Productivity gains stand at the heart of the mobile enterprise revolution. There are few mobile projects or initiatives so easily measurable in real ROI terms than productivity apps. But, custom, company-specific apps might not be the way to go for every productivity boost under the sun.

As it turns out, there are some great free apps out there that can put some pep in your step (and by step, I mean bottom line).

One inbox to rule them all, and in the cloud, bind them

Lord of the Rings homage notwithstanding, I imagine you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who does not have multiple email addresses from multiple providers. One way to make all that email work for you? The Outlook App from Microsoft.

How digital transformation can grow your business?

The genesis of this app was Microsoft purchasing an already popular mobile inbox app, tweaking it slightly, giving it some more horsepower, and re-releasing it. The result is a comprehensive email client which is aesthetically pleasing, packed with necessary features and able to cut down on your inbox clutter in a flash.

Team communication finally doesn’t suck

For too many years, intercompany communication has been such a pain in the rear. With emails flying all over the place clogging up your inbox, some combination of messaging and text messages clogging up everything else, you’ve probably wondered why no one seems to get how to improve workplace communication.

Slack is the app for you. With an integrated desktop client, web client, Android and iOS apps, you have a single, unified theory of office communication. It’s even searchable, you can build teams into the user experience, whatever you need.

There’s a reason it’s achieved so many users and such a high valuation so quickly.

A great idea (also used by drug dealers)

Burner phones are a popular choice for communication among drug dealers. It allows dealers to communicate with those they need to without the inherent fear of being surveilled the entire time. With phone hardware, networks and numbers changing whenever you pick up a new burner, it allows dealers to stay one step ahead of the law (sometimes anyway).

Why is this relevant to your business? Because you don’t want every salesperson trying to pitch you or job candidate trying to pitch themselves to you to have your office or personal cell phone number. Burner, an iOS and Android app, allows you to set up a disposable phone number for those pesky times you need one. Your virtual number forwards to your main line, but it has its own voicemail greeting. You can return calls on the temp number, and once your project has wrapped up, drop the number without exposing yourself to a ton of unwanted phone calls.

Never guess at meeting availabilities again

Meekan for Android and iOS not only integrates with the most popular calendar services, it’ll find and display everyone’s open time slots for meeting scheduling purposes. Simple, intelligent, useful.


Presentations move beyond PowerPoint

For anyone that does a lot of work in PowerPoint, there’s a new player on the block. Prezi, which comes on the web, iOS and Android, allows you to not only create great looking presentations, but also syncs between the services through cloud storage and retrieval. You can access presentations on the go to practice, then run the presentation from your phone when you get to the big meeting. You can even stream presentations to those who can’t make the physical meeting.

Put the paper away

TinyScan for Android and iOS is a great solution to digitize the mountain of paperwork, receipts, menus, or whatever else you have on your desk. The simple yet useful app captures .pdf images that you can either email to yourself or save to Dropbox, Evernote, Box, Drive and other popular cloud storage services. You can even string several snapped photos together into a single document for when you need to turn in your bogus expense reports all together.

ABC — always be closing. But seriously, you should be closing, like, right now

For any firm engaged in the sales world, Shake could be a godsend (especially for smaller companies). The Android and iOS app lets you put together contracts that you and another party can sign on the spot. There are pre-selectable templates available, which also be customized to your needs. Contracts can be signed or sent electronically for signatures as well.


There you have it — seven great off-the-rack apps that can make you and yours more productive this year (and probably less grumpy/frustrated). A win-win-win.