Every business owner wants to save time. After all, time is money. In this modern world, apps and other online tools can help you get the most out of your workday. However, there are more than 1.3 million apps in Apple’s App Store and another 1.3 million in Google’s Play store. Who has time to find time-saving tools?

To help cut through the clutter, we asked dozens of small business owners to suggest an app or a tool that boosts productivity and saves time. Here’s a list of the apps that business owners say they couldn’t live without in 2014:

10. FastCustomer

Don’t wait on hold anymore. FastCustomer will make a call for you and alert you when someone else picks up on the other end. It’s one pet peeve you can cut out of your workday.

  • Cost: Free

9. Sortly

If your business deals with a lot of inventory, Sortly is the app for you. It’s a free iPhone app that helps you keep track of your stuff. You can snap photos of boxes that are in your storage room, or make a list of what’s in your overstock area.

  • Cost: Free

8. Toggl

Do you wrap up your day and wonder, “Where did my time go?” If you’re nodding in agreement, you should check out Toggl. Several owners suggest this online tool that works as a time tracker. With this tool you can see exactly where you spend your time and make the proper adjustments.

  • Cost: Free and paid packages available. Advanced tracking is $5 per month/person.

7. Slack

Tired of sifting through a mile long email thread to figure out what’s going on with a project? If so, try Slack. This tool is meant to make communication easier. You can create a project and keep all of your shared notes in one searchable spot.

“It’s much better than sifting through emails to figure out who is doing what and who owes what to whom,” says Josh Inglis, with PR firm Propllr.

  • Cost: Free

6. TimeTrade

If your business schedules customer appointments, you’ll want to check out TimeTrade. Customers can see your calendar and set up a date and time that accommodates their schedule.

“It saves a lot of time in the back and forth of attempting to find a mutually available time,” Linda Pophal, owner of Strategic Communications says.

  • Cost: Free and paid versions. Paid packages start at $49.

5. Pocket

How many times have you come across a blog post or a guide that you want to read, but don’t have the time to devote to it immediately? Rather than bookmarking the website or writing a reminder on a Post-it, use Pocket. With this tool you can save articles or videos that you want to check out later on.

It’s a time-saving tool for Sherry Holub, owner of design agency, JVM Design.

“I save links as I’m surfing or researching,” she says. “This has really boosted productivity and saved tons of time over my old way of blocking off dedicated time just to search for articles.”

  • Cost: Free

4. Boomerang

Are you a Gmail user? If so, this handy tool can help you wade through the sea of email in your inbox. Boomerang allows you to schedule emails to send, set up email reminders and track your correspondence.

David Waring with FitSmallBusiness.com says it’s a tool he can’t go without.

“This is an awesome tool that helps keep your inbox clean and makes following up on things super easy,” he says.

  • Cost: Free and paid versions. Paid packages range from $5 to $49.

3. Trello

This handy app is a checklist and project management tool. Small businesses can prioritize a to-do list, set deadlines, reorder tasks and share the list with others.

“Every small business should be using this. It has replaced the pad and pen to-do list for me,” says Jay Staniforth, owner of workout clothing business Bear Aesthetics.

  • Cost: Free

2. 1Password

Another popular suggestion is 1Password. Remembering all of your online passwords can be a hassle. You don’t have to write them down on a notebook or keep a mini spreadsheet on your computer anymore. With 1Password all you have to do is remember one “master password” and the app will do the rest.

  • Cost: Free for Androids and $7.99 for iPhone users.

1. ZenPayroll

One of the most recommended time-saving tools is ZenPayroll. About a dozen small business owners suggested it, which is why we’ve put it at the top of our list.

Small business owners say this tool takes the hassle out of payroll with an easy-to-use platform and affordable pricing options. It comes with direct deposit, tax forms, employee accounts and reports.

  • Cost: $25 per month + $4 per employee.


What time-saving tools do you rely on? Share your knowledge with others who are looking to maximize their time by listing your go-to app or tool in the comments.

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© 2014, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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