Run a small biz from your smartphone

Write, edit, share

Read part 1 of this story. Click here.

No matter what you’re doing for your business, you’ll probably need to write or edit the occasional document–and while it might be a pain, you can do that from your phone, too.

Dragon Dictation
iOS | Free

Dragon Dictation is an excellent voice-recognition app powered by Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Not only can you use Dragon Dictation to dictate texts, email messages, and status updates, but you can also use it to write notes and, hey, maybe even articles or essays.

iOS | $5

If you’re more of the old-fashioned type, you might want to do your text editing with your fingers. Quickoffice lets you do that, allowing you to create and edit Microsoft Office files, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint items.

Google Docs
Android | Free

In the Android-app version of regular old Google Docs, you can create, edit, and share your documents directly from your phone.

Sarah’s Pick: Dragon Dictation is a lifesaver when you need to, um, write an article or shoot out an email without taking your eyes off the road. This is definitely a plus when it comes to productivity–just be careful.

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Put it in the cloud

These days cloud storage is popular. That doesn’t mean you should toss your hard drive out the window–but being able to access select files from your mobile phone is certainly useful.

iOS, Android | Free

This excellent cloud storage service first downloads a special file onto your desktop. Then, any file you drag into that folder automatically syncs with the Dropbox cloud server. All you have to do is download the Dropbox app on your smartphone and log in to your Dropbox account, and you’ll be able to access any of your Dropbox files from wherever you are. Dropbox gives you 2GB for free, but offers 50GB and 100GB plans for $10 a month and $20 a month, respectively.

iOS, Android | Free

Another easy-to-use cloud-storage app, SugarSync gives you 5GB of space for free; any more, and you’ll need a subscription. Plans start at $5 per month for 30GB and go up to $25 per month for 240GB.
Sarah’s Pick: I’ve been using Dropbox for years now, and I love the ability to sync files across multiple platforms. Still, SugarSync gives you similar functionality and an extra 3GB of free space.

Track your cash

Keep your business in the black by downloading one of these convenient apps.
iOS, Android | Free is personal finance software, but it’s still a good app for a small business or a one-person operation.’s apps let you keep track of your bank account balances and spending patterns, and they even have spending tips and useful charts.

iOS, Android | Free

Expensify is an expense-tracking app that lets you log expenses, capture receipts (snap a photo of a receipt with your phone’s camera, and Expensify will scan it and create expense items from the info), and track mileage. In the iPhone version of the app, you can also create on-the-go expense reports and submit them straight from your phone. Expensify is available on Palm/WebOS and BlackBerry, as well.

Sarah’s Pick: is a must for any small-business owner, but Expensify will actually let you log expenses for tax purposes (Mint just keeps track of your general spending).

The tools described above are merely a sampling of the many mobile apps that will help you run your business with ease.

Read part 1 of this story. Click here.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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