TO WORK effectively as a parent in business you need to be able to check emails, make or take client calls, edit documents and record ideas from anywhere at any time.
Thankfully with the help of laptops, smart phones, tablet PCs and innovative apps, creating a portable business has never been easier.
To help you further, here are my top ten apps for parents in business that will help you work more effectively and efficiently on the run and achieve greater work/life balance.
Android, iOS, Blackberry and Kindle Fire (free)
To work effectively on the go you need to be able to access all of your files. Dropbox gives you a safe and secure place in the 'cloud' to store your files and the ability to access your documents from anywhere. It also gives you the ability to share files, which is perfect for large files that can't be emailed.
Android and iOS ($14.99)
Quickoffice is by far the best mobile office suite there is. The premium version gives you the ability to create and edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents on the go from multiple cloud service providers including Dropbox and Google Docs.
Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows Phone (free)
This handy little app helps you keep text notes, audio, web pages, files and photos all in the one place for easy access. With Evernote you can take meeting notes, keep important documents together, record research or access your favourite web pages, easily tagging and categorising them across all of your devices.
Transcribing your voice to text, Dragon Dictation can update your Facebook and Twitter statuses, send messages by SMS or email, record your brainstorming session, set reminders or even take down notes for you to use later. No more scurrying around trying to find a pen or trying to type out long messages on your phone's small keypad. Also great when ideas are flowing and your hands are full with your kids.
Android, iOS and Windows Phone (free)
Skype is a must for parents in business. It not only allows you to stay in touch with clients, suppliers and outsourced team members when you are away from the office, the video conferencing option is a great alternative to face-to-face meetings which can be handy with little ones in tow. Being free Skype-to-Skype can also help keep those crazy phone bills under control!
Android, iOS and Blackberry (free)
Social networking can be a powerful marketing strategy for your business and a great way to stay in touch with your customers and potential customers. While it's a good idea to have each of the LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Facebook Pages apps on your device, HootSuite manages all of them, giving you the ability to share updates, monitor conversations and check engagements while you are out and about - using one convenient app.
Android and iOS (free)
Paper business cards are great, but creating a digital version on Cardcloud means you'll never run out of cards. Sharing your virtual card also makes it easier for contacts to store your information, and they don't need the app to receive your card (simply send it to their email address). It also records where you met the person.
Android and iOS ($4.99)
This fantastic app allows you to keep track of feeds, nappy changes, sleeps, milestones, medicines, development and more. You can even set yourself reminders to ensure you stay on track with your routine.
Woolworths and Coles
Android and iOS (free)
From having the convenience to arrange your shopping list by aisle with Coles, shop from anywhere at any time and have your groceries delivered to you when it's convenient with Woolworths, these great little apps can make the mundane task of shopping a little easier and save you both time and money in the process. Both apps also allow you to see what is on special and share your shopping list with other app users.
Now over to you: what apps are on your must-have list?
This article first appeared on Flying Solo, Australia's solo & micro business community.To read more from Amanda Jesnoewski and for small business support and advice, visit www.flyingsolo.com.au