eight apps for entrepreneurs

I recently saw Santiago Jaramillo, founder and CEO of BlueBridge Digital and Visit Apps, tell a story at DePauw University’s entrepreneurship symposium that highlighted a shift that’s been on the minds of entrepreneurs, marketers and designers for years: as consumers, we have never adopted a new technology as widely or rapidly as we have the smart phone. And consumers have never demanded more from their technology.

When the iOS 7 update came out in mid September, the Internet erupted with reviews and complaints, per usual. But lately the voices aren’t just getting louder—they’re multiplying.

At first, I recoiled at this realization. Are people getting whinier? What makes non-software people feel qualified to critique software?

Then, almost immediately, I got it.  Everyone really is a critic, because everyone is a power user.

Maybe you already know that the average smart phone owner checks their phone over 150 times per day. Maybe you already know that, of the time we spend on our phones, 82% of it is inside of apps. And, although you likely have around 38 apps on your phone, most of your time is spent within the top 8 most used apps.

Jim Rohm says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Now, I’m not saying you are your apps, but since we’re all wasting spending a lot of time with our favorite handful of apps these days, I thought I’d share some of my most used apps for founders.

My Favorite Apps for Entrepreneurs

Evernote (free)

Evernote syncs notes, web clippings, drawings (via Skitch) and more across all of my devices. And, unlike Google Drive, Evernote’s reliable offline functionality means I can edit from the darkest reaches of I-70. When I wake up at 4:00am with an idea, it goes in Evernote so I can pick it up later.

Google Drive (free)

We use Google Apps at Verge, so all my files are accessible across all of my devices and are easily integrated with our email. And if I’m writing much more than simple text, I much prefer the Google Docs text editor to Evernote’s.

Mailbox (free)

Mailbox is an email client designed just for mobile-only that lets me navigate my inbox with just my thumb, snooze emails to reappear in my inbox later, and quickly chip away at my email backlog.

Apple Reminders (free)

Siri is a long way away from replacing a personal assistant. But if you’re driving and need to remember something, you can simply ask her to remind you to email Matt about barbeque sauce when you get home, and she will.

Refresh (free)

When you meet a lot of people, or if you’re bad with names, it’s sometimes difficult to keep current with everybody. Refresh provides me with a brief personal dossier for everybody on my calendar 15 minutes before we meet. It pulls info from across all of my social channels to paint a quick picture of what’s been going on with John Doe lately.

Waze (free)

If I’m searching for a place I have never been before, Waze is not as reliable as Google Maps is. But one feature keeps pulling me back to Waze: I can text my contacts a link that shows my ETA and my location on a map so they know exactly when I’ll arrive. This makes meeting teammates and coordinating rides a breeze.

SignNow (free)

I don’t use SignNow every day, but it’s so useful it makes my list anyway. This app lets me complete and sign documents from my iPhone or iPad, and has allowed me to successfully avoid fax machines for a long time.

SpinMe ($1.99)

I’m a night owl, and many entrepreneurs are, too. I don’t always have an easy time getting up in the morning, especially after a late night working or when I have to wake up at an odd time. SpinMe, a snooze-proof alarm clock, makes me literally get out of bed, put two thumbs on my phone’s screen, and spin around twice to turn it off. You can’t fake out the app—I’ve tried.

Don’t see one of your favorite apps on the list? Let me know in the comments!