The Best Apps and Resources for Business Professionals

Last updated: Jan 21, 2020

Does technology slice through your workplace like a double-edged sword? On the one side, it makes your job so much easier. On the other side, keeping up with the latest apps, gadgets, software, and networking options cuts into your schedule so relentlessly, it’s almost a second full-time job. To gain the benefits of tech without being overwhelmed by the innovations flooding the marketplace, we’ve curated a list of the best apps and resources for business professionals. These tried-and-true recommendations for your android or iPhone will sharpen your everyday operations, from payroll to office party invitations, no matter where business takes you. Ready to get scrolling? 

A woman at work researches project management apps on her laptop

Best Apps for Project Management

Also known as PMS, project management system apps track deadlines, budgets, deliverables, and documents, helping you juggle every project in the pipeline.

  • Wrike: A flexible platform for any size business, this app is quick to set up and simple to learn, featuring drag-and-drop dashboards and auto-assigned work request forms to keep your team, priorities, and due dates on track.  
  • Asana: Easy to learn and use, this app helps you build projects and share to-do lists, mapping out each step, automating routine tasks, and organizing details so every team member knows where projects stand, even ongoing projects with no end date.
  • Basecamp: A central location for file storage, emails, task lists, and briefs, this app focuses on collaboration and project-specific task lists, making it appropriate for informal project planning rather than more complex timeline-dependent project management.
  • Trello: Popular with software developers and creative teams, this highly visual, easy app is based on Kanban boards, with a drag-and-drop card design for attaching files, creating checklists, adding comments, and assigning tasks.

Best Apps for Productivity

Also known as organizational apps, apps for productivity help you become better organized and stay that way, accomplishing more both personally and professionally.

  • Evernote: Easy to use for taking notes on your phone and syncing them, this app allows you to clip or create text, audio, photos, graphics, and video, plus keep them organized, searchable, and shareable for use back at the office.
  • RescueTime: Working behind the scenes, this app automatically tracks where you’re spending your digital time, providing private or team reports about where you are placing your focus, setting reminders or blocking sites that are suctioning off productivity.  
  • Hootsuite: Managing all of your social media channels, this app allows you to schedule posts for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, find and filter content, then track your impact by measuring your analytics against 200 metrics.
  • Pocket: An ingenious escape hatch from the rabbit hole of the internet, this app saves online articles for you to read later, paring them down to delete ads and graphics, allowing you to get back to work without being distracted by the Twitter vortex.

Two coworkers review their project management app's work assignments on a laptop

Best Apps for Customer Relationship Management

Also known as CRMs, these apps help you keep on top of customer contact information, analytics, and sales information in one convenient place.

  • HubSpot: A starter CRM with a free version for smaller companies seeking integrated email and a user-friendly design, this CRM captures leads, schedules meetings, and sends notifications.
  • Insightly: With intuitive design and features that interface with other apps, this CRM app for small-to-midsize businesses offers a single platform for marketing, sales, and project management.
  • Nimble: Ideal if your small business relies on social media for leads and data, this CRM app integrates with Gmail, Outlook, Hootsuite and other platforms, and it can track your team’s activities and sales process.
  • Salesforce: Its advanced lead generation comes with a steep learning curve, but this cloud-based app is customizable for companies of any size, tracking leads, customers, and sales in a single platform.
  • Zoho: A powerful real-time automating and collaborating tool, this app offers email marketing, live chat, social media integration, gamification modules, Google AdWords integration, customized dashboards, metrics, and even inventory management.

Best Apps for Accounting and Payments

Getting paid and paying your own expenses requires powerful apps to keep track of cash coming in and going out.

  • QuickBooks: A user-friendly platform to keep an eye on your company’s financial health, this app can send and track invoices, show balances, link to services like PayPal and multiple bank accounts, pay employees and vendors, and simplify tax time.
  • Expensify: A simple mobile tool to create and submit expense reports, this app records your travel and business expenses, captures your receipts and credit card reports, and tracks mileage.
  • Square: A point-of-sale tool to allow any size business to accept credit and debit card payments, this app (and its accompanying card-swiping dongle) works even without a connection and allows you to send email or text-message receipts.

An employee downloads a new smartphone app to increase his work productivity

Best Apps for Communication, Office Parties, and Trade Shows

Communicating, celebrating, and conferencing are essential to the modern work life, so make connection easy on yourself, your team, and your clients with these apps. 

  • Zoom: For high-quality video meetings and webinars on any mobile device, this app is glitch-free, effortless to call in, and built to scale up to 1,000 video participants.  
  • Mailchimp: For launching eye-catching and painless-to-create email campaigns, this app features a range of templates and content, automation to reach your target audience, and on-the-go analytics so you know your open rate, trends, conversions, and ROI.
  • Slack: For in-house teams who need to connect with remote collaborators, this app creates non-email channels for almost any conversational theme, allowing you to filter information and streamline who’s in the loop for particular projects or topics.
  • Elfster: If an office gift exchange is part of your holiday schedule, this app allows you to send invitations and guide every invitee to make a wish list and secretly draw a name.
  • Pro Party Planner: To help your team manage every detail of your next trade show or conference, this app uses the tools of professional event managers to help you plan, budget, issue invitations, delegate to-do lists, auto-send reminders, and track progress.
  • QuickTapSurvey: A handy tool for creating custom surveys even when exhibition space Wi-Fi is spotty, this app allows you to capture feedback from visitors to your booth, with an automated email feature to nurture leads.

Like mobile technology, professional development classes can help you become more efficient and effective as a workplace leader. If you’re ready to advance your career in project management, human resources, process improvement, or hospitality leadership, USF offers an outstanding lineup of accessible, affordable, and professionally relevant courses through the office of Corporate Training and Professional Education.

Learn More