Posted by Paige Buck | March 18, 2013
The nature of planning events means we are always on the go – visiting clients, researching venues, managing events, and networking with vendors. So we rely on mobile apps to help us stay connected, organized, sane, and get us where we need to go.
We’ve taken the liberty of weeding through the sea of available apps to come up with this list of eight that we can’t live without:
HoursTracker – Think of HoursTracker as a virtual time clock. At the end of each day, Paige uses this app to quickly log what she did for each project. It tallies hours by client, day, week or month. For clients who require reports, we can easily export a spreadsheet with day, hours and a description of work.
RingCentral – Billed as a Virtual PBX, existing entirely in the cloud, RingCentral lets us have a professional office phone number, with a greeting and dial-by-name directory, all without equipment or monthly landline costs. When Maggie receives a call, it can ring at her desk, cell phone, or both, depending on her preferences. Calls reach us wherever we are, and with the app we can access voicemail on the go.
Things – If you feel like you’re suddenly swimming in a sea of Post-it notes, Paige recommends this app, and the corresponding desktop app, to organize tasks. She picked Things over other popular tools like Omnifocus and Evernote because it’s only a one-time purchase, not a monthly fee. Plus it’s far more nimble. You can create as many to-do lists as you need, add them on the go and sync automatically between your phone and laptop.
CardMunch – Ever come home exhausted from a networking event and groan at the business cards lurking in every pocket, crevice and corner of your pants, purse and car? With CardMunch, take a photo of a card, upload it, and it comes back transposed into contact fields. Save the cards to your contacts and immediately invite people to connect on LinkedIn.
Starbucks – How is this a business app? It may not seem groundbreaking, but it’s useful for several reasons:
1. We take a lot of people out for a lot of coffee (and tea, and cocoa).
2. Starbucks has free wifi and it’s a useful stop between meetings. There’s no need to head back to the office or find a conference room.
3. You can pay from within the app, and earn points towards free refills – score!
4. Quickly find the Starbucks nearest you, wherever you are (and you know there are several!).
Wi-Fi Finder – We use this app when we need a change of scene from Starbucks (or are much too over caffeinated!) but we need a quick place to pow-wow with our client after a venue walkthrough, or take a moment to quickly upload and send a contract before dashing to our next meeting. Wi-Fi Finder locates the café, library, mall, restaurant or office lobby hotspot that will help you get online in a pinch.
Sidecar – Spend a little time in San Francisco and you’ll grouse about how there’s never a taxi when you need one. Sidecar (and its competitors, Uber, Lyft and various taxi-calling apps) lets you request a ride from your destination. Sidecar and Lyft are both “collaborative consumption” tools where you can request a ride from a reputable driver (not a taxi or limo service), pay based on what others are paying for similar rides, and be on your way.
Milog – Since we use our cars for both work and play, we found this simple tool to help us log business-related mileage, tolls, and parking expenses. We can mark whether they are billable or not, then export them to a spreadsheet or submit them for payment.
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