Even though I’ve owned my own business for several years now, I love what I do so much I sometimes forget it’s technically considered "work." So at times I find it fun to google things like "the benefits of starting your own business" just to see whether the joy and fulfillment I feel is actually, well, normal!
Recently I read a quote from U.S. News & World Report that stated: "increased financial security" and "a deep sense of satisfaction" are the two main payoffs of starting your own business. While I wouldn't say I’m meeting my goals for the former in full yet, I’m definitely experiencing the latter in spades.
Since a lot of my work happens online, and I use my phone as a management tool while on the go, I’ve also found that certain apps and tools are a literal lifeline to help me do everything I want to do in a day. If you’re a busy entrepreneur (or—even busier—Mompreneur!) be sure to give these apps and tools a test run.
Start your own couponing blog, earn money, and be a successful Mompreneur—we’ll show you how!
Read Joanie’s How to Start a Coupon Blog and Make it Profitable in 30 Days post.
1. 24me Smart Personal Assistant
24me is described as the "next generation smart calendar and automatic to-do list." The app stretches beyond boundaries of "work" and "personal life" to incorporate the two seamlessly, earning praise from the likes of Forbes, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, PCMAG, CNET, and others. Now you have one app that syncs your calendars and tasks, handles all of your reminders and alerts, and even finds you part-time help for outsourcing things you don't have time to handle personally. The app also gives you turn-by-turn navigation instructions, allows you to pay bills in-app, and even sends gifts to friends and family members on your behalf. You can connect your banking and financials, vendors, social networks and more, and view a succinct overview of it all from a single screen—amazing—and free!
Shoeboxed takes all the pain out of one of the most onerous small business owner tasks: tracking mileage, expenses and receipts. This free app has wooed and won legions of fans, from Forbes to Inc., the Wall Street Journal to the New York Times. All you need to do—literally—is snap a picture of any receipt and, when the time comes, the app will generate your expense report for you. At tax time, Shoebox simply produces all the documentation you need to complete your small business and personal taxes and interfaces with Excel, Quickbooks, Wave, Outright, and other popular software. Shoebox also offers phone and email customer support.
Contacts+ integrates each one of your contacts via an interface that brings together contact information and social media accounts into one place. This free app gives you a comprehensive picture of each contact, including their photo, recent social media posts, and recent contact history, serving as both an address book and a contact manager in one. The app covers Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and your personal notes about each contact.
4. Mom Maps
When you’re trying to juggle work and family time, the last thing you need is to have to do hours of research to find kid-friendly venues where you can work while the kiddos play. Mom Maps takes care of this for you, finding fun, family-friendly places including parks, restaurants, playgrounds, museums, indoor play places, and more (more than 28,000 locations logged to date, which each user is encouraged to contribute to as well). Mom Maps has received awards and kudos from Mom Central, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Playgrounder, TechCrunch, and more.
5. Baby Connect
- Get it for iOS ($4.99)
- Get it for Android ($4.99)
- Visit the website: http://www.baby-connect.com/register
Baby Connect is a little pricier than most of the apps we recommend here on KCL, but for a working mom with a lot on her plate, it’s worth five bucks for the peace of mind alone! Baby Connect also has a free online tool if you don't need to access it on the go. This app lets you track absolutely everything about your little ones. Medications and vaccinations, checkups and play dates, photos and growth charts, sleep and mood, feeding and changing schedules, and even a syncing feature across all your devices—all are included in one app. You can schedule reminders, set alarms, and even export data via email or .csv. Finally, this app will also help you schedule child care with nannies, babysitters, daycare centers, and more.
6. Hashtag Mom (Foursquare)
- Visit the website: http://hashtagmom.com
If you’re a working mom to kids who are starting to spread their solo wings, Hashtag Mom helps you keep tabs on them from anywhere. The Foursquare-based app sends a quick text or makes a call from child to Mom as part of a Foursquare check-in. The app will even prompt kids to check in periodically.