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2 Must-Have Mobile Apps for Managing Your Time and Money

Everyone has either heard or said the cliché, “Time is money.”

When there’s so much to do, even our time is valuable.

Mobile technologies can often help us to make the most of our time, because they give us the information we want when we want it, so we can stay productive — even when we’re far from the computer and standing in line for a coffee, or waiting for our children to finish up at school.

Recently, I wrote about some apps that help you be more organized. Now that you know what needs to be done, you can figure out how much time and money these activities are costing you.

A better question, however, is how much are you getting back from these efforts?

Here are two great apps that will help you answer these questions while helping you manage both your time and your money.

Taming the beast of time management

Managing our time can sometimes be like wrestling with a monster.

Getting this beast under control is where the app Timewerks shows its power. Here, you not only track the various tasks associates with your projects, but using the integrated timer you get a reality check of how long the tasks actually take.

That’s cool, but the real value of this timer is when you’ve budgeted specific hours to work on a project.  Now you can get a true idea of whether you under-budgeted or over-budgeted your time.

If that was not useful enough, in this same app you can create and send invoices via email to your client (HTML or PDF format, your choice).

Think about that: You’ve just finished up part of a project. You know exactly how much time you spent and can use this information to bill in one place. Huge time saving and tracking solution!

How about getting paid? This app also enables your client to pay your invoice (via a credit card) right from the email she receives. It takes those back-office tasks and brings them to one place, where and when you want them.

Managing real-world transactions

Not all businesses are project-based. In fact, some are more concerned with individual transactions.

Mobile can make it easy for your customers pay the way they want to. In fact, there are lots of different tools for payments if all of your interactions are done via email or on the web.

But what if your business is not online but offline, in the real world?

A friend of mine makes these incredible sticky buns that she sells at a variety of farmers markets around New England. Due to the look, smell and taste of these buns a big percentage of her sales are impulse purchases.

What happens if customers who are craving the sweet treats do not have cash in their pockets? This is where the app Square makes a direct impact to her bottom line.

Customers can pay right on my friend’s smartphone with a credit or debit card. Now they get to eat the delicious sticky bun and she gets the warm feeling of adding to her bank account.

The signing up process for this app and the physical attachment to swipe a card is free. Square does take a percentage of each sale, but this percentage remains the same regardless of the number of transactions.

So what happens if the sticky-bun craver forgot a credit or debit card? Square enables the customer to pay a business owner just by giving their name. Enter the customer’s name in your app and charges will be applied to the credit or debit card saved to their account.

Next week, I’ll discuss apps that help you stay in touch and on top of the ways you communicate. See you then!

What are your favorite apps for managing your time and keeping your bottom line on track? Share your suggestions in the comments field below.

Comments:

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  1. Jennifer Lyle •

    Square is cool and is receiving lots of attention. But my understanding is that the percentage that you refer to is pretty hefty, particularly for small-scale transactions.

    You state that the percentage doesn’t change regardless of the number of transactions. But generally volume yields discounts, so if I were to consider Square, I would want to know that my percentage would decline as my volume of transactions increases.

    How do Square’s transaction fees compare with Paypal and with more traditional credit card processing arrangements?

    Reply
    • Heidi Tobias •

      Thanks for the comment on my blog post and the question about mobile payments. You are correct that Square gets a good deal of buzz but it is not the only mobile payment solution. This topic is so popular right now; you can find a number of sessions on mobile payments at SXSW going on right now. Here is a link to one of the many sessions http://lanyrd.com/2012/sxsw-interactive/spkzw/.

      In your comment, you asked specifically around PayPal’s fees and that information can be found here: https://cms.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/?cmd=_render-content&content_ID=marketing_us/fees As for discounts for increased frequency I would reach out to PayPal for specifics around your own business.

      My choice to write about Square was because of the high value around predicting fixed costs. As a small business, just getting started, knowing these costs are essential when trying to determine prices to charge for your product or service. As your business grows, you always have the option to use another tool that works best with your growth.

      If you are planning on using cause marketing to help grow your business, there is another mobile tool I would suggest you look at called Level Up. http://social.razoo.com/2012/03/levelup-may-take-mobile-donations-to-a-new-level/ I hope that this information helps you out and would love to hear more about how you are using mobile for your small business.

      Reply
  2. samialee •

    Hey,

    In business/ time management app, I’d like to recommend a great one which integrated an interesting concept; saving time from your notes. This app, Beesy, generates automatically a ToDo list from a smart note taking. Also, the advantage is you can esasily send your minutes by email. I love testing new business/ productivity apps such as Evernote, Penutilmate, Omnifocus, Awesome but it’s the first time I see an app so well done. I recommend Beesy for people which often have meetings ;)

    http://www.beesapps.com/beesy-ipad-to-do/

    Great post :)

    Reply

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