Which apps can help you streamline your trades business and minimise your admin time?

A tradesman holding his phone and using an invoicing app.

Time is money, and as a busy self-employed tradesperson, your time is precious. That’s why it’s important to embrace modern ways of working and to look at how you can streamline your business.

From inputting your receipts on the go to sending invoices in real time, and from managing your diary on your phone to streamlining your estimates and quotations, if you can save valuable admin time you can then allocate that saved time and resource for your work or for your personal life.

We look at some of the best time-saving trades-specific apps (in alphabetical order) on the market at the moment that can help you to make your life a lot easier.


Checkatrade boldly state they are "The UKs number one Trade Directory", and with good reason. Established in 1998, Checkatrade was formed to vet local tradespeople to help homeowners avoid rogue traders.

Over 5.5 million homeowners have left reviews, so the platform has obviously made a positive difference to many people’s lives. But the website and app are not just a great directory for homeowners to find local trusted tradespeople, they are a very useful way for tradespeople to grow their business.

According to Checkatrade’s website, some 47,000 tradespeople use their services to help them grow their business by connecting them with new customers.

The site is based on membership model, which costs 330 +VAT each year for basic membership. As a member you can manage your account from your phone, and the app is very handy for managing jobs and leads on the go.

As a member you can opt for the van vinyl stickers, which display your Checkatrade accreditation and show you’re a trusted trades professional. Each job you complete also provides a 12-month homeowner guarantee up to £1,000 in value.

Key pros of membership include:

• Ease of use and account management via the mobile app.
• The platform does the advertising for you, which can save you a lot of money in the long run.
• Exclusive savings for members on trades essentials via Checkatrade’s partners.
• The site can generate a lot of work for you if you have the capacity.
• You can upload photos of your work to your profile and for your customers to reviews, further enhancing your reputation.

From our viewpoint, some points to be aware of include:

• Basic membership does not include leads.
• Leads are priced based on three levels: Lite, Standard, and Pro. The price of leads depends on your trade (for full details you’ll need to contact Checkatrade).
• Currently, you cannot issue invoices to customers via the app, so you’ll still be invoicing and taking payments via your own means. The invoicing facility via the app is in discussion, so look out for that feature in future.

Find out more at https://join.checkatrade.com/overview


“A Calendar for Tradespeople”, on a mobile app and website, which can help you save your evenings and weekends from paperwork and admin duties.

Fixington Calendar is an online tool that helps trades professionals manage job diaries, receive bookings for work, and set their rates online, so local customers can make a decision to work with a tradesperson without the hassle of negotiating a price for the work.

The basic version is free to download to your mobile device and to work with, but for a monthly fee (£7.50 +VAT), trades professionals can access a wide range of features that can significantly reduce admin time and potentially speed up payments.

There are many handy features that trades professionals can benefit from, such as never losing track of your schedule, the job information and carrying your customers’ details with you everywhere.

The app can enable you to get paid quicker and send clear invoices to your customers directly from your phone. You can also get instant home project and repair bookings, whenever you need them, from customers booking through Fixington and into your schedule.

Key advantages of the pro version of Fixington include:

  • Free to download the basic version of the mobile app from the App Store.
  • Email and phone support.
  • Access to our web-version on any desktop PC or mac.
  • Have multiple people access your account – useful for office environments & partnerships.
  • Receive local work via fixington.com.
  • Confirmed bookings paying by card, from customers paying online.
  • Instant payments and rolling 7-day payouts.
  • Create and send easy invoices and estimates for any of your jobs and customers.
  • Send your invoices and estimates by email, WhatsApp, and Facebook messenger.
  • Schedule jobs with multiple appointments, and saved customer details and addresses.
  • Mark invoices as paid for easy reporting for unpaid invoices.
  • Make your end of year easier, with total invoice and payment numbers for any date period.

From our viewpoint, some points to be aware of include:

  • To access support, you need the Pro version.
  • Limited functionality in the free version.
  • Could customers booking directly into your schedule cause a problem with work capacity?
  • If you're not in the trade, would you have heard of the app/website, and could this impact on the volume of customer enquiries?

Find out more at https://fixington.com/tradesmen


Joist is ”The #1 app for contractors”, which can enable you to estimate, invoice, collect payments, and manage projects from anywhere, and at any time.

The app has been specifically created to make life easier for contractors from a range of professions including: general contractors; residential construction; insulation; landscaping; masonry; painting; plastering; carpentry; drywalling; electrical contractors; fencing, flooring, handymen; plumbing; HVAC; roofing, tiling; windows and doors.

The app can sync with Intuit QuickBooks to aide your accounting records and make invoicing and reconciliation of paid invoices easier. One key feature that stands out is the homeowner financing option, in which customers can opt for loans for their projects.

Key features include:

  • Issue professional estimates via the app.
  • Payments can be accepted online via credit card, debit card, PayPal, and online transfers.
  • Send professional estimates and invoices.
  • Automate your bookkeeping by syncing Joist jobs and clients with QuickBooks Online accounts.
  • Homeowner financing.
  • All your customer information stored in one place.

