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.