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14 Must-Have Apps for the Entrepreneur

14 Must-Have Apps for the Entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur means high hopes for making an impact—with as low a budget as possible.

Nowadays, entrepreneurs are more and more tech-savvy. Using applications on the web and on mobile phone is becoming increasingly popular, especially when these applications are built to solve the kinds of problems that entrepreneurs face daily.

The entrepreneurs I know personally are all experts in their specialized fields, but they also need to have awareness of many other fields in order to get ahead. It would be difficult for a person to start a company successfully without knowing enough about accounting to keep the books running smoothly, and it would also be difficult for an entrepreneur to find success without having some kind of skill in sales or marketing.

Help solve the entrepreneur’s dilemma

How can a small team be on top of everything all the time when they’re so intent on focusing on their core mission? These apps can help. This new year season, consider gifting the entrepreneur in your life with some great apps to help their business flourish.

1. Evernote Premium

evernote

    While Evernote is a great service that can be used for free, there are various reasons the entrepreneur might need the premium version.

    In my experiences as an entrepreneur, here are the features I found I most needed:

    • Viewing previous versions of each note
    • Sharing and collaborating on notes with colleagues
    With recently updated versions of Evernote for desktop and mobile, there’s no other app I prefer to use to keep things in order. I highly recommend it for any entrepreneur who wants help staying organized.

    2. Basecamp

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    Basecamp

      Keeping track of multiple projects and due dates is mind-boggling, but with a paid service like Basecamp, collaborating on projects is easier than ever.

      What I like about Basecamp (and I’m sure thousands of teams around the world would agree with) is that the user experience is a simplified as it needs to be. Nothing is over-complicated or full of unnecessary features—it’s just what a team needs to get things done.

      3. Things 2

      things 2

        Pro tip: If your entrepreneur friend needs a mobile to-do list, you might want to look into Things by Cultured Code.

        Accounting Software

        Maybe I have a soft spot for accounting software just because I’m so bad at accounting, but I know that this is a sore spot for many entrepreneurs out there. Here are a few services I recommend:

        4. Harvest

        harvest

          With a simple, intuitive interface, getting you and your team on board is fast and easy on Harvest.

          5. Outright

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          Outright-Website

            Outright helps small businesses and those who are self employed with online bookkeeping through their exceptional accounting software

            6. Mint

            mint

              Manage your budget with easy to use personal finance tools and calculators on Mint. Track spending and monitor your online banking account. Free to get started.

              7. Lemon Wallet

              lemon

                Lemon Wallet, it’s a mobile app that allows you to store a digital copy of all of your cards in your wallet so you can access them whenever you need.

                Hiring accounting help is a great luxury for small-time entrepreneurs. By pitching in with accounting software inholiday season, you may just be gifting the one thing the budget hadn’t made room for.

                Mindmaps

                From a creative and organizational perspective, mindmapping can really help put ideas in order. Some mindmaps are free with limited features, but splurging on a great piece of mindmapping software might help. Here are a few options:

                8. Mindmeister

                mindmeister

                  Create, share and collaboratively work on mind maps with MindMeister, the leading online mind mapping software. Includes apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.

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                  9. Mindnode

                  mindnode

                    MindNode‘s focus and flexibility makes it the perfect brainstorming tool. The clutter-free interface lets you concentrate on generating and connecting your ideas.

                    10. XMind

                    xmind

                       

                      Xmind is intended to assist users in capturing ideas, organizing various charts, and share them with collaboration.

                      Pro tip: Use a mindmap to organize your business (organizational chart), your services (portfolio), ideas, and more.

                      11. QuestionUp

                      questionup

                        Creativity apps are awesome: the human mind is programmed to work through problems in similar ways over time, sticking to comfortable patterns of thought. Sometimes, an insightful question is all we need to get our brains going in a different direction.

                        With QuestionUp, entrepreneurs can browse through a list of questions and brainstorm the answers. The idea behind the app is to get people thinking through difficult questions, and hopefully help them solve sticky problems! (Disclosure: I designed and developed this iOS app.)

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                        12. Reeder

                        reeder

                          I use Reeder to keep up with my favorite blogs and magazines: it syncs up with Google Reader, so I can view my favorite content in a more zen-like interface. What I love about Reeder is that it has both a desktop and mobile app, so I can view articles on the go, too.

                          13. IFTTT

                          ifttt

                            Pro tip: Set IFTTT to send your starred Google Reader items to Twitter. That way, you’re sharing your favorite content with your followers, positioning yourself as knowledgeable in the industry with just one click of the mouse.

                            14. DayOne

                            day one

                              Reflecting on the ups and downs of entrepreneurship is key to growth. With DayOne, entrepreneurs can record what’s going on each day and make plans to iterate on noticeable slumps or achievements.

                              Protip: Set a password for DayOne to keep your thoughts and insights extra private.

                              As an entrepreneur, what other apps would you like to receive as gifts this year?

                              Featured photo credit:  Young Businessman with Computer next to Swimming Pool via Shutterstock

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                              Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                              7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                              7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                              Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                              Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                              Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                              So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                              Joe’s Goals

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                                Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                                Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                                Daytum

                                  Daytum

                                  is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                                  Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                                  Excel or Numbers

                                    If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                                    What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                                    Evernote

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                                      I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                                      Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                                      Access or Bento

                                        If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                        Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                                        You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                        Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                        All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                        Conclusion

                                        I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                        What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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