These apps can make life at work a little bit easier

The boss telling you to put down the Words With Friends? You don’t necessarily have to give up the smartphone. Among the hundreds of thousands of mobile applications available for download are several that could help your work day run a bit more smoothly.

Business cards

(Screengrab of How to Tie a Scarf)

(Screengrab of Expensify)

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The avid networker collects a mound of business cards when making the rounds at professional events. Sometimes those cards make it into an address book. Sometimes they just pile up next to the computer.

There are a host of mobile apps that allow users to scan business cards with the tap of a finger. The app may then discern the information itself or send it to a human for transcription. It’s kind of like having an intern — only it fits in your pocket.

App options:

ScanBizCards

$1.99 and up.

4.5 stars in Apple Store.

Available on iPhone, Android and Windows.

CardMunch from LinkedIn

Free.

3.5 stars in Apple Store.

Available on iPhone.

Expense reports

Many employers require their staff to collect receipts for any business expense they expect to have reimbursed — from expensive airfare to a modest client lunch. Keeping tabs on the receipts, particularly hard copies, can quickly clutter a wallet.

Several mobile apps allow you to capture digital copies of your receipts by syncing them to your credit card, inputting the information directly or snapping a photo with your phone. The same apps can typically log personal receipts, too, to keep your balance sheet in check.

App Options:

Receipt Catcher

99 cents.

3.5 stars in Apple Store.

Available on iPhone.

Expensify (pictured)

Free.

4.5 stars in Apple Store.

Available on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows.

Time log

Whether it’s lawyers billing clients, contractors billing government agencies or consultants billing their employers, many in Washington’s business community live by the billable hour.

There are numerous apps that track the number of hours spent working on a particular project, often by using a stopwatch or allowing workers to input time manually. Many of these apps will then generate time reports that can be submitted electronically.

App options:

HoursTracker

$2.99.

5 stars in Apple Store.

Available for iPhone.

Timesheet

Free.

4.5 stars in Android Store.

Available for Android.

Document scanner

For those who work in an office with a never-functioning fax machine, your phone may offer some reprieve. Several apps can use a smartphone’s camera to scan documents, generate electronic copies and e-mail the pages to a designated contact.

App options:

TurboScan

$1.99.

5 stars in Apple Store.

Available for iPhone.

Genius Scan

Free; $1.49 for Windows.

4.5 stars in Apple Store.

Available for iPhone and Windows.

Business attire

Just because an app is designed for business doesn’t mean it can only be used around the office. Before you show up to work, you’ve got to look the part. Want to learn more than 30 ways to tie a scarf? Or six different knots for your necktie? Your phone has you covered.

App options:

How to Tie a Scarf (pictured)

$2.99; free for Android.

5 stars in Apple Store.

Available for iPhone and Android.

Tie Right

99 cents.

4.5 stars in the Apple Store.

Available for iPhone.

 
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