Being an entrepreneur can be the fulfillment of a lifetime dream—until you realize that the long, thankless hours don’t always feel that way. But it’s possible to reduce the energy-sucking stress and calendar demands that come with being an entrepreneur. Simply leverage the best of today’s apps. Here are a few that can help make you a better entrepreneur:
Ever find yourself clicking an enticing link, skimming through its headers, and thinking “this looks really, really useful—and I will never get around to reading it”?
Then you’re probably a candidate for a tool like Evernote. Evernote is a “web clipping” and note-taking app; think of it as procrastination done right. Evernote makes it possible to organize that gigantic heap of bookmarkers, loose notes, and favorited web links into something you can search and even one day tackle.
Even better, the latest versions of Evernote make it possible to share these links across your entire team, which means it doesn’t just have to be your personal “to-do” list. Evernote can serve as a convenient way to save, share, and organize information across your entire team—all without making you feel as though you’ve gathered a fantastic list of links you’ll never use.
Entrepreneurs have long known the powers of self-education and voracious reading. But entrepreneurs are subject to the same 24-hour daily time limits as anyone else. That makes multitasking an absolute must—and audiobook services like Audible make it easy to have your book and read it, too.
Audible is an Amazon company and highly accessible to anyone with a pre-existing Amazon account. But that isn’t to say that Audible is the sole game in town—Audiobooks.com, Google Play, Kobo Books, and the like are more than happy to sate your auditory desires while you drive, eat, work out, or simply relax.
It’s an inevitability for anyone who spends enough time networking—you’re going to run into a lot of business cards. And rather than go 20th century and invest in a Rolodex, you can keep your desk clean with an app like CamCard.
CamCard makes it possible to make the classic card exchange an entirely paperless experience. And since your card information will automatically upload to the app, you’ll be free to add notes, tags, and set reminders about following up.
Slack’s tagline is “Where Work Happens,” and for good reason. By organizing your communication systems into a single dashboard, Slack digitizes the office experience to the point where you may wonder why you ever bothered signing up for a lease.
Use Slack to avoid long email threads and needless “reply all” features that make email less enticing. And if that’s not enough, integrating other common office tools—such as Dropbox or Salesforce—makes Slack that much more robust.
It’s the 21st century. The basic device required to accept credit cards and mobile payments from your phone should come in the mail as soon as you become an entrepreneur. And—get this—it does. Signing up for Square payments means receiving a free credit card reader in the mail—which includes the ability to accept payments from cards with chips.
What if you don’t particularly need to see your clients in person to accept payment? Square also makes it possible to create and manage invoices like the well-oiled machine you aspire to be. Square even includes additional options like managing your payroll online. Think of it as less of an app and more of a way of ensuring that you do business the right way.
Charging by the hour? Looking to identify those time-wasters at work that are eating into your productive time? Too busy to answer a list of rhetorical questions like this? Then you’re probably suited for Toggl, a productivity and time management tool designed to help you wrestle more control over your own calendar.
One of the simplest features—as the name would suggest—is a simple “Toggl” button that makes it possible to track the exact amount of time you’ve spent on a particular task. And with the Toggl browser extension, you can automatically track how much time you’re spending—or wasting, as the case may be—to get a better grip over your daily office work.
Are you worthless without a to-do list? Then it might be a good idea to invest in that to-do list by using a robust app like Wunderlist. Wunderlist makes it possible to organize your daily checklist, set up reminders for meetings and office tasks, or even incorporate your office collaboration so that you never forget to follow up with a colleague.
Any entrepreneur knows the challenge of a massive email inbox: it not only weighs on you, but it makes it nigh-on impossible to find what you’re looking for. Important emails get lost in the shuffle and you’re left wondering what happened.
Newton’s goal: get rid of all that guesswork with a variety of features—from “snooze” buttons for your email inbox to setting up a “send later” feature for sending off emails at just the right time. Newton also makes it possible to save emails across apps like Evernote.
It’s another inevitability of running your own business: you’re going to have to sign something at some point. HelloSign is a robust eSignature solution that makes it possible to automatically add your signatures and dates, receive copies of the documents you just signed, and easily share said documents with everyone who needs to see them.
HelloSign can also handle your HR onboarding—such as getting a contractor’s W9 information—with ease, all handled either on desktop or via the mobile app.
LastPass comes with an effective name—its goal is to become the last password you’ll ever need by centralizing all of your account passwords securely and automatically inserting passwords for your regular log-ins.
If you’ve been using a piece of paper to remember all your passwords, now’s the time to digitize. It will not only erase minutes from your daily routine, but—like many of the apps you see on this list—it will do a lot of the “thinking” so that you don’t have to.
Free up your time with apps like LastPass, Toggl, and CamCard and you’ll find that there are plenty of opportunities to pack more efficiency in your day. The only problem? Now you have more time to spend on actual work. Sorry about that.