“Do I need to bring my laptop?”

If you’re debating whether it’s worth lugging around an extra five or six pounds for a day of running around town for meetings—the answer is no. Leave the computer behind and download these five mobile apps to help you stay connected, productive, and sane, no matter where you are.


Never be without your documents again.

Drop a file—a Word doc, a PDF, or a PowerPoint presentation—into your DropBox (free for iPhone and Android) and it’s instantly available on all your computers and phone. You’ll always have access to your files while you’re on the go, plus, you can easily share your resume, your portfolio, or that presentation you finished at midnight with someone by sending them the unique link that Dropbox assigns to each document.

Wi-Fi Finder

Find a place to get online when you’re out and about.

When you’re constantly on the move, it’s nice to find a place to stop, send some emails, knock a few things off your list, and perhaps sip a quad shot to prepare for that next meeting.

But you don’t have to run into every coffee shop on the block looking for a connection—Wi-Fi Finder (free for iPhone and Android) lets you quickly locate nearby internet hot spots using GPS. Filter by location (café, hotel) and whether access is free or paid, plus get directions from wherever you are.

Dragon Dictation

Because sometimes it’s easier to just say it.

When your fingers are unavailable for texting, emailing, tweeting, or Facebooking, this voice recognition software lets your speech take over (free for iPhone). Just say what you want to write, and the app will immediately convert it to text, then let you email it, text it, or post it. (You can even use your voice to edit the text on the screen!) Also perfect for emailing yourself notes, ideas, or to-dos while rushing to your next appointment.


Automate your expense reports.

Let’s be honest: No one likes filling out expense reports. It’s not easy to keep track of those tiny cab receipts or the random out-of-pocket expenses you incurred during your last business trip, not to mention taping your 50 receipts to pieces of paper so you can fax them in.

Skip the whole process with Expensify, which syncs with your credit cards so that you can track expenses as they occur. You can also take photos of your receipts to save them electronically and generate expense reports automatically. The free version for iPhone and Android comes with 10 free receipt scans per month (then costs $0.20 per scan after that).


Take your job search mobile.

If you use Craigslist to find jobs or gigs, you’ll want to get the app (free for iPhone and Android) for the mere convenience—and it actually has a better interface than the website! You can enter your location and search criteria to browse listings, or receive alerts whenever someone posts a job or item of interest in the category you’re following. You can also save your searches, send emails right from the app, or, if you use Craigslist to hire people, easily post jobs and manage your account. It’s also great for buying and selling, with images and direct links to Google maps.

What are your favorite apps for staying productive on the go?

Photo courtesy of Matthew Pearce.