Courtesy of Point N Time

Courtesy of Point N Time

Have you found the best apps for your business needs? Or are you scratching your head trying to figure out which ones are the best? According to the latest Pew report, 63% of America are now smartphone owners—a wake up call that business owners and marketers need to hear, and a challenge they need to embrace.

This growing, on-the-go consumer trend is telling business owners something—its time to evolve into mobile-focused organizations. Like it or not, mobile phones will play an increasing role in our lives and our businesses. 

Each day it seems that yet another company is introducing a new, must-have app onto the market. Every business has its own specific needs, and no one wants to waste time and money trying out dozens of apps in hopes of finding the right one.

Over the last month or so I downloaded dozens of various types of apps, each of them catering to a specific need. I was surprised at some, disappointed with others. I tried to choose apps that had something unique to offer, or at the very least met a great many needs at one time.

Sadly, I can’t list all of the good ones I found, but in no particular order, here are five that seem to me to be the most useful in more ways than one.

1 – Meeting Mapper for Salesforce by Point N Time

Courtesy of Point N Time

Courtesy of Point N Time

I have a lot of friends who are salespeople, so checking out this app was a no-brainer when someone pointed it out to me. One of the things that drew me to Meeting Mapper right away was the surprising realization that it isn’t there just for entering information into a system.

“I’ve managed sales teams of various sizes,” says Travis Davis, President and CEO at Point N Time. “I’ve sat in numerous meetings with my team members and ask them to update the CRM with their notes and other important information from the meeting. It never failed, a two hour meeting turns into 2 or 3 sentences in the notes for the opportunity.”

Meeting Mapper creates a consistent process for conducting meetings, gathering information that can be used to build reports and dashboards to fully understand which opportunities are in jeopardy and which ones to walk away from.

“One reason the rank and file have not embraced CRM is because they are hard to use,” says Mike Williams, VP of Operations. “This is mainly due to the lousy UIs.  MM for all intense and purposes provides an easy to use interface to Salesforce; everything is entered via the MM interface, then this data is automatically populated in the appropriate Salesforce objects.”

By combining it with Salesforce, Meeting Mapper appears to provide a “full value” CRM by populating the system with data that acts as both a guide and a tool for salespeople to stay on course.

In these days of immediate information, that’s definitely a tool just about any salesperson or meeting manager can benefit from.

2 – Wedeeo

Advertised as the “first truly social video app that lets you co-create and mix memorable video moments,” this appears to be true—I can’t find anything out there quite like Wedeeo.

Courtesy of Wedeeo

Courtesy of Wedeeo

Unlike Vine which has no value beyond its six-second looped videos, Wedeeo has the ability to edit, add music and download the end result pretty much everywhere. This unique, collaborative mobile video app allows friends (yes, that means Facebook ones) to co-create and customize videos together from anyplace, at any time.

Wedeeo is seamlessly integrated with Facebook, allowing users to invite their Facebook friends and page followers to co-create video moments together all in a single tap. That very simplicity of use, not to mention the fact that the people at Wedeeo will help you do all of these things and more, make it far more appealing to me than anything else on the market today. 

“We wanted to build a platform that encourages brands to communicate with their fans and networks in engaging, collaborative new ways,” said co-Founder Natasha Nova in an interview last month. “Now phones and friends can be turned into one-stop filming, editing and production studios, making sharing experiences richer and more dynamic than ever.”

Because Wedeeo taps existing social media fans and invites them to grow buzz organically, the app seems ready made for brands. At least that’s what companies like Quicksilver, Chevy, Reebok and Coca Cola think. Each of them has partnered with Wedeeo to take advantage of the apps capabilities for curating, monitoring, approving submissions, editing, tracking and measuring results for numerous video campaigns.

When you think of the ability to engage people by virtue of collaborative video production, no wonder big corporations are taking note.

3 – ReadQuick

Courtesy of ReadQuick

Courtesy of ReadQuick

If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a thousand times or more—I don’t have enough time to read. For those in doubt, here’s your chance to make time.

For nearly a year, ReadQuick has been helping iPad users read quickly. But the latest update means you can speed-read your way through your articles-to-read list on your iPhone too.

This is music to the eyes of any business that wants and needs to stay up to day with current events that impact their industry—marketers, PR folk and sales reps come to mind here.

By tapping into any page on the internet, ReadQuick has a built-in browser that lets you access and save directly to ReadQuick. It also tells you how long each article should take to read and keeps track of how many articles and words you’ve been reading. In essence, the more often you use the app, the speedier your reading will be.

For time crunched execs and reps, this seems like a winner.

Courtesy of Ministry of Simplification

Courtesy of Ministry of Simplification

4 – Viz from Minisimple

Need a chart or graph while on the road or on the way to a meeting? Then I think Viz might be the app for you. Created by the Ministry of Simplification, Viz is (amazingly) the first app that lets you create quick charts and graphs directly from an iOS device.

Users can easily create charts by inputting data and selecting the type of chart they want (Bars, Pie, Cloud, Scrapers and Parliament style). Users can also tweak the color scheme and have the option to either share it via a social networks (Twitter, Facebook or Instagram), email it to someone, or save it as a JPEG. And you won’t need spreadsheet software, either.

This one is a no-brainer for controllers, CEOs, bankers, venture capitalists or anyone who needs something more than their accountants have provided, but who don’t have time to wait for it. 

5 – Mind Tools

Courtesy of Mind Tools

Courtesy of Mind Tools

Mind Tools has been around for a while. But every time I turn around it seems they’re adding something new.

In a nut, Mind Tools provides the basis for learning about leadership, team management, problem-solving, personal productivity, and team-working skills. I hate to say it, but small to medium and even growing businesses would be wise to make use of a platform like this, especially as it’s available for Ipads, Iphones and Ipods.

If you’re not sure your need to learn more about leadership and management, take this brief test and see which of their more than 700 skill modules you could use for an improved and streamlined management style and work-environment.

More Than Five?

These are just five of the apps I found to be better than what is usually on offer. One of the things each of these apps has in common is that they can all be used easily and with a minimum of intricacies. Each is a good, solid app that might make the daily running of your business much easier.

Do you have any suggestions for must-have apps? I’d love to hear about them.