These 5 Apps Shaved 10 Hours Off My Workweek

As a small business owner for the better part of a decade, I’ve learned firsthand that time is my most valuable resource — yes, even over money. You can always try to make more money, but time is simply not renewable.

With that in mind, I’m always eager to find new ways to work smarter (not harder). And thankfully, some of my favorite apps have helped me do just that.

There are 1.6 million apps available for download, but these are the five I’ve found shave the most time off my workweek. In fact, using these apps has helped me save 10 hours each week — that’s more than a full workday of time saved.

Whether you work for a large corporate firm, or you're the sole proprietor of a burgeoning business, here are the five apps that can help streamline your workday.
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Photo: FiftyThree.
Paper by FiftyThree
(Free on iOS)

Fun fact: I still use a paper planner. For those of you who, too, have old-school tendencies, put them on Paper, the app, instead. I originally downloaded Paper for digital note-taking, but the app now offers everything from presentation building with easy templates to photo annotations (especially helpful if you’re taking measurements for a home renovation project).

Before: Having to be on my computer to make charts, presentations, and checklists.

After: Making charts, presentations, and checklists from anywhere, the moment I need to.

Time saved each week: 1 hour
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Photo: Docusign.
DocuSign
(Free on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone)

As a consultant who’s constantly on the road, I love being able to sign, seal, and deliver client agreements from anywhere on earth, via the palm of my hand. Bonus points to DocuSign for keeping things eco-friendly and removing the need to use medieval fax machines and scanners. You can use it to do everything — from collaboratively sign contracts to seamlessly fill out W-9s.

Before: Receiving a contract, printing said contract, signing contract, faxing contract, confirming fax of contract went through.

After: Receiving a contract, e-signing, and e-sending contract.

Time saved each week: 2 hours
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Photo: IFTTT.
If This, Then That (IFTTT)
(Free on iOS and Android)

Want your office thermostat to hit 72 degrees by 9 a.m.? And your Facebook page to publish a photo of a woman you admire each Wednesday along with the hashtag #WCW? IFTTT syncs two services (such as Apple Photos and Facebook) through the one-time setup of a trigger (“if this”) and an action (“then that”). The internet has concocted thousands of delicious IFTTT recipes, such as sending yourself a phone call to get out of a meeting, for instance.

Before: Starring emails on Gmail and hoping you remember to cull through them later (yeah, right).

After: Starring email on Gmail and having IFTTT send reminders for you to respond later.

Time saved each week: 1.5 hours
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Photo: Uber.
Uber for Business
(Free on iOS and Android)

Nothing breaks the human spirit more than taping receipts to expense reports. Once you plug your work email and credit card into Uber’s Business Profiles, it automatically populates any Ubers you use for business travel into your expense reports by syncing directly with your expense manager platforms (e.g., Concur).

Before: Printing out transportation receipts and — while calculating expenses at the end of the month — trying to remember which trip each receipt corresponds with.

After: Logging into your expense manager platform and seeing all trips auto-populated.

Time saved each week: 3 hours
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Photo: Harvest.
Harvest
(Free on iOS and Android)

Time sheets. Invoicing. Expense logging. Harvest lets you manage them all through a user-friendly platform and straightforward interface. Business owners will love Harvest’s customized reporting, which gives you real-time data on your team’s billable hours. You know Harvest is a time-saver when productivity companies such as Asana, Teamwork, and Trello all use it.

Before: Manually filling in time sheets and creating/sending corresponding invoices for each pay period.

After: Seamlessly plugging in your time sheet and auto-submitting invoices.

Time saved each week: 2.5 hours
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