Stay competitive, cut costs, and make time for what matters

Entrepreneurship and motherhood are among the most challenging and rewarding jobs humans can do—so those who do both have to take advantage of every possible tool to increase efficiency and save time. Fortunately, there are apps that can turn your smartphone into a Swiss army knife of productivity, organization, and automation, so you can stay ahead of the game and make more time for family.  Here are a few of my personal favorites—they’re cheap, versatile, and simple to use.

1. LinkedIn (Android, iOS)

Networking is one of the biggest challenges for mompreneurs—you can’t attend every conference, fly across the country on a day’s notice, or catch the normal water-cooler networking that office workers can. For that reason, your online networking is all the more important—and LinkedIn, for all its faults, is the broadest network to stay on top of trends and make essential contacts. (Cost: free)

2. Google Drive (Android, iOS)

Sharing and syncing your documents and files is a big part of modern business. Whether you are collaborating on a project with a colleague, working on your presentation on the go, or sharing photos, grocery lists and calendars with your family, Google Drive is a favorite cloud service that links to your Gmail account, and allows effortless sharing. (Cost: free)

3. Cozi Family Calendar (Android, iOS)

Other apps and services offer calendars, but the Cozi Family Calendar app is designed and packed full of features to help calm the chaos of family life. The core of the app is definitely the shared calendar, which allows multiple users to create and share events, and set reminders that can be sent out via text and email. Also key are the to-do lists, shopping lists, and journal features. (Cost: free)

4. White Noise (Android, iOS)

This is a great app for those times when the noise in the house seems overwhelming, especially while you’re trying to concentrate on a project or get to sleep. White Noise contains over 40 high quality sound loops designed to help you sleep better. There is a free lite version, so you can give it a shot, and upgrade if you decide it’s worth it. (Cost: 1.99)

5. Skype (Android, iOS)

The quintessential desktop communication tool is available for your mobile device as well. Skype Mobile allows you to conference with your work associates while running errands, working from home, and driving to soccer practice. Some video features will require you to have a front-facing camera on your mobile device—if you don’t have one, check out a T-Mobile LG cell phone so you can start teleconferencing. (Cost: free)

6. Ego (iOS)

If your job includes your own website or blog, Ego is for you. Ego provides an all-in-one experience for managing your website statistics. You can easily monitor visits to your site (sorted by hourly, daily, and monthly), how many people are following your Twitter account, Vimeo views, Google Analytics, and Mint information. Available only on iOS for iPhone and iPad, this is a crucial app to keep you up to date on your web stats that matter most. (Cost: 1.99)

7. Genius Scan (Android, iOS)

How many times have you wanted to just scan an article, business card, or other document, but were either on the run, or otherwise not near a scanner? Genius Scan is a powerful image scanner that uses the camera in your cell phone to create JPEG or PDF images, and then upload to your favorite cloud service of choice (Box, Dropbox, Evernote, etc.). Genius scan is packed with features like page detection and perspective correction, which make it one of the most versatile and power image scanning applications around.

Julia Peterson is a writer for AndGeeks.com, a popular website that provides up-to-date news, detailed commentary, and unbiased reviews on cell phones and related topics. Julia resides in Galveston, Texas in a cozy little house in the country with her husband, young son, and their Labrador retriever, Darby.