Feature Article

July 17, 2013

Four Small Business Apps That Will Take You to the Next Level

If you own a small business, then you'll love the way that the cloud and mobile apps can bring your office into the 21st century. Check out these four simple apps to revolutionize the way you work.


For sending documents on the go and simple document management, nothing beats TurboScan. Instead of finding the nearest fax machine or scanner, you can use your iPhone camera to take a photo of your document. After adjusting the angle, crop and resolution of the document, you simply e-mail it as a PDF attachment to the intended recipient. TurboScan is only available on iOS, but the CamScanner app makes a good alternative for Android users.


Toggl is ideal for a sole proprietor or independent contractor that bills by the hour. You can also use it to track your efficiency, even if you don't bill hourly. Start by setting up an account at toggl.com and then download the app onto your phone and/or desktop. You can then set up projects with very simple labels and then click the "Start" button. When you're done, click "Stop." Toggl records how long you worked on your project.

The website has reporting to let you know how you're spending your time. Toggl can also e-mail a weekly report of your time expenditure. You'll pay $5 per month for a subscription, but it's totally worth the expense. The Toggl app is available for both iOS and Android.


FreshBooks is a great timekeeping, project management and accounting solution for a slightly larger office. You can assign projects, track time, prep estimates, send invoices and even accept payments through FreshBooks. By snapping a photo of receipts or importing bank or credit card statements, you can easily add your expenses, label them and include them in your accounting.

Your employees can access FreshBooks both online and through mobile and desktop apps. FreshBooks starts with a free 30-day trial. If you like it, then you can sign up for packages that range from $19.95 per month to $39.95 per month. FreshBooks is available for iOS and Android.


If you run a solo or private practice or a small business, then Appointment-plus can be a lifesaver. When you make an appointment with a customer, simply plug the appointment into Appointment-plus either on your smartphone or online. Better yet, let Appointment-plus track available appointments in your schedule so that your clients can self-book.

Your clients will receive a reminder e-mail or SMS before their appointments, and you can add a "Book Now" button to your social media posts. In addition, you can use the Appointment-plus API for integration and customization. The program can sync with programs like Microsoft Web Apps, Google Apps, iCal and QuickBooks. It can also integrate with Constant Contact to help you run e-mail marketing campaigns. Start with a 15-day trial, and then choose from monthly plans that range from $39 to $79 per month. You can get the Appointment-plus app for both iOS and Android.

Edited by Ryan Sartor

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