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By Cathie Ericson.


BizApps_Body.jpgA recent study by a Silicon Valley analyst found that the average app loses 77 percent of its users a mere three days after it’s installed, with only 5 percent of users continuing to use an app three months later.

So which business apps are deserving of the precious real estate on your phone screen? Beyond the basics such as Evernote and project coordination apps like Asana, Basecamp, and Slackhere are five apps we think will earn their keep on your smart phone today, and down the road. (All available for iOS and Android.)

Pocket: (Free) It happens all the time: you’re clicking through emails and come across a story you want to read or a TED Talk you want to watch, but don’t have time. Just stick it in your “Pocket” to read at your leisure. Once you’ve downloaded the app, it’s easy to access. Whenever you click to save a link, it includes Pocket as one of your choices, just like email, Facebook or Twitter. You can then access your saved items later across devices, even if you’re not on WiFi. A bonus is the twice-weekly email they send with articles other users have liked.

Toggl: (From $10 to $59 per user, per month) Wait, you spent how long mindlessly surfing the web? Well, for better or for worse, using this app means that you’ll know exactly where your time is spent. As a business owner, you’ll love how it generates reports of billable BizApps_PQ.jpgtime for you and your whole team, easily created into client reports and/or compared with historical data. You can also color code projects and give different billable rates to different projects and tasks.

TinyScan: (Free for eight scans; $4.99 for unlimited scans and cloud storage) Never carry around a sheaf of receipts and notes again. TinyScan allows you to scan receipts, business cards, photos and more as images or PDFs that you can name and organize into folders. Once scanned, you can send them via email or to a Dropbox, Evernote or Google Drive account.

Hotel Tonight: (Free) Business travel can be incredibly unpredictable, and sometimes you’ll find that your meeting ran long or your flight was delayed. There you are, stuck in a city with nowhere to stay. That’s when this app can make your whole day (or night) by finding you available nearby rooms, typically at great prices. And you don’t have to use it only for “tonight” of course; booking a week ahead is available as well.

App in the Air (Free with upgrades available): Road warriors gravitate to anything that can make their airport life easier and you’ve found it with App in the Air. It shows both your flight history and your upcoming flights, complete with check-in and boarding times and detailed airport maps. It also tracks your reward miles so you can figure out when you can go somewhere fun for free. Now that’s good business. 


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