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Running a small business isn’t easy. And sometimes it isn’t fun, but I wouldn’t change it for the world! I have been scaling my business for a little over two years now, and the learning curve is steep. I often say, “Had I known then what I know now…” So in honor of that inner thought; I wanted to put together a list of apps I use daily, and couldn’t live without. This isn’t by any means all that I use, these are just my top 5.

01. Evernote

This is my note taking, photo taking, “I need to remember this and work on it later” app. I use it multiple times a day by taking pictures of things I’ve scribbled, articles I see, and projects that I need to add to later. The great thing is that it works everywhere: my phone, my tablet, and my computer. I can also share and collaborate with people on the go. And Evernote’s search function makes it super easy to find notes that I wrote last year and need to reference today.

02. Wunderlist

My to-do lists get out of control. There’s a sticky on the bottom of my computer monitor, a yellow legal pad in my car, a mental list in my almost-full brain. Keeping up with everything I have to do is difficult, but Wunderlist makes it easy as pie. I can also (seeing a theme here?) add team members to collaborate with on each list. We can all remain on the same page as to what needs to be done, who needs to do it, and when it’s completed.

03. Toggl

Toggl is a life saver. It keeps track of every minute of my day, billable hours and other wise. As a small business owner, consultant, and web designer, most of my income comes from hourly billing. Toggl allows me to keep perfect track of my hours, allows me to see what I am spending most of my time on through custom reports and allows me to send my exact hours spent per project to clients in the form of a spreadsheet. If you’re a freelancer, or hourly biller, use Toggl. Now.

04. Square

Square allows me to collect payment. I can’t think of anything more important than this as a small business owner. I carry a card reader in my briefcase for in-person transactions, and Square has an incredible interface for online billing and invoices. It’s free to use, and only charges you 2.75% per transaction. It’s a great alternative to other POS systems, and you can accept all major credit cards. For me, it’s a win/win.

05. Wave

Accounting and Payroll. Free! This is a great alternative for business owners that don’t need, or don’t want to pay the price of QuickBooks. It’s professional, super easy to use, navigate and implement. You can set up direct deposits for your employees, and their pay stubs are available online for 24/7 access. Everyone loves it!

Bonus: Wall Street Journal

Last year for Christmas I received a subscription to the WSJ. It’s a great addition to my business apps. When I want to “disconnect” from social media, and have something interesting to read, this is my go to. The app keeps me up to date, and gives me interesting things to talk about around the board room. If you don’t have a subscription to the WSJ, try Yahoo Finance; it’s free and geared towards business news.

What do you think? What are your favorite apps as a small business owner that you’d suggest to those just getting started?