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The 5 Best Free Apps for Hustlers Don't work harder, just use better tools.

By Brian Ainsley Horn

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There's never been a better time to blaze a trail as an entrepreneur. Smart-device apps make it even easier to get in contact, stay organized and more. Evernote, Audible and TripIt make the lists of many side-hustlers. But there also are some lesser-known free apps that every entrepreneur should consider adding to her or his arsenal.

Using apps to their best advantage can give you better data and focus. With these and other apps, you can keep your organization lean while getting the best performance out of yourself and others on your team.

Related: What to Do When Your Mom Tells You Your Data Resembles 'a Rat's Nest'

1. Meetrz shows you a new business-networking frontier.

Meetrz aims to be the anti-LinkedIn. Instead of bloated connection lists that users never will leverage, the app relies on location-based technology to capture other Meetrz users near you. Founder Sean Whalen realized most business owners have met very valuable business connections through chance meet-ups. He created Meetrz to encourage random occurrences on demand.

Only active users will show up in your feed. That means you'll connect only with those who are looking to meet you, too. Limited character profiles encourage you to say what's most important about yourself so it's easier for others to get to know you.

2. Accompany helps you get organized.

Most entrepreneurs' lives are a blur of phone pitches, online conferences and face-to-face meetings. At times, you might forget important details between setting the meeting and attending the appointment. Accompany's rich calendar feature not only helps keep your schedule straight, it allows you to store importants detail about your contact and the meeting's purpose.

The app has data on millions of individuals and companies, so you'll always have access to what you need to know. Fire up the app before meetings, and go in more prepared. You also can use it as a Gmail add-on to insert just the right data when sending a check-in or follow-up note.

Related: Google Calendar for Android Helps You 'Find a Time' for Meetings

3. UberConference lets you meet anywhere.

Digital conferencing is more vital than ever, but many people still find it inconvenient. UberConference gets everyone on the line with a simple app -- no PINs required in the business version (more on that a bit later). The app even can call you and other participants so no one has to mess with cumbersome codes.

Inside the conference, you're never left wondering who's doing the talking because you easily can see who's saying what. You can access social profiles from inside the app so you'll have valuable background information to help you get more out of every conference.

The app also allows you to share your screen, making it a breeze to collaborate on projects even when it's critical for everyone to have the same data. This rich-featured but simple-to-use app is a great addition to any entrepreneur's toolbox. Best of all, the app is scalable as you grow. The free version offers unlimited conferences with 10 or fewer participants. The full business version includes detailed analytics, global access and other perks.

Related: The Biggest Do's and Don'ts of Video Conferencing

4. Forest keeps you focused.

Many tasks require an entrepreneur's deep and undivided attention. If you're having trouble staying on task and you find yourself continually picking up your phone, Forest could be for you. The app is simplicity itself. Open the app and set your phone down. A virtual tree is planted on your screen. As long as you stay on task, the tree continues growing. But if you pick up your phone and open an unapproved app, the tree dies.

Forest is customizable, allowing you to choose which apps are whitelisted during your productive hours. It's a bit like parental controls for grownups: You still can use the apps necessary to build your business, but you'll avoid the temptation to peek at others that will only suck away your time. You also can track your progress over time to see how long you're engaged in activities that actually help grow your enterprise.

5. CamCard augments your network-building efforts.

How many times have you shoved a business card in your wallet, thinking you'll call later? You know what happens next. Months later, you recover the wrinkled card and try to remember why you have it. CamCard corrals contact information in a place where you'll use it. Scan the card, and information is entered quickly and accurately. Just as important, you'll never get caught without your cards on-hand, which means you always can get your info to the people who need it.

The app's smart-management features increase your productivity in a number of ways. You can:

  • Add tags so related cards easily can be pulled up together.
  • Include notes so you can see your interactions with different contacts.
  • Add reminders so you never forget to call or meet someone.
  • Exchange digital versions of stored cards or scan and send your own.

Related: 9 Apps That Make Certain Nobody Ever Again Loses Your Paper Business Card

Brian Ainsley Horn

Author and Co-founder of Authority Alchemy

Brian Horn is an author and co-founder of branding firm, Authority Alchemy. He transforms business owners using the process of “authority marketing.”

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