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Benedict Brook
Smarter Writer

Benedict Brook is a journalist and communications consultant with two decades' experience working in Australia and the UK

Benedict Brook
Smarter Writer

Benedict Brook is a journalist and communications consultant with two decades' experience working in Australia and the UK

Keep your business at peak efficiency by downloading some of this year’s must-have apps for your desktop and mobile devices.

Not known for winding down during the silly season, even small business owners are probably looking forward to a bit of a break over Christmas. But with 2015 just around the corner, now is the perfect time to refresh your mobile toolkit to keep on top of business when you’re on the go. 

Here at Smarter, we’ve taken a look back at some of the best apps of 2014 to help you maximise your productivity. Go on, treat yourself, it's Christmas.

best productivity apps 2014 android iOS smartphone tablet

1. Quotient

Streamline the job quoting process with this handy little app. The easy-to-use interface could see you quoting for new work within minutes. Simply add a title, a line item or two and even a photo to add a touch of difference.

With Quotient, clients can accept the quote with just one click while you can keep track of your leads and even see how many times they’ve been viewed, on one screen.

A favourite of Michelle Power, a director of online collaborative community Ziilch, she says the app’s biggest time saver is its integration with accounting software Xero: “So when a client accepts a quote, Quotient sends the line items of the proposal to my Xero account and creates a draft invoice – easy peasy.”

Web app.

2. Deductibles

We’ve all been there at tax time, struggling to dig out fading receipts stuffed in glove compartments or crumpled in the back of dusty drawers. With Deductibles, those days are gone.

Simply snap an image of the receipt, file it under the correct tax category and at the end of the year export all the data to save you time, maximise your tax return and put more in your pocket.

Even better, because Deductibles was developed specifically for Australia, it comes loaded with all the correct ATO tax categories.

iOS, Android.

3. PocketEarth

You’re rushing to have a coffee with a client, you’ve not been to the café before and you’re relying on your phone to direct the way. Your mobile device connection drops out and suddenly your map navigational abilities drop off a cliff.

However, if you‘re using PocketEarth you won’t miss a step. The genius of this map app is its ability to work without a mobile connection. Download the maps you need when you’re in range and, even if you’re halfway across the Nullarbor, you’ll never be lost again. What’s more, you can read travel guides to 25,000+ destinations.

iOS.

4. Australia Post

Mail order is the lifeblood of many small businesses so it’s imperative to keep customers happy by staying on top of deliveries. With the Australia Post appall the information you need to stay in control is a swipe away on your mobile device.

The app lets you calculate postage costs, manage your parcel deliveries, get estimated delivery times and scan and search tracked items. You can find out as soon as the parcel has been delivered to your customer and then save all the details for reference.

iOS, Android.

5. Evernote Business

The must have app for many a small enterprise, Evernote Business is the cream of the crop when it comes to workplace collaboration.

The business version of the note management tool unleashes more features allowing all members of the team to work together on projects remotely, share knowledge and brainstorm new ideas.Attach images and PDFs, create shareable notebooks and produce professional presentations all away from the office.

iOS, Android.

6. RescueTime

And finally, a productivity app that helps identify the times when you are, perhaps, a little less productive. Lingering a little too long on Smarter than strictly necessary (as if)? RescueTime will let you know.

Quietly chugging away in the background, this piece of time management software tracks the periods you spend on applications and websites, giving you an accurate picture of your day.

A detailed report allows you take effective steps to keep on task. But if you need a nudge, RescueTime lets you set time limits for certain websites, alerts you when you’ve achieved your productivity goals and can even block some sites altogether.

Web app, Android.

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