Do you remember when conference calls were a logistical nightmare? When your contacts were stored in a ratty-looking rolodex? When you booked flights through teletext, and were sent confirmations by fax?
Thankfully, we are now able to do so much of our business via the internet, that we can make celebratory confetti from our fax paper, and doorstops from our Filofaxes. But that doesn’t mean that you have to be tied to your desk ten hours a day: one study claims that by 2018 more than half of all IP traffic will be via mobile devices.
Replacing that rolodex
After a networking event, or meeting, you’ll quite often find that you have a pocket full of business cards, some of which you may even want to keep. Instead of manually entering the details into your contacts, there are several apps that will do this for you – with varying degrees of success – using your rear-facing camera and optical character recognition (OCR).
Two of the most popular are ABBYY’s Business Card Scanner, and CamCard. Both are available across a variety of platforms, with free versions for iOS and Android. You’ll have to pay for ABBYY if you want to use it on your Window’s phone, and for CamCard if you want it for your Blackberry. If you often collect multilingual business cards, then we’d recommend ABBYY, whereas CamCard seems to have the clearer website, with better online support.
When you need more
If you like the idea of a Business Card Scanner, but perhaps you aren’t likely to use it often enough to make it worth the sacrifice in storage space, then something like Evernote might be better. Available for Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry, amongst others, Evernote allows you to take notes, organise and store them; on your device or on Evernote’s servers. You can also capture images, and OCR is possible.
Getting the most out of it can take a little figuring out, but it is consistently well-reviewed, and very useful.
The words ‘project management’ will have different meanings, depending on your field. There are a few different apps that can help you to keep an eye on different projects at once. Facebook Pages Manager is great for managing up to fifty Facebook pages, it allows you to view the page activity and insights with greater ease than if you were using the ‘individual’ Facebook app.
It is also worth looking at Basecamp, particularly if you are managing a project with multiple contributors, or your staff/team work remotely. You can create to-do lists, set events and deadlines in the calendar, upload files, and have discussions. The official app is available for Android and iOS, and whilst there are third-party clients available for other platforms, they don’t seem to work as well. For example, Basecamp 8 – for Windows 8 – is fine if you’re viewing one account, but if you are working on multiple projects between multiple accounts, switching between them is nigh on impossible.
If you have any go-to business apps that you want to share, please leave a comment below.