Top 10 technology tools for contractors
Running your own contractor business does require some degree of organisation and record keeping. Listed below are some of the best apps and tools available to help make this easier.
1. Google Apps
A group of Google tools designed for businesses. This hosted service allows you to run Google applications such as email, a shared calendar, spreadsheets and presentations on your own domain address. With a Google Apps account you have access to applications which are administered by you while being powered by Google.
This app is based around creating and sharing lists. Whether they’re ‘To Do’ lists, ideas, important points or priorities, this app can help you collaborate with others and assist with managing projects. It was designed primarily for use on the move using smartphones and tablets but can also be used on a laptop or pc.
This tool offers an easy method of capturing, archiving and sharing information. A ‘note’ can be created in a number of formats including voice memo, handwritten ‘ink’ notes, photos, text and webpage excerpts. These notes can be sorted into folders, tagged and have comments added.
Previously called ‘Read It Later’ this app allows you to capture and share interesting or relevant information from other apps with just a tap of the Pocket icon. Designed for smartphones it makes it quick and easy to ‘pocket’ information you spot, say, in your news app, but don’t have time to review immediately.
Allows online storage of documents, videos and photos so they can be viewed anywhere. Access is either from their website or from any device (smartphone, tablet, laptop) which has the users Dropbox icon installed. All files are synchronised so the same content shows regardless of which device is used. Users can give access to others to specific folders to allow project collaboration.
Combines all the processes contractors need to track billable time, generate invoices and collect payments. Features include reporting tools to track income and time usage; ability to log expenses and add images of receipts to the system using your smartphone; useful add-on capability to connect to applications such as PayPal or Google Apps.
An online package with offers a wide range of useful processes. Has a comprehensive calendar function for arranging appointments. Allows online bookings and payments and generates invoices. Also has customer database management functionality and the capability to create email marketing campaigns.
Online project management software which allows users to create their own collaborative workspaces. Its key features are the options to help make tasks easier. Firstly, there are several existing business related Podio Apps. Secondly, you can create your own Podio Apps, without any IT technical skills, to meet your specific project needs.
Basecamp is a web-based project management tool which enables project teams with different roles and tasks to communicate, work on documents together, view assigned tasks and check deadline dates in one unified space. This application also sends due date reminders and project updates to relevant members of the project team.
This web-based project management application focuses on an easy to navigate visual way to assign tasks, organise and share information between project members. It features a Board which can be filled with ‘sticky notes’ type cards. These can have text or photos added and can then be moved around the board as the project progresses.
All of these tools have free trials or free basic features options, so you’ve nothing to lose by taking a look to see which could work for you.
This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.