You’ve started a business – congratulations! Now, how are you going to accomplish your goals? With people working remotely and within different time zones, it can get a little overwhelming to keep track of it all. We rounded up some of our favorite apps to make your entrepreneurial lives easier:
Free to use and just $10/month per user for a Business Class account, Trello is a project management/to-do list platform that helps you get things done. Companies like Pixar, Google and National Geographic use Trello, and its interface is super simple to use. Users can create “Boards” and add “Lists” to those boards. “Cards” (a.k.a. to-do list items) can be added to each List in order to prioritize tasks for specific projects. Trello works great as an editorial calendar and event planning management tool for marketing teams, but it can also be used as a way to organize personal projects like weddings and vacations.
“Get organized. Work smarter. Remember everything.” That sums up Evernote, an app for note-taking via website, desktop and mobile (don’t worry – all three apps sync together). No matter your note-taking style, Evernote has something for everyone. It allows users to add text, photos, links, webpages or webpage excerpts, checklists, attachments and voice memos to “Notes”. Best of all? It’s free! But if you want to take your team’s productivity to the next level, Evernote Business starts at $12/month per user.
For marketing/communications teams of all sizes, SproutSocial is a huge time-saving social media tool. This platform lets users connect Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ accounts in order to write and schedule posts, assign tasks to team members, engage in social conversations and compile reports all from one central social media hub. Clients include Dropbox, Hyatt and GrubHub. Start your free 30-day trial, then move into the Standard package at $59 per user per month if you like what you see.
Be transported to a serene mountain retreat or a busy coffee shop with Noisli — a background noise generator. Free via its website and Chrome extension or $1.99 via its mobile app, Noisli is used to enhance productivity, inspire creativity or encourage relaxation. Mix and match sounds like “Thunderstorm,” “Seaside” and “Bonfire” to make the perfect noise combination, then save your favorites. A built-in timer is also useful for efficiently managing tasks.
MailChimp makes it easy for companies of any size to create email campaigns that best suit your marketing needs. If you’re an e-mail newbie, you can use pre-made templates tailored to specific objectives, like event RSVPs or new product promotions. If you’re an email expert, you can create your own. You can also set up automated e-mail flows based on where you customers are in the marketing funnel. Audience segmentation options ensure you’re sending your emails to the right people and reports help you refine your email game so customers are less likely to hit “unsubscribe.” And that’s just scratching the surface of what MailChimp can do.
Unread articles be gone! Instead of saving links to an unopened folder on your bookmarks bar, Feedly aggregates all of your favorite blogs and news feeds into one platform. Simply add your favorite blogs or news sources via the Search function and categorize them based on the topic (such as Cooking, SEO/SEM or Tech) for easy reading. Quickly scan your feed to figure out which stories you want to “Read Later,” “Mark as Read” or “Hide.”
Shapr promotes a “mindful way of networking,” but we like to think of it as the Tinder of the professional world. Similar to Tinder, it’s an app designed to introduce you with people you are interested in connecting with — except you’re networking instead of going on a date. Many users recommended Shapr because it’s free, builds healthy relationships and connects them to mentors and other inspiring professionals near them.
As a file-hosting service, Dropbox enables users to safely share and store data no matter if you’re an IT manager or an entry-level marketer. It’s designed to “take teamwork to the next level” by providing space to share and collaborate, promising advanced security features and committed customer support. If you’re on your couch and your colleague is flying overseas, Dropbox will bring you both together to get things done. Large companies like Yahoo!, Kayak and National Geographic use Dropbox Business, so if they can, you can too. Start your free 30 day trial and purchase from three options to suit your business needs.
9 & 10. SKYPE/GOOGLE HANGOUTS
You can only send so many emails before your head start spinning, so why not jump on a quick phone or video call for some face-to-face interaction? That’s where Skype and Google Hangouts come in. All you need is a free Skype or Gmail account and you can access both via different devices. They also provide screen and file-sharing features so you can show off your work progress or get real-time feedback. It never hurts to get both in case of a WiFi emergency!
Slack is “where work happens.” If you are looking for a one-size fits all solution, Slack might be the perfect fit for your team. This platform lets teams communicate via chat rooms using different devices (desktop, tablets, smartphones) instead of long email email chains. Users have even seen a 48.6 percent reduction in emails by using this simple interface. You can also send and receive direct messages in private for urgent needs, share files and photos among team members, and make calls as long as you have a WiFi connection. Start off with a free package and purchase paid options as you see fit.
Have you ever worried about how to keep track of your expenses? Expensify is an app designed to help eliminate accounting nightmares. This tool allows you to track expenses in real-time directly from your credit card or by quickly scanning or taking pictures of your receipts. Admins can customize expense policy rules and reimbursements are just 24 hours away from hitting your bank account. “The smartest startups in the world use Expensify” such as Uber, Snapchat, Pinterest. Team packages start at only $5/month but you can get started for free.
Do you have a favorite app that you use for your business? Let us know in the comments!