8 ways to ... be digitally efficient: as anyone with work to do knows, there are never enough hours in the day. But, with a smartphone or tablet to hand, there are ways in which you can make the most of your time.

Author:Hawkes, Alex

1 Work--and collaborate

To use a word processor or work on spreadsheets while on the move, you need to be using a cloud-based service--one that will save every change you make using your Wi-Fi or 3G internet connection and communicate the results to whichever device you pick up next.

Google Drive is a useful option for word processing, simple spreadsheets and other tasks. You can create files online through your browser, move them around easily on a backed-up hard drive and, most important, edit and update them with your phone or tablet.

It allows you to share documents with colleagues so that others can edit them, and can export files such as Word documents or Excel spreadsheets.

For more informal jottings, Evernote is a popular app with which to make short notes--online or offline--and share them across devices. It also doubles as a kind of scrapbook where you can store things that you find online. If you liken recipe, for example, you can store it away using a widget that you download to your browser.

2 Accounting software

Some of the accounting software providers have mobile app technology to enable you to monitor issues when you are on the go.

Sage has an app for Windows 8 users called Sage 50 Accounts Pulse, which can give you overview information of your company's situation, including your current profitability, details of who owes you money and how much money you owe to suppliers. For larger businesses, Sage has the Sage 200 Mobile, an app that works on both Black Berry and iPhone devices.

The Kash Flow iPhone App, meanwhile, lets you access and manage your account on the move, enabling you to view unpaid and overdue invoices, access reports and create new invoices.

3 Work guides

Finance people will obviously want to use smartphones and tablets to be more efficient themselves, but they may also find that apps are useful for filtering information down through the business.

Simon Meager runs Footprint Media, an app developer that creates programs to help spread best practice.

"We built an HR app for a law firm to give to their customers, showing them best practice in HR," he says. "It teaches people how to hire and fire without ending up at an employment tribunal."

The apps provide relevant information for employees at the point of need in an affordable and practical way.

"One of the organisations we work for has 100,000 people in the UK and 60,000 of them aren't desk-based but work in various locations. Therefore, communicating best...

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