Drop box, Mail Chimp, Skype, Basecamp, Gmail… All of these apps help you streamline your workflow and complete more tasks in less time. They’re all well-known in the world of online business, and professionals across a wide swath of verticals use them every day.
But are there other apps out there you may not have heard of? Apps that could be helping you or your team be even more efficient on the job? Here are four excellent, cloud-based business apps you probably aren’t using yet. And yes, some of them are free.
1. Wave Accounting
If you’re self-employed, a freelancer, or run a small operation with 10 or fewer employees, it may be time to ditch Quicken and move your accounting to the cloud.
Why? Because Wave Accounting is free. That, and it’s just downright simple to start using immediately. To make a long story short, you can move all of your accounting to the cloud, and you won’t have to pay for it.
There are, however, some caveats. For starters, Wave Accounting is free for you because it’s supported by advertising. Second, it doesn’t support payroll (at least not yet), so larger organizations may still require something a little more robust.
This one’s great for freelancers and consultants. As anybody who bills by the hour knows, keeping accurate time gets cumbersome, especially for projects that you don’t complete all in one go.
Toggl works like an online stopwatch to eliminate the hassle of keeping accurate time. There’s a free version for organizations with five or fewer users. You can also pay $5/user each month and use Toggl’s desktop client and mobile app, both of which could be handy for many.
3. WP Invoice
Most of us already know that Freshbooks is great for invoicing. At present, the company claims over 3.5 million users, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a simple, cloud-based invoicing app that handles all your invoicing and bookkeeping. Easy as can be.
But if you’re a Word Press user who’s looking to cut costs, there’s a plugin called WP Invoice that you may want to look at. The best part, of course, is that it’s free. The second best part is that you can do all of your invoicing in Word Press.
Although technically not a standalone app (it’s a Word Press plugin), WP Invoice lets you create itemized invoices in Word Press, send notifications, and direct clients to a page on your site where they can pay their invoice.
And yes, it integrates with PayPal and several other credit card payment systems.
Sometimes I forget that I even have JungleDisk. It backs up all of my critical data to the cloud, and I don’t even have to launch the app to make it go.
It’s just there. Working. Backing up my data to secure servers so that I never lose my stuff. While there are other cloud-based backup services out there – and believe me, it pays to back everything up locally as well – JungleDisk does a great job backing up just the things you specify without getting in your way.
Pricing depends on your needs, but the monthly charges are reasonable. And since you really can’t put a price on critical business data, most everyone will find JungleDisk worth the cost.
Adam Green spends a healthy chunk of his time thinking about cloud integration solutions. He’s also a full-time freelancer who would be pretty lost without his favourite cloud apps.