Nowadays, modern technology plays a vital role in almost every aspect of the business world, both in Orange County and beyond. No matter the size or nature of your business, if you’re not making the most of available technology, you’re likely a step behind the competition. But making the most of modern technology doesn’t necessarily mean paying thousands of dollars in app subscriptions. There are many free apps in the market today that offer valuable benefits for any business. As champions of the OC business community, we want you to thrive – that’s why we’ve put together this list of the 5 best free apps for Orange County businesses. Read on for some great apps that might help your business.
Free App #1: Evernote
Many businesspeople need to remember a million things at once. Unfortunately, that is nearly impossible for most human beings. However, this free app makes it possible. With Evernote, you can store, organize, and share anything you want. From texts to voice notes to web pages, Evernote will help you keep track of everything.
With just a single click, Evernote allows you to transform content into digital notebooks that you can organize as you like and access at will. Come across a website for an obscure product that might help your business in 6 months? Put it in a notebook. Want to add some ideas on how to use it? Put it in. Find another option? You guessed it, put it in the notebook. While you’re at is, throw in some notes from your meeting and a voicemail from your district manager as well. Then, when you’re finally ready to get going on the project you can circle back. It is a great organizational tool optimized for the digital world. If you do a lot of research or have a lot of information to organize, Evernote is for you.
Free App #2: Slack
As a collaboration platform, Slack will help simplify your business communications. It provides a powerful solution for sending and receiving messages, transferring files of all types, and engaging in other forms of collaboration. (It’s also extremely hip, by the way.)
If your team uses Slack, they’ll be able to work together on the same file, with each employee receiving a specific level of access in terms of what they can do. For example, some people may just be able to observe, others may be able to make notes, and others can actually make edits. It also offers excellent integration, storage, and reporting functions, and there’s no need to worry about your privacy – the app uses advanced security standards which encrypt your data both in transit and at rest.
Slack also offers various remote communication options which have become extremely popular as remote work has grown in popularity. From audio/video conferences and online meetings to group chats and digital messaging, Slack has you covered. It’s sort of one stop shopping for collaboration of all kinds. If you need something along those lines, definitely check it out. And if you need a really robust offering, you can always upgrade to one of their paid plans.
Free App #3: Google Drive
When it comes to cloud storage platforms, Google Drive is by far one of the most affordable options. The free plan of Google Drive will give you 15GB of storage space which is quite a lot. But, if you need more space, you can always upgrade to a paid plan.
With Google Drive, you can effortlessly create and share documents, spreadsheets, slideshows, and much more. Multiple members of your team can have access to the same document, which will allow you and your team to collaborate easily. As was the case with Slack, you can grant each user either editing or viewing only access, so you can control who can do what. Of course, only the people you share your files with will have any access at all, and you can access your data anywhere so long as you have an internet connection. (And a computer, of course.)
As is commonly the case, if you need more bells and whistles, just upgrade.
Free App #4: Square
Have you ever failed to close a sale because you don’t offer enough payment options? With the Square app, you’ll never miss out on revenue just because you can’t get paid. Square is a POS (Point of Sale) application that allows you to accept cash, chip cards, contactless cards, and even mobile payments.
That’s not all this app has to offer though. You can also use Square to keep track of your stock and inventory, and at the end of each day, week, or month, Square can generate reports analyzing your sales. With this app, you can also set discounts for customers, receive orders, manage sales disputes, email customers their receipts, and much more.
There a couple small caveats: you’ll need to buy the Square Reader to be able to receive cashless payments, and like all POS systems, there is a processing fee for transactions, but the app itself is both free and quite robust.
Free App #5: Asana
You can forget the hassle of project management with Asana. This free app will help you plan, track, and manage various projects using just one dashboard. It enables you to create and assign tasks, set deadlines, track time, and do everything else related to project management. Basically, it enables you to stay up to date on the status of your projects, plan out your next steps, keep track of how often you meet your deadlines, and perhaps most importantly, avoid forgetting to do something.
If you have a lot going on and want to manage your projects efficiently, Asana is a great way to go. The free version grants access to up to 15 users, and if you want some extra bells and whistles you can always upgrade to the paid version. Oh yes, we nearly forgot – Asana also displays cools unicorns whenever you complete a big task. How’s that for motivation.
When it comes to apps, there is no single solution that suits every business. You can use one or a combination of the apps here. It all depends on your business needs. In the end, the whole point of using an app is to reduce the number of tasks you need to do or enable you to do them in a more efficient or cheaper manner. Hopefully this list of the 5 best free apps for Orange County businesses has helped!
Want to learn even more about apps? Check out this great post on the best project managements for businesses, or the 5 best apps for QuickBooks Online. Or, just check out the best bookkeeping, accounting, and business blog in Southern California.
Who are we? We’re My OC Bookkeeper, the best bookkeeping and business advisory firm in Orange County, CA. We understand the challenges of running a business in Southern California and offer a wide range of bookkeeping and consulting solutions catered to your specific needs. So if you’re in the OC (or SoCal in general) and need some help with the finance side of things, reach out to us today. Let’s do great things together!
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