One of the easiest ways to take your business to a new level in 2012 is to streamline your processes, start tracking your progress and increase your productivity. Thanks to amazing technology and applications we can pretty much run our business while being on the go! I attended the CES 2012 Conference in Vegas, last week and discovered many new tech tools that I’ll be incorporating into my daily routine. We also racked up on new gadgets for my son Ryan’s new company, The Gadget Genius, an online gadget store. He’s preparing for his grand opening and we can’t wait for the big launch. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of new items to increase your productivity while looking great.
In the mean time, check out these applications that I’ve found very useful to my business. Whether you’re ringing someone up or doing presentations, there’s an app for that! I’ve listed a few of the greats that I think are good for both your iPhone and iPad.
- Square: Mobile payments are a must nowadays. As a business owner you have to be ready to accept payment every way possible.I’ve been using mobile payments system since the Apple iPhone first came on the market. It saved me a lot of time and money being able to process orders when I travel for speaking engagements. Now Square makes this process even easier with the small little swipe gadget that fits into your earphone jack on the iPhone or iPad, it makes it easy for ANYONE to take payments. The equipment is FREE if you order at Squareup.com or $10 to purchase it from the Apple store. With only a 2.7% fee per transaction, it’s not a bad start for business owners.
- iBooks: It’s an efficient way to take all of your current reads with you without the bulk. I’m an avid reader and love having access to the latest books of interest. So naturally, iBooks became and easy favorite of mine. Just with a few clicks I have my reference and reading materials right at my fingertips. And also, I’m still kind of an old school paper girl, so I usually buy the bound version of books as well so that I can mark them up and reference them easily when I’m studying at home. You can also store ebooks and pdf’s from other sources while in iBooks for reading.
- Dragon Dictation: Dragon Dictation is an easy-to-use voice recognition application that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. In fact, it’s up to five times faster than typing on the keyboard. With Dragon Dictation you can also dictate status updates directly to your Social Networking applications (Facebook and Twitter) or send notes and reminders to yourself…all using your voice. If you’re not using Siri, or I strongly suggest Dragon Dictation so when you’re on-the-go you can stop typing and start speaking – from short text messages to longer email messages, and anything in between.
- Faxburner: Need a fax on the go? Fax burner gives you a fax number for receiving faxes right to your iPhone and you can send faxes as well! You can also get faxes straight to your email This app is VERY useful, you can turn your phone into a fax machine in an instant!
- Documents to go: It’s like having Microsoft office on your iPhone or iPad. I have a special way that I prepare my notes and in this program it shows up perfectly, everything just like it was prepared on the computer. You can also edit your documents, save them to the cloud or your gmail account for later use offline as well. The options are limitless with Docs to Go. It makes you feel like you have your computer with you.
- Outfit Diary is an app that helps you track what you wear, when you wore it, which saw you in it, and any other notes. No longer will you have to suffer the embarrassment of showing up in front of the same people with the same outfit.
- Instagram—If you are a big photo taker like I am, you’ll love Instagram, it’s a great new way to add flare to all the photographs. This is especially good if you chronicle your vacations, trips and events on your iPhone. You can instantly post the pics to Facebook, Twitter or email to your team for use in other projects.
- Keynote—Keynote is a must for presenters! You can showcase your slide presentation in all its glory with this fully functional app. I also love it because I can actually see all of my slides in my hand and control my movement and pace, all from my iPad.