Some apps allow people to whittle away the time with a game, launching birds at unstable structures or decorating virtual cupcakes with virtual sprinkles. Some help people become more savvy shoppers, alerting them to deals or allowing them to easily compare different products. And some apps help people get work done, facilitating collaboration or putting important information at their fingertips. It's this last category of apps that can be the most beneficial to the independent professional - if he or she knows which ones to choose.
We've assembled a list of the top 7 apps for the self-employed. Each of the following apps contributes in some way to the organization or productivity of an independent professional, and we hope you find them as useful as we do.
1. HoursTracker: For independent professionals who charge their clients by the hour, this app is an invaluable tool. It allows users to list their various clients, as well as how much they are charging each one per hour. Whenever work is begun on a certain client's project, the user "clocks in" for that specific client, and then "clocks out" when stopping. The app keeps track of the time spent on each project, as well as a running total of how much money has been made that day.
2. Evernote: This app's popularity has recently exploded, and with good reason - it helps independent professionals on the go save and organize their notes and multimedia files in one place, and then synchs those files between all other devices belonging to users, as well, to ensure that they can always find what they need, no matter where they are.
3. Square Register: While this app requires a small credit card reader to be plugged into an independent professional's smart phone or tablet in order to work, it is worth that extra step in order to be able to accept credit card payments on the go. As a bonus, this app sends the customer an e-receipt, keeps track of your sales history, and even allows you to send refunds if necessary.
4. Microsoft SkyDrive: This is far from the only app to provide cloud backup storage for your data - but it is the one that provides the most free storage, at 7 GB. And the benefits for the self-employed are clear. Rather than having to battle huge email attachments when sending files to a client, independent professionals can simply share files with clients via their SkyDrive.
5. JuiceDefender: Independent professionals are often on the go, meeting with various clients, and they must be able to rely on their smart phones while mobile. This app actually prolongs a phone's battery life by managing the most energy-draining functions, so that users are never faced with a dead phone when they most need it to work.
6. Tasks Free: Keeping track of all the many tasks that must get done on any given day can be a challenge for the self-employed, and this app allows users to create to-do lists, check off items as they are completed, and even share those lists through email or social media.
7. TripLog - GPS Mileage: This app tracks your work mileage using the GPS on your phone, and then totals your tax deduction after each individual trip. Users can enter fuel costs and even repairs, as well. When tax time rolls around, independent professionals can simply order the yearly report, and all the calculations are done for them.
So if you're looking for a way to boost your productivity or get yourself more organized, these apps just might provide the solution.
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News and notes for the independent workforce and their clients. This is the October 24, 2016 edition.