Sometimes paperwork is the most necessary of evils. You’ve got to bill people, pay bills yourself, whip up contracts, and a slew of other desk-bound tasks. It’s not the most glamorous work, but if you’re looking to TCB, it’s a must.
Here are five apps that can help you get back to business as quickly as possible.
You could scribble checklist items on notepads, napkins, or your arm, but Google Keep (Android, iOS, Web) is just about as simple, with the app synching notes and to-do items across multiple platforms. Record entries using your voice, and Keep will handily transcribe them for you as well. You can share certain lists with other people if you’re working on projects together, which is great for closing out tasks as each team member takes care of them.
Time to collect! Use Zoho Invoice (Android, iOS, Web) to bill your clients, track your time as you’re working on projects, and run reports to get an idea of how your business is doing. Pre-built invoice templates handle the design work for you, and your clients can pay their bills via a unique portal that houses estimates, past invoices, and unbilled hours. Zoho integrates with popular payment gateways, and the free version lets you work with up to five customers at a time.
You ever get so busy you forget to eat? Shower? Pay the bills? Mint Bills (Android, iOS, Web) can help you with the third item there, making sure you don’t overdraw, miss payments, or blow through your credit limits. Set your accounts up once, and the app will remind you when stuff’s coming due, let you pay your bills directly, and surface money-saving offers such as lower interest rate cards and higher interest rate accounts.
If you don’t stay on top of them, expense reports can get out of hand reaaal fast. Concur’s ExpensIt (Android, iOS) is purpose-built to let you snap an image of a receipt, at which point the app analyzes it, applies it to a category, matches it against the associated credit card transaction, and uploads it to your expense report. It’s far easier than waiting until the end of the month to manually scan that mountain of receipts on your desk.
When it’s time to get some deals going, try PandaDoc (Android, iOS, web). Slick templates help you assemble proposals, quotes, and contracts, and once you’ve sent them over to your prospective client, you can see how long they eyeball each section of the document. Once you’re ready to get down to brass tacks, you can negotiate in real time in a chat-like pane alongside the contract and have everything digitally signed once the deal’s done.