Some points to be aware of include:

  • The basic version has limited functionality.
  • There are three versions: Basic, Pro, and Elite. The price of leads depends on what level of functionality you need, for full details you’ll need to contact Joist.
  • The app is an American creation, so you may experience some wait time if you are based in Europe and require support.
  • Currently online payments are only available in North America*.

Find out more at https://www.joist.com/

Makita Mobile Tools

Makita are world-renowned for making quality tools and power tools. They have created a handy mobile app to help make life easier by enabling trades professionals to carry less tools and achieve accurate measurements. Makita provides the tool app free of adverts and cost, and it means that you have handy tools in your pocket at all times.

Key features include:

  • Quick Website Link
  • Spirit Level
  • Levelling Instrument
  • Sound Level Meter
  • Flashlight
  • Distance Measure

Some points to be aware of include:

  • You’ll need to ensure your mobile phone is charged to use the app’s features.
  • Unfortunately, the mobile tools app is unavailable to download in the UK at present.

The app might not have the accounting and invoicing functionality of some of the other apps in this list, but it can certainly help to streamline your working day.

Find out more at https://www.makitauk.com/mobile-apps


MyBuilder is a member of HomeAdvisor International and provides online services that makes it easy for customers to find quality local tradespeople, reviewed by other homeowners, all across the UK. For tradespeople registered with the website, it becomes a lead generation tool that can make finding new business easier for busy tradespeople which can help them grow their business.

MyBuilder covers a wide range of professions, including: architectural services; bathroom fitting; bricklaying; building; carpentry & joinery; carpets & lino; central heating; chimneys & fireplaces; conservatories, extensions and conversions; damp proofing; decking; demolition; driveways; electrical; fascias, soffits and guttering; fencing; garden maintenance and landscaping; gas work; groundwork & foundations; handymen; hard flooring; insulation; kitchen fitting; locksmiths; loft conversions; new builds; painting & decorating; plastering; plumbing; restoration & refurbishment; roofing; security systems; stonemasonry; tiling; tree surgery; waste clearance; windows and doors fitting.

Key features include:

  • Set a custom work area, so every lead received is in the area where the tradesman chooses to travel/work.
  • Create and send detailed quotes in minutes via Quote Tool.
  • Advice articles in the online Trades Academy, covering issues such as quoting and pricing to customer service, and from growing your business to health and wellbeing, in the online academy at https://www.mybuilder.com/trade-academy.
  • Trades can choose which leads they want to quote for.
  • No joining fees or membership fees*.

Some points to be aware of include:

  • Shortlist fees range from £2.00 to £35.00 depending on the size of the project.
  • You're not guaranteed to win the work that you're shortlisted for.

Find out more at https://www.mybuilder.com/register-as-tradesman


The MyJobQuote website provides fresh and local job leads for all types of tradespeople across the UK.

It is similar in set up to myBuilder.com and Checkatrade.com in that the site enables customers to source tradespeople, whilst enabling trades to win new business and easily send invoices…for a small fee.

"Leads fees are charged based on a number of criteria, including: Budget; Trade Category; Job description; Location; Timescale; Validity of the lead; Cost to generate; Competition for the lead; Age of the lead. All job leads are priced before purchase so you can see exactly what you are purchasing."

Job leads are sent via email, SMS text, and appear in the MyJobQuote account. Simply read the lead, then click either the ‘accept’ or ‘reject’ button.

Tradespeople can easily widen or narrow their operating radius in their profile to receive more or less leads as required.

Key features include:

  • Cost guides on the website for customers help them to understand how quotes are priced.
  • How to guides for trades provide assistance for pricing up projects and other work-based scenarios.
  • The tradesperson is in control and can accept or reject as many leads as they like depending on their circumstances and capacity.
  • Ease of use.

Some points to be aware of include:

  • There is a fee per lead, which is charged three days after a lead is purchased or when the tradesperson’s account reaches £10.
  • All leads are quoted including VAT, which can seem expensive if you are non-VAT registered.
  • Trades who are not fully verified, or are new to the platform, are not likely receive any leads; so, it's important to take the time to create a full profile. This enables the algorithm behind the website to assign relevant leads to a profile.
  • Not currently available as a mobile app*.

Find out more at https://www.myjobquote.co.uk/

Powered Now

According to their website, Powered Now is ”The UKs #1 job management app for trades businesses.”

It can empower trades professionals to get, and keep, their trades business under control.

Tradespeople can easily invoice customers, quickly quote jobs, schedule appointments & team, generate certificates. All in one convenient & easy-to-use app.

There are three levels of account for you to choose from; Business for £15 per month; Pro for £25 per month per user, and Premium for £37 per month per user.

Key features include:

  • Comes with UK-based support and free training.
  • Online templates that you can add your logo to.
  • An easy-to-use invoicing app for quick, professional invoices, quotes and worksheet creation.
  • The job costing software makes it simple to send quotes, estimates and invoices to clients via email and text and then track when the message has been opened.
  • Keep on top of your vehicle management paperwork.
  • Intelligent diary and scheduling system that links to both your customer records, your team and all of the paperwork.
  • Comprehensive and up-to-date certificates for Gas Safety, Electrical, Construction, Renewable & Green and more.
  • GPS location tracker that allows you to know where your team are now and where they should be going throughout the working day.
  • Manage staff holidays and absences.
  •  Manage client projects by status.
  • Can help to improve cash flow.
  • Set reminders for important dates such as MOTs and vehicle services.
  • Integration with Xero and Making Tax Digital (MTD).
  • Assistance with set up on Powered Now, if you're short of time.
  • Available as a mobile app.

