Eight efficiency boosting apps

When it comes to boosting your efficiency, technology can be your best friend. Download these apps to improve your communication, track your time, manage your money, and more.

Get organised

Evernote 
With more than 200 million users worldwide, this cloud-based note-taking app is clearly doing something right. You can collect images, files and web research or snap a picture of your brainstorm ideas. And once you capture them as a note, they become available on all your devices.

Best features
Ever spent too long looking for invoices or scanned images? Evernote lets you categorise your notes into different notebooks and tag them for easy reference down the track. You can also start a chat about shared notes, which also makes Evernote a useful collaboration tool.

Drawbacks
Price hikes were introduced in June 2016 without any new features added. The free Evernote Basic account now allows you to synchronise notes between only two devices.

Cost

  • The Basic version is free and allows 60 MB of uploads a month.
  • Evernote Plus ($49.99 per year) comes with 1 GB of upload space per month and the option to forward emails into Evernote.
  • The Premium tier ($89.99) comes with 10GB of uploads per month, customer support via live chat and the option to annotate PDFs.

Wunderlist 
Do you need to improve workplace collaboration? The cross-platform to-do list, Wanderlust, may be what you need. You can manage your team’s projects and let them know who’s responsible for every task without sending endless emails.

Best features
The free version offers great value for small teams. Wunderlist is also integrated with real-time communication tool Slack and features timed reminders so there’s no excuse for missing a task.

Drawbacks
The Pro version is quite expensive for the extra features it provides and it lacks location-based reminders.

Cost

  • Free accounts allow you to assign up to 25 tasks per shared list and file size is capped at 5MB per file.
  • Pro accounts ($49.99 a year) have no limit on shared lists or file size.

 

Manage your money

Managing your finances with an app is easy

Quickbooks
This web-based accounting solution caters to both micro and small businesses. You can draft and send invoices, track your expenses, reconcile your bank accounts and calculate your BAS payments with just a couple of clicks.

Best features
The next time a customer says they never received your invoice, you'll be pleased to have Quickbooks on your side - it allows you to see when customers have viewed your invoices. Quickbooks also offers flexibility – you can accept credit card and PayPal payments.

Drawbacks
Some manual effort is required. For example, reports and transaction histories must be requested manually rather being available automatically.

Cost

  • Simple Start ($15 a month) includes all the basic features for small and micro business.
  • Essentials ($25 a month) has extra features such as handling multiple currencies and bill payments.
  • The Plus option ($35 a month) allows you to track inventory and send purchase orders.

Expensify 
Throw out that shoebox of receipts and shut down your expenses spreadsheet. This handy app allows you to scan and store your business expenses on the go. You can also record business-related mileage and log billable hours with Expensify.

Best features
The bank and credit card import feature automatically pulls all your business transactions into your Expensify account, so all the information is in one place.

Drawbacks
Expensify’s SmartScan feature only allows 10 scans per month for free users.

Cost

  • The free version provides access to the mobile app and unlimited receipt storage.
  • The Team version ($5 per active user per month) allows you to approve expenses, and reimburse employees online.

Enhance communication

Weebly 
Showcase your business with this DIY drag-and-drop website builder. More than 40 million people around the world have created a website using Weebly and it also has e-commerce functions to help you sell online.

Best features
If you want keep on eye of your site activity in real-time, Weebly allows you to monitor all site activity, such as traffic, blog comments and store orders from the Site Dashboard.

Drawbacks
Weebly’s photo editing capabilities and it can be difficult to add advanced marketing tools, such as custom email collection tools, custom analytics packages.

Cost

  • It’s free for a 10-page site with 500MB of storage.
  • The Starter account ($8 per month) adds a custom domain name, unlimited storage and a 10-product store.
  • A Pro account ($12 per month) includes site search, password protection for up to 100 site members and increases your store to 25 products.
  • The Performance option ($49 per month) includes a real-time shipping-rate calculation and email marketing (five campaigns per month to up to 500 addresses).

Slack 
This simple messaging platform may not replace internal work email but it certainly helps reduce it with real-time chat, archiving and search functions.

Best features
Looking for easy ways to share files with your team? Slack allow you to do this with almost any file type or image through a simple drag-and-drop feature.

Drawbacks
There's no calendar function.

Cost

  • Free accounts are restricted to 5GB of file storage for uploads across the entire team but the search function is limited.
  • A Standard account ($8 per user per month) has a file storage limit of 10GB per person and you can search unlimited number of messages.
  • A Slack Plus account ($15 per user per month) includes plus 20GB of storage per person for uploads and comes with 24/7 support.

 

Keep track of your time

Use apps and technology to be more productive and efficient

RescueTime 
Understanding how you use your time can make you more productive. RescueTime gives you an accurate picture of your day by tracking your computer usage and delivering detailed reports on your activity.

Best features
If you spend too much time on less productive tasks like reading the news online, RescueTime can send alerts to let you know when it's time to log off and get back to more important things. You can also set goals and view your progress on your dashboard, in a weekly email report and in the goals report.

Drawbacks
The premium version is a little costly for the additional features it provides.

Cost

  • RescueTime Lite is free and allow you to track the time you spend in websites and applications, set goals and receive a weekly email report.
  • RescueTime Premium ($9 per month) has additional features, such as blocking distracting website so you can maintain your focus.

MyMinutes 
This personal time tracker allows you to set time-based goals and alerts you when you’re getting tied up in a task.

Best features
Ever lose track of time? MyMinute's ‘Time Budgeting’ feature allows you to set the minimum or maximum amount of time you want to put into a task, such as spend 'at most' 30 minutes checking email.

Drawbacks
You can only set time-based goals for a day rather than for a week

Cost
You can download the app from the iTunes store for $4.49.

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