Pagoda Blog


9 Useful Apps Every Business Owner Should Know About

February 2, 2017

As a small business, tasks like invoicing, scheduling meetings, and prioritizing projects can take valuable time and energy away from your core offerings and the needs of your customers.

 

At Pagoda Technologies, we’ve tried and tested many business apps to help with everything from financing to internal and external communication. Here are some of our favorite apps that have helped us streamline administrative tasks, stay organized, and remain focused on the work we really care about.

 

 

Financing & accounting

 

QuickBooks allows you to quickly create and send estimates and invoices to clients, monitor sales, and track your growth with user-friendly sales reports. We’ve also used the app to track our business expenses, keeping our finances organized and reducing stress during tax season.

 

Expensify is another great app for tracking business expenses and organizing receipts. The app syncs with your credit cards and bank accounts so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of each purchase. Come tax time, you’ll be way ahead of the game.  

 

To collect payments, we use Venmo because as a small business it’s affordable and widely used by our client base. We’ve found that clients appreciate when we make the payment process as simple and as user friendly as possible. The app also ensures we receive payments on time, and oftentimes, ahead of schedule.



Communication

 

Most of our meetings are virtual so we need an app that provides a reliable audio and sometimes visual connection. When we want facetime with our clients, we turn to Google Hangouts. It’s simple to use and allows us to make free video calls with up to 10 people from any device. The ease of use, screen sharing options, messaging capabilities, and ability to record and archive the hangout for future reference makes it one of our favorites.

 

If you’re looking for an affordable phone system for your business, we recommend VirtualPBX. A turnkey solution for any size business, VirtualPBX offers useful features like call routing, voicemail notifications, and call recording. Perhaps the biggest selling point though is the price: this cloud-based system is 40-80% cheaper than traditional phone costs.

 

 

Time management & organization

 

A huge part of any business is the ability to effectively manage your time so that you meet deadlines and keep your customers happy. To ensure we stay on top of our projects and keep track of our meetings, we use a couple different tools:

 

SignNow makes signing documents on-the-go a breeze. Upload your document, mark where you’d like it signed and the appropriate party will receive an email link. They can easily sign the document from any device and SignNow will notify you once the signature is received. The app also helps you organize and keep track of all your signed documents.

 

Focuster, developed by one of our friends at NextSpace, helps us prioritize tasks by syncing with our calendars and filling in the blank spots with that week’s to-do list. If you don’t check everything off your list, the app will automatically reschedule the incomplete tasks to the next available spot in your calendar. It even sends you friendly reminders to help you stay on track.    

 

 

Other

 

The nature of our work requires that we have access to the backend of client’s websites, and this means we need to keep track of not only our own usernames and passwords, but those of our clients as well. To manage this sensitive information, we rely on a number of encrypted tools including LastPass. This incredibly helpful app is free and ensures that you will never forget your login information again. It also allows you to securely share login information with employees and contractors, keeping your sensitive information safe from hackers. You are the only one who knows your master password, however, so make sure you choose one you won’t forget!

 

Lastly, we capture ideas, inspiration, reminders, and more in Evernote. Much easier to keep track of than a sticky note, Evernote allows us to quickly jot down important thoughts as they pop into our head and allows us to quickly access them later across all our devices.

 

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About Pagoda Technologies IT services

Based in Santa Cruz, California, Pagoda Technologies provides trusted IT support to businesses and IT departments throughout Silicon Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area and across the globe. To learn how Pagoda Technologies can help your business, email us at support@pagoda-tech.com to schedule a complimentary IT consultation.

 




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