10 apps to boost your business in 2013

6 start-up founders share the apps they can’t live without

The New Year isn’t just a time for personal resolutions – it’ a time to get your business in shape for the coming year.

For many start-ups, mobile applications are a vital way to manage the day-to-day running of their business.

We asked a group of bright young entrepreneurs to share the apps they couldn’t live without in 2013.

James Boon, founder, ElephantBranded
BASECAMP: Project management application based in the cloud. It allows you to control a whole project from one page, creating to-do lists, storing files and holding discussions with colleagues.
Platform: iOS, Android and Windows
James’ Verdict: “Basecamp is our virtual office, it allows us to run ElephantBranded from our phones anywhere in the world. Without it, our way of doing business would not be possible!”

Nick Simm, founder, BoldGorilla
AWESOME NOTE HD: Allows you to integrate your notes, calendars and to-do lists into one easy to use app.
Platform: iOS and Android
Nick’s Verdict: “The perfect app for keeping track of plans, thoughts and ideas. Whether that’s during a conference, on the train or back in the office, this is the perfect organiser. It synchronises with EverNote and iCal to be the one stop shop for everything a business owner or entrepreneur could need to keep track and plan ahead.”  

Rob Welch, founder, smallcarBIGCITY
GENIUS SCAN: Allows you to scan documents on the go, format and then e-mail them in Jpeg or PDF format. You can group and easily locate files and save documents in the cloud using Dropbox, EverNote and Google Drive.
Platform: All
Rob’s Verdict: “My printer/scanner does not fit in my wallet, but my genius scan does.”   

Matt Lovett, founder, WOW Media
DESK.COM: A customer support service allowing you to simultaneously track your e-mails, social media and texts to ensure you can keep organised when managing customer queries.
Platform: iOS, Blackberry and Android
Matt’s Verdict: “We use these to manage customer support for almost all our websites, the iPhone app lets us manage our support tickets on the move to try and keep response times lower.”

QUICKBOOKS ONLINE MOBILE: Allows you to access and update your QuickBooks Online account through your mobile. New updates now include stock control and mobile banking which ensure that your finances can be constantly kept up to date.
Platform: iOS
Matt’s Verdict: “Being on top of my accounts is very important and having instant access to the them on the go takes the stress out of keeping them updated.”

REEDER: Allows you to sync with Fever, Google Reader and Readability to keep up-to-date with the latest and most relevant news to you. Also allows you to track and combine relevant news stories so you can easily see the popular topic on your streams and keep on top of the news.
Platform: iOS
Matt’s Verdict: “Not so much to do specifically with the work we do, but I use Google Reader to keep up to date with all the news relevant to what we do. The Reeder app lets me keep up with my Google Reader on my phone.”  

Naomi Kibble, co-founder, Rocktails.com
LIVE MINUTES: Free web conferencing solution which allows you to simultaneously chat, edit, share and create documents, brainstorm ideas and make notes. It can also connect with DropBox to store documents created in the meeting.
Platform: iOS
Naomi’s verdict: “Live Minutes is great for conference calling, collating notes in a meeting and recording comments. Everyone can collaborate and add their input. The best thing is that it instantly compiles into a report which everyone can then keep as a record.”

EVERNOTE: Ensures you remember everything by allowing you to capture and save everything, from ideas, notes, photos, and business cards, all in one place.
Platform: All
Naomi’s Verdict: “EverNote is great for compiling notes, sharing with the team and collaborating notebooks.”

Ruth Amos, founder, Stair Steady
TWEETDECK: Allows you to keep up to date with all your social media accounts simultaneously. The deck allows you to update several social media websites and also view multiple accounts on each website at the same time.
Platform: All
Ruth’s Verdict: “I’m a massive fan of the Tweetdeck app – I have a few twitter accounts so being able to switch from one to the other, personal to business, is great.”

DROPBOX: Allows you to share large documents and photos with friends, colleagues and clients in the cloud. You can create online communities to share numerous relevant and clearly grouped documents. Through the app you can view documents traditionally too large to be viewed on phones and tablets.
Platform: All
Ruth’s verdict: “Drop Box is amazing and really great at sharing big documents and it works nicely on iPad and iPhone.”

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