You’re a small business owner with too many things to do and too little time to do them in.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could find a way to do things automatically and find more time in your day?
Lucky for you, we’ve found just the apps that can do that and more. Run your business – and your life – more efficiently in 2013 with help from the 8 apps we’ve rounded up for you:
Organization is key to running any business smoothly – and saving your sanity.
Keeping all of your notes, ideas and favorite links in one place makes it easy to access them right when you need them. Storing virtual copies of your business receipts makes it easy to categorize everything at tax time. Tracking all of your finances at-a-glance can save you from a lot of spending headaches.
These tools will help you keep everything in order:
Evernote: Keep Your Ideas Organized
What it is: A virtual notebook for saving anything and everything.
What it does: Are you a chronic bookmarker, saving links for later? Do you have to-do lists scattered everywhere and Post-It Note reminders all over your workspace? Do you get brilliant ideas while you’re out somewhere and don’t have anywhere to jot them down? Evernote saves, stores and organizes all of these for you through virtual notebooks:
- Create separate notebooks for different kinds of links you want to save for inspiration or reading later
- Make a notebook for content ideas you get while you’re out.
- Snap pictures of your to-do lists and Post-It Note reminders so you’ll always have them with you.
Evernote has apps for your computer, smartphone and tablet, and syncs your notes across all of your devices, so you’ll always have the information you need right at your fingertips.
Shoeboxed: File All Your Important Papers Online
What it is: A virtual filing cabinet for your receipts and other business documents.
What it does: Saves you from hunting down paper receipts at tax time and gets rid of that big stack of important business papers. Shoeboxed lets you either mail or scan receipts and other documents and organizes them for you in an online account. You can get rid of all that paper, save some drawer and desk space and still have access to everything you need.
Mint: Track All Your Finances In One Place
What it is: A personal finance and budgeting tool.
What it does: Mint lets you track exactly where your money is going, set budgets and financial goals, and see all of your bank accounts and credit cards at one glance. Their mobile app makes it easy to check your finances on the go.
Create and Share Content
Content creation can be a chore that you don’t always have time for. Tracking down ideas to write about, including eye-catching images and getting more eyes on your blog posts and emails can take a lot of effort.
These tools are to help you get inspired and share your content more easily:
StumbleUpon: Find Great Sites To Inspire You
What it is: A web browser extension that discovers new websites for you in categories you can specify.
What it does: StumbleUpon is like channel surfing the Internet. You can choose a category to “stumble,” and StumbleUpon will show you random sites listed in that category. Try “stumbling” categories related to your industry the next time you need a flash of inspiration to see what others are writing about.
Pixlr: Edit Photos On The Fly
What it is: A suite of online image editing tools
What it does: If you need to jazz up an image for a blog post or an email, Pixlr has you covered. The site offers a full-featured editor that’s similar to Photoshop, a more basic editor for making simple adjustments, and a “fun” editor for adding Instagram-like effects to your images. Pixlr also makes their online editors available as apps for Android, iPhone and iPad, so you can edit photos when you’re away from home, too.
Click to Tweet: Get Others Tweeting For You
What it is: A tweet generator that makes it easy for other people to share your content on Twitter.
What it does: Click to Tweet lets you write a tweet for other people to share. You write a blog post with some tweetable stats or quotes. You want them shared on Twitter. Use Click to Tweet to write out what you want the tweet to say – with a link back to your blog post – and copy and paste the link they provide right into your post. Anyone who clicks the link gets redirected to their own Twitter account with your pre-written tweet ready to send.
Automate To Save Time
While organization is the key to running your business smoothly, automation makes it run effortlessly.
The more things you can schedule in advance to happen automatically, the more time you can save and focus on other areas of your business.
These are tools you can use to stay active on Pinterest and share things between different online accounts with hardly any effort on your part:
Pingraphy: Schedule Pins In Advance
What it is: A web app to preschedule Pinterest posts.
What it does: Pingraphy is like Hootsuite for Pinterest. You can schedule pins in advance to keep your Pinterest presence active without falling into the time suck and distraction that Pinterest can sometimes create.
IFTTT: Automate Smaller Tasks
What it is: An online app that can automate almost anything.
What it does: IFTTT (short for “If This Then That”) connects your online services together to automate some of the smaller things you do throughout the day. Have images with a certain hashtag from your personal Instagram account post to your business’s Facebook page. “Star” articles in Google Reader and have them autopost to Hootsuite. Save important events from your calendar to Evernote. IFTTT can save you a lot of time on little tasks.
Save Time With Your Email Marketing, Too
Email marketing is highly profitable tactic for marketing your business. [link to ROI stat] But if you’re both the owner and marketer for your business, finding time to create messages can be a challenge.
Luckily, AWeber has two tools that automate your email marketing, saving you time while keeping you in touch with your customers:
Follow Up Emails: Send Emails Automatically
What they are: A series of emails that you can write in advance to send automatically when a new customer joins your email list.
What they do: Follow up emails save you time by sending emails to your subscribers automatically. You can write as many emails as you want in advance and schedule them to send at different intervals – daily, weekly, even monthly if you want. Follow ups let you stay in touch with customers at a point where their interest in you is at its highest, and continue following up with less effort through emails that send themselves.
Instant Blog Newsletters: Turn Blog Posts Into No-Fuss Newsletters
What they are: Emails that send every time you publish a new blog post.
What they do: Blog broadcasts are another great time-saving feature. A new email gets created every time you publish a new blog post, which you can schedule to send to your readers instantly or as a weekly digest. Once you decide how frequently to email your blog posts, your messages will send themselves automatically to all the readers on your list. So much easier than duplicating posts from your blog on your own!
What are some other ways that you save time and keep your business organized? Share with us in the comments!