For some, a smartphone used to be a welcome means of distraction from work. However these days – depending on your business – it’s likely that your phone has become a device that you simply can’t function without. So let’s take a look at a few ways to make use of the incredible technology and timesaving tools available at your fingertips.

Just don’t get too distracted by Facebook: it’s a time-sucking vortex. Unless you’re using it to market your business, of course.

Easy invoicing

Layla Roberts, who owns a personal concierge company Concierge Connections, is arguably one of the most organised women in Sydney. Given she’s in charge of making her clients’ lives easier, Ms Roberts does all she can to streamline her own business operations. One of the ways she does this is to catch public transport to meetings and use that time productively.

“I’m always out and about – whether I’m going out for a client meeting or whether I’m going out for personal reasons,” says Ms Roberts.

She previously used PayPal Invoicing to invoice clients on the run, but now mostly uses the app Invoice by Wave, which she believes has a more professional feel. Other popular invoicing apps include Invoice2goFreshBooks and TradiePad.

Simplifying your to-do lists

There are countless apps to help get your daily to-do lists out of your busy brain, and onto your phone. Ms Roberts uses the ‘notes’ function, along with the app Trello, which helps her remember things when she’s out of the office.

“I love lists. I’ve got a personal folder and I have a business folder,” she says.

Those who prefer to speak their lists, rather than write them, can dictate to-do lists (or compose emails) via their iPhones. Simply open your email, press ‘new message’ and hit the microphone to the left of the space bar. You can then email the list or prepared email to yourself, and print it out, or alternatively email it across to a client or staff member. Apps such as Wunderlist or OmniFocus are among others available.

Streamlining your finances

Expensify promises ‘expenses reports that don’t suck,’ allowing users to create a paperless office. Among other things, you can upload receipts, generate receipts from online sales and automatically create expense reports.

If it’s a cash injection you’re after, Banjo Loans was designed with the smartphone user in mind, so small businesses can easily apply for finance on the go.

There are also plenty of other apps – from free to pricier monthly options – that can make handling your business’ finances a doddle. The Australian Tax Office offers the myDeductions app, which helps classify and capture work-related expenses, gifts and donations or the cost of managing your tax affairs. It also helps you to store photographs of receipts, and record car trips. 

Heavy hitter Xero has a mobile app that helps you reconcile, send invoices, add receipts and create expense claims. Like most popular apps it’s available on iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones.