Best Mac & iOS Apps, Services & Setup for Small Business


I have been using Mac regularly since Mac OS X was still in Beta, and was playing with before that. I LOVE using my Apple devices, which was a large contributing factor to my working there for over 9 years.

I always enjoyed finding new apps to augment my workflow in whatever I was doing. After a lot trying (which never stops) and finding great apps (and not so great ones), I have been wanting to compile a ever growing and updated list of apps for people to give a go. Not only just your average Apple user, but particularly people who (like me) own a small business and need great tools to make their workflow better.

Be sure to bookmark this page, as I plan to update this list as new Apps make their way into my Dock, my Menu Bar and my Springboard.

MacOS Apple Inc // MAC // apple.com // FREE // CORE

I would be remiss without starting with the core of it all, and the heart of a Mac. Everyone has there own favorite way of viewing and setting things up, but here are a few I have always found extremely powerful. Dock on the Left Side Many people don't even realize they can hide the dock (which I am not really a fan of), let alone move it to another part of their screen. Since virtually all mac screens are widescreen who are reading this, this means that you have more room side-to-side than you do vertically. That means every email, website, document, EVERYTHING is loosing valuable space to the Dock. If you notice as well, you don't need all that space on the side too! Simply moving the Dock to [LEFT] side will be a game changer! Take back the real-estate!

ServiceM8 ServiceM8 // Mac, Windows, iOS // servicem8.com // $29-$149/mo // CORE

Yes, I am a [leading] ServiceM8 Partner, but this is an amazing tool for virtually ANY small business! It doesn't matter if you are installing a toilet, a light switch, a server, taking wedding photos, DJ, consulting, ANYTHING!

ServiceM8 has a great iOS app tailored for field use, and great web UI. ServiceM8 makes it easy to coordinate all of your requested services, active jobs, and make sure you get paid!

One of the few areas on this list which will sport a shameless plug, but if you would like more information, let's connect!

Coherence BZGapps // Mac // bzgapps.com/coherence // $5 // CORE

If you are like me, you have more than your fair share of online tools you use and subscribe to. Before Coherence, I lived where you probably do now; TAB HELL! There are just too many tabs to flip between, close the wrong one, trying to find the right one. It's maddening!

Coherence solves this! Love having service specific apps on your iOS device, think of this like that. Coherence allows me to create a Chrome Mac "App" for my web service. Websites like ServiceM8, Google G Suite, Google Meet, Wix, Deputy. All have an App on my mac to go to, hide, quit and quickly open.

Chrome? Yes Chrome. Many web services today (such as Chrome) are designed to work correctly ONLY in Chrome. BZG does have parallel product called Unite, which creates a Safari Mac "App", if you might have such a need!

Canary Mail

Mailr Tech // Mac, iOS // canarymail.io // $20/$10 // CORE

Replace Apple Mail!?! Don't get me wrong, Apple Mail is solid and robust Email Client. However, there are few missing workflows from Apple Mail that leaves a small business person trying to augment an important part of their workflow.

Canary Mail, even after the minor gripes I have with it, is now a critical part of my workflow. Why? It is packed with a ton of great features including encryption, natural language search, smart filters, bulk email cleaner, snooze, email templates, HTML SIGNATURES… pause for effect …followup reminders, tasks and… wait for it …READ RECEIPTS! This is one of the features I love in ServiceM8, and I think for a business read receipts is critical.

Having them on your Mac is great, having EVERYTHING sync to your iOS device makes this a superstar in your workflow!

FileMaker

FileMaker Inc // Mac Windows, iOS // filemaker.com // FREE-$540+ // IMPORTANT

A Workplace Innovation Platform

Most of the other items in this list are ready to use products. FileMaker is an "easy" to use development platform where you can take a database and basically (and quite literally) turn it into an app. With a little bit of orientation, virtually anyone can use a stock template to start from, and continue to develop it into custom tool for your team's workflow.

Myself and my development partners use this almost daily for ourselves and our clients to harmonize complex workflows into a seamless process.

One of the few areas on this list which will sport a shameless plug, but if you would like more information, let's connect!

Unclutter

Eugene Krupnov, UJ.Labs // Mac // unclutterapp.com // $10 // CORE

This little guy is ALWAYS the unsung hero of my day. It hangs out, ready for me at the top of my screen, and keeps track of my past Clipboard entries, holds files for me, even gives me notepad that is searchable and always at the ready.

You know those small bits of text you always need to type… somewhere… Could be a special URL, your incredibly long email address, anything… Unclutter will save them for you to grab later.

If you have EVER copied something paste later, or needed to paste 2 or more separate things, you need this!

Dedicated Phone Options // Multiple Platforms // IMPORTANT

The world of VoIP is nothing new, but companies are making their offerings easier and better all the time! There are a ton of second phone / work phone / internet phone options out there, and I have tried way too many over the years; from Google Voice, Phone.com, Ring Central, DialPad, Google Voice for G Suite, CallRail…

What I love about these products is the simplicity in getting it setup, porting a number to it, getting an IVR setup, and only needing to talk with a member of their great team when I need/have to. While a phone system is less than glamorous, it is often the first or second point of contact your clients have with you, and the one you use throughout your day to interact with your clients, so it's important that you have one which can exceed your current needs.

