As micropreneurs we are always working. Even on my ‘days off’ I’m on the couch with my laptop working on code or business issues. Businesses with lots of staff have the luxury of ‘someone else will handle that’, in our world we are that someone else. So being able to work effectively and efficiently on the go is important, with the rise of smartphones and apps this is a very realistic option.
Over the last few months I’ve started collecting apps on my iPhone\iPad to help me keep in touch with my business when I’m away from the house. My business is Resgrid which is a SaaS product deployed on Microsoft Azure, providing logistics and management tools to first responder organizations like volunteer fire, career fire, EMS, search and rescue, public safety, disaster relief organizations, etc. It was founded in late 2012 by myself and Jason Jarrett (staxmanade). Serving first responder means that we can’t really have much downtime and we need to be as responsive as possible, both are challenges for startups.
So here are my top mobile apps for micro entrepreneurs to run our businesses, respond to issues and keep tabs on everything on the go.
Cloud Magic has replaced my default email apps on mobile devices. It’s a free app that connects easily to Microsoft’s Exchange (Outlook 365) and much more. If you sign up for their service it will sync your email settings and accounts to all your devices. I like it for it’s clean interface with helpful color hints. I can easily see all my email from multiple boxes and work through them quickly. Overall the CloudMagic seems much faster then the default email clients.
Quicklytics (http://escoz.com/quicklytics/index.html) FREE (IAP $9.99)
Quicklytics is a great mobile app for monitoring your Google Analytics account. View multiple date ranges, active visitors, multiple Google Analytics accounts (I have it tied to 2 different Google accounts, one personal and one business). The app looks great on iPad’s as well, gives a nice display and uses the extra screen real-estate very well. I use Quicklytics a lot to determine how marketing efforts are going on the go.
Azure Management FREE (PRO $0.99)
Resgrid is built entirely on Microsoft’s Azure platform, so being able to monitor our Azure instances and platform on the go can be extremely helpful. I’m using the PRO version, but for 99 cents it’s a great deal. At this point there isn’t any nice charting, I would love to see my load/response times on the fly, but you can do pretty much anything else for Azure Websites, Azure Cloud Services, SQL Databases, Storage and more. I use it to check the heath of my cloud service web and worker roles, reboot an instance if needed, I can even scale from the app.
TC (Team City) Companion (http://teamcitycompanion.github.io/) $2.99
Here at Resgrid we utilize Team City on our backend, for CI, deployments and even production monitoring. You could say that Team City is our back of the house catch all system. All of our deployments are automated and failing builds and tests can have a huge impact on our deliverables. The TCCompanion app is amazing, I can kick off builds, monitor runs and history, visual failed/successful builds, look at the logs and more. Doing this from my phone, on the go, allows me to kick of staging and production deploys and keep tabs on production all from one app.
While we use Google Analytics for our public facing analytics we utilize MixPanel for pretty much everything else. MixPanel is a great and very powerful analytics platform we utilize it for our product interfaces (the website after you login to Resgrid and all of our mobile apps). This allows us to see what features are being used. Quixpanel allows me to see our MixPanel analytics on the go, spot trends and view reports so I can correctly communicate what’s being used in our system. Nothing beats good, actionable, analytics for business owners.
Slack (https://slack.com/) FREE Apps (Service may cost $)
Slack is a communication service, but it can be way more then that. With the integrations is has to services like Trello, BitBucket, GitHub, etc Slack can be your core information repository. Say you pipe system notifications though Slack and a system goes down. Now you have one location where your personnel and meet to work on the issue, no more trading emails, keeping people on the loop, loosing information or getting out of context. The slack app gives you a great interface to work with Slack on the go so you avoid degrading to email.
These 6 apps have helped me be productive on the go from my phone. If I start using any more I’ll make sure to post them.