Sunday, January 20, 2019
 

What's Appening Apps are one of the fastest-growing markets for technology. With so many mobile devices—from smartphones to tablets—available to consumers, having an app for ease of use is practically required (for some devices, they are required). There are millions and millions of apps available for your preferred device—whether it’s Apple or Android—with more being created every month. In this column, we feature some of the latest and most useful apps that will help you with your business, streamline a process, or generally make your life a little easier.




What's Appening Buffer
Available: iOS, A
If you resolved to up your social media game in 2019, look no further than Buffer. It can be exhausting and frustrating to juggle demands like scheduling posts, cross-posting to different platforms, and simply keeping tabs on your presence and performance across various social media channels while also trying to generate the content your audience craves, but the rise of management tools like Buffer (and its well-known competition Hootsuite, which entered the scene two years earlier) helps organize, schedule, publish, and analyze your social media posts. But while Hootsuite is generally geared toward larger teams with bigger marketing budgets, the small companies dominating the luxury ground transportation industry would definitely benefit from the much more cost-effective Buffer. With a “free forever” plan (plus four paid options) that includes linking three accounts, making 10 scheduled posts a month, and supporting every social networking but Pinterest, you can cover a lot of marketing ground with Buffer without spending a dime—making it as easy on your wallet as its streamlined interface is on your eyes.


What's Appening Homey
Available: iOS, A
Maybe your resolution was to teach your kids about responsibility, hard work, and fiscal sense to give them a head start on learning what it takes to succeed (and maybe even take over the family business one day). Homey is a thoroughly modern tool to help impart the enduring wisdom of financial planning by helping the youngest generation budget their allowance and set monetary goals—and making the completion of their chores a little less of a headache for you. Your entire family has an active role in managing Homey, while you manage your children’s chores, privileges, and allowance. As gamification becomes a more widely accepted tool for coaxing kids into accomplishing goals under the guise of having fun, apps like Homey are sure to become must-haves for any family trying to ensure their children grow up with a hands-on understanding of the value of hard work and how it yields rewards.

Honorable mention: Rooster Money and Busy Kid are also some good apps to check out: Like most things, there isn’t so much an objectively “best” app so much as there is an app that’s best for what your specific needs are.


What's Appening MindMeister
Available: iOS, A
Perhaps you greeted 2019 as the year you would finally stop saying you’ll remember a great idea later, only to kick yourself for inevitably forgetting that revolutionary insight of yours—again. Check out MindMeister, an “online mind mapping and brainstorming” tool that lets you visualize your thoughts so you can capture, develop, and even share them with your team for project development. It also encourages brainstorming, note taking, project management, and knowledge and meeting planning, all while helping you connect ideas using a high-tech flow chart so you can literally see how your thought process is interconnected, then drag and drop your fleshed-out ideas into the software’s task manager so you can turn them into actionable items. Whether you want to cast a fresh eye on your ideas to tackle them from a new perspective, or you’re looking for the next indispensable tool to boost your team’s efficiency, MindMeister is a brain hack that’s sure to appeal to your range of employees.

Highlight: If you or your team members don’t like filling your phones with all kinds of apps or they simply lack the space, MindMeister is also a web-based tool—which means no downloads or endless updates.

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Do you use an app that you love and want to share it with the industry? Let us know! Email Susan Rose at susan@chauffeurdriven.com.

Just for clarity: Apple products=iOS • Android devices=A • Windows devices=W
While many of the apps we profile will be free, a $ next to the platform indicates that there is a fee to download and/or use. Some versions or features of the app may require a fee to unlock or use.