Ally: How I use my iPhone to run a small iOS device repair, development and consulting business
I run a company called PXLFIX locally and we specialize in iOS device repair, web development, and consulting. I rely on my iPhone everyday to not only keep my appointments and consultations straight, but as a tool to manage all aspects of my work life. Every iOS upgrade has made it easier and easier to stay organized. And where iOS fails, many third party apps have stepped up to the challenge quite well.
This is one of the most important aspects of my business. I need a way to sort through contacts and organize them efficiently. Fortunately iOS makes this task easy. I've made groups within my Mac address book that will sync across all my computers, iPhones, and iPads.
The ability to be able to send contact cards to clients and business partners is also extremely important. With my iPhone I can simply send a contact card via text or e-mail. I use contact cards not only to store ways to contact a client but notes that I may want to remember later.
I've always depended on apps like Things or ToDo by Appigo to handle projects and task lists. Since the introduction of Reminders in iOS 5 my habits have changed a bit since Apple has made it even easier to handle tasks without the use of third party apps.
I'm also a die hard iCal user. I frequently use shared calendars and sync all of them across all my devices so I can access any of my information from any computer, iPhone, or iPad. I always had issues doing this back in my BlackBerry days. Either calendars never stayed synced or there was no easy cloud syncing option for Mac users. That's changed a bit since then but I still find that my iOS has offered better solutions than most other mobile platforms.
Working on the go
Besides using my iPhone for wireless hotspot tethering I have a tendency to need to work on the go or while traveling. Between my MacBook Pro, iPad, and iPhone this has never been easier. When it comes to web development I can use HTML and PHP editor apps on my iPad to make changes to client's websites on the go. I can also develop websites on my iPad and easily pick up where I left off when I get back to my office on my iMac.
I also use apps such as LogMeIn Ignition from my iPad and iPhone while on the go. If I ever forget to save a file to my Dropbox or Box.net account I can easily access it from anywhere as my iMac is always connected to the internet. Long gone are the days of forgetting files and documents or transferring them via physical media devices.
I can even balance our books and do our accounting functions on the go with QuickBooks mobile. So whether I'm in the office or traveling I always know where we stand and what's going on back at home.
As a small business we use Square in order to accept credit card payments from clients. The adapter will plug in to my iPhone or iPad and allow me to accept payments on location or from the office. As long as I have a wifi or cellular connection I'm good to go. This is extremely important considering the nature of our business and the need to sometimes take payments at a client's location instead of our own. This has never been easier with systems like Square or Intuit GoPayments for iPhone and iPad.
We are a company that has instituted an all Apple eco-system. While our solutions may not work for everyone my iPhone is not only a device I enjoy using but one I heavily depend on to conduct business on an everyday basis. Everything from my reminders to my appointments to my client management and file systems can all be accessed and updated from my iPhone. And where there isn't a built-in iOS feature to meet my needs I've found third party apps that fill that gap.
My iPhone makes my life easier and more stress free on a regular basis when it comes to business. The best part is after the work day is over I can also use my iPhone for play. It really is an all around work and play device that I depend on in several ways each and every day.
As a side note, we will be offering mail-in repairs sooner rather than later. We also do Twitter and Facebook giveaways from time to time as well. You can check us out on our website or on Twitter and FaceBook in the mean time and to learn more about us!