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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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                              Published on November 9, 2018

                              How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                              How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                              Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                              Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                              So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                              6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                              When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                              1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                              Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                              To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                              In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                              • Microsoft Excel
                              • Microsoft Access
                              • Statistics
                              • Data Analytics
                              • Adobe Campaign
                              • Quickbooks
                              • XML Database management system
                              • Filemaker Pro
                              • MATLAB
                              • Hive
                              • FORTRAN
                              • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                              • SAS

                              2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                              Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                              Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                              • Content Management System (CMS)
                              • Google Analytics
                              • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                              • Email Marketing
                              • Web Page Design
                              • WordPress
                              • Digital Media
                              • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                              • Campaign Management Software

                              3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                              A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                              • Adobe Photoshop
                              • Adobe InDesign
                              • Adobe Illustrator
                              • AutoCAD
                              • CorelDRAW
                              • Microsoft Visual Studio
                              • Maya
                              • Microsoft Word
                              • Microsoft Publisher
                              • Operating Digital Cameras

                              4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                              The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                              To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                              • HTML
                              • C/C++
                              • Java
                              • Python
                              • XML
                              • UI/UX
                              • LINUX
                              • CISC and RISC architecture
                              • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                              • Memory Management
                              • PCB Layout
                              • SQL

                              5. IT Troubleshooting

                              Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                              So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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                              • Backup management
                              • Diagnostics
                              • End User support
                              • Client-Server management
                              • Installation and configuration
                              • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                              • System administration
                              • Tech support

                              6. Enterprise Systems

                              Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                              Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                              The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                              Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                              Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                              Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                              1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                              a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                              Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                              Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                              b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                              This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                              c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                              Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                              Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                              2. Rule the Social Media World

                              a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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                              Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                              From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                              b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                              This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                              c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                              Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                              Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                              3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                              a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                              From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                              b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                              Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                              The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                              c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                              The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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                              4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                              a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                              It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                              From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                              b. Canva Design School

                              From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                              c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                              62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                              d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                              The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                              Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                              5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                              a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                              IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                              It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                              b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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                              The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                              Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                              The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                              • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                              • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                              • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                              • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                              • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                              • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                              • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                              Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                              Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                              1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                              It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                              Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                              2. Work on Your Efficiency

                              Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                              For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                              3. Look for Shortcuts

                              Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                              4. Apply for an Internship

                              Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                              By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                              How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                              The Bottom Line

                              Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                              So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                              Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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