Most entrepreneurs and small business owners depend on whatever brand of smartphone they currently have in their pocket. Okay, be honest. It's usually not in your pocket. It's usually in your hand where you can keep an eye on everything happening in your business and the world that affects it.
If you're an iPhone user and you're an entrepreneur, I already told you about my favorite iPhone app, but you absolutely should also be using these apps. Even if you don't use an iPhone, the good news is they're also all available from the Google Play store.
Here are the nine iPhone apps you should go download right now:
I use Dropbox for everything. Really. I don't store files on my laptop, I store them in Dropbox. All of them. I don't email files, I share them via Dropbox. There are other great options for keeping your files organized and in sync across devices like Google Drive and OneNote, but Dropbox is by far the fastest and it integrates with basically everything making it the best option for organizing and sharing files among your team. You can use it for free for up to 2GB of space.
Technically it's a keyboard, not actually an app, but either way, it's a must for anyone who types, well, anything on their phone. Nothing ruins a business email like bad grammar, typos, or misspelled words. The free Chrome plugin for your desktop computer is good too, especially if you use Gmail and Google Docs since it natively works its grammar correction magic in both of those browser-based apps.
Look, there are better pure writing apps out there, and the overall interface could use an update on the desktop, but it's hard to argue against the overall flexibility of Evernote. You can use it to scan receipts, documents, and business cards and it will transcribe them and make them searchable, which is especially helpful if you need to keep track of people you meet on the go. It's also a great place to keep notes, organize research, clip articles online, and generally keep things organized.
4. Lightroom CC
It requires a subscription, but Lightroom CC is my favorite way to edit and organize photos on the iPhone. Somehow Adobe managed to bring the same set of tools as the desktop version of Adobe's newest photo management tool, which is super helpful if you want to do more than the basic editing available from Apple's native Photos app. Unfortunately, it won't automatically import photos from your camera roll like Google Photo. It does, however, have its own camera that takes DNG raw photos, and includes professional controls like ISO, exposure, and white balance.
I love Trello for organizing all kinds of things. I use it to plan articles for this column, manage content for my day job, keep track of consulting projects, and it even works as a way to keep track of to-do lists. I love that it integrates with basically every tool I use on a regular basis, and it helps keep everyone on the same page--which is great because I'm usually the one that gets lost or forgets.
If you're a small business owner, you probably wear a lot of hats. Sometimes that means doing things that aren't exactly your sweet spot. Let's be honest, for most of you, graphic design is not your sweet spot. Good news, Canva is a super easy way to make professional looking graphics on your iPhone, even if you know nothing about design. It has a ton of great templates for everything from Instagram posts to blog headers and you can export the finished product directly to your company's social media profiles or send them to your Dropbox.
I have sort of an obsession with finding the best email app. It's probably because I pretty much hate email, but since it's not going anywhere, I'd like it to be as painless as possible. Spark is that for me because provides the tools to do what you can't do with the native Mail app. It connects to services like DropBox, Wunderlist, Evernote, and more. It also has an email delegation feature so that you can ping another member of your team to handle an email without having to forward it to them.
Remember how I said there are better writing apps out there than Evernote? Well, I've tried most of them, and Bear is my favorite. It doesn't include some of the more advanced features in, say, Ulysses, but it's simple, straightforward and doesn't distract you from putting words on the digital "page" with features that have nothing to do with writing. Bear is free, but the paid version syncs between your Mac and iOS devices, to keep all of your notes with you all the time.
If Twitter is a part of your work life, whether because you're working on developing your personal brand, or because you want to keep track of what people are saying about your brand, Tweetbot is probably the best you're going to get on your iPhone. It isn't free, but it's worth the few dollars it costs to bring a little sanity to the Twitter-verse.