From communication to project management, the best business apps fit seamlessly into your workday. Explore ways to boost productivity, tackle mundane tasks, and simplify complex processes using free or inexpensive tools.
Best Small Business Apps at a Glance
- Best Small Business General Management Apps: Todo.vu and StudioCloud
- Best Small Business Apps for Time Tracking: Clockify, Harvest and Toggl
- Best Small Business Apps for Staff Communication: Zoom and Skype
- Best Accounting Apps for Small Business: FreshBooks, Wave and QuickBooks
- Best Project Management Apps: Slack, Trello, Asana and Airtable
The best apps for small business owners include those that are inexpensive, easy to use and result in measurable improvements in your process. Because you and your team use many devices, your apps shouldn’t tie you to your desktop. Instead, the transition among devices should be seamless and result in real-time changes on the screen.
Browse top business apps that boost productivity and help you better manage data. Plus, discover vital features that support you and your team without adding a substantial monthly expense.
Best Small Business General Management Apps
Keep data at your fingertips with small business apps that streamline your process. Depending on your need, you might use comprehensive, all-in-one business management software or an industry-specific system. A general management app combines several functions into 1 application. Small business owners benefit from applications that help manage:
- Human resources
- Hiring and onboarding processes
- Projects and tasks
- Customer relationships
- Assets and resources
Todo.vu eliminates the need for separate business programs. Instead, you can track time, customers and functions in 1 platform. This productivity suite provides basic features, such as checklists and file storage, for everyday use. It includes integrations with Google and Office 365 calendars and Google sheets. Use this tool to track your budget and progress across projects.
This business app is free for solo business owners, but Todo.vu also offers plans that range from $5-$9 per person per month. By upgrading plans, you’ll get access to more reporting and customer support options.
Key Features of Todo.vu
- Track time for specific tasks within projects
- Set billing rates for trackable time
- See completion progress on checklists
- Create recurring jobs for easy automation
- Keep files in one spot with drag and drop
StudioCloud is an all-in-one cloud-based business management system. Use your smartphone or desktop to review your marketing campaign or send an invoice from anywhere. Get more from this small business app by integrating StudioCloud with QuickBooks, MailChimp and Google Calendar.
This business app is free for 1 user. Add a partner for $35 a month or pay $65 for 3 users. If you want to add more users, then it’s an extra $3 per person.
Key Features of Studio Cloud
- Use unlimited, customizable contracts with electronic signatures
- Track payroll hours and time spent per employee per project
- Organize marketing campaigns
- Accept payments and run financial reports
Best Small Business Apps for Time Tracking
You can’t boost productivity until you know where your time goes. Time tracking helps you manage your costs by client or project. The best apps for small business owners sync across devices and allow you to run reports. Plus, other features such as tagging billable hours or integrations with accounting software provide extra advantages.
This free business app puts time tracking at your fingertips. Toggl works on any device so you can run reports by project, client or date from anywhere. Toggl integrates with more than 100 project management and productivity tools such as Asana, Evernote and Google Drive.
Connect up to 5 team members with basic tracking features for free. For increased reporting options and to track billable hours by client, then you’ll need to upgrade to its starter or premium plan. The costs range from $7.20-$14.40 per user per month.
Key Features of Toggl
- Set reminders to track time
- Turn calendar events into a time-tracking entry
- Manually add time to projects or client work
- Export reports from your dashboard
- Unlimited projects and clients
Harvest takes time tracking a step further by adding in-depth reporting features. This tool helps you stay within your project budget and see where your employees’ time goes. Harvest integrates with more than 100 business apps such as Trello, Slack and QuickBooks.
The free version of Harvest works well for 1 person and 2 projects. If you need access to unlimited projects and want to add team members, then you’ll pay $12 per user per month.
Key Features of Harvest
- Unlimited invoices and estimates
- Approve employee timesheets
- Send billable hours right to your invoice
Take control of your time without paying a penny. This business app works seamlessly across devices and is updated in real-time. Plus, Clockify integrates with more than 50 web applications. Simply install the browser extension, and the timer button will pop up when using other business apps.
Clockify makes our list of best apps for small business owners because it’s 100% free yet provides you with a dashboard and great features that go beyond basic time tracking.
Key Features of Clockify
- Set hourly rates and mark time as billable
- Customize, export and share reports
- Track time by project
- Create timesheets for staff
Best Small Business Apps for Staff Communication
While you may do most of your communicating within a project management program, these business apps work best for when a face-to-face meeting or phone call is absolutely necessary. You don’t need a fancy setup to connect with remote teams or hold a team meeting.
Zoom is one of the best free business apps on the market and works well for small businesses. You can host a meeting, conduct interviews or participate in a conference from the comfort of your office. Zoom integrates with your Google Calendar, Microsoft Office 365, Zendesk and more.
While paid plans offer extra features like conference recording, most small business owners find the free business app more than capable. Zoom is free for meetings up to 40 minutes long. Upgrade to plans ranging from $14.99-19.99 for longer sessions and more robust reporting options.
Key Features of Zoom
- Up to 100 participants in a meeting
- Unlimited 1-on-1 sessions
- Share screens during a meeting
- Use a virtual background
Skype is a Microsoft solution that helps business owners communicate with clients and team members across the globe. While anyone can use Skype, the company offers plans specifically for small business owners called Microsoft Teams. A benefit of this business app is that it integrates with your existing cloud-based phone system to save you money.
