Must-Have iPhone Apps for the Time Conscious Contractor

Ah, the dream of leaving behind the laptop. It’s not a tool! I don’t see a single spot for it in my tool belt, or toolbox for that matter. Besides, laptops are so easily broken in heavier industries like landscaping, plumbing or construction. Last but not least, getting a wi-fi signal is more or less a shoot in the dark when working in these fields.

Well, thanks to the iPhone, and the wonderfully ingenious mass of developers, we are steps closer to that dream. Take a look at a few tiny apps that could save you a ton of time and money.

Bid Estimates
A very cool tool for the contractor with limited time. Whip up an estimate for your potential clients on the go. Bid Estimates allows you to personalize the program settings to run with you business, no matter if it’s general maintenance, carpeting and flooring, landscaping or plumbing. You can change the color and enter your own business name, as well as set up custom bid screens that cater to your business.

After setup, just add options that the client wants, and the estimate is added up automatically. Once the bid is finished, send it in an email directly from the application, enter the customer’s email, a title, and send it on its way. If you have any problems, just use the provided help.

Hours Tracker
This nifty app makes sure that the busy contractor doesn’t lose money to the time clock. Open the app, click a job, and clock in, out, or remove the time you’ve racked up for the day almost instantly. While clocked in, the app keeps track of both time and money earned.

All of the data gathered can be edited at any time; just click the arrow next to the job. To take a look at a summary report, just click the “Review Hours” tab and you’re there.

Hours Tracker also lets you export the data for time cards, time sheets or desktop spreadsheets by using the “export Data” tab. Clicking this lets you choose the format you want ( friendly, CSV data, or no formatting), and then sends the data via the standard iPhone Mail application.

ColorSnap and ben
If you have ever spent eternity at a big box retailer waiting for some pimply-faced paint clerk to try to color-match 20 gallons to the purple from a particular teddy bear, then you are ready for these little gems. Brought to you by Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore, these two apps are dubbed color capture tools.

The real nifty here is that you can take a picture of something with the colors you want, and “Ben” breaks the picture down to its colors and shades, and then gives the color match from Benjamin Moore’s 3,300-color database or Sherwin-Wiliams massive color recourses. What contractor wouldn’t like using this time-saver?

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