Some points to be aware of include:

• Could become expensive if you have a lot of users.
• Customers can book appointments directly into your calendar, which could potentially cause a capacity issue.

Find out more at https://www.powerednow.com/

Rated People

A very similar platform to MyBuilder and Checkatrade, Rated People connects potential customers with local trades professionals.

For tradespeople registered with the Rated People, it is a lead generation tool that can make finding new business easier for a range of professions, including: bathroom fitters; blacksmiths; bricklayers; builders; carpenters; CCTV, satellites and alarms installers; cleaners; conservatory installers; drainage specialists; driveway installers; electricians; flooring fitters; gardeners and landscape gardeners; gas and heating engineers; handypersons; joiners; kitchen fitters; locksmiths; metal workers;; painter and decorators; pest control; plasterers; plumbers; removal services; roofers; security systems installers; stonemasons; tilers; tree surgeons; and window fitters.

Entry level membership begins at £150 per annum. Lead prices are calculated based on a few factors, including the trade, location and the homeowner’s intent to get started. Depending on your Rated People membership plan, you’ll get additional credit on top of the credit that comes with your membership fee.

Key features include:

  • No more than 3 trades can purchase and compete for the same lead.
  • There can be a lot of leads depending on your trade. E.g., 6,340 leads for a builder posted within last 30 days from 18.09.2023.
  • Well known app due to extensive advertising, which could mean more customer traffic and more leads.

Some points to be aware of include:

  • No guarantees that you're going to win work.
  • Could be perceived as expensive to join at entry level.
  • Shortlist fees range from £2.00 to £75.00 depending on the size of the job lead.
  • Membership fees can become expensive, depending on your trade.

Find out more at https://www.ratedpeople.com/


Tradify is job management software for tradespeople. It offers all-in-one job management software for electricians, plumbers, gas engineers, renovators, carpenters, and other trade businesses, which helps to save time on enquiries; quoting; scheduling; job tracking; invoicing and payments.

Membership starts at £21.00 per month per user.

Key features include:

  • Free 14-day trial
  • Integrates with: Xero, Sage; QuickBooks; Stripe
  • Free set up and training
  • Free updates and upgrades
  • Support helpline
  • Available as a mobile app.

Some points to be aware of include:

  • Could be expensive if you have a lot of users.
  • Support helpline available to people with a full account.
  • There is scant information on the Tradify website, so it is advisable to call them for information.

Find out more at https://www.tradifyhq.com/uk


The YourTradesbase platform has been developed to help trades from a range of sectors including builders; carpenters; cleaners; construction; decorators; electricians; fencing installers; floorers; HVAC specialists; kitchen installers; landscapers; loft converters; painters; plasterers; plumbers; and roofers.

The powerful platform empowers trades to check materials costs and labour rates prior to quoting.

Trades can also send quotes quickly and get quotes signed off with one click. Track leads and jobs and schedule work quickly and easily whilst also assigning team members to specific jobs.

As a user, you can generate and send invoices quickly, send payment reminders, and take secure card payments in-person. It is possible to keep tabs on deposits, expenses and invoices with real-time job balances that track your cash and make budgets clear.

Membership starts at £25.00 per month, plus £15.00 per month per additional user.

Key features also include:

  • Available as a mobile app.
  • Discounts offered for upfront full year payments.
  • 30-day free trial, which you can cancel at any time.
  • Handy 'help guides' on the website.

Some points to be aware of include:

• Could become expensive if you have a lot of users.

Find out more at https://www.yourtradebase.com/

Time to switch?

In summary, these apps and many others can significantly reduce your admin time, potentially increase your volume of new business, and help to make your business life less stressful.

If you’re still using Excel spreadsheets, paper-based admin, and adverts in the local paper, could now be time to make the switch to digital?

Is it time to review your trades insurance?

If you’ve experienced a change in your trades business, such as an increase in turnover, or you may have employed more staff, it could be time to review your trades business insurance.

Changes in circumstances can mean that your current level of cover is no longer adequate, which could leave you underinsured in the event of a claim.

Markel Direct’s trades insurance offers a range of covers to suit the needs of busy trades professionals. From public liability insurance to employers’ liability cover, and from tools insurance to personal accident cover, and plant insurance to contract works cover, we can provide you with the cover you need to give you the peace of mind to concentrate on your job.


Markel Direct and its employees have no affiliation to any of the online apps or software companies mentioned in this article. The information in this article is impartial and based on the data gathered via online research. Please do not take this article as advice, if you are looking to change the way in which you manage your invoices and accounting, then it would be prudent to seek advice from your accountant or financial adviser beforehand.

*Correct as of September 2023.

Cover starting from £8 a month