With little ones underfoot and a thriving small business to run, you likely feel so pressed for time that even 10 more minutes in a day would be a relief. In the past decade, the number of women owning small businesses grew 40 percent, according to Denken Research. Many of these women are working mothers struggling to balance their passion for their careers with the challenges of raising a family. In a situation where every second is precious, structuring your work day with efficiency-boosting apps is a smart way to free up time to spend with your kids.
The first step in streamlining your work is to know exactly where your time goes. Enter Toggl, a free app available for Android devices or your desktop. Toggl enables you to keep track of every minute of your day by providing reports of what tasks you spent the most time performing. This helps you spot trends in time mismanagement. Perhaps you take a “quick” break after lunch that turns into 30 minutes of surfing the Web. Or, you think that you’re starting each work day at 8 a.m., when you really don’t get anything productive done until 8:45 a.m. Use Toggl to identify areas where you can change your routine and recapture lost time.
Rather than leaving a trail of sticky notes or scribbled messages in your wake, gather all of your thoughts in one place with Evernote. This free app, available for Windows Phone, iPhone, Android and Blackberry, is the ultimate note-taking helper. Any information you save in Evernote is automatically shared with all synced devices. Record audio messages, save important Web pages, share notes with work colleagues or even sync your grocery list with your husband’s mobile device. By keeping all of your important information in one place, you’ll be able to access old meeting notes or your daughter’s report card all at the tips of your fingers.
Tracking business finances can be a nightmare, but Mint.com makes it easy to know where your money is going. The popular personal finance website is a favorite among small business owners for its ability to track income and expenses. Mint will import every transaction from your cash back cards, allowing you to cash in those rewards to reinvest in your business. The site also creates handy graphs to help you visualize your business growth. A free Mint.com app is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.
Universal Password Manager
As the complexity of your business grows, you have more and more passwords to manage. Each time you sign up for a new online account, you’re prompted to enter a unique password. More capital letters! Remember numbers! Include a symbol! Keeping track of each password is a major hassle and drain on your time. Universal Password Manager, available for Android, allows you to set a single password to access your diverse account information. The free app uses a secure, encrypted connection to ensure that all of your data remains safe.