Thursday, January 24, 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.

Airtable Buffer
Available: iOS, A
Social media has become an essential marketing tool for companies of all sizes. It’s effective and (usually) free, but it’s pretty much mandatory: Let’s face it, you practically don’t exist if you aren’t on Facebook in our industry. However, as more and more social media outlets enter the landscape, it can be something of a hassle to post new content across the various platforms. Here’s where Buffer comes in.

The Buffer app allows you to post to multiple social media sites from a single place. No longer will you have to copy and paste a post from Facebook to Twitter and then to LinkedIn. This tool lets you post to multiple sites with ease. What’s more, you can manage multiple accounts on each site (let’s say you have different accounts for your retail, corporate, or motorcoach work) and schedule activity in advance, which is especially convenient for posting on weekends or holidays—when you likely don’t want to be chained to your smartphone.

Buffer is especially valuable for metrics. For example, you’ll be easily able to see which Tweets get the most engagement, what time of day is busiest for you on Facebook, and who is interacting with your LinkedIn posts.

Caveat: Buffer offers three plans. The free plan lets you manage three social media profiles. The other, more professionally geared, options range from $10 to $99 a month.
Freedom Deputy
Available: iOS, A $
As your business grows and your workforce expands, scheduling your hourly employees can become increasingly time consuming and difficult. With the Deputy app, you can create a complex employee schedule from your smartphone with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface. Once your weekly schedule is created, it’s published and sent to your employees over email, SMS, or push notification.

More than just a timetable, Deputy works in sync with your payroll, which lets you accurately budget your employees’ work week based on their pay-rate and hours. More advanced features include a system in which you can input busy periods or days, traditionally slow times of the year, and even live weather feeds so that you can customize accordingly: It’s sure to minimize that last-minute scrambling to find chauffeurs. Since the sharable work schedule is “public” among your employees, it lets them see any open shifts that need to be filled and even lets them swap any hours with another staff member if something comes up at the last minute. Deputy virtually eliminates those last minute phone calls. What’s more, this app assists with HR, as it has a full suite of compliance rules (e.g., overtime, break time, tips) for all 50 states.

Caveat: Deputy offers a free trial period so that you can get accustomed to the software. There are three different plans, which start at $2 a month, per employee.
Airtable TapeACall
Available: iOS, A $
If you find yourself repeatedly taking part in meetings on-the-go, TapeACall might be an ideal app for you. This easy-to-use service lets you record any incoming or outgoing phone call to a remote server—you aren’t limited in space like with many free call recorders that are currently available.

Say you have an important conference call with your sales team or affiliates. Once the discussion is over, you can then distribute an MP3 recording to everyone on the line—or to those who missed out—via Dropbox or email. TapeACall is also handy for phone interviews with a new potential employee or even customer service calls, which as we all know can get somewhat tense when there is an unhappy client.

The pro version of TapeACall offers unlimited calls and unlimited storage for a yearly service fee.

Caveat: Some people aren’t comfortable saving their private material on a remote third-party server; however, ­TapeACall does advertise their service as secure.

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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.