There are millions of apps (or applications) for our smartphones, tablets and PCs. If they’ re any good (and there are plenty that aren’t), they are designed to fulfill a function – entertain, inform, update, organise… However, there are loads of apps that should never have been created and don’t need to take up space on your phone.

To my mind, if an app functions as a website on your phone, the developers have missed the point and that is: why can’t I just navigate to the website, then? Apps should save you time or create something wonderful. Here are my choices of five apps that actually make a difference.

There will be a second edition of this post, as I’ve realised five isn’t nearly enough but this should get you started – in bite sizes, as promised.

QUICKBOOKS

For the entrepreneur or small business owner, Quickbooks is a truly phenominal tool. Not only can it take care of inventory, expenses, income, debtors, creditors and invoices (all on the smartphone app, too) but, if you’re anything like me and shocking at keeping track of expenses, the phone app allows you to snap a receipt and log it as an expense on-the-go. I’m terrible at this side of my business, but this has been the absolute best solution for me.

FACEBOOK PAGES MANAGER

This one takes a while to explain, because I’m always asked: “why do I need a second Facebook app on my phone?”. It’s not the regular Facebook personal app, this app manages your business page(s). Only. So, there’s no confusion as to whether you’re posting as yourself or your business.

It’s well worth the install to be able to answer queries, create an ad, schedule a post and reply on-the-go. Who doesn’t pick up their phone while waiting in line? Now, you can do a bit of business instead of browsing aimlessly through status updates…

LASTPASS

Let this be the last password you ever remember. How many do remember or are you forever resetting, like me?  Lastpass is a browser extension that allows you to have one master password (passphrase) and to store all of your other passwords in the Lastpass manager vault.

When you need to log in to one of your accounts, Lastpass has that information stored and with a click, you’re in. Lastpass is designed with trust in mind – they never have access to your passwords and have invested in strong encryption algorithms to ensure password security. In a world where we already have too much to remember, this will clear some head-space for you…

EVERNOTE

If you’re like me, you’re forever copying and pasting links or typing notes onto random Word documents or whatsapp notes never to find them again, then this one is for you. Evernote was one of the first apps I ever tried when I got a smartphone (all those years ago :)).

With an app for PC and phone, the ability to create templates, syncing, integration and more – you can create folders to manage your shopping lists, to-do lists, written copy, scanned documents and more. With a little planning and organising, Evernote will become your go-to.

BLINKIST

The most you can learn in a few minutes that could stay with you for years – I love Blinkist, and wrote about it in the first issue of The UPSIDE down. What’s not to love about bite-sized highlights from some of the world’s greatest minds?

In essence, Blinkist brings you audio books, original content and key insights from best-sellers on a range of topics from psychology to productivity to politics. It is aimed at those of us who want to read it all, but… well, you know, only so many hours a day. They offer a free trial, so give it a try and you’ll be amazed at what you find.

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