. The app is easy to use and intuitive, so I can quickly add a session or even move one because legal hasn’t finished tweaking the script yet. The very nature of my work is non visual, but I absolutely love the way Google Calendar looks. By color coding my voiceover bookings in Google Calendar, I know if I’m the female voice of a TV ad, corporate narration, VR project or yes, even an app.
Kelley Buttrick, Owner of KB Voiceovers
I’m thankful for the Cluster app, a private group sharing app. Our team is distributed around the US and Canada, so having a private group where we can share accomplishments or setbacks and ask questions has been monumental for helping us build and maintain community and relationships. On the app, people give advice on how to make improvements and also show support when someone is struggling. It has allowed people who have never met in real life to become friends and mentors. It really is such an important tool for our entire team.
Alexis Monson, Co-Founder of Punkpost
This year, we are so thankful for the Companion app that allows you to add friends, co-workers or family from your contacts to monitor your location and status in real-time. As an entrepreneur, you are always on the go. Whether it’s late nights at the office or client meetings in new places, this app is the perfect way to ensure your team gets home safely after that successful pitch meeting! We have used this app both personally and professionally and would recommend it to any other entrepreneur or business person whose job requires them to travel as much as ours.
Courtney Spritzer and Stephanie Abrams Cartin, Co-CEOs of Socialfly
The Mindfulness App
I’m incredibly thankful for an app I discovered a few months ago called The Mindfulness App. Sometimes the best thing you can do is take a moment to breathe and reflect. I started with just 5 minutes of meditation a day, and about a week later, I was looking at business challenges in a new light. I was never someone who did anything close to meditation because I didn’t want to spend a single second not actively working on my business. The Mindfulness App changed that for me and helped me realize that a mental recharge every now and then is critical if I want to creatively tackle problems and ultimately succeed.
Kathryn Phillips, Editor at FactoringDirectory.org
Which apps are you thankful for this year? Are there any apps you predict will explode on the scene in 2018? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Have You Started Planning Your
Holiday Marketing Campaign?
Ensuring a successful holiday season is a massive undertaking. While it may be too soon for you to go decking the halls in your house, it’s the perfect time to start planning your holiday marketing campaign for your business.