If you are founder and CEO of a company, you are a busy person. Learning has to be quick and fast, that you sometime forget half of it by the next day. Sometimes it seems that you never can quite get on top of your business and make it all run smoothly. We sympathize, and in the spirit of friendly giving and sharing, offer you the following 15 best phone apps for CEOs to make your life and business more organized, more productive, and even more fun.
Even if none of us worked for Task Unicorn, it would still be at the top of this list – it’s that good. Task Unicorn is a data-centric task management system. The company’s premise is that the essence of any business consists of tasks that need to be addressed each day; from strategy and operations to planning and logistics. In the competitive market of task tracking applications, most tools end where the Task Unicorn’s platform begins. The focus is on constant business optimization, efficiency, time and task leverage. No matter how far-flung your co-workers may be, with Task Unicorn everybody is literally on the same page, and it becomes crystal clear what needs to be done, when it must be completed and who is responsible for what. You can download the app for free on Google Play and Apple App Store.
This is the digital reboot of the semi-sticky post-it notes that became ubiquitous in the late 70s office and home. Color-coded notes allow the user to create sets of virtual post-its that can be shared with family or coworkers, and stored in the Cloud to be accessible from anywhere. Upcoming meetings, shopping lists, birthday and anniversary reminders, and other events pop up and onto your phone screen, making for impossible-to-miss reminders. Checklists can be ticked off with a single click and updates sent automatically to all who have access to the lists. The app is free for Android phones on Google Play.
Avast is one of the true leaders in security, claiming over 93 million registered users. This mobile version of the popular anti-virus anti-malware app is easy to install and use. Like the computer version there is a basic model available for free, as well as inexpensive versions with additional features such as PIN codes and fingerprint recognition. These upper-level versions allow the user to get around blocked sites in certain countries and offer privacy settings that let you keep your online history private. Avast has a well-deserved reputation for keeping users safe and ahead of the hacker game. Downloadable from Google Play.
Mint is like having a personal accountant in your smartphone. Mint provides a one-stop easy-access to all your financial accounts and data. Fingerprint recognition provides security while on-screen (or email/text) alerts help the busy CEO track bills and payments, while keeping an eye on your credit score and other important financial information. Easy tutorials show you how to develop and adhere to a budget. There are versions for OSX and Android phones. The user can choose to receive pop-up on-screen alerts for such things as deposits, withdrawals and automated payments. Downloadable from App Store and Google Play.
The cliché about tech developers surviving on a diet of pizza and energy drinks is true enough. Mindbody recognizes that a healthy body makes for a healthy mind, and a healthy mind can invent some pretty amazing apps. If you’re on a weekend business trip in another city or country and feel the need for some personal training, a relaxing facial massage or a quiet yoga class, Mindbody will find the nearest match for your workout desires and even schedule your visit for you. The app is free at Google Play and the App Store. Click on your choice, follow the Google Map to their front door and give mind and body the perfect workout.
As a startup CEO you travel frequently. As a frequent traveler you’ve experienced your share of cancelled or delayed flights. And you’ve encountered blank-faced airline personnel telling you for hours on end that your flight will be arriving or departing “shortly.” When you need a meal or an airport massage, the lack of information about your flight means you are tied to the gate, afraid to leave for 30 minutes and come back to find your flight is gone. Now Flight Radar 24 gives the customer the information they need but the airline won’t divulge. Track your flight’s real-time location and realistic arrival/departure times. Amazingly, you can also point your phone at a plane flying overhead and find out its flight plan and make/model. Get to your flight on time, not hours too early or minutes too late. Available on Google Play and the App Store.
Flipboard brings news of the world, and a virtual library featuring stories and articles from over a thousand print and internet sources, to your smartphone. The app combs through the millions of articles and stories on the internet and delivers them to you based on criteria you set. From the New York Times to Rolling Stone, and articles for everyone from Top Gear enthusiasts to stamp collectors, Flipboard keeps you informed and up to date on your favorite topics or subjects. Flipboard claims “millions” of daily users for this free app, available on Google Play and the App Store.
