More than any previous generation, today’s workforce is constantly tethered to their phones – but we’re no longer simply using them to stay connected to friends, family and co-workers. We use our phones for everything from finding the location of a new business and checking on local weather alerts to keeping track of shopping lists and earmarking special offers and coupons.
A 2015 study by Informate Mobile Intelligence revealed that the average daily user spends 4.7 hours on their smartphones – more time than most Americans spend watching television each day. In 2014, mobile surpassed desktop web browsing, and today more than 60% of all web traffic comes from a mobile device. In fact, an increasing number of Homesteaders blog subscribers access our site from a mobile device, so it’s likely that many of you are using a smartphone right now.
With so much dependence on smartphones to help us stay connected, it can be hard to weed through the abundance of mobile app options to select those that offer the greatest value. That’s why we’ve compiled a short list of some of the most helpful mobile apps for busy funeral professionals.
According to a 2014 Gallup poll, the average American credit card user has 3.7 credit cards in their wallet at any given time. This number is likely higher for funeral professionals who often have access to business resources – like a company credit card, gas card or even a membership card at the local carwash. Keeping everything accessible and organized can be a challenge, and, more often than not, your wallet does not offer the safest or most secure storage space.
A mobile wallet is a great option for busy funeral professionals. When set up correctly, apps like Apple Pay or Android Pay offer more convenience and security than a traditional wallet. Since you’re always by your phone in case a family (or answering service) should call, you will never be without the card you need when you fill up the removal van.
Note: If you use a mobile wallet app, you should lock your phone when not in use, enable security features to limit unauthorized access and investigate tools that allow you to track your phone and remotely deactivate it.
The Dropbox mobile app is a great tool for funeral professionals. The web-based file sharing service offers a way to quickly share files across multiple devices through both free and paid subscriptions. You can send and receive files through your Dropbox account and access them on all your devices – including your smartphone.
With a few clicks, you can invite your client families to upload photos for a memorial video directly to your account. You can add files to your list of “favorites” using the mobile app and quickly access them anytime, even when you don’t have an internet connection. You can even set up push notifications to receive alerts when one of your staff members uploads an important file.
Did you know that the average commuter spends more than 10 hours a year at a gas station? Though you likely take great pains to ensure your fleet of vehicles is clean and ready to use, on busy days it can be challenging to find time to run and get gas. Yoshi’s mobile app offers an easy-to-use gas delivery service.
After setting up an account, you can quickly request a fill up directly from your phone. The Yoshi team will come out and fill up your car while it sits in the parking lot. You don’t even need to wait until your tank is empty – Yoshi charges per gallon, not per visit, so you can ensure your vehicles are always ready to go. You can also opt for an optional membership ($15/month), which unlocks gas discounts and access to car washing and detailing services.
Note: Yoshi’s services are currently only available in select cities. Visit their website for a complete directory of their service area.
A study from the University of Chicago found that a small amount of white noise – what most of us would consider background noise – helps improve attention span, productivity and creative thinking. Our brains are wired to work best in a little chaos, which is why many people have a hard time remaining focused when their office is too quiet.
For those funeral professionals who tend to have a day or two between calls, Coffitivity could be a good option for you. The app recreates white noise – like the sound of a coffee shop, teahouse or library – that offers the perfect amount of ambient noise to keep you focused. You can download the app on your mobile device, or access the features from your office computer at Coffitivity.com.
If you’ve been a reader of our blog for a few months, you know that funeral home social media matters. Many of our funeral home customers start their efforts on Facebook and often already have a Facebook page for their businesses. The social platform’s Pages app is designed to make it easier to monitor and post to a business page directly from your smartphone.
Through the mobile app, you can quickly post photos, video and comments on your page. You can even customize your settings to receive push notifications whenever a follower posts new content to your page or tags you in a comment. Those of you who carefully track your social media efforts (good for you!) can enjoy easy access to Facebook’s Insights feature, making it simple (and fast) to identify which content is most effective.
The Skimm (or Skimm Ahead)
Funeral professionals are busy, busy people. It can often be difficult to find time for everyday tasks, which is why mobile apps like The Skimm can be helpful. The news-based site curates content from the biggest news stories and boils them down into bite-sized summaries that are easy (and fun) to read on the go.
Their newest release – Skimm Ahead – is an app-based subscription service ($2.99/month) that sends reminders so you don’t miss out on anything important – including work-related deadlines. You can customize the settings to your business, so you never forget to submit your time card or order more coffee filters.
Funeral professionals don’t sit at the funeral home all day. You’re often out meeting with families, making removals and running errands. When I was growing up, my dad delivered notice cards to all the local businesses whenever he had a call. Very few funeral homes offer that service today, but you still have reason to travel around a lot for your business.
Apps like BestRoute can help save time – and gas – by showing you the fastest routes between several locations. You can add up to 30 addresses into the app and it will generate the fastest route to reach each one.
These are just a few mobile app options that could make your busy lives a little less stressful. This is certainly not an exhaustive list, and we’d love to hear what works best for you! Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments below.