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Essential 'must-have' apps for small businesses

What mobile apps can make running a business easier and less time consuming for SMBs?
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1 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

ReceiptBank

Name: ReceiptBank

Compatibility: Apple iOS | Android

Price: Free, subscription

ReceiptBank is an expenses app which can help small to medium-sized businesses keep their accounts in order. The UK-based app allows you to photograph each receipt, click "submit for processing" and within 72 hours will appear on your subscription account. You can then log in to your account online, review receipts and download expense reports. 

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2 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

DocuSign

Name: DocuSign

Compatibility: Apple iOS | Android

Price: Free

DocuSign is a handy app that takes the performance out of acquiring and logging signatures for contracts. You can use your mobile device to sign documents, receive digital signatures and forward them on through the web.

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3 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Mynd

Name: Mynd

Compatibility: Apple iOS 

Price: Free

Mynd is an intelligent calendar application that can make scheduling for SMBs easier. The app pulls up data from sources including Google's Gmail, Calendar, LinkedIn and Evernote, shuffling data and setting it up in an attractive daily calendar for your use. 

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4 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

TripIt

Name: TripIt

Compatibility: Apple iOS | Android

Price: Free

If you're running an SMB and need to take a trip or two, TripIt is a useful travel organizer that connects to your online accounts, finds flight, hotel and trip booking and confirmation emails, and collates your itinerary from there. The app then slots in useful information such as travel delays, maps and deals.  

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5 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Dropbox

Name: Dropbox

Compatibility: Apple iOS | Android

Price: Free, premium

Online storage and the ability to quickly share files of varying sizes is now important to businesses, and we've come a long way from storing files on CDs and the frustrating of email file size limits. Dropbox is one of many cloud storage providers on the market, and the service allows you to create a Dropbox folder where files can be copied into for immediate sharing. 

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6 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Google Apps for Business

Name: Google Apps for Business

Via: Google

Price: Subscription

If you're not a fan of Microsoft's Office 365 or Apple's iWorks, Google Apps for Business is a suitable alternative. The one-size-fits-all cloud productivity suite includes Docs, music, calendars, spreadsheets, email and presentation applications — a cheap and useful set for businesses just starting up.

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7 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Waze

Name: Waze

Compatibility: Apple iOS | Android

Price: Free

There's nothing worse than being late to meetings when you need to impress a contact, and so applications like Waze can make sure you make it on time. The app uses crowdsourced traffic data to give you real-time updates of what's happening on the roads, and makes suggestions based on your destination to improve your route. 

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8 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

HootSuite

Name: HootSuite

Compatibility: Apple iOS | Android

Price: Free, premium

Social media can play an important part in securing and retaining customers, as well as improving brand reputation and communication with clients. In order to keep up to date with what's going on, consider HootSuite — a platform that organizes social media feeds, allows you to customize and follow separate Twitter streams, and stay notified if people are trying to get in touch.  

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9 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Inky Mail

Name: Inky Mail

Compatibility: Apple iOS

Price: Free

Inky Mail isn't the newest app available on the market, but when your inbox begins to fill up, can prove a valuable resource. The app aggregates all your email accounts and highlights your most important messages, allowing SMBs to use time more effectively. 

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10 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Parallels Access

Name: Parallels Access 

Compatibility: Apple iOS | Android

Price: Subscription

Parallels Access remains one of my firm favorites, as it allows me to access my desktop remotely through my mobile devices — saving my skin on a few occasions when I need to pull up files I've forgotten. Not only is it fast, but the app is compatible with a variety of systems, and the interface is very easy to use. 

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11 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Copy Bubble

Name: Copy Bubble

Compatibility: Android

Price: Free

Copy Bubble is a simple solution to a common annoyance on both desktop and mobile — when you want to copy and paste several items at once but are limited to single incidents. Quick, easy solutions like this app can cut down the time SMBs need to spend on paperwork. 

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12 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

JuiceDefender

Name: JuiceDefender

Compatibility: Android

Price: Free, premium

For businesses and individuals alike, there is little that is more annoying than running out of juice when you're on the road. JuiceDefender, available in a free and Pro version, allows you to set different profiles to regulate your battery use — whether balanced or aggressive — and allows you to keep your mobile device running as long as possible if you forgot to charge it the night before. 

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13 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

CamScanner

Name: CamScanner

Compatibility: Apple iOS | Android

Price: Free, premium

CamScanner is an alternative for using your phone's camera to record text and images. The app takes advantage of the camera to scan an image or document, but then enhances the scan with sharpened text and balanced color. You can scan one document at a time or batch copy, a useful tool for SMBs. 

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14 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Google Maps

Name: Google Maps

Compatibility: Apple iOS | Android

Price: Free

Google Maps is part-and-parcel with many mobile devices, and its certainly worth having quick access to if you find yourself lost on the way to a meeting or need to double-check an address. 

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15 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Smart Voice Recorder

Name: Smart Voice Recorder

Compatibility: Android

Price: Free

Smart Voice Recorder is an Android application that is simple to use and records high-quality media. Whether you need to record interviews, meetings, conferences and talks or want to record your own thoughts for later, the user-friendly app is a handy tool to keep on your app list. 

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16 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

SwiftKey

Name: SwiftKey

Compatibility: Apple iOS | Android

Price: Free

SwiftKey is a virtual keyboard for Android and iOS devices that can make typing on your smartphone or tablet quicker. The app records how you type, intuitively supports multiple languages and allows you to sync data with the cloud. The app is particularly useful when you tie it to Evernote. 

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17 of 17 Charlie Osborne/ZDNet

Mint

Name: Mint

Compatibility: Apple iOS | Android

Price: Free

Mint is a free personal finance service that can help you keep track of finances — a crucial component for those starting out in the business world. A slick interface collates and displays all the financial data you choose to input, including credit cards, loans, and bank accounts. 

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