22 Innovative Apps to Streamline Your Business (and Life)

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It wasn’t that long ago that the word “app” wasn’t even a word.

Now we not only have apps on our smart phones and computers, but we “need apps.” The idea of using essential apps to streamline everything we do means that those apps need to be easy to use. They should solve a problem or make a routine task somehow easier to manage.  Apps should also be fun to use. If an app feels like work, it’s not the right app for you.

Here are some of the best known apps and also some of my personal favorites.

Related: Boost Your Productivity in Real Estate With These iPhone Applications

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22 Apps to Streamline Your Business (and Life)

Business

1. Dropbox and Copy:

These are two apps that I personally use for online storage. I started out with Dropbox and I do like it, but I really love Copy for managing and storing files. I like the fact that you can set up folders in Copy that look just like you have organized them in Word. One advantage of Copy is that it comes with a whole lot more free storage. Both of these services allow you to share files and are perfect to use if you have a virtual assistant.

Cost: Free

2. Evernote:

I am just getting started with Evernote. I guess you could safely say that I have been dragging my feet on this one, but I’m anxious to give it a try. I am a notebook person. I actually like that act of sitting with a pen and paper to write notes and to do planning — and pretty notebooks and journals are just so much fun to buy. But the “notebook system” is terribly inefficient because you never know which notebook particular notes are in.

Cost: Free

3. Hootsuite:

I have been using this app for a couple of years now. I recently passed the task of scheduling routine social media posts using this app on to my VA. By routine posts I mean posting things like daily quotes. She will also pre-schedule notifications for upcoming webinars and other events I may be hosting, as well as any “freebies” I have for folks at the time. Hootsuite is a great tool for pre-scheduling social media posts.

Cost: Free

4. Dashlane:

This is an app that will allow you to store all your passwords and other information that you want to keep secure. You just have one master password to access Dashlane, which has your other passwords stored. The good news is you will only have to remember one password ever. The bad news is, Dashlane doesn’t store your only password, so if you forget it, you are just out of luck.

Cost: Free

5. Scanner Pro:

Turn your phone into a portable scanner. Scan important documents and receipts, turn them into PDFs and upload them to Dropbox, Google Drive or Evernote. This is a really cool app.

Cost: $2.99

Around Town

6. Wi-Fi Finder:

With this app, you can get a map of all the wifi hotspots in your area both free and paid. This app would be especially useful if you were in a town you weren’t familiar with and didn’t have a Starbucks nearby.

Cost: Free

7. Gas Buddy:

Find the cheapest gas in town, as reported by local drivers.

Cost: Free

8. Waze:

This is a GPS app that will reroute you as weather or traffic conditions change. If you drive a lot, Waze can help you avoid those big traffic jams.

Cost: Free

Health

9. MyFitness Pal:  

This is a great app and one that I use all the time. You can track your exercise and what you eat to help you lose weight, maintain your weight and just improve your overall health. This app has a database of calorie counts for over 3 million foods. You can also add specific brands of foods along with the information for that particular product, and it will save it in your account.

Cost: Free

10. Run with Map My Run:

This app will track your walking or running pace, the distance you have gone and your route. You can organize this into charts and graphs (if that is something you want to do) and track your progress.

Cost: Free

11. 7 Minute Workout Challenge:

Always on the run? Never have time to work out? With this 7 minute workout, it can be done anytime and anywhere.

Cost: $1.99

Entertainment

12. Ted:

Most everyone is probably familiar with Ted Talks. If you ever get stranded in an airport and have absolutely nothing better to do, you can access the entire Ted library from your phone or tablet. I personally love Ted Talks.

Cost: Free

13. Pandora:

This is another one that most folks are familiar with, but it’s also a great app to have if you have time to just sit and listen to your favorite music.

Cost: Free

14. Yelp:

This app lets you search for nearby restaurants. You can also read the reviews before going there if it’s a restaurant you’re not familiar with.

Cost: Free

15. Movies by Flixter:

Flixster will search for show times at nearby theaters. You can also watch movie trailers and read the critics reviews with this app.

Cost: Free

16. Shazam:

This app was new to me. Have you ever heard a new song on the radio and wondered what the song title was? Using your phone’s microphone, this app will listen to the song that is playing and identify it within seconds. Shazam also gives you the option to download the song on iTunes. This app really does have you hooked up if you are a music fan.

