Do you find yourself swimming in a sea of apps for your iPad? It seems there are new ones released daily, and many of them all start to look the same. To help you navigate this ocean of resources, I offer you my 5 most valuable apps for your small business.
1. Dropbox — Cost: Free
Dropbox will allow you to easily synchronize your files with your desktop, laptop and online. Dropbox accounts are free and even if you don’t have an iPad, I’d suggest you get one. It’s just so easy. Save a file in your dropbox folder and Dropbox does all the work for you. It is also very beneficial when you have multiple people working on the same project. Files can be uploaded to a common location for access by all.
The iPad app works great and has never crashed or froze. It does require an internet connection to download the files. To learn more about Dropbox or to sign up for a free account, visit http://www.dropbox.com.
2. Documents to Go — Cost: $11.99
Documents to go is my newest and my favorite app. I had stalled the last couple months on buying an Office app until something really good came along. DTG is it! You can create new documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Graphics, html files, pdfs, etc. are all easily viewed with DTG.
The great part about this program is the saving and synchronizing capabilities. You can choose to work with with all three of the following methods:
- Local Files: On your device & accessible in iTunes
- Desktop Files: Synchronized with your computer
- Online Files: Synchronized with online services
I choose to work with Online Files and use Dropbox. If you’re not a Dropbox fan, you can also synchronize with Google Docs, Box.Net, iDisk, Public iDisk and SugarSync.
3. Sorted — Cost: $0.99
Sorted is a To-Do app with a great deal of versatility and flexibility. It’s actually fairly simple, which is what I like for my to-do list. You can create multiple lists and easily email lists to yourself. I prefer this app because of it’s elegant interface. It doesn’t have all sorts of extra features, which makes it so easy to use.
I have seen Sorted used in the classic To-Do format for business tasks as well as a check box to be sure you have packed all your essentials for that important business trip.
4. TweetDeck — Cost: Free
Let’s face it… all business owners and marketer need to constantly stay in touch though social media to stay current and competitive. TweetDeck is a nice free app that lets you monitor and post to multiple twitter accounts. URL shortening, geotagging, etc. are all conveniently built in. The only feature lacking the ability to schedule tweets.
It’s stable for the most part, but I do have to admit that when HootSuite releases an app for the iPad, I’ll probably switch to that. Until then I will be doing my Tweeting with TweetDeck.
5. Analyze HD — Cost: $6.99
Analyze HD is an app that will synchronize with your google analytics account. Many small business owners keep an eye on their analytic reports on a fairly regular basis to keep track of hits, conversions, etc. This app does a great job of letting you view different reports including visitor details, traffic reports, content reports, site search reports and event tracking reports.
The best part about this app is that it works with multiple domains. This is essential for owners with more than one site. You can also change the time frame of the site. There are a couple pre-programmed buttons to let you quickly look over the last day or the last week, but you can also completely customize the date ranges as well. I’d suggest only using this feature for a period of months, not years. The app doesn’t do so well with fairly large reporting periods.
Don’t forget to also load the websites for your favorite tools. With the size and browser capabilities of the iPad, not all vendors need to produce an app version. For many companies, the website functions just as well as an app. Want it to appear as an app? Bookmark the site, but save it to the home screen. This will create the litttle icon on your iPad making the app easier to access.