This post is an article I wrote for a golf tournament I am sponsoring today. Keep that in mind when reading. This is for the golfers to read while on the course. They will be enjoying a sunny, beautiful Thursday afternoon, but you get the hyperlinks!
Top FREE Mobile Applications You Can Be Using to Do Business Today
You’ve got a smart phone. It’s not just for turn-by-turn directions, you know.
1. LinkedIn. The top business networking site has mobile applications for BlackBerry, iPhone and Palm Pre. Use LinkedIn mobile to keep up to date on what’s going on in your network and to contact any of your connections. Access your LinkedIn search, connections, messages and more.
2. Evernote. Now available for most mobile platforms, desktop and online. Evernote gives you a place to store all your, well, notes: text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a file attachment. Notes can sync across platforms, organize into folders and become searchable.
Hot Tip: Take a photo of a business card with Evernote mobile and it automatically recognizes the text so it becomes searchable. No more stacks of business cards creating piles on your desk. Simply snap the ones you want to follow up with. You could even give the card back on the spot.
3. Google Sync. Having trouble keeping all your calendars synced across devices? Need to see both personal and business appointments? Google Sync allows you to integrate Google Calendars with your native phone calendar. It can also sync your contacts. Google Calendar can be synced with your desktop calendar application and allows the ability to share or make your calendars public. Share a personal calendar with your spouse to keep track of the family. Visit www.laurabcreative.com/speaking to see a Google Calendar made public and formatted into an event listing. Wow!
4. Ping.fm. You may have heard of Ping.fm but are not sure how to use it. Ping.fm is simply a tool to help you update your status on over 40 social networks. It allows you to access your account via SMS (text message) or a third party mobile application like BlackPing for the BlackBerry. Ping.fm can be useful in updating your status across your social networks but be careful, each social network is different and your updates should not be blanketed across all of them. Ping.fm does allow you to set up different groups to separate your audiences. I highly recommend this. I don’t want to see “RT @dulleschamber @laurabcreative @guykawasaki blah, blah, blah” in your LinkedIn status. And at least 70% of your network doesn’t either. They probably don’t even understand it because they are not Twitter users.
5. HootSuite. HootSuite bills itself as “the professional Twitter client”, but it’s so much more than that. It is a complete web-based social media dashboard which lets you schedule updates across different social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Facebook pages, MySpace, Foursquare, even Ping.fm). This includes adding photos and updating a WordPress blog. The dashboard also allows you to share the load with your team, giving you the ability to manage access to business profiles. The mobile application is available for iPhone and Android as a free limited version or $1.99 full version. The web-based dashboard is free.
6. NutShell Mail. This is not a mobile application per se. It is a service that “brings a summary of your social network updates to your inbox in a single email on your schedule”. You decide how often you want to check your social networks, set up your schedule and view everything in a single email. Nutshell Mail was just acquired by email service provider Constant Contact.
7. Documents To Go. Allows you to view Microsoft Office and PDF files. The full version ranges from $15-$30 depending on the platform, but the viewer is free. If you need to look at files while you are away from your computer, Documents To Go will fill that role. The premium version allows you to create files.
Hot Tip: Keep your latest sales presentation on your handheld and you will always be ready to show it to prospects.
8. RSS reader. There are so many RSS readers and it’s hard to recommend one without knowing you a little better. RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication and allows you to pull the updated posts from a particular site, usually a news or blog site, but in reality almost anything can be made into an RSS feed like the public calendar mentioned earlier. The best mobile application depends on your phone but almost all of them sync with the free Google Reader which allows you to set up and track your preferred feeds online.
So, with the applications above, you can keep in touch with your business contacts, keep track of all your brilliant ideas, keep your calendars synced with all the appropriate devices and anyone who may need access, update and track your social networks on your schedule, view and share files and keep up-to-date on your industry. And you’re playing golf!