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Readers share their favorite business apps

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There’s an app for that. And that. And even for that. A seemingly endless supply now exists to help businesses run more efficiently and effectively. We asked members of our PETS+ Brain Squad and Facebook Community to share which apps they can’t work without. Many are free, but have additional features available for purchase within the app and/or through monthly or annual plans. Visit your device’s app store for more info.

GOOGLE KEEP Free

Create and share lists and notes with text, audio and photos. Set location- and time-based reminders. Sync across devices in real time.

RECOMMENDED BY: Eric Mack of Purrrfect Bark in Columbus, NC. “Google Keep is my No. 1. I can update thoughts/plans from any device. Helps with those random thoughts when you’re walking through Home Depot, thinking of a new way to display shelves.”

SCANNER PRO $3.99

Scan and save digital versions of paper docs, and then share, email and upload. Convert scans to text.

RECOMMENDED BY: Michelle Nelson, The Pet Authority, Albert Lea, MN. “Scanner Pro app is my absolute favorite — allows me to email documents in a printable format quickly.”

IWATERMARK Free-$1.99

3 Create and add text, graphic, signature or QR watermarks to photos. Also can import watermarks and batch process.

RECOMMENDED BY: Johnna Devereauz, Fetch RI, Richmond, RI. “It’s a great app that allows us to insert our logo on all of our photos, and it’s invaluable. Our photos are immediately recognized on Instagram and Facebook, and when our pics get shared, our audience grows!”

DROPBOX Free-$20 monthly

3 Send, store, collaborate on, and sync files — including Word, Excel and PowerPoint — in one place. Scan docs to PDF.

RECOMMENDED BY: Angela Pantalone, Wag Central, Stratford, CT. “One app I cannot live without for my business is Dropbox. There is a free version, but with a clientele of Wag Central’s size, we are well beyond it. With the amount of files we need to keep organized at Wag — vaccination histories, liability and client waivers — the amazing convenience of not having to print, file and store paperwork is a game changer. And since photos can live here, as well, our photo content for advertising, social media and client blasts is always at our fingertips.”

LATER Free-$49 monthly

3 Schedule, preview and auto-publish Instagram posts through a visual, drag-and-drop content calendar. Switch between multiple accounts and link to product pages. Analytics available.

RECOMMENDED BY: Kelly Catlett, Waggs 2 Whiskers, Bagdad, KY. “I use this for social media planning. It is wonderful for batch planning. It helps me focus on what I want to share with my followers.”

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PICCOLLAGE Free-$4.99 monthly

3 Import photos and videos from digital library, Facebook or Instagram to edit and create collages and cards. Hundreds of photo-grid layouts and sizes available, plus stickers, background patterns and textures.

RECOMMENDED BY: Jane Bond, Eco Dog Care and Eco Dog Care L.A., Los Angeles, CA. “I use it every day for our businesses. It allows me to seamlessly and quickly integrate photos, video, text, gifs, etc., and play with color and composition. I can then post to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and upload to our Google and Yelp business pages.”

SLACK Free-$12.50 monthly

3 Collaborate and organize projects by searchable channels. Communicate via text as well as voice and video calls. Drag and drop files to share. Integrate more than 1,500 other apps.

RECOMMENDED BY: Brittany West, Urban Pooch, Chicago, IL. “We use Slack to keep us organized and in touch. Reliable and efficient, Slack facilitates teamwork and collaboration. The ability to categorize chats into various channels allows everyone to communicate clearly and effectively. The Slack phone app is also great, as it enables us to correspond with one another when we’re on the go.”

EMPLOYEE TRACKER PRO $9.99

3 Track employee issues, actions and behaviors, including with each descriptions, photos and name of supervisor on duty. Save and send via email, and print. Back up in Dropbox and iTunes. Customizable language and point system.

RECOMMENDED BY: Terri Ellen, former owner of Nature’s Pet Market & Sunny Paws Grooming, Salem, OR. “Too often, I would forget to take employee notes, save them, or I would keep them in my head promising myself that I would write it down later. Then I would totally forget, and they’re gone forever! I was coached by an HR specialist to take notes, take notes, take notes! It finally made me find a way that would work for me. I found this app, which made it so easy because my phone is always with me. I could just pick it up and quickly do a brain dump after an incident or even as it happened. This gives a clear snapshot for coaching sessions, performance reviews and responding to unemployment requests.”

WHEN I WORK Free-$2.25

3 Schedule and communicate with employees. Employees can trade shifts and days off, and clock in from a dedicated store iPad or computer, or via their smartphone. Export payroll information to QuickBooks, ADP and others.

RECOMMENDED BY: Marcia Cram, Just Fur Pets, Springfield, VA. “We have used the When I Work app for staff scheduling for over a year. Staff can swap shifts without me having to get involved. And I pay a small annual fee to be able to put together my schedule as far ahead as I need. Sure beats trying to manage 15 people’s school schedules, doctor appointments and social lives in a spreadsheet!”

TRELLO Free-$5 monthly

3 Organize and prioritize projects on boards, lists and cards. Keep solo or collaborate with staff. Assign tasks, and add comments, checklists and due dates. Upload photos, videos and other files. Integrate other apps. Sync across all of your devices.

RECOMMENDED BY: Alysa Slay, Camp Dogwood, Lake Delton, WI. “A game changer for running camp. I talk about it so much, that they started calling me Trelysa.”

Pamela Mitchell is the Editor-in-Chief of PETS+. She works from her home office in Houston, TX, with Ty the Boston Terrier as her assistant.

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