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Essential Mobile Apps for a Private Investigator Business

When a Private Investigator thinks of apps to help them run their business, the focus is typically on mobile apps that can help them while actively investigating. However, a large portion of their time is spent juggling routine business tasks while away from an office. As smartphones become more powerful, app developers are creating increasingly advanced tools that can help track hours, send invoices, accept client payments and automatically record essential information and organize their business. 

Here is a list of essential apps that every Private Investigator needs to help them run their business efficiently:

Finance Apps

Let’s face it. Unless you really like accounting, no one enjoys maintaining company invoices and records. Here are some apps that can help Private Investigators make managing money and invoices easier.


Probably the most well known app. PayPal provides a very quick and simple way to generate invoices and process payments.


  • Easy to send money
  • Instant notifications
  • Ability to generate invoices and send invoices
  • Able to process both credit cards or Checking accounts

Android Rating: 4.3 – ‎603,502 votes – ‎Free (Android)

iPhone Rating: 4.6 – ‎6,825 reviews – ‎Free – ‎iOS – ‎Finance (iPhone)

QuickBooks GoPayment

This app is great because it connects with Intuit QuickBooks accounting software. Invoices and banking accounts can reconciled easily.


  • Ability to generate invoices
  • Accounting reconciliation is in one place
  • Clients can easily pay via credit card or ACH

Android Rating: 4 – ‎5,962 votes – ‎Free

Time Tracking Apps

Generally Private Investigators want to track how many hours to bill to the client. Also, it is a way to document cases where a Private Investigator might need to be on lengthy surveillance. These apps make it easy for the Private Investigator to manage and organize their time to be efficient during the course of an investigation.



  • Generate reports of time tracked
  • Notate activities that occurred during certain blocks of time
  • Include billable rates while tracking time
  • All the time logs are synced to the cloud and you can track time also in the web version, desktop app and with a Chrome extension – all your data is safely under one account.

Android Rating: 3.9 – ‎4,692 votes – ‎Free

Hours Time Tracking


  • Set smart reminders to nag you at just the right times to start and stop your timers
  • Set rounding rules to round time to whatever interval you are used to — 6 minutes, 15 minutes, and more
  • Quickly see on a calendar view which days you tracked time and which days you forgot
  • Track your time by clients, projects, and tasks if you need to
  • Add notes to your time entries
  • View on-screen reports in the app, or email detailed CSV or PDF reports

iPhone Rating: 4.6 – ‎1,305 reviews – ‎Free – ‎iOS – ‎Business/Productivity

Navigation Apps

Private Investigators during the course of an investigation might need to follow their subject in an unfamiliar location. These apps can help the Private Investigator by letting them know the area and travel patterns of the subject that they are investigating.



  • Automatically reroute around traffic as conditions change on the road
  • Get police & speed camera alerts while you drive
  • Record your own custom voice directions to guide you on the road
  • Find gas stations and the cheapest gas prices on your drive
  • Low data usage from your phone

iPhone Rating: 4.8 – ‎308,215 reviews – ‎Free – ‎iOS – ‎Travel

Android Rating: 4.6 – ‎6,872,609 votes – ‎Free

Google Maps


  • Beat traffic with real-time ETAs and traffic conditions
  • Save time with automatic re-routing based on live traffic, incidents, and road closures
  • Don’t miss a turn or exit with lane guidance
  • Offline maps to search and navigate without an internet connection
  • Street View and indoor imagery for restaurants, shops, museums and more
  • Indoor maps to quickly find your way inside big places like airports, malls and stadiums

Android Rating: 4.3 – ‎8,476,017 votes – ‎Free

iPhone Rating: 4.7 – ‎143,761 reviews – ‎Free – ‎iOS – ‎Travel

Communication and Notation Apps

Private Investigators need to be able to keep records of their observations, evidence and interviews while conducting investigations. The need to have an app that has notes readily available for when the “break” occurs in a case or to check on interview statements. These apps also help the Private Investigator keep a record of client interactions, evidence that has been provided to the client and update the client on the status of the investigation.

ColorNote Notepad Notes


  • Organize notes by color (color notebook)
  • Organize your schedule by note in calendar
  • Write a diary and journal in calendar
  • Password Lock note : Protect your notes with passcode
  • Secured backup notes to SD storage
  • Supports online back-up and sync. You can sync notes between phone and tablet
  • Search notes
  • Quick memo / notes
  • Share notes via SMS, e-mail or Twitter

Android Rating: 4.6 – ‎2,183,427 votes – ‎Free



  • Streamline your workflow to be fully paper-free.
  • It’s easy to keep yourself organized across devices and platforms.
  • Create a paperless conference room — handout and collect assignments via the cloud
  • Complete, sign, and share documents

iPhone Rating: 4 – 381 Votes -$9.99

Private Notepad


  • Password / PIN / pattern protection for your notes
  • Fingerprint access
  • Encrypting data with AES standard, which is used in banking systems
  • Auto-lock screen (if password protection is enabled)
  • Supports notes automatic saving
  • Convenient notes control and structuring
  • Automatic backup to your Google Drive

Android Rating: 4.6 – ‎18,415 votes – ‎Free

Private Photo Vault


  • Password Protected App Entry
    • Pin Lock
    • Pattern/Dot Lock
  • Password Protected Photo Albums
  • Break-in Report: Photo + GPS
  • Decoy Password

Android Rating: 4.2 – ‎29,157 votes – ‎Free

iPhone Rating: 4.8 – ‎34,229 reviews – ‎Free – ‎iOS – ‎Entertainment

The apps here are ways for Private Investigators to help them run their business efficiently so that they can focus on what they do best, which is investigations. From maintaining invoices and client payments to securely documenting notes and evidence in an investigation can all be managed with a Private Investigators smartphone or tablet.

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