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By Kerry Gorgone {grow} Contributing Columinst

Everyone wants a piece of you: your family, your boss, the friend of a friend who needs a website (by tomorrow). How to cope? First, start saying “no” to favors requests from strangers. Second, use these mobile apps to help conserve your most precious, non-renewable asset: time.

Whether you’re a business professional, an entrepreneur, or a freelancer, these apps help you to stay organized, keep information close at hand, and enable you to keep tabs on projects from anywhere.

I use all of these, and they’ve come in handy at the airport, in the waiting room, in the Starbucks line, and just about everywhere else.

Trello

Platforms: iOS, Android

Price: Free, with optional Gold membership for $5/month

trelloA versatile resource for project management, Trello enables you to create virtual cards for tasks, then organize them in boards. Create categories for groups or project stages. You can easily move cards around, facilitating organization and collaboration. Assign cards/tasks to specific people, create due dates and times, add comments, checklists and more.

I use Trello to keep track of guests I interview for the MarketingProfs podcast. I have categories for “Under Consideration,” “Scheduled,” “In Post-Production,” and “Posted/Completed.” At a glance, I can see who’s coming up, and open their card to see which tasks still need to be completed for that podcast episode.

Diigo

Platforms: iOS, Android

Price: Free, with Basic and Premium subscriptions available for $20 to $40/year

diigoDiigo is a social bookmarking, research, and knowledge sharing tool, which means you can use it to save links to articles and online resources, and tag them for easy retrieval later. No need to search your browser history in vain for “that article I saw recently about Pinterest’s ‘Now Trending’ tool”: just search your Diigo library for articles tagged “Pinterest” and bring it right up!

But Diigo is much more than a bookmarking tool. Using the website or the bookmarklet on your computer or mobile device, you can annotate, highlight and share articles, right from Diigo. This makes it easy to curate content (key for marketing professionals), and organize content into lists, by topic or client. I use Diigo to save resources relating to the two graduate courses I teach. I tag them by topic, then save them to lists I’ve created for each class. Currently, there are more than 7,000 items in my Diigo library. (Might be time for an intervention!)

Buffer

Platforms: iOS, Android
Price: Free, with optional “Awesome Plan” upgrade

bufferBuffer enables you to schedule posts for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to go up throughout the day (and night). Features include custom scheduling on a per-post basis, a customizable overall posting schedule, the ability to link multiple social accounts, and detailed analytics that can help you figure out which type of content and which posting times work best for your audience.

Dropbox

Platforms: iOS, Android, BlackBerry

Price: Free, with premium versions ranging from $99 for individuals to $800/year for enterprise solutions

dropboxDropbox puts the power of cloud storage in your pocket via mobile app. Access photos, documents, and videos from your computer, smartphone or tablet, and share them instantly.  You can also access files via the Dropbox website (in case none of your personal devices are handy).

I use Dropbox during conferences to store photos and videos that I take at the event. My camera’s set to automatically back them up to my Dropbox. From there, I can organize them into folders and share them with anyone who might like to use the content. I also use it to share documents when collaborating remotely.

Eventbrite

Platforms: iOS, Android
Price: Free for individuals; free for event organizers if their event is free; $0.99 per ticket plus 5.5% of ticket sales for event organizers if event tickets cost money.

eventbriteUse Eventbrite to keep track of event tickets and conference registrations.

It creates virtual tickets for live events, so checking in or registering once you arrive is as simple as pulling out your smartphone.

GoToMeeting

Platforms: iOS, Android
Price: Free for meeting attendees; webinar organizers need a GoToMeeting subscription

citrixI travel a lot for work.

If you do, too, you’ll appreciate being able to attend online meetings from anywhere using your smartphone or tablet. Just pop in your earbuds and you’re set! There are also useful recording capabilities.

Mint

Platforms: iOSAndroid
Price: Free

mintThis app makes managing your finances quick and painless. You connect all of your financial accounts (checking/savings, credit cards, car loan, mortgage, etc.), and Mint pulls them in so you can manage them all in one place.

You can establish and update your budget, track spending and saving, and set alerts so you know if your account balance drops too low or if you have a payment coming due. It’s a powerful tool for busy professionals!

DocuSign

Platforms: iOSAndroid
Price: Free app, but you need a DocuSign subscription. (Plans start at $10/month)

docusignIf your work involves transferring signed documents, you absolutely need DocuSign’s app. For real estate professionals, attorneys, logistics people and anyone else who deals in contracts, it will save you hours by eliminating the need to run around gathering signatures. In the alternative, it will save you courier fees! Either way, you win.

DocuSign’s features include PDF conversion and cloud storage integration, and the ability to send documents for signature. It works with nearly all file types. Can’t say enough good things about this one! As someone who’s had to take a photo of a signed contract, email it to myself, convert it to a PDF, then print it for signatures, I appreciate the amount of time this handy app saves!

What did I miss? Is there a mobile app you can’t live without?

Kerry O’Shea Gorgone teaches New Media Marketing at Full Sail University. She is also hosts the weekly Marketing Smarts podcast for MarketingProfs. Find Kerry on Google+ and Twitter.

Illustration courtesy Flickr CC and Backpack Photography

 

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