CallRail

CallRail, Inc // Mac, Windows, iOS, Android // callrail.com // $45-$90/mo // Marketing Focus

CallRail at quick glance is just another call routing service, but once you get past the basics and understand what it does under the hood, it can be ultra powerful if you are wanting to track the interactions with your clients. CallRail offers a robust solution to understanding your customer's interaction with you via your website and phone calls in a tangible and trackable way (more in a helpful way than big brother way).

CallRail is EXCELLENT if you have an existing phone infrastructure and want to have a more robust set of tools to track more customer touch points and close more deals. It does this by closing the divide between what is traditionally separate steps in the customer's journey and pulls them under a single suite of solutions.

Digital Data Designed has a selected CallRail as one of the calling platforms we will being including with our solutions who need to integrate with a phone platform, and have also developed a ServiceM8 add-on around it as well to further make executing and protecting your customer interactions easier.

MightyCall

Infratel US, Inc // Mac, Windows, iOS, Android // callrail.com // $20-$100/mo // All-Around Phone

As we mentioned previously, we have tried A LOT of different phone platforms (and many more that we didn't list, and ironically most of which MightCall has a comparison list for). MightCall checks all the boxes we can think of. A full calling suite, which be used on smartphones, desktops, traditional phone hardware, IVR, API, unlimited minutes, recording, text messaging, web calling widgets… you name it, they have it, and with a flat rate!

If you are looking for a great phone platform to set you and your team up with, look no further than MightyCall!

Digital Data Designed has a selected MightCall as one of the calling platforms we will being including with our solutions who need to integrate with a phone platform, and have also developed a ServiceM8 add-on around it as well to further make executing and protecting your customer interactions easier.

Affinity Serif (Europe) Ltd // Mac, iOS // affinity.serif.com // $20-$50/product // DESIGNER

While not everyone needs a designed suite, most everyone in business needs to have at the very least a logo. Many today are a little tech savvy, and feel comfortable playing with an Adobe product to make a logo, business card, brochure, banner, etc. But who wants to spend hundred on overpriced design software!?

I have design background, and used Adobe programs for quite a few years. Not any more. Haven't used them quite a few more years at this point. The Affinity line of products work with your PSD & AI formats, and are at an approachable price.

Screen Flow TeleStream, LLC // Mac // telestream.net/screenflow // $129 // TRAINER

There are a ton of ways to capture your screen for creating tutorial video. Screenflow is just the easiest way I have found. Great set of tools, easy capture process, smooth editing interface designed for creating how-to / follow me videos rather than a Movie (ala Final Cut Pro or iMovie).

If you need to make a great and impactful video for your team or client quickly and easily, try ScreenFlow!

iWork

Apple Inc // Mac, iOS // apple.com/iwork // FREE // CORE

If I can avoid using a Microsoft program, I will. However, like Homosapien Sapien and Neanderthals, the iWork suite of apps can generally out perform and conduct itself far better that it's far distance relatives.

Pages is robust and clean Word Processor and basic Page Layout tool. Numbers and powerhouse of a spreadsheet platform. Keynote is the ever-present presentation tool during most any important… Keynote.

Oh, and did I mention is FREE on every Mac and iOS device! Give it a go!

iBooks Author Apple Inc // Mac, iOS // apple.com/ibooks-author // FREE // CORE

At some point, most every company needs to put together a guide. For HR, onboarding a new hire, training for a new client, at some point a document is built. Why make it boring, flat, rather un-informative and impersonal "word doc"?

With iBooks Author, anyone can create a dynamic, easy to use, easy to learn from resource. iBooks Author can output to it's native format for Mac & iOS iBooks app, ePub for all other e-reader type devices, and even straight text if you need it.

iBooks Author provides you with tools to create rich and interactive content to ensure the person absorbing your content can fully understand the key points you are trying to make.

Google G Suite

Google Inc // All // gsuite.google.com // $5-$10/mo/user // CORE

While I think they have fallen off their original mandate to "do no harm" from a personal use case, for business there are few tools out there better than G Suite.

Every business SHOULD have an email at their own domain name, and most everyone has at least heard of gMail. Why not use one of the best email platforms out there for your business? A platform that is integrate with most every other platform on the web to keep your business workflow centralize!

Not only are you getting a great email platform, but a single place for all your business files, collaborate on documents, integrate your work calendar, collaborate in video and screenshare, and much more!

Interested? Use this link to join, then reach out to me to save 20% off your first year!

Wix

Wix Inc // All // wix.com // FREE-$29/mo // CORE

Just like everyone should have their work email at their domain, every business should have a website today. With Wix, it couldn't be simpler!

They provide you all the tools, tons of stock photos to make sure your website is a few steps above a "word doc", and loads of simple tools for your site to help make it a functioning member of the team.

Interested? Let's get started designing your own site!

Bartender

Surtees Studios Ltd // Mac // macbartender.com // $15 // IMPORTANT

Is your Menu Bar on your Mac getting a little out of control? Bartender gives you a second "page" of Menu Bar items.

Keep your critical items on top, all those "I wish it wasn't taking space up there, but I don't want to get rid of it because it's so handy" items on the second page.

Coming soon…

iStat Menu

Station

Zoom

Bumpr

AirServer

App Cleaner

Jump Desktop


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A people... who are possessed of the spirit of commerce, who see and who will pursue their advantages may achieve almost anything.      –George Washington

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