Running a small business involves wearing a lot of different hats. Whether that’s problem solver or communicator, organiser or financial whizz, sometimes we need a little extra help. However, in this age of technology, there are so many solutions in the form of Apps that the selection process can often be intimidating. In order to facilitate the global move away from the desk and toward the portable hand-held devices, there is a barrage of new apps to make us more efficient. In this sea of apps for businesses we’re struggling to keep our heads above water. But don’t worry, we’ve got a list of the apps we use every single day and why they’re so helpful.

Though some apps may seem like a gimmick these 5 really do make a difference to our work on a day to day basis and enable us to efficiently work as a team and communicate clearly.

1. Take perfect pictures of anything in the office, with OfficeLens

OfficeLens would have also been an absolute godsend as a student instead of clogging my phone with countless jaunty photos of revision notes and whole chapters of books. This app lets you select the exact area that you want the picture of and takes the perfect photo. The software allows you to take the photo at a bad angle or from far away and straightens it. Therefore, you can document boards from meetings, computer screens, documents, business cards and lots more.

2. Keep everybody on track with Trello

Trello is a project management app that uses a digital bulletin board. The board shows the different task cards, their progress and who is responsible for them. The cards can be moved around to organise the task. You can set due dates, create checklists, reminder notes and upload files.

The most useful thing about this app is that it allows you to see the progress of tasks for the entire team without having to check with anyone. Everything you need is there in front of you. Visual management is integral for the cohesion and progression of teams. It allows you to see where the waste lies and eliminate it from the process or task. Visual management puts the power for continuous improvement in the hands of the employees and not just the big bosses with occasional initiatives.

3. Got ideas? Post-It-Plus

Ever had a fantastic idea whilst you were in the supermarket or on the train and thought ‘I must write that down when I get to the office!’ and then you get back to the office and the idea has left you and there is nothing but tumble weed in your brain? I know I have.

This is commonly referred to as a CRAFT moment, Can’t Remember A Flaming Thing. This app is for all you CRAFTies, so that we can write down our ideas straight away. You can then create boards and different ideas and share them with your colleagues. What’s more, this handy little app Post-it Plus, like OfficeLens, lets you take pictures of your physical notes and put them into the app. So, no need to worry about typing them in after your meeting, even doctor’s handwriting can be detected! Then you can take down your physical Post-Its to keep the office tidy. 5S your office at the same time. Win win win.

4. WeTransfer and Dropbox

Both of these apps allow for file sharing. They are fairly similar, however there are some key differences. Dropbox offers ‘cloud’ storage, this means that for the upgraded version, you can store files forever. Whereas, WeTransfer limits the storage to two weeks. WeTransfer acts as more of a hub for large files that can be accessed by those permitted. Dropbox acts as a storage unit to keep your files in.

This app is all about sharing files online and its free version doesn’t even require you to register.

We use it to share our PowerPoints between colleagues and videos of our events.

5. Don’t miss it with TripIt

Perhaps one for our, hopeful, transition out of the pandemic! We have worked with organisations all over the World and in the UK, which involves a phenomenal amount of travelling. As we speak our Managing Director has travelled to London then Ohio, onto Minneapolis and is finishing up in North Alabama. That’s a lot of travelling in 3 weeks. But TripIt has it covered, because all we needed to do was forward on our travel or reservation confirmation emails to TripIt and they organise it into an itinerary for us. Now when your partner asks you what time you need to get the train, you can tell them with confidence, instead of getting flustered looking for that one confirmation email that you’re sure you printed but must’ve left at the office.

We’d love to know which apps you use on a daily basis and find useful, Tweet us at @LeanUni

If you would like to find out more about what we do and how we can help, you can contact us.