7 apps every executive should download now
No assistant? These apps help you stay on top of administrative tasks like managing travel, expenses, and time.
The days of delegating administrative tasks to your assistant or admin are dwindling. In fact, the number of executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants is expected to drop by 6% between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if your job used to come with a helpful assistant, there’s a good chance you’re flying solo these days.
That means managing your calendar, travel schedule, expenses, and other administrative tasks likely fall on you. Make it easy on yourself by downloading these seven mobile apps and a must-have desktop application (because the basic calendar app can only take you so far).
If you regularly travel for work or host out-of-town clients, you know how quickly business expenses can rack up—and what a pain they are to itemize. Dave Arnold, president of California-based CFO search firm Arnold Partners, recommends downloading Expensify to stay on top of it.
“It tracks all of your spending and creates an expense report for your AP department,” he says. Once you take a picture of your receipt, the app (available for Android and iOS) will automatically record and submit your expenses.
Toggl Work Time Tracker
Clara Capano, a Denver-based business consultant and leadership expert, says one of the biggest challenges her clients face is lack of time. She encourages them to track how they spend their hours using Toggl as a way to try do a self-imposed “time audit” and find waste that can be eliminated.
The old adage, time is money, is true. “You can really see where your time is going, because you need to look at it as an investment,” she says.
The app (available for Android and iOS), which syncs with a desktop version of the program, allows you to track time by project or by client. After just a week of consistent logging, you’ll likely come away with useful insights.
“This helps you become more aware that you’re doing the tasks that are going to lead to the results that you want,” Capano says. And if you aren’t, it could be time to reprioritize.
“Calendly is a desktop application that allows people to schedule appointments right into my calendar without having to go back and forth via email five times,” says Cameron Herold, a business coach and founder of Phoenix-based COO Alliance.
It’s got the usual calendar features—color-coded events and the option to make a meeting recurring—plus a few extras, like a limit to the number of meetings people can put on your calendar each day and time zone detection so everyone’s on the same page about when the meeting begins.
Making a to-do list every morning may not cut it when you join the executive ranks. There are the tasks you need to finish today, but then there are the long-term projects you need to work toward over time. As a manager, you’re never just focused on one goal or one task. You’ve got to have an eagle eye on everything, big and small.
Seth Price, author of The Road to Recognition: The A to Z Guide to Personal Branding For Accelerating Your Professional Success in the Age of Digital Media, recommends OmniFocus 2 (iOS only) to help you manage it all so nothing falls through the cracks. “This is more of a getting-things-done-efficiently deal,” he says.
The app stores your to-dos and allows you to defer projects or put them on hold, which can come in handy for things like year-long goals that aren’t tied to a specific deadline.
Although you can set up your office anywhere that has a Wi-Fi connection, there will no doubt come a time when you need to scan something but don’t have access to a scanner. That’s when CamScanner comes in handy, says Shawna Clark, executive coach and founder of Minneapolis-based Clark Executive Coaching.
CamScanner (available for Android and iOS) allows you to use your camera phone to take pictures of documents and create password protected PDFs for extra security, and it has a collaboration feature, which allows multiple people to mark up and comment on the same document.
TripIt: Travel Organizer
Clark says this is her No. 1 recommendation for executives with busy travel schedules. “You simply forward your travel plans to your TripIt email—or set up auto-import—and it generates a comprehensive itinerary,” she says.
Flights, hotels, and restaurant reservations from different booking sites will all be stored in one spot. TripIt (available for Android and iOS) also makes it easy to share your travel plans, which can come in handy when you’re traveling with colleagues.
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