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App Spotlight: Automatically track your mileage with TripLog

Still writing down odometer readings and creating mileage reports by hand? This free app handles all that hard work for you.

When it comes to managing business expenses, half the battle is keeping tabs on your mileage. Obviously there are plenty of apps that let you manually enter your miles or odometer readings--but that's still a pretty low-tech approach.

But, hey, your smartphone has a built-in GPS, right? Seems like a smart app could leverage that to automatically keep tabs on where you drive for business.

That's TripLog GPS Mileage Tracker in a nutshell. Available for Android and iOS, this app monitors your mileage via GPS, tracks any parking, tolls, or other expenses, records fuel costs, and generates IRS-ready reports.

All you do is set up your vehicle, then take a few seconds to create a new trip before you head out on the road. TripLog will automatically pinpoint your starting location, though you can enter a different location if needed.

Then just tap Save and be on your way. When you reach your destination, tap End Trip Now. You also have the option of specifying the nature of the trip (business, charity, medical, etc.), entering notes, and adding any applicable parking or toll costs.

TripLog can also calculate fuel economy, manage multiple vehicles and business entities, and support commercial trucks. It leverages 2012 and 2013 IRS data to determine mileage rates.

Best of all, the app can email IRS-compliant, tax return-ready mileage reports in CSV or HTML format. Actually, at the moment only the Android version can do that it; it's coming soon for iOS. In fact, the vastly superior Android version also lets you snap photos of your expense receipts. It offers one-tap start/stop via a Home Screen widget, and can even be set to auto-start mileage tracking.

TripLog is not only free, but also ad-free. However, you'll want to check the developer's pricing page for information on some premium options, like a reasonable 99-cent charge for a single-year report or $4.99 for unlimited reports, receipt photos, and the like.

Android users should definitely check this out. The iOS crowd may want to wait at least until mileage reporting is enabled, as the app isn't much use without it.

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