If you’re getting ready to start a side hustle, your phones and tablets are about to be put to good use for way more than texting your bestie, checking in with your parents, and making your pet Instagram famous. You’ll need to support your freshly minted entrepreneurial pursuits with social media and stay on top of a brand-new batch of emails (isn’t it everyone’s dream to clear out that inbox entirely?) — and that’s only the beginning. At the risk of offending the apps you already use (which we’re sure have been very kind to you), we’re here to suggest that you consider supplementing those handy devices with a few additional apps that’ll make it that much easier to go pro with your hustle. Keep reading to learn more about our seven recommendations.
1. Wave: Wave is one of many accounting apps you may stumble upon, but our favorite part about it is that its software is free (fees only come into play for services like credit card processing and payroll)! It’s also targeted specifically for small businesses, which makes it perfect for you in the early days of your side hustle. Even if the thought of tracking your income and expenses, generating professional-looking invoices, and logging your business receipts feels overwhelming, Wave will walk you through all of these processes (and more) to help you and your new business get started on the right foot.
2. aTimeLogger: Time management is tricky enough when you’re not running a fledging business. Throw in a side hustle, and your days of “winging it” are officially over. There are plenty of time tracking apps out there, but aTimeLogger caught our attention because of its simple interface and the way it allows you to more effectively restructure your time on an ongoing basis. All you have to do is tap to see how much time you spend on all your different activities, both personal and professional. You can also set goals (for example, “Work on business plan for 45 minutes.”), and the app will notify you when you’ve met it. aTimeLogger will also give you daily, weekly, and monthly graphs to help you figure out if there are better ways for you to be allocating your time as you continue to build your hustle.
3. Square: If you want to make money from your business (and we assume you do), you’ll need to figure out a method of actually initializing and receiving payments, or you won’t make a lot of progress. Square is a great option to consider because it allows you to charge your customers (of which we’re sure you’ll have many) if you’re interacting with them face-to-face, or to generate invoices to other clients via email, so they can pay you no matter where they are. You’ll feel super fancy swiping credit cards with your card reader (which you’ll need to purchase separately), plus you’ll have access to plenty of useful reports through the Square app.
4. MailChimp: Once you’ve started creating the product you plan to sell or structuring the service you’ll be offering, you’ll want one more major thing: customers! MailChimp is an email marketing tool that will help you create mailing lists, design newsletters, and track the success of your email campaigns. Getting the word out about your side hustle is key, so you’ll need a service like MailChimp to help you shout it loud and proud!
5. Wunderlist: If your basic to-do list app doesn’t quite cut it now that you’re managing a brand new set of action items, you might want to start thinking about upgrading to a system like Wunderlist. This app gives you a one-stop solution for organizing and sharing your to-do lists, assigning tasks to others, converting important emails to action steps, noting progress updates, setting due dates, and collaborating with other people in your network across multiple devices.
6. Streak: If you feel like your email inbox is overwhelming now, just wait until you start your side hustle. It’s about to get super crazy up in here! Streak can help. It’s a CRM (AKA customer relationship management) tool, and you can integrate it directly with your Google account, which should make the transition from managing your personal messages to your business-related messages a bit more seamless. Using Streak, you can organize messages in pipelines, annotate your email chains, stagger the timing to send and receive emails, and more.
DL It: Free for Gmail
7. Cloze: You have a brand new set of contacts associated with your side hustle, which is great — but it also means that you have a brand-new roster of people to keep track of! What separates Cloze from other CRM tools is that it automatically groups together all of the information you have about a contact — emails, email signatures, calendar invites, phone calls, documents, social media, and more — into one convenient interface. The algorithm also picks up on which contacts are most important to you and prompts you to follow-up with them regularly, so you won’t miss out on opportunities to maintain your business with key customers!
If you already run a side hustle, what other apps do you find useful? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Featured photo via Getty)