Let's face it: As a modern marketer, you're busy -- very busy. And once you leave the confines of your office, it's comforting to know that you can stay on top of your work and not lose touch.
Today, it's all about our mobile lifestyles. For better or for worse, smartphones and tablets are now part of our daily regimen. From checking email to tracking campaign metrics to monitoring social interactions, apps have become a convenient and useful means of doing our jobs. Whether you use true native iOS, Android, or Windows 8 mobile apps; web apps that run from your desktop or mobile browser; or mobile websites optimized for mobile browsers and various device screen sizes, you can always access the information you need on your mobile device when you are on the go.
So to assist you in your mobile lifestyle, I've assembled a list of a few of my favorite go-to apps for managing projects, workflow, and communications. Keep in mind that many alternative apps exist, as well as the native apps for email, calendaring, and reminders built-into your phone's operating system, but I think you will find these more advanced suggestions useful.
Free with upgrades
Asana is not very well known (yet), but it is a stealthy, powerful task management and team collaboration tool. Perfect for managing multiple tasks across multiple team members, the app is a bit more robust than the more popular Basecamp. Interestingly too, Asana was created by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz.
Killer features: Asana is free for up to 15 users, provides real-time interaction, and comes with a quick, efficient interface.
What's not killer: The app is not ideal for complex workflows, nor does it integrate with third-party apps.
App effect: Asana makes collaboration on simple team projects very easy.
2 GB free, upgrades starting at $9.99 per month
iOS, Android, Blackberry, Kindle
Dropbox has become the gold standard for cloud-based document storage. With it, you can access files on any device from anywhere you have internet connectivity. It is easy to use and works well with other apps (e.g., Evernote, MacDropAny). With its upcoming Datastore API, Dropbox will work with even more third-party apps across even more devices and platforms to sync all your data and media files.
Killer features: Dropbox comes with 2GB of free storage, and referrals can boost you to 18GB. File and folder sharing is outstanding and easy to use.
What's not killer: Editing your files on-the-go within Dropbox can present some challenges, requiring third-party plug-ins to get the most out of the app.
App effect: As access to our files from any device at any time becomes increasingly mandatory, Dropbox provides a drop-dead simple solution -- it just works.
Free with LinkedIn account
CardMunch converts that stack of business cards sitting on your desk into address book contacts. Simply snap a photo of a card, and the app takes care of the rest.
Killer feature: What sets CardMunch apart from the competition is its ability to add your new contacts as connections on LinkedIn. Awesome!
What's not killer: CardMunch is currently available only for iOS, and you must be a LinkedIn member to use it. But then again, who isn't?
App effect: For LinkedIn members, CardMunch accurately transforms business cards into contacts on your iPhone and includes full LinkedIn profile data for your new contacts. Boom!
Basic, free; Evernote Premium, $5 per month; Evernote Business, $10 per month
iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry
Evernote is an impressive, ever-evolving tool for capturing everything from notes to email to web content, photos, and other media files. Best of all, the app is accessible via smartphones, tablets and desktop browsers. Evernote seamlessly shares its data with all your devices, letting you capture your meeting notes while at work or enter a personal shopping or to-do list for the drive home. There's also great search and tagging features, as well as a web-clipping tool. You can even share meeting notes with team members and personal notes with anyone.
Killer feature: Evernote seamlessly synchronizes across all devices and platforms.
What's not killer: Font sizes are small on the main home screen, which makes the text hard to read.
App effect: Evernote makes you more efficient as you accumulate and organize bits of data for your "digital filing cabinet."
Basic, free; $17, $39, and $69 per month subscription models
iOS, Android, Blackberry
Several apps provide solid web meeting and video conferencing capabilities, but Fuze Meeting might be the most tightly integrated. The web version is near flawless, but the Fuze team has put a lot of energy into the tablet and smartphone app versions.
Killer features: The desktop version works right in your web browser -- no download required. A proprietary rendering engine keeps shared images crisp and clear, even when you zoom in considerably.
What's not killer: The app's performance can be slow depending on your connection and your machine.
App effect: Fuze Meeting looks and feels modern and cool. Your clients are likely to feel that way too.
MacDropAny is a simple app that painlessly lets Mac users synchronize any folder on their computers with Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, or Dropbox (as mentioned above). Any changes you make to your files are then saved in your respective cloud storage service. The simple interface and its deep integration into the Mac operating system (including letting you right-click any folder in Finder to sync it) makes the app very easy to use. For Windows users, another tool called Dropbox Folder Sync provides similar functionality.
Killer features: MacDropAny lets you sync any folder with Dropbox, lets you choose a destination within Dropbox, and is very easy to use.
What's not killer: I can't think of any!
App effect: The app keeps all your folders outside of Dropbox synced with Dropbox. Enough said.
Fast Analytics for GoogleFree
The mobile web version of Google Analytics is fine, but Google has not released a native iOS app. If you are looking for an analytics app for your iPhone or iPad, I prefer Fast Analytics.
Killer features: Fast Analytics for Google provides a beautiful, easy-to-read dashboard. You have the option to scroll through five different time segments: today, yesterday, last seven days, last 30 days, and last year. Within all of these, you can drill down by traffic source, keywords, browsers, and countries.
What's not killer: You cannot customize the dashboard.
App effect: You get a fast, clean, high-level view of your analytics while on the go.
You'd expect the Google app for Google Analytics to be great, right? Well, it is. Sporting a slick interface, you get a nice, high-level overview of your traffic stats.
Killer feature: The best user interface of any mobile analytics app.
What's not killer: The app requires you to use a Gmail email address on your device and does not provide a way to edit or remove graphs from your dashboard.
App effect: Like Fast Analytics above, you get a fast, clean, high-level view of your analytics while on the go.
Almost too good to be true, Trendslide is a mobile business dashboard that collects all your website analytics for you: Google Analytics, Google Adwords, appFigures, Facebook, Twitter, Google Analytics eCommerce, Shopify, Salesforce, etc.
Killer features: You can choose to receive push notifications about trend data or use the "8am insight" feature, which shows the most important business trend of the day.
What's not killer: Those who use data-gathering sites not included in the dashboard might still have to do separate tracking.
App effect: Trendslide organizes all your data into a simple interface that delivers to-the-point information in graph form.
iOS, Android, Windows Phone
When was the last time you used RSS feeds? That's what I thought. Zite lets you easily manage all your favorite articles and news feeds in the form of a digital newspaper. It's the one app I use consistently for reading about a broad range of topics.
Killer features: Zite provides a clean, well-designed interface, learns your news preferences, and provides robust sharing options.
What's not killer: The app does not let you access full stories offline or add your own news sources.
App effect: It's a visually appealing news aggregation app that learns what you like to read the more you use it.
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