Think about your work communications. Managing your email is probably a huge time suck. For the same reason, you probably hate it when someone leaves you a voice mail. And considering 90 percent of people in the U.S. supposedly keep their smartphone within reach around the clock every day of the week, you may just find text messaging the fastest, least painful way to send a message or get an answer.
If that's you, check out a few messaging apps you might like for communicating with colleagues and customers.
Ideal for the construction, transportation, and hospitality industries, as well as any other industry in which people need to communicate without taking the time to make a call, this walkie talkie-like service is a mobile app for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. For $9.95 a month, Voxer Business lets you listen to a voice message as it comes in or later as a recording; send audio, texts, and photos to individuals or groups of up to 500 contacts at a time; and forward messages and get message location details in real time. It includes several other features good for companies, such as Web access, team messaging, and administrative control of employee access, as well as enterprise-ready features such as data encryption and data retention policies.
Though there's no shortage of group messaging apps, this free iOS and Android app is supersimple to use because you don't have to manually enter contacts or create groups. Instead, after you open the app and input your work email address, Cotap searches your phone's address book for anyone who also uses your work email domain, automatically creating your company's address book within the Cotap platform. It's slick, because the next person from your company who starts using the app will get immediate access to all the email domains already in there. Another positive: You don't need to share your personal phone number with co-workers to be able to message their phones, and vice versa.
This text messaging app is sort of like Google Voice in that you can text people either from a mobile app or from your desktop via a Web app, but instead of using a new phone number, HeyWire Business Messenger lets you use your business landline number so you can keep your business identity without having to use your personal phone number. And, unlike Cotap, HeyWire lets you text people outside your organization, such as customers, partners, prospects, and vendors, making it particularly popular with salespeople. HeyWire is $10 a month per user, and companies that use it either white label the service or incorporate it into an existing app via an API.
Do you use a messaging app for work that's not listed here? Please share it in the comments along with a few words regarding its merits.