Find the Best Smartphone for Small Business

11 October, 2012 Work No comments
Find the Best Smartphone for Small Business

Can you run a business without a smartphone in hand? Sure, but it would make your life just a wee bit more complicated. Granted, maybe running your business puts enough on your plate, and you don’t have time to run around and conduct the research you need to make an informed decision. But when you narrow down what’s important, choosing a smartphone for your business isn’t as intimidating as it initially appears to be. 

What’s keeping you from adopting a smartphone (or several smartphones) into your business? Fear of additional costs? Knowing that you’ll just grab the first smartphone you see off the shelf because you don’t have the time or energy to mess around? Don’t panic. Here are five tips to help you pick the best smartphones for your small business. 

Research which phone is best for your needs – What do you need your smartphone for, exactly? Phone calls, primarily? Email? Twitter? Facebook? If you’re truly interested in only making phone calls on the go, you can buy a feature phone and save yourself a whack of cash. Feature phones aren’t brimming with apps, but many models still offer email, personal organizers, Wi-Fi capabilities, and even a GPS. They’re perfectly fine for getting the basics done while you’re on the road. 

Find the right carrier – This is the trickiest part of buying a smartphone. The myriad commercials from American cellular providers don’t help, because they all claim to be the best. So which provider/carrier is the best? There’s no easy answer, but you should think about what you need. Are you going to be making a lot of phone calls? If so, which provider has the fewest drops and the clearest reception? Are you going to be fiddling with your apps a lot? If that’s the case, good data plans should take priority. 

Evaluate which operating system you need – iPhone? Android? Blackberry? Windows Phone? Oh boy. Again, if you love apps, the iPhone’s your best bet, though Android isn’t shabby at all. But Blackberries are generally affordable and still command a loyal fanbase. If you’re having trouble choosing which operating system to take home, check out our iPhone vs Android buying guide

Solicit feedback – Seems like everyone has a smartphone, doesn’t it? Well, put that factoid to good use and ask friends and acquaintances what they like and don’t like about their choice. Is the 3G network dependable? Is reception clear? How much did it cost? Will they upgrade their phone, or go with another model entirely? 

What’s your budget? – Finally, think about how much you have to spend. Top-of-the-line iPhones aren’t cheap, but if you have a hefty chunk of change to spend on them, go for it. If you’re limited, and who isn’t, go for an older model of iPhone, or check out your options in the Android market. 

Need more smartphone buying advice? Read: 

How to Choose a Smartphone For Your Small Business at American Express’ OpenForum

3 Tips for Choosing the Right Smartphone for Your Business at Entrepreneur

Picking the Right Smartphone at Tales of a Travelling Salesman

Organize and Archive Your Photos

4 October, 2012 Life No comments
Organize and Archive Your Photos

Are you looking for a way to store, share, and organize your photos? We feel compelled to remind you that it’s never a bad idea to develop your pictures physically and slap them in a photo album. After all, when our robot overlords finally rise up and take the gift of electricity away from humankind, your descendants will appreciate having something to pore over in between their 15-hour shifts in the plutonium mines. In the meantime, there are still dozens of photo storage options  to be found on the Internet. 

In fact, online photo organizers are already among the most asked-for apps and services. Here are five ways you can organize and store your photos:   

Windows Live Photo GalleryThe Windows Live Photo Gallery lets you edit your photos, organize them, and share them online. Importing videos and pictures from your phone or camera is easy, and the program is free to download an use. 

PicasaGoogle’s Picasa lets you upload, organize, and manipulate your photos. You can also tag your Google+ friends in said photos whenever applicable! Picasa’s side-by-side photo comparison/editing feature is also helpful for touch-ups. It’s free to download.

Adobe Photoshop Album Starter EditionThis handy piece of software from Adobe lets you organize and display photos. You can also do easy edits of pictures to sharpen the image, get rid of red-eye, crop larger images, adjust color contrast, and more. Photoshop Album is extremely versatile, but less experienced computer users may find it intimidating to use. Luckily, there are lots of tutorials available. 

picManagerpicManager lets you get super-intense with the whole “photo organization” thing. With this program, you can filter and sort through mounds of pictures by file type or file date. picManager also automatically excludes non-picture files that may have snuck into your source folder. 

Canto Cumulus: Single User EditionCanto Cumulus is a single portal that allows you to manage and store files securely. That includes video and photo files, so you can manage photos and movies that are stored on hard drives, DVDs/CDs, and networked computers. 

Need more suggestions for places to park your photos? Visit: 

Five Best Digital Photo Organizers at LifeHacker

Top 20 Photo Sharing and Storage Sites at App Storm

Best Personal Finance and Accounting Apps

Best Personal Finance and Accounting Apps

Small Business Expert

Essential hints, tips & business advice for startups & entrepreneurs.

Running a small business is a fulfilling experience, but it also provides enough expenses and small headaches to last you a lifetime. You have enough troubles to worry about and costs to fret over even without the stress of finding the financial software that’s right for you and your business. 

Luckily, the Internet is a portal to financial software options that are easy to use and inexpensive, making them ideal for small business owners that already have enough on their plate. Here are five of the best personal finance apps and accounting software programs that can help you manage your personal and business expenses.   

FreshBooksFreshBooks is a program that specializes in invoicing and billing, though it’s not well-suited to accounting tasks in general. Still, its interface is straightforward, it has international options, and a robust online community means that there’s lots of help on-hand if you should need it. You can try FreshBooks for free for 30 days. 

Mint – If you want to track your small business expenses as well as your personal expenses, Mint is a good solution, as it lets you pull all your financial accounts into one easy-to-access spot. You can keep track of your income, your expenses, and even budget for that dream vacation you so richly deserve. 

Money 4 – Money 4’s tagline is, “Your sweetest accounting app.” How can you possibly resist such a friendly invitation? In all seriousness, Jumsoft’s “Money” software series has long been a favorite of budget managers everywhere thanks to its ease of use and affordable price. With Money 4, you can plan budgets and loans, handle invoices, and keep an eye on stocks. It’s all yours for under $40 USD, which makes it a pretty sweet deal. (For Mac and iPad) 

XeroXero is an easy-to-use piece of accounting software that lets you track your bank transactions, your cash flow, and create invoices. You can also integrate your account with add-ons to expand its functionality. You can try out Xero for free to see if it gels with you. 

iBank 4 – iBank 4 lets you keep track of all your expenses in one place, track your investments, and sync your financial data with your iPhone or iPad. You can manage loans and debts, and the iBank’s customer service is attentive and always ready to help. (For Mac and iPhone/iPad) 

For more suggestions on financial/accounting software that’s ideal for small businesses, visit: 

Personal & Small Business Financial Software for My Mac at MarkParrot.com

The Best Personal Finance Software for Windows at About.com

7 Great Financial Apps at AppStorm.net

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