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It wasn’t that long ago that the word “app” wasn’t even a word.

Now we not only have apps on our smart phones and computers, but we “need apps.” The idea of using essential apps to streamline everything we do means that those apps need to be easy to use. They should solve a problem or make a routine task somehow easier to manage. Apps should also be fun to use. If an app feels like work, it’s not the right app for you.

Here are some of the best known apps and also some of my personal favorites.

Related: Boost Your Productivity in Real Estate With These iPhone Applications

22 Apps to Streamline Your Business (and Life)
1. Dropbox and Copy:

These are two apps that I personally use for online storage. I started out with Dropbox and I do like it, but I really love Copy for managing and storing files. I like the fact that you can set up folders in Copy that look just like you have organized them in Word. One advantage of Copy is that it comes with a whole lot more free storage. Both of these services allow you to share files and are perfect to use if you have a virtual assistant.

Cost: Free

2. Evernote:

I am just getting started with Evernote. I guess you could safely say that I have been dragging my feet on this one, but I’m anxious to give it a try. I am a notebook person. I actually like that act of sitting with a pen and paper to write notes and to do planning — and pretty notebooks and journals are just so much fun to buy. But the “notebook system” is terribly inefficient because you never know which notebook particular notes are in.

Cost: Free

3. Hootsuite:

I have been using this app for a couple of years now. I recently passed the task of scheduling routine social media posts using this app on to my VA. By routine posts I mean posting things like daily quotes. She will also pre-schedule notifications for upcoming webinars and other events I may be hosting, as well as any “freebies” I have for folks at the time. Hootsuite is a great tool for pre-scheduling social media posts.

Cost: Free

4. Dashlane:

This is an app that will allow you to store all your passwords and other information that you want to keep secure. You just have one master password to access Dashlane, which has your other passwords stored. The good news is you will only have to remember one password ever. The bad news is, Dashlane doesn’t store your only password, so if you forget it, you are just out of luck.

Cost: Free

5. Scanner Pro:

Turn your phone into a portable scanner. Scan important documents and receipts, turn them into PDFs and upload them to Dropbox, Google Drive or Evernote. This is a really cool app.

Cost: $2.99

Around Town
6. Wi-Fi Finder:

With this app, you can get a map of all the wifi hotspots in your area both free and paid. This app would be especially useful if you were in a town you weren’t familiar with and didn’t have a Starbucks nearby.

Cost: Free

7. Gas Buddy:

Find the cheapest gas in town, as reported by local drivers.

Cost: Free

8. Waze:

This is a GPS app that will reroute you as weather or traffic conditions change. If you drive a lot, Waze can help you avoid those big traffic jams.

Cost: Free

9. MyFitness Pal:

This is a great app and one that I use all the time. You can track your exercise and what you eat to help you lose weight, maintain your weight and just improve your overall health. This app has a database of calorie counts for over 3 million foods. You can also add specific brands of foods along with the information for that particular product, and it will save it in your account.

Cost: Free

10. Run with Map My Run:

This app will track your walking or running pace, the distance you have gone and your route. You can organize this into charts and graphs (if that is something you want to do) and track your progress.

Cost: Free

11. 7 Minute Workout Challenge:

Always on the run? Never have time to work out? With this 7 minute workout, it can be done anytime and anywhere.

Cost: $1.99

12. Ted:

Most everyone is probably familiar with Ted Talks. If you ever get stranded in an airport and have absolutely nothing better to do, you can access the entire Ted library from your phone or tablet. I personally love Ted Talks.

Cost: Free

13. Pandora:

This is another one that most folks are familiar with, but it’s also a great app to have if you have time to just sit and listen to your favorite music.

Cost: Free

14. Yelp:

This app lets you search for nearby restaurants. You can also read the reviews before going there if it’s a restaurant you’re not familiar with.

Cost: Free

15. Movies by Flixter:

Flixster will search for show times at nearby theaters. You can also watch movie trailers and read the critics reviews with this app.

Cost: Free

16. Shazam:

This app was new to me. Have you ever heard a new song on the radio and wondered what the song title was? Using your phone’s microphone, this app will listen to the song that is playing and identify it within seconds. Shazam also gives you the option to download the song on iTunes. This app really does have you hooked up if you are a music fan.

Cost: Free

17. Credit Karma:

This completely free service allows you to keep track of your credit score in real time. It will also give you a credit “report card” followed by the reasons for your current credit score. This gives folks actionable steps they can take to raise their personal credit score.

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