Essential Apps Every Small Business Should Use

Success in the small business arena can be measured many ways.  However, one of my favorite barometers is tied to the speed at which a business owner can adjust his business to the ever-changing needs of his customers.  And making those decisions quickly is directly tied to having the right information at the right time.

Today’s smartphones empower business owners with real-time access to this information.  But, with literally millions of apps competing for space on your phone, which programs should earn a spot?  Following, are my four favorites that I use every day.
I used to keep a small slip of paper in my pocket, my to-do list.  However, at the end of the day, it would disappear along with all of my undone tasks.  Now, I don’t have that problem anymore.  With toodledo, I can access my list from anywhere and any device. Their incredible iPad and smartphone apps sync, so every task is only a click away. All tasks are organized in folders of your choice to help separate, say, home tasks from office errands. This one app keeps me focused!
Having access to every document anywhere on any device is no longer a pipe dream.  With Dropbox, all files on my work PC automatically sync with my home PC, and even my iPhone!  I can now view any contract with a client from home, without having to drive to the office on a weekend.  I can view my vacation photos at work even though I copied them off my camera at home!  It’s amazing, and well worth your time to install.
News overload.  It’s so easy to spend too much time following the subjects you are interested in online. is not a website, per se.  It is an app for your tablet or smartphone.  You tell it your favorite news sites (including those in your industry).  It will give you a page that contains short snippets of every article.  You can easily peruse this list without having to go to the actual site.  It cut my research time in half!
Have you ever needed to jot something down “on the go?”  Or have you wanted to make note of a website for later research?  Evernote is for you.  Think of it as an incredibly synchronized sticky note system.  If I am at a client’s office and need to check my price list, it is only a click away.  Or, if I discover a cool website, I can quickly mark it and access it later.  You will find yourself using Evernote for everything!
What are your must-have apps?  Drop me note and let me know, or comment below. 
Eric Spellmann continues to be one of the highest rated speakers at our national ASBDC conferences.  His unique view that small business websites should “do” something pushes against the standard “online pamphlet” view of most web design companies.  He believes your customer’s websites should be driving qualified leads and sales on a weekly basis.  Eric speaks at a number of other national and state conferences nationwide, but enjoys running one of the most successful web design companies in the country.  He truly believes in the SBDC mission as it helped him start his own company many years ago.  To contact him, visit his website at