Whether you own a small business, work for a large company, or are just starting out in your career, your days can get so busy with e-mails, managing your to-do list, and juggling meetings that even finding time to grab lunch can be a luxury.
Thanks to the new trend of mobile convenience apps, your smartphone can help you boost your workday productivity and make working life more enjoyable. Here are nine apps that will help you make the most of your workday, everyday:
1. Dropbox is a secure storage and file-sharing platform that allows you to access your documents, photos and videos from any computer or phone. It's an ideal platform for team projects, allowing you to access and edit documents on-the-go using the mobile app, and share links with your colleagues via email and text messages. It's great for sending files that are too large to attach to an e-mail, and for making sure team members have the most up-to-date version of a file.
2. Slack is the brainchild of Vancouver entrepreneur Stewart Butterfield, the co-founder of Flickr. It's a simple chat platform available for desktop, iOS, and Android that lets team members create rooms where they chat about projects, send private messages, and stay in touch with any team members who are working remotely. All communication happens in one place and any content is instantly searchable, so even if you forget something, the app won't.
3. Trello is a simple project-management tool that aims to keep any information about a project in one central place. Users create boards for a project, and using the mobile or desk app you can add attachments, create to-do lists, assign team members and set deadlines. Think Pinterest for project management – the free app also lets you invite as many people to your board so you can collaborate with team members, clients, or partners.
4. Receipts by Wave. Administrative tasks are always more irritating to tackle when your work days get hectic. Receipts by Wave is a quick and easy way to manage receipts and submit expenses. The app allows you to scan any receipt, eliminating the pile of paper bills stuffed in your top drawer, and integrates with accounting to compile and pull expense reports as needed. Wave just announced $10-million in new funding, so the app will likely only continue to improve.
5. RocketMan. Commuting to and from work increases stress and impacts general well-being. Transit apps like RocketMan aim to make your daily back-and-forth easier. RocketMan tells you when the next train, bus or subway will arrive, and locates the vehicles' real-time location on the map. No more waiting in the rain for your bus – check the next arrival and don't leave home until it's a minute away.
6. Green P. If you're driving to work rather than taking public transit, GreenP is for you. When you're crunched for time, GreenP, a Toronto-based parking app, makes it easier than ever to find a spot at associated carparks all over the city. To make work life even easier, GreenP lets you pay for parking directly on your mobile phone, and top-up on time before your session expires.
7. Zipcar. If you live in the city and don't have access to a vehicle, Zipcar is a quick and convenient way to run errands, or travel to and from meetings. By joining Zipcar, you get access to their network of cars, vans, and SUVs located in parking lots all around the city. Their website and user friendly app provides the locations and availability of cars in real time so you can book a vehicle and be on the road in no time. And the best part, you can pay and book by the hour!
8. Grabb. Office workers have precious little time to get lunch, and often popping out at noon or 1 p.m. means waiting in a long line. Grabb, a Toronto-based mobile app, lets users conveniently pre-order and pre-pay for meals from their desk. The app sends real-time updates on order status, and notifies users when their meal is ready for pick up. Rather than getting your meal delivered, Grabb lets you step outside for a breath of fresh air, and skip the line while you're at it.
9. Zomato. Tired of eating the same boring meal for lunch everyday? Zomato's extensive database provides a list of the best nearby restaurants and lets you scan menus without leaving your desk. The app also recommends restaurants based on your current mood. It's also perfect for finding a new restaurant for a client lunch or team celebration.
Kabir Daswani is the founder and CEO of Grabb Mobile Inc., a Toronto-based technology startup in the mobile marketing and commerce space. Daswani developed Grabb, a mobile app that allows users to pre-order and pre-pay for meals, while studying at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Grabb is available for download in the App Store, Google Play store, and online at www.grabb.ca/download.