How to run your whole company from your phone

Here are 16 mobile apps and services that can do everything from accounting to customer service to project management

Woman riding in the back of a car, typing on her phone

(Jon Feingersh/Getty)

Anything you did on a desktop computer five years ago can likely be done on your smartphone today. With younger employees pushing for more mobility and flexibility, and companies seeing productivity gains from teams working while on the move, it’s no wonder that 71% of Canadian firms in a recent ICT Council survey said boosting mobile adoption was a priority. Here are the apps you need so you can ditch the desktop for good and run your entire business from the palm of your hand.

Slack logo


Replace all-staff emails with all-staff animated GIFs—plus actual useful features, like file sharing, direct messaging and group conversations. (But let’s face it, the GIFs are a major selling point.)

More: How Stewart Butterfield built a billion-dollar company in eight months

More: Overloaded by email, employees are taking to tools like Slack, with or without permission

Homebase logo


Aimed at retail and restaurant businesses, this app schedules shifts, tracks employee hours and labour costs in real time and allows you to approve vacation requests with one tap.

Zenefits logo


Hire those superstar sales reps and havepayroll and benefits (even stock options!) set up before they make it to the parking lot.

Hootsuite logo


The made-in-Canada social media management platform lets you spread your messages across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more with one tap.

More: Is HootSuite Canada’s next billion-dollar tech titan?

Trello logo


Drag and drop “cards” to organize projects; flip them over to assign tasks, set deadlines and upload files.

Gainsight logo


Get alerts when unhappy customers are about to walk away, or assign one of your sales minions to do triage.

Google Keep logo

Google Keep

Jot quick notes, sketch drawings, take photos or leave yourself audio memos—and everything syncs across all of your devices.

Freshbooks logo


Cloud-based invoicing means Freshbooks automatically sends pay-up-or-die messages on your behalf.

More: How FreshBooks makes leadership decisions transparent—literally

QuickBooks logo


Finally, QuickBooks, which lets you send invoices and accept electronic signatures, might actually be, you know, quick.

Wunderlist logo


Share and collaborate on task lists, with push reminders on your phone. Wunderlist was recently acquired by Microsoft—expect to see it as part of the Office 365 suite soon.

Workday logo


At-a-glance business metrics mean you can show off your up-to-the-minute knowledge at your next meeting (or do some informed damage control).

Intercom logo


Chat live with visitors to your website, shift the conversation to email or delegate it to underlings.

Square logo


Swipe customers’ credit cards with your phone and automatically email them the receipts.

MailChimp logo


Manage email lists, compose e-blasts and analyze your results from your phone. MailChimp even unveiled an Apple Watch app to give wrist-level intelligence on how your latest missive fared in customer inboxes.

Adobe Acrobat logo

Adobe Acrobat

Approve the latest ad campaign with Adobe’s touch version of Acrobat.

Office 365 logo

Office 365

Nobody was ever fired for buying Microsoft!