Cost: Free

Finance

17. Credit Karma:

This completely free service allows you to keep track of your credit score in real time. It will also give you a credit “report card” followed by the reasons for your current credit score. This gives folks actionable steps they can take to raise their personal credit score.

Related: 5 Tools That Will Save You 5 Hours A Week

Cost: Free (no upsell)

18. Mint Personal Finance:

This is a great app for learning to track and improve your spending habits. Mint Personal Finance will link to your bank and credit card accounts so you can set desired spending amounts as an overall objective.  It will send you alerts when you exceed these spending limits.

Cost: Free

These Apps are Just Cool

19. Red Laser:

Did you ever wonder if you are getting the best deal available on an item in a store? I know I have. With Red Laser all you have to do is scan the barcode and compare the price to other stores both online and in your area. If you are just “window shopping,” you can save the results in your history.

Cost: Free

20. Timera:

Combine and blend your current photos with ancient photos taken at the same location. History buffs will love this one.

Cost: Free

21. TapHunter:

For serious beer drinkers only. With this app you can find out what craft beers are on tap in your area. You can save a brew or two to the “want list” and receive an alert when in becomes available in an establishment for you.

Cost: Free

22. TuneIn Radio:

With more than 100,000 radio stations and about 4 million podcasts at your fingertips, you will never be without something to listen to. You can also catch local talk shows and sports anywhere. Never be without your favorite radio station when you are traveling.

There is sure to be something for just about everyone on this list.

Is there an app you love that you that you would like to share? Do you use any apps on this list?

Let us know in the comments below!

About Author

Sharon Vornholt

Sharon has been investing in real estate since 1998. She owned and operated a successful home inspection company for 17 years. In January of 2008 she took the leap of closing her business to become a full time real estate investor.

26 Comments

  1. For working out (running, cycling, walking), everyone should use Charity Miles. It’s a free app to donate money via sponsors to more than 25 well-known charities. For example, the other day I ran 6 miles and Timex donated $1.50 to the Alzheimer’s Association. The more you exercise, the more sponsors donate!

  2. Great article Sharon!

    I use CamScanner, which is similar to Scanner Pro, and have found success with that. Also, Google Drive can scan documents natively. So, if you’re like me and would rather consolidate apps and functions, find the Scan button in Google Drive.

    I’ll also second LastPass as a great password manager.

    Cheers,
    Danny

  3. Here are two I enjoy.
    First is Soundhound for identifying a song an getting the lyrics.
    Second is Picjoiner which is really handy to combine two or three pics into one for use in newspaper ads or Craiglist.

    Just thought of one more ap, Convert Units. This ap is great for standard to metric, or metric to standard conversions of weight, volume, lengths, most anything.

  4. Thanks for the great list Sharon – will check out Copy!

    I use Evernote constantly and it keeps me so much more organized. I found tons of great tips in Evernote for Real Estate by Dean Ouellette – it’s an ebook I downloaded from Amazon, if memory serves. One of my favorite features in EN is the copy note link which allows you to link multiple notes to one master note . For example, I link my grocery list note to my “To Do” note so with one click from my “To Do” note, I get taken to my grocery list.
    Great for organizing real estate closings too which the book will give you templates for. Very handy!

    • Awesome Kasey.

      I have to admit I have been dragging my feet when it comes to learning Evernote, but I need to be using it. It’s no longer adequate to keep everything on your computer hard drive since we work from “everywhere”.

      Sharon

  5. Excellent selection. I’ve always heard of Evernote but didnt understand what it was about. Thanks for clarification. I think this is a great balance of apps to keep you well rounded and on budget (Mint and Red Laser!!) Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Kiara –

      It’s so funny to me; it hasn’t been that long ago the word “apps” wasn’t even a word. Now we have to have a bunch of them, and we are always looking for new apps.

      I’m definitely getting onboard with Evernote. I do love Copy for storing files online. I use Dropbox for sharing audio and video files with my VA.

      Sharon

  6. Paul Hoeppner on

    I really like pdf expert. It allows me to open pdfs and sign them on my phone and send them right back to people instantly.

    Also, you can have customers sign pdfs right on your phone. It’s very easy to edit any document.

  7. Thanks for the great list Sharon!

    I’m going to check out ScannerPro. Why have I not heard of it?!

    I recently downloaded an app called Safetrek. It’s a safety app that’s really help provide my office peace of mind in light of recent sad events. I use it when looking at the short sale or foreclosed homes that I don’t necessarily feel 100% safe going into alone.

    Thanks again for the info!
    – Amy

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