Jacob Orshalick is a software consultant, open source developer, and author. He is the owner of solutionsfit, a consulting firm dedicated to aligning businesses with technology. His software development experience spans the retail, financial, real estate, media, telecommunications, and health care industries. Jacob is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 13 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Software Consulting, There are Apps for That!

09.29.2012
| 2515 views |
  • submit to reddit

Since starting a consulting firm, I’m always looking for ways to automate the day to day tasks I find less than appealing. A colleague of mine was interested in the mobile applications that are part of my business application suite. So I’ve compiled a list of the iPhone applications, beyond the basics of course, that I use on a day-to-day basis.

Scanner Pro

Scanner Pro has been my favorite addition to my business application suite. You simply take a photo of a document, receipt, or whatever you choose and the application creates a “scan” representation. “Scans” can be saved as a PDF to your favorite online storage source (e.g. Evernote, Dropbox, Google Docs). Multiple “scans” can be combined into a single PDF which is particularly useful for business expense receipts.

Keeping up with receipts for business expenses (e.g. lunches, coffee, a new monitor) was something I never did well. They would remain in my wallet for weeks and if I didn’t lose them, were barely legible by the time they made it to my files. Now I simply take a picture and toss the receipt. This is also a lifesaver for sending documents when you don’t have a scanner immediately handy (e.g. you sign a contract over coffee and the client wants a copy).

Price: $6.99

Benefits:

  • Scan documents from anywhere
  • Stop carrying around expense receipts
  • If you like it enough, throw away your scanner!

Timesheeter

Timesheeter has been the best time tracking application I have found for my phone. Due to the consistency of my schedule, the ability to set defaults for my time entry generally makes tracking my time as simple as selecting “New Entry”, “Save”. While it doesn’t integrate with my invoicing software, it does provide at a glance views that make it easy to determine time worked for invoicing clients.

My favorite feature of Timesheeter is that it generates a customizable PDF report that can be exported to e-mail, Dropbox, or iTunes. This makes it simple to provide timesheets to clients or simply store a backup of your time tracking.

Price: $2.99

Benefits:

  • Very convenient for tracking time
  • Preferences make it quick for adding entries
  • Easily send timesheets to clients
  • Customizable timesheet reports

QuickBooks Mobile

I use QuickBooks online for invoicing. There are quite a few options available, but QuickBooks has served my needs for 6 years now and I find it hard to justify a change. The QuickBooks iPhone application is somewhat lacking in terms of features, but it provides the ability to create and send invoices which is really what I’m looking for from a mobile perspective.

Once you’ve customized your invoices through the general QuickBooks online browser application, creating invoices through the iPhone application is simple. Once created, they can be immediately e-mailed from your device to the client. This makes it simple to send invoices even if you don’t have immediate access to a wifi hotspot (e.g. standing in line at the DMV).

Price: FREE (but, you must subscribe to QuickBooks online)

Benefits:

  • Send invoices from anywhere
  • Convenient for quickly reviewing outstanding invoices

CardMunch

CardMunch was recommended to me by a colleague and I find it extremely useful. As a LinkedIn application, it connects to your LinkedIn account (if you don’t have a LinkedIn account by now, I suggest you get one).

When someone hands you a business card, rather than simply sticking it in your pocket and letting it run through washing machine, never to be seen again, snap a photo of it with CardMunch. The photo is sent off to LinkedIn employees who, within a brief period of time, transcribe the contact into a LinkedIn profile that you can then choose to connect with. CardMunch helps to ensure you don’t lose that valuable connection.

Price: FREE (but, you must have a LinkedIn account)

Benefits:

  • Avoid losing contacts
  • Finds connections for you
  • Save paper by leeting people keep their cards!

If you are a software consultant, and have any applications that you find useful, please feel free to leave them in the comments.

Published at DZone with permission of Jacob Orshalick, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)