For many businesses, the free plan provides enough features for your needs. If you want advanced options like video conferencing and call monitoring, then upgrade to a paid plan. You’ll pay $12.50-$20 per user per month.
Key Features of Skype
- Integrated screen sharing
- Chat-based collaboration
- Unlimited messages and search
Best Accounting Apps
Managing your finances is a massive part of your overall success. That’s why choosing accounting software for your business is critical. The best business apps are those that provide in-depth reporting features, handle invoicing and customer management with ease and work across multiple devices.
FreshBooks is designed to save you money while you earn money. This small business app adds time tracking integrations into the accounting software, so you don’t miss a minute when invoicing. Plus, FreshBooks offers over 200 integrations and works on all devices.
While the monthly cost covers 1 login, you can add extra people for $10 per person per month. You’ll pay $15 per month for 5 billable clients, $25 per month for 50 clients or $50 per month for 500 billable clients.
Key Features of FreshBooks
- Unlimited invoices and expenses
- Accept online payments
- Unlimited time tracking
QuickBooks is a trusted business app for tracking your finances and taxes. It connects with popular eCommerce integrations like Shopify and can automatically add sales tax to your invoices. With QuickBooks, you’ll also save time during tax season by adding your accountant or downloading your data into a shareable file.
For basic cash flow tracking, the Simple Start plan is $25 per month for 1 user. Add time tracking and vendor payments with its $40 per month plan that includes 3 users. For advanced reporting options like financial and non-financial KPIs and inventory optimization, then you’ll pay $70-$150 per month for 5 to 25 users.
Key Features of QuickBooks
- Sort and import transactions
- Track invoice status and accept online payments
- Manage 1099 contractors
If you need an easy solution, then Wave is the free business app for you. The basic setup handles invoicing and expenses. Plus, you can have an unlimited number of people access your account without paying a fee. However, free pricing doesn’t include online payments to your invoices or payroll options.
If you need payroll features for employees or contractors, then you’ll pay $20-$35 per month plus $4 per employee or contractor. Wave offers a pay-per-use plan for accepting credit card payments as well.
Key Features of Wave
- Unlimited income and expense tracking
- Run multiple businesses in 1 account
- Scan and record receipts
Best Project Management Apps
Meet your goals (and measure progress along the way) with project management (PM) application software. These cloud-based platforms increase productivity by placing all of your project details into one spot. Improved efficiency saves you money by keeping you on track.
Asana is a work management platform. It helps you collaborate with your team and measure progress on tasks and goals. With the free plan, you’ll have access to the lists, calendar and other features that assist with project management. However, you’ll need a paid plan in-depth reporting features. Asana integrates with Dropbox, Salesforce and Microsoft Office 365 for a smooth process.
Get basic collaboration for up to 15 team members for free. Or choose from Premium or Business plans ranging from $10.99-$24.99 per user per month for more features.
Key Features of Asana
- Import your spreadsheet data
- Get status updates on projects or tasks
- Turn spreadsheet information into timelines
- Add due dates to important tasks
Slack is a project management tool that ensures optimal collaboration. Connect up to 10 apps and integrations with the free version. You can separate your channels by teams, clients or projects. This helps you manage who has access to different information while encouraging conversations. Slack features integrations with Salesforce and Dropbox, among many others.
This small business app is free for up to 10,000 kilobytes in searchable messages, which is quite a bit. You can delete threads to save space if needed. For extra storage and features like group calls with screen sharing, upgrade your plan and pay $6.67-$12.50 per user per month.
Key Features of Slack
- Drag and drop files for easy sharing
- Video calls for 1-on-1 chats
- Start threads within channels for better conversations
Trello is a visual project management tool that works seamlessly across all devices. With Trello, you create boards for your processes. Then you add lists and cards. Each card is customizable so that you can add due dates, checklists, links, images and more. Trello is one of the best business apps for creating and employing repeatable processes.
The free version of Trello is capable of handling most of your business needs. But, if you want more integrations, automation features and security enhancements, then you’ll pay $9.99-$20.83 per user per month.
Key Features of Trello
- Unlimited boards, lists and cards
- Automate processes for repeatable tasks
- Create team boards for increased collaboration
Airtable is the ultimate customizable solution for small business owners. This free business app is a unique hybrid database and spreadsheet combo. Not only does it sync across all devices, but you can choose the view that works best. For example, you can view by grid, form, Kanban, calendar or gallery. You’ll find tons of templates online, so you don’t have to start from scratch. Airtable handles customer, project and team data in 1 spot.
The free plan of Airtable works well for small to medium-sized companies. But, if you need more than 1,200 records per base, then you’ll need to upgrade to its Pro or Plus plans. You’ll pay $10-$20 per user per month.
Key Features of Airtable
- Collaborate in real-time with comments and edits
- Add checkboxes, barcodes, photos and more to individual fields
- Link records and avoid duplicate data entry
- Unlimited bases
Incorporate Small Business Apps Into Your Workflow
The best business apps are those that make your company run better. Whether you choose an all-in-one system or opt for individual business apps, it’s essential to test what works and discard what doesn’t. Use these tools to improve your workflow and increase your revenue.