Unless you've been living under a rock that lives under another rock, which is itself, buried beneath a pile of even larger rocks, you're well aware that the mobile computing revolution is well underway. There are more apps for your mobile device than you can shake your data plan at, so we thought we'd hand-pick just a few choice weapons for your biz-ninja tool-belt. Go forth and conquer.
Is there anything businesspeople like less than creating expense reports?
And it’s no wonder they hate them. Incurring some travel expense, getting a tiny receipt for it and filing it away (or losing it — or forgetting to get it in the first place), and then accurately entering it along with all the other little receipts a few months later makes expense reports the kryptonite of business accounting. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Concur offers a cool app that works on any smartphone:
- Photograph receipts with your smartphone, then automatically download them into your expense report — and throw the physical receipts away! No more tiny pieces of paper floating around your briefcase or office.
- Import credit card receipts into that same expense report — automatically
A recent addition to the program,Tripit, is a free solution that helps you organize all aspects of your travel – from air, car and hotel to dining reservations, activities and more, and turn it into a single master itinerary.
And for the self-employed, the good news is that Concur just came out with an individual edition to manage itineraries, create expense reports, and handle bookings.
Compatibility: All devices
Cost: Free trial, then $8 per user per month
Dropbox allows you to store files of all types in one location that is accessible from all of your devices. For example, you can start a spreadsheet on your Mac, finish it on your PC, and review it on your Android smartphone. Dropbox also allows you to store files that are too large to send via email, which is great if you’re collaborating long-distance on any type of media project, whether it’s a track for your latest album, or a short film.
If you go out into the world to sell your products and you’re not able to accept credit card payments, you’re missing out on valuable business.
And speaking of collaboration, Dropbox makes it extremely easy to share files with others. All you have to do is invite them into one of your folders, and boom! They’ll have access to all the files they’ll need to get things done, wherever, whenever.
Compatibility: Mac/ Windows/ Ubuntu/ iPhone/ Android/ Blackberry
Cost: Tiered options available: Basic 2GB (free), Pro 50 GB ($9.99/ mo, $99.99/ yr), Pro 100 GB ($19.99/ $199.99/ yr), and Team ( 1TB+, Price varies depending on needs)
If you go out into the world to sell your products anywhere – at festivals, farmers markets, trade shows, or any of the above and more – and you’re not able to accept credit card payments on the go, you’re missing out on valuable business. After all, fewer and fewer of your customers carry cash around these days, and you don’t want to send them wandering off to (maybe) find an ATM.
Square’s mobile payment processing service includes a compact, square (hence the name) card reader that plugs into your mobile device’s headphone jack. You simply plug in the reader, start the app, and swipe the card. Your customer then signs with their finger, so you don’t even need a pen. They get their receipt via email, and you get your deposit the next day. It’s affordable, hassle-free, and super portable.
Compatibility: Android, iPhone, iPad
Cost: 2.75% per transaction
These three apps are just a few of the many that will make your life as a freelancer much easier. What about you? Tell us about your favorite tech tools of the trade now, in the Tech Section of The Self-Employed Forums!