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10 Business Apps You Can't Live Without

Sick of the daily grind? Streamline everything from your schedule to your expenses.
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Though there's an app for almost everything, the app marketplace is so crowded you might not know which are the best fit for you. Here are 10 apps that will make running a business much, much easier. 

1. Evernote. One of the most popular apps on the market, Evernote has evolved way past just classic note-taking. Evernote's extended family includes Penultimate, a hand-writing app for taking notes on tablet; Web Clipper, which allows you to clip web pages coupon-style; Peek, a notecard-like study aid; and Skitch, an image mark-up tool. Cost: Free, $5 per month for premium features. Platforms: Android, iOS.

2. Tempo AI. Think of it like a personal assistant for your smartphone. Tempo AI goes above and beyond the typical paper calendar. It links calendar events to relevant emails and attachments for pending appointments, queues up directions to your next meeting location, and pulls up email and phone info for last-minute coordination with your contacts. Cost: Free. Platforms: iOS.

3. Xero. Xero is more than just a Quikbooks lookalike; its an accountant for the cloud. The money-managing web app allows you to link with banks, customers and online payment systems like PayPal--as well as monitor payroll and budgeting software as you grow. Cost: $19 to $39 per month. Platforms: Android, iOS, OS X, Windows.

4. Feedly. Don't worry about Google Reader's impending retirement. Feedly, a news-aggregator app, compiles the latest articles from your favorite blogs and web publications--plus any podcasts and YouTube channels you subscribe to. (Ahem. Don't forget to add Inc.) Cost: Free. Platforms: Android, iOS or on your web browser.

5. Sleep Cycle. You know those days when a snooze button just isn't enough? Sleep Cycle helps with that. This alarm clock app uses motion sensors to analyze your sleep patterns, and wakes you up during the lightest phases of sleep. You just pick a half-hour window in which you want to wake up and the app takes over from there. Cost: $0.99. Platforms: iOS.

6. Brewster. What Tempo is to your calendar, Brewster is to your contact book. This contact-organization app pulls from your various social profiles--and your phone's address book--to compile a comprehensive list of everyone you know. Then, it helps you keep in touch with them. Using a priority ranking system based on your own interactions, Brewster lets you know when you've maintained radio silence for too long. Which lets you balance it all, from reaching out to potential investors or customers...to remembering your grandmother's birthday. Cost: Free. Platforms: Android, iOS.

7. Seatguru. Perhaps this is a familiar scene: You're in a plane 35,000 feet off the ground--and your phone's about to die. In addition to helping you nab the best possible seat on your flight, Seatguru solves that pesky outlet problem. The app's detailed plane maps--created by travelers like you--point out mile-high perks, like in-seat outlets and extra leg room, for your specific aircraft. The only thing this app can't predict, it seems, is your seat mate. But then again, it's only in beta. Cost: Free. Platforms: Android, iOS.

8. Wi-Fi Finder. Perhaps even harder than finding an outlet when you need one: Finding a free Wi-Fi. The appropriately titled Wi-Fi Finder does exactly that. It provides you with a map of the nearest public Wi-Fi hotspots--so you can rustle up an Internet connection even on the go. Cost: Free. Platforms: Android, iOS.

9. SideCar. If you're still a ride-share skeptic, you may want to consider the perks: Vetted local drivers, faster-than-a-taxi service, and a donation-based payment system. Also, a smaller carbon footprint. SideCar allows you search for drivers, book a ride, and pay for your travel on one app. Cost: Varies. Platforms: Android, iOS.

10. Applause. These days, it seems like there's an app for just about everything--including, as it happens, finding the best apps. Applause is a web app that measures user satisfaction and app quality--helping to connect you with the latest and greatest software tools for all of your devices. Cost: Free. Platforms: Web browser.

Last updated: Jun 10, 2013

FRANCESCA FENZI | Staff Writer

Francesca Fenzi reports on entrepreneurship, technology and small business news from San Francisco. Her work has previously appeared in TIME, USA Today, Pop City and The Northside Chronicle.




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