Startups and SMEs often face teething problems when trying to make it in the wider commercial world.

For that reason businesspeople need all the help they can get, especially when they are multitasking and trying to be a jack of all trades.

Handily, in 2016, there are a number of useful apps out there to help improve the productivity and organisation of staff members, quickening internal communications and increasing profitability.

To help you decide which apps to download from the seemingly endless choice the Apple App Store and Google Play Store provide, we’ve listed a few smartphone and desktop apps – and kindly categorised them – so you know which ones will be useful to your company now and in the future.

Let’s start with Google’s attempt to takedown the Microsoft Office empire.


Google Drive

Google Drive (for documents, spreadsheets and presentations)

The days when businesses relied on expensive packages from Microsoft for word processing and creating databases has long gone. There’s a new-ish kid on the block, courtesy of Google, that does almost exactly the same thing.

Google Drive is a cloud-based file storage and creation tool. It’s free too, and very popular. Plenty of companies have simultaneously ditched Microsoft Office and migrated from using physical storage devices, instead, using new cloud software in the form of Google Drive which includes:

  • Google Docs, its take on Microsoft Word
  • Google Sheets, its version of Microsoft Excel
  • Google Slides, its copycat version of Microsoft Powerpoint
  • Google Forms, which allows users to create questionnaires for data collection

With Microsoft licenses still glaringly expensive, combined with the flexibility that Google Docs offers, it’s no wonder there’s been a torrent of small businesses jumping ship. For many, it makes perfect sense.



Trello (for project management and organisation)

Trello is a manager’s best friend, especially when they have a team under their stewardship all working on different projects. The organisational tool allows for different team members to be assigned tasks, create checklists, and allows for teams to send messages between themselves.

The app is best-used on desktop or tablet, and once a small company gets to grips with its nifty features, there’s no reason for anyone to miss another deadline.


Slack CMYK

Slack (for internal communication)

Slack is a real-time messaging system that brings all your communications together in one place. Remember MSN Messenger? Well, Slack is a professional version of that, and it’s much handier than typing out emails in Outlook. The benefits? It will not just save your team time, but it’ll improve communications and overall productivity will benefit as a result.


Hootsuite Logo

Hootsuite (for social media management)

Social media is beneficial to businesses in a number of ways: it provides a cost-effective way of marketing the company to potential customers and business partners, acts as a visible platform for products to be launched and it’s a great two-way conversational tool for dealing with customer requests or complaints.

Despite the benefits for companies who utilise the likes of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram, the growing number of social media channels can make it difficult to oversee everything that’s happening.

This is where Hootsuite is handy – it’s a central monitoring and scheduling tool for mobile and desktop that links social channels together into one central location, making it easier to manage brand mentions, post messages and interact with the right people at the right time.


Are there any tools that your business uses for productivity and to help it operate more efficiently? Use the comments below to share your tips with fellow SMEs.

Article provided by Andrew Williams from The Dry Cleaner App.

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