20 clever business apps to make your life easier

Man in glasses using a business app on his phone with a laptop in front of him

Apps can save you time, improve your productivity, help you relax or simplify complex tasks. Here's our pick of the best 20 apps around that could make your life a little bit easier

Trello

If you love a to-do list, then you'll love Trello. This project management tool uses boards, lists and cards to organise tasks. It's popular with professionals and teams that collaborate on projects. With its colourful layout and drag-and-drop functionality, Trello is easy to use and helps keep people on task.
Cost: Free and paid-for versions.

Camcard

This app reads business cards in 17 languages and stores the details in a contact management system that you can access from your computer, tablet or smartphone. Camcard also allows you to add notes and images and set reminders.
Cost: $5 per user per month

Slack

Slack started life as an in-house communication solution designed to cut down on internal emails. It's used by over 12 million business people every day. This cloud-based messaging app offers direct messaging, group chats and file sharing. It promises to significantly reduce your internal email and boost productivity.
Cost: Free and paid-for versions.

MailChimp

Everything you need to run email marketing campaigns in one place - from design templates to A/B testing tools and analytics. MailChimp integrates with lots of other popular apps including Facebook, Twitter, Eventbrite, Google, Salesforce, Shopify and SurveyMonkey.
Cost: "Forever free" and paid-for versions.

LastPass

LastPass remembers your passwords and other information and stores it securely in a 'vault', which syncs with any device automatically, giving you access to your business passwords wherever you are.
Cost: A free personal plan is available as well as paid for personal, business and family plans are available.

Headspace

Switching off can be really hard when you run your own business. These guided mindfulness meditations have millions of fans; Headspace promises to reduce stress and even lower blood pressure. Start with a free trial; subscription models provide access to longer courses of daily meditations.
Cost: From £9.99 a month to £49.99 for an annual plan.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite can help you manage multiple social media accounts from one dashboard - making your social media marketing more effective and saving you time. Share and schedule posts from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn; and manage all your social media activity on the go.
Cost: 30-day free trial. Plans start at £25 per month for one user and up to 10 profiles.

Evernote

Evernote is a cloud-based app that can store and organise your ideas, files, notes and photos. When inspiration strikes, Evernote provides an intelligent storage solution for anything you want to remember - even web pages. You can then access all your notes and files via your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Cost: Free and paid-for versions.

Upwork app

Upwork connects freelance professionals with clients; the Upwork app allows you to get job invitations on the go, let clients know you're available and get hired fast.
Cost: Free

My Happy Place

My Happy Place gives you a dedicated home for anything and everything that makes you happy - including songs, pictures, quotes, videos and diary entries. This app is the place to go when you're looking for inspiration and you want to remember what's important in life.
Cost: Free

Instapaper

This app allows you to save anything you find online that you might want to look at again - from articles, blogs and videos to recipes and songs. Instapaper syncs the content you save so that it's waiting for you on all your devices - iPhone, iPad, Android or Kindle. You can then read, watch or listen to anything you have saved, even if you're offline.
Cost: Free

TripIt

This handy travel app takes all your bookings - flights, trains, car hire, hotels and so on - and turns them into one easy to use itinerary. You just forward all your booking confirmations to a special TripIt email address, and the app does the rest.
Cost: Free

Doodle

When you're planning a meeting, finding a time that everyone can make can be hard. To avoid sending endless emails in order to get a date in the diary, Doodle asks all participants to vote on the dates they can do; it then works out when the event should take place and informs everyone of the final decision.
Cost: Free trial and paid-for versions starting at £3.50 per month.

Microsoft To Do

Microsoft To Do is a new app which replaced Wunderlist in May 2020. Microsoft To Do helps you get more done. Organise your to-do lists, set deadlines and reminders and share tasks with colleagues. You can also turn emails into actions by forwarding them to Microsoft To Do.
Cost: Free

You can move your old Wunderlists to Microsoft To Do in three easy steps (learn more at wunderlist.com/switch).

Quip

A "connected hub" where teams can create, discuss and organise projects, Quip promises to allow you to get more "real work" done by freeing up time spent on finding, editing, sharing and storing files and discussing changes with your team. Quip also integrates with the Salesforce CRM.
Cost: Free trial and a range of paid-for versions starting at $10 per month.

SurveyMonkey

This app provides a simple way to find out what other people think about your brand, your products and your marketing. Whether you want to poll existing customers, staff or prospects, Survey Monkey allows you to create surveys and learn from the results - all from your smartphone.
Cost: Free and paid-for versions.

Cogi

If you don't want to have to take copious notes in meetings, Cogi offers a clever way to record the important points. Whenever something is said that you want to capture, you just tap the highlight button. These snippets are kept together so you can listen back to the key points after a meeting.
Cost: Free and paid-for versions.

Toggl

This timesheet app helps you improve your time management and increase productivity. You can also use Toggl to keep track of your billable hours.
Cost: 30-day free trial. Plans from $9 per user per month.

Forest

Addicted to your phone? Easily distracted by online games or social media? If you want to stay on task for a specific length of time, Forest allows you to plant a seed and watch it grow into a tree - as long as you resist the temptation to leave the app.
Cost: Free and paid-for versions.

Breathe2Relax

Breathing exercises can help manage stress, anger and anxiety. With Breathe2Relax, you tell the app how stressed you are; it then uses narration, video, animation and graphics to teach you diaphragmatic breathing.
Cost: Free

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