Business apps

iphone apps, business apps
Credit: Smartphone image via Shutterstock
You probably juggle dozens of tasks each day just to keep it running. With so many responsibilities, a pen-and-paper to-do list just won't cut it. That's where your iPhone comes in: With the right apps and a little know-how, there are countless ways to plan your day, week, month and year. And if you just need to remember to make an important business call one hour from now, there's an app for that, too.

Every iPhone comes with Apple's own Calendar app, which offers basic functionality to help you schedule meetings, remember appointments and more. But the default app can't do it all. Other apps offer deeper options and more streamlined functionality to help you stay on top of your daily duties. Here are eight of the best.

Calendar: Fantastical 2 ($1.99)

Data on Demand: Wolfram Alpha ($2.99)

Fantastical 2 is a top-rated alternative to the stock iPhone calendar app because it strikes a great balance between deep features and ease of use. It has all the features of competing apps, including the ability to view your calendar by day, week, month or year, and easily drill down to view individual events. And it lets you add events using natural speech, such as “Meet Ted for lunch at 2:00 on Tuesday.” Fantastical 2 parses your sentence to fill in all the relevant information and then automatically notifies you when the event approaches. Most important, the app is intuitive and easy to use. For example, moving an event to a different time or day is as easy as tapping and holding, and then dragging it to the correct spot on your calendar.

Day Planner: Schedule Planner (Free)

PDFs: Adobe Reader (Free)

Schedule Planner puts the focus squarely on the minutiae of your daily tasks, and then provides the tools you need to see if you're spending your time wisely. It features an easy-to-use interface to help you quickly plan out your day in the morning, and lets you place items in color-coded categories, such as Work and Free Time. The app then generates charts to help you see, at a glance, where your time is going — a key feature for small business owners who make their own schedules. Like other day-planner apps, Schedule Planner allows users to set custom alerts, repeat tasks and move items around with easy cut-and-paste functionality.

To-Do List: Todoist (Free)

Read It Later: Pocket (Free)
Todoist can help you burn through tasks by adding tons of extra functionality to the traditional to-do list format. In addition to the ability to set up simple checklists, the app lets you set due dates and even rank tasks by priority to help you identify your next action item. It also includes project management features, including the ability to assign individual tasks to a larger project, and designate tasks to a specific team member. And Todoist integrates Google Calendar and Evernote, which makes it easy to collaborate with team members who don’t have the app.

Productivity: Microsoft Word (Free)

Productivity: Microsoft Word (Free)
You can get real world work done from your iPhone with Microsoft Word. You can view, edit and create documents from anywhere. Your Office documents keep all the correct formatting as on your desktop. And you can share documents by emailing an attachment or a hyperlink. But it does requires an Office 365 subscription.

Data on Demand: Wolfram Alpha ($2.99)

Data on Demand: Wolfram Alpha ($2.99)
It's sort of like Siri, only smarter. In fact, parts of Wolfram Alpha are in Siri. This app gives you a serious computational knowledge engine that can help you with any type of math or science problem. That includes nutrition questions, track stocks, plan investments and work with probabilities just to name a few things.

PDFs: Adobe Reader (Free)

PDFs: Adobe Reader (Free)
Need to fill out a form on your phone and PDF if back? No problem with Adobe Acrobat Reader. Just as you can on your desktop, the mobile version lets you view, annotate and review documents. You can use your phone's camera to snap a photo and save it as a PDF. You can fill out forms and sign documents with your finger.

Read It Later: Pocket (Free)

Read It Later: Pocket (Free)
With Pocket, when you find an article or video you want to read, but don't have time to at the moment, you can save it to pocket. It syncs that content across phones, tablets and computers, and you can access it offline. It offers unlimited storage and you can tag things for searching later. You can even recommend content to others.

Accounting: FreshBooks (Free)

Accounting: FreshBooks (Free)
You shouldn't be tied to your desktop just to handle accounting issues. You can create invoices, receive payments, capture expenses and track billable hours through Freshbooks. It can also create and send estimates to clients, and it backs up your data and syncs it with its desktop version.