The Top Three Productivity Apps: Save Money and Work More Efficiently

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In our estimation, the smartphone is the most important technological advancement of the past decade. While being productive on the go once required carrying a bulky laptop, a modern smartphone is essentially a powerful computer that fits in your pocket and has an always-on Internet connection. If you use your smartphone primarily for email and voice communication, you’re missing out on the amazing potential of productivity apps. Find out how these apps can improve your organization, record keeping and money management to make you wealthier and more productive in the coming year.

Mint

Mint has the ability to synchronize with all of your banking and credit accounts to provide an at-a-glance summary of your financial outlook. Mint tracks the activities of your linked accounts, categorizing your expenditures to give you a better idea of where your money goes each month. Over time, Mint can track trends in your spending to help you identify areas in which you could spend less.

Shoeboxed

Being self-employed has a great many benefits — until tax time comes around, at least. The good news about the self-employment tax is the fact that you can generally deduct the reasonable and necessary business expenses that you incur throughout the year. However, many people are unable to maximize their deductions because they fail to save receipts and other paperwork. Shoeboxed has an innovative approach to document management; simply use your smartphone to snap pictures of receipts or use the company’s free postage-paid envelopes to mail paperwork for scanning. Shoeboxed uses character recognition to convert your paperwork into plain text documents that you can view on any device. The most impressive feature of Shoeboxed is the fact that every document is verified by a human before the data appears on your account.

Nirvana

When your personal and professional to-do lists become cluttered, productivity can be a major area of concern. If you’re the type of person who organizes tasks on sticky notes or text files on your computer’s desktop, you could greatly benefit from having an app that manages your tasks for you. Increasing your productivity with Nirvana is fast and painless. Begin by adding your tasks to the Inbox. After creating new tasks, you can classify them using key details such as the amount of time and energy required. Nirvana removes the need to remember what you need to do and allows you to focus your energy on what you should do right now. The basic version of Nirvana is free to use.

Bonus Tip: I remember starting out as a freelancer and really wanting to minimize all recurring expenses, which made it hard to commit to paid tools even when I knew they would help me. Thankfully there are some great free tools. One indispensible free tool is InvoiceGeneratorApp.com which makes it drop dead easy to create invoices online for free. They can be branded with your logo and colors and look simple and professional. If you don’t want to drop the cash for a paid accounting and invoicing tool this is a great starter option.

Have you tried any of these? Do you have a favorite productivity app that isn’t mentioned here? Leave a comment below!