In today’s connected world, apps help manage our playlists, measure our heartbeat and translate menus in a foreign language when we go on holiday.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise that many business owners also rely on a variety of business apps to help make operations more efficient and increase productivity.

With over 2 million apps available, testing each one out is nearly impossible.  This is why most tend to download apps that are recommended by friends, colleagues and advisors which are tried and tested.  Below are 5 business apps on the market today that can help boost productivity and make the lives of entrepreneurs a little easier.

1. Xero – for accounting 

Xero has successfully helped thousands of business owners who have no prior accounting knowledge to grasp vital concepts like cash-flow, reconciliation, invoicing and receipting and let them have the confidence to perform a series of basic accounting tasks.

Xero integrates with many features to help your business run like clockwork, including Stripe for online payments, and ReceiptBank for easily submitting your receipts.

How can it help?

The app allows you to manage your business accounts whilst on the move. From invoicing your clients to approving expenses and even providing professional looking quotes, Xero makes time-consuming tasks easier and faster than even to accomplish.

How much does it cost?

From £10 to £27.50 a month, discounts are available for the first 3-6 months.

2. Trello – for project management 

The ability to manage a variety of projects proficiently is essential in a growing business, Trello allows you to create a board for each project, which is then further broken down into individual tasks through lists, cards, checklists and labels, allowing you to organise and prioritise your workload.

How can it help?

Trello makes project management more efficient by giving teams the ability to collaborate and achieve a set goal. It integrates well with Google Drive, Slack and Dropbox, making it easier to manage projects that have data on different platforms.

How much does it cost?

The free version is normally enough for small businesses, but you can pay £12.50 per team member per month for Trello Business Class which comes with more features.

3. RescueTime – for time tracking 

Many entrepreneurs juggle multiple tasks and often find themselves distracted by a myriad of things which may not generate revenue. Even the seemingly necessarily things like reading, answering and deleting emails take a significant amount of our time but may not contribute to bottom line.

How can it help?

RescueTime gives an accurate picture of how you spend your time and thereby you can plan to be more productive.

How much does it cost?

The free version only tracks how much time you have spent on websites and apps, the Premium version which costs $9 a month (or $72 a year) has more features to help manage your time more efficiently.

4. Slack – for working together

Slack improves employee activity and speed with an instant messaging app that values collaboration and connection. Everything from social outings to project discussions can live within Slack. The app offers personalised communication channels, searchable conversations and other necessary features for quick and easy contact.

How can it help?

Slack makes collaboration between people easier. Your team can submit ideas and vote on them, then whichever idea gets the most votes can be shared to one of the integrated social media platforms instantly.

How much does it cost?

The free version provides a limited trial version. If you upgrade it will cost either £5.25 a month for the Standard tier and £117 a year for their Plus tier.

5. Otter – for note taking 

One of the worst things in the world is when you come out of a meeting and can’t recall every bit of it. Rather then taking notes, focus on the conversation and let Otter help you.

Otter transcribes voice conversations into rich notes with text, audio, images and key phrases that are easy to search and share. One of the most interesting features is Otter’s ability to recognise voices and terminology over time, becoming more personalised.

How can it help?

Otter turns your voice conversations, recordings or podcasts into smart notes that you can easily search and share. You can use it to capture your thoughts and ideas while you’re driving. In addition, if you take photos during a recording, they will be inserted inline with your transcripts.

How much does it cost?

Like most apps, Otter’s basic tier is free, but the paid services offer 6,000 transcription minutes a month and other features.

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