If you're all in on Apple's mobile platform and use an iPad or iPhone, some apps can truly help streamline your business. Heck, some even work cross platform with Apple's other operating systems for Apple Watch and Mac, so you can sync much of your business across all of your Apple devices. From email to note taking to productivity, here are the iOS apps that will help you save time and increase efficiency in the workplace.
1. EmailCredit: Spark
Spark can integrate multiple email platforms and uses a smart inbox to automatically filter and rank your emails. The app divides all your emails into either personal, newsletter or notification tabs, streamlining crowded and hectic inboxes. The free service also includes smart notifications so you only receive a notification when an important email comes in. This can allow you to cut down on distractions as you get more work done. In addition to syncing with your Apple devices, Spark offers a quick reply option for an instant, generic email response and provides a shake-to-undo feature for when you accidently read or archive an email.
2. Note TakingCredit: OneNote
Microsoft's OneNote is a great, free tool that allows business owners to organize and take notes on all Apple devices. You don't need a Microsoft subscription to use OneNote. Business owners can use the app to draw, type and organize pages and sections into a fully customized notebook. OneNote doesn't confine the user like traditional word processors or note-taking apps: Users can add notes anywhere on the page and even connect text boxes with lines for creating abstract diagrams or flow charts. One final, major feature of OneNote is its ability to record and store audio and even video in the program. As a versatile note-taking platform, OneNote is essential to business owners. [Read related article: Evernote vs. OneNote: Which Is Best for Your Business?]
3. Contact ManagementCredit: Full Contact
Full Contact can sync and integrate contacts from multiple channels. Whether your contacts are in Google, Exchange or your phone or computer's address book, Full Contact keeps them all in one place for free. Full Contact can even add Twitter usernames to contact profiles within the app. Instead of wasting time searching your contacts on multiple platforms trying to find someone, Full Contact houses everything you need. It can provide the ability to organize contacts with tags and attach notes so you can remember important details.
4. To-do'sCredit: Todoist
Todoist is a free, powerful organization tool that makes creating and modifying to-do lists easy that works across all of Apple's platforms. Flexibility is a key component to this program – business owners can divide to-do's into separate projects, drag and drop to-do's onto different lists, and rank items according to priority with Todoist's color-coding feature. In addition to these tools, Todoist provides a quick add feature. A user can quickly add a to-do by typing the item with the respective project's hashtag at the end.
5. CalendarCredit: Fantastical 2
Fantastical 2 syncs with multiple calendars so you don't have to worry that you're missing anything on any of your platforms. Sync your work and personal calendars to view everything on your agenda in one place. You can add events in Fantastical 2 using natural language and set reminders or recurring events. The DayTicker lays out all your events and reminders in one easy view. Even though this app is $4.99, its ability to sync multiple calendars and simple, natural language event-adding separates it from competitors.
6. Save for laterCredit: Pocket
When you're at work, you're busy – but that doesn't mean you don't stumble on articles or stories you'd like to read at some point. Pocket is a free tool that works across platforms and allows you to save important webpages for later. After installing a Chrome extension, users mark which articles, stories or webpages they may not have time for at the moment but would like to revisit later. If you don't use Chrome, you can email webpages to a designated Pocket email address; the story will be saved and stored for later. Pocket centralizes your saved articles and allows you to organize them using tags.
7. Expense managementCredit: Concur
Concur is a great tool for tracking expenses and issuing reimbursements to employees. It may be hard for business owners on the go to keep receipts, so Concur simplified this process by creating a snap and file receipt system. When a user wants to file a receipt, they take a picture and it's automatically uploaded to Concur's system. There are a host of features that Concur offers depending on what plan your business needs. While the Concur app is free, business owners need to enroll in one of Concur's subscription plans to access features. It doesn't sync natively with Mac or Apple Watch, but since it's a web service, you can still get it from your laptop.
8. AccountingCredit: FreshBooks
Freshbooks is a full-featured mobile accounting app with cloud integration and an easy-to-use interface. The app lets you record and track your business's expenses and profits. There are extra features, such as an option to track how long you or your employees spend on a project for easier invoice generation. And like any good accounting software, FreshBooks can help you file your taxes. The app is free, but business owners need a Freshbooks subscription to use it.
9. ProductivityCredit: Tide
Tide is a free and flexible productivity app that can break up your day to make sure you are staying productive. Long hours at a desk can hurt productivity, so getting up every now and then and going for a walk, eating or talking with co-workers can help to keep your mind fresh and focused while you're working. Tide is a timer system that tracks how long you've been working and prompts you when it's time to take a break. This feature is completely customizable to your work habits. Tide also offers five natural sounds to stay focused – ocean, rain, forest, meditation and coffee – and can play white noise in the background of these sounds as well. There is no Mac or Apple Watch version, however.
10. Cloud StorageCredit: DropBox
Many business owners use OneDrive or Google Drive, depending on whether their company has a subscription with G Suite or Microsoft 365 Business. For business owners without a subscription, Dropbox is a great option for cloud storage at an affordable rate. Dropbox provides 2TB of storage for $12.50 and includes advanced security features, such as remote device wiping. Dropbox syncs with all Apple devices, giving you access to important files wherever you have an internet connection.