By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE
Today I start a new occasional series called “There’s an App for That!” From time to time, I will share an app that helps us to run our birth and postpartum businesses and make our lives easier. Today I tackle tracking mileage on your phone using a well-rated mileage app. If you have a favorite app that makes your professional life easier, let me know by shooting me an email, and your suggestion may find its way to this series too, with a hat tip to you!
Not many of us became doulas because we wanted to be bogged down with the minutiae of running a business. No doubt, most of us became doulas because we enjoy the work, we want to support families and we are interested in improving maternal-infant health outcomes. Somewhere along the way, we found ourselves running a business and responsible for all that running a business entails. Some of us may love the business end of things and geek out on all the marketing, website management, social media tasks, and other entrepreneurial business responsibilities. I doubt there are many of us that enjoy the “filing your taxes” part of being a business owner. As my father always told me when it came to taxes – “if you make the money, you pay the taxes.” A true statement. But, filing an accurate tax return with appropriate deductions documented is important so that I legally pay what I need to and not a penny more. (My philosophy, your mileage may vary – a pun!)
Consider enlisting the help of MileIQ for tracking the miles you drive for business purposes. All those trips to the coffee shop for an interview, a client’s home for prenatals and postpartums, and the birth location if you are a birth doula are tax-deductible in the United States and many other places around the world.
MileIQ is an app that goes on your cell phone and concisely and accurately tracks how many miles you drive (and when and why) in pursuit of making money through your birth or postpartum business. You can download it from the Apple Store or from Google Play, depending on your phone type.
Since I am frugal, I prefer to make do with the free version of many products, and I think you will find that the free, basic version (40 drives a month) of MileIQ will meet most of your requirements. Here is what you can expect from this handy little app:
- Cloud-based information accessible across all your devices.
- The ability to separate personal drives from business mileage.
- Weekly (or customizable when you upgrade) reports sent automatically to your inbox.
- Works in the background, once you pull it up. You do not need to “start” or “stop” it. If you forget to bring it up, you can edit it manually.
- Saves you so much time from keeping paper records and doing the math at the end of the year. And no math errors!
- If you upgrade to a paid service level, the app cost is also tax-deductible.
This app is free (or affordable if you upgrade to a Pro plan), does exactly what it says it will easily and accurately and removes worrying about capturing your business mileage accurately off your plate, leaving you to focus more on “doing” your business rather than “running: your business.
Do you currently use MileIQ? Any tips for users just starting out? Do you have another mileage tracking app that works for you? Share it in the comments below.