Everyone wants to be more productive these days, but are you using your smartphone to its full capacity to get more from your day? In today’s guest post, Kyle Flowers of eFax shares some advice.

Smartphones are not only quickly replacing the need for landlines but are also replacing music players, cameras, video games, street maps and more as a unified reference source.  Savvy small business owners are leveraging the power of the smartphone to help them work faster and more efficiently no matter where they are.

In a recent Forrester study, 49 percent of small business owners said they already use smartphones, which are among the most cost effective devices available to help run a small business on a budget. It’s now easy to run an email marketing campaign, have phone calls answered, routed, recorded or transcribed, and manage important documents all at the flick of a finger on a smartphone.

Since the 1970s, fax machines have been a staple in the business world. The go-to gadget for contracts, purchase orders, and other important papers, the fax machine has allowed businesses to exchange documents over phone lines for many years. Today, online fax services allow people to continue sharing documents and so much more, all without a phone line.  Instead of a phone line and fax machine, now all you need is a smartphone, tablet, or a computer to send, receive and manage all your faxes.

Small Businesses Can’t Afford a Slowed Work Flow

For a small business, time is money. Every second counts when it comes to securing contracts, purchase orders and agreements vital to their business. A speedy response is also invaluable when dealing with customers and can equate to an opportune win or unfortunate loss which impacts the bottom line. A smartphone with a fax application is an excellent tool to increase productivity and reach.

Think about the efficiency a simple fax app can add to any busy workday. Read and respond to faxes from anywhere – on the road, a prospect’s boardroom, or even out on a family getaway.  Advanced services can even turn paper into a fax using the camera on your phone.

Physical documents can even be captured with the phone’s camera and sent as a fax. Photos can be taken of documents, whiteboards, receipts, or anything that needs to be faxed, and advanced image processing technology transforms the snapshot into a full-size fax.

Swap out the Overstuffed Briefcase for a Smart Mobile App

The value of a mobile fax application is not only in the faxing capabilities.  Faxes that are sent and received can also be stored in the cloud. In essence, an entire physical file cabinet of faxes is accessible through the phone. And it takes up no office space at all.

Users can tag faxes with a particular keyword or subject (i.e. client name or paid/non-paid status) to search for and open instantly using a fax service. Some Internet fax services even offer searchable faxes with optical character recognition (OCR) technology.  Used together, tagging and OCR turn what can be a time-consuming search into a fast and simple task. This is particularly useful as the number of archived documents increase as a small business grows.

For any small business on a mission to adopt tools to add value and efficiency, a feature-rich Internet fax service is a must.

Kyle Flowers is Director of Marketing for eFax.