Audible is an Amazon-owned company whose mobile app brings close to half a million books to your fingertips. If you’re an on-the-go CEO who doesn’t have time to patronize your local bookshop or even the airport book and magazine shelves, Audible might be for you. Catch up on your reading by being read to – a nice calm and quiet break from endless airplane movies you’ve already seen at least twice. Unlike many apps mentioned here, Audible costs $14.95/month. For that you get three titles of your choice per month, and you can exchange any books you don’t like to something else, free of charge. available on Google Play and the App Store.
Headspace is an app with a difference. Think of it as a meditation instructor in a smartphone, ready when you are to teach you meditation practices. CEOs (and other business people) in need of some centering or mindfulness can begin with a free 10-day course for beginners. Additional courses and programs come at a cost of $7.99. Sometimes a headful of ideas is the start of an amazing idea, and sometimes it’s just a lot of noise that’s hard to handle. For these times sometimes the best thing you can do is empty your mind of distractions and focus, focus, focus. Available on Google Play and the App Store.
Install this app and never take notes again! Otter is an artificial intelligence app that records voice and transcribes it in real time. You won’t miss a minute of every Ted Talk when you’re running Otter on your smartphone. Text transcriptions can be saved to smart notes and shared; you can even decide what to share and what to leave on the cutting-room floor. The app teaches itself to transcribe better the more it’s used, and you can even teach it special vocabulary or phrases in languages besides English. The free version gives the user up to 600 minutes worth of transcription; $9.99/month allows up to 6,000 minutes. Available on Google Play and the App Store.
The 15five app is an employee management and development app that lets you track employee performance and satisfaction on a weekly basis. Employees typically spend under half an hour answering questions about their work and their relationship to the company and fellow employees. In return 15five gives detailed feedback that helps the CEO or other managers to spot problems, reward performance and improvement, and improve employee retention. Using 15five can help to improve company-wide and individual morale. It is a fact that you get the best results when your employees are happy, engaged, and an active participant in their development and career. Available on Google Play and the App Store.
Pocket used to go by the name “Read it Later,” which is a good succinct description if a bit less catchy. Pocket is an app that saves articles and texts from the internet that you select. You can also save audio and video in the same way, and organize everything you’ve saved according to your personal tastes. You don’t even need to connect to the internet to access your personal library. Your written materials are presented in a clean and legible format. And if you’re too tired to read, guess what? Pocket will read the articles to you – a great way to learn or relax while you’re on the move. Available on the App Store.
If you’re just getting started with your company and feeling overwhelmed by the financial aspects – invoicing, expense reports, payroll, etc. – or if you’re a newly independent contractor struggling to track your hours and billing periods, Wave is the small-business financial software for you. You can link the app to Paypal or other payment services, and there are budgeting features to help you plan accurately and easily for the future, and accounting features to track your spending and accounts receivable. Oh – and except for the payroll feature, it is entirely free. available on Google Play and the App Store.
This is a very popular foreign-language learning app, used for free by millions of people looking to expand their linguistic horizons. In this age of Siri and voice to voice smartphone translators, why go to the bother of actually learning a new language? Consider: your new venture may well take you to parts of the world you’ve never visited before, and where they speak a different language. Computer translation has come a long way, but the CEO who takes the time to learn his partner or clients’ native tongue will stand out from the herd as someone who is in it for the long-term and will work hard to make a good impression. It’s a cost-benefit item that may not show up on a budget but can make the difference for the international CEO. available on Google Play and the App Store.
This popular app is available for both Mac and Android phones, and is chock-full of funny, silly photos, videos, games, stories and much, much more. Why is this an important app for CEOs? Because even entrepreneurs, CEOs, soon-to-be-billionaires and other super-busy types need some stupid fun. Available on Google Play and the App Store.
These are of course just a few of the tens of thousands of phone apps available to the consumer today. This list is not comprehensive, but rather suggestions for phone apps that caught our eye or ear for some reason. If you think we’ve forgotten an important or favorite app of yours please let us know, and tell us why! Hope you enjoy our select and the best phone apps for CEOs like you.