There are hundreds of tools, apps, and software out there meant to simplify and even speed up tasks for the employees and owners of small businesses. Finding the ideal tools can be more than a bit overwhelming, even for the most tech-savvy people. To assist you with this, we have compiled this small list of tools that every small business may need.
Have you ever found yourself wishing for a second brain so that you could remember all the vital information necessary to be productive? Evernote can be that second brain. If you haven’t heard of Evernote, it’s an app designed to store info (this could be whole web pages, audio recordings, photos, and videos, or text documents) so that it’s available anytime you need it. Evernote even has templates to help you organize your information quickly. One of these is a weekly template for productivity to help you stay on task and accomplish your goals.
Google Drive makes it easy for you to do the majority of your work in the “cloud” so that you can access your documents from anywhere on any device with an internet connection. The service gives you an allotment of cloud storage at no cost, but you can purchase more space if needed.
Use Google Drive to store relevant documents and spreadsheets, images, audio files, and videos. You can even share data stored in the cloud with co-workers, team members, and clients to make collaborating on a project simple.
Wave is a web-based invoicing and accounting service. Its integrated software and tools help you track and monitor your business finances. You can use the software to process credit card payments, track business expenses, manage your receipts, and send invoices to clients. It also offers an app for mobile devices so you can manage payroll, create invoices, and send receipts on the go. Also, when you connect your business bank account to Wave, your transactions are imported directly, making it easier to reconcile your accounts at the end of each month.
CRM stands for customer relationship management, and Zoho CRM is an excellent one for small businesses. It is software which tracks your company’s interactions with prospects and clients. It features team collaboration that allows you to set status updates, create follow up rules, and send direct messages. Zoho CRM’s marketing automation tool provides you with 10 email templates, website visitor tracking, and email opt-out. The best part is, you can test drive this software before you buy. Zoho CRM has a free version available to businesses with 10 or fewer users. It gives you access to tasks and opportunities; accounts, contacts, and sales force automation leads.
Draw.io lets you document things like organizational charts, mind maps, business processes, and other documents of this nature. It’s a free, web-based drawing app that has several templates for wireframes, Venn diagrams, software design, network diagrams, and more. One significant advantage of using this app is that it doesn’t publicize your sketches. Some of its competitors do, so be careful.
Time tracking software is plentiful. In fact, the software you currently use for invoicing may already have a time tracker built-in. However, it might require you to start and stop the clock each time you change clients, projects, or tasks. There will also be times when you simply forget to stop the clock. Chrometa does this for you. It involves a passive sort of time tracking. As you do your work on your mobile devices or computers, it tracks what you do.
Bonus tool: Milanote
Milanote is a tool for organizing your creative projects into beautiful visual boards. Created to replicate the feeling of working on a wall in a creative studio – visual, tactile and sometimes a bit messy – Milanote is a great fit for freelancers in both the marketing and design spaces. Milanote has heaps of built-in templates to help you get started with a variety of different projects, from creating a mood board to set out the visual direction for a project, to writing that perfect creative brief. Its sharing features make it a great option for those who regularly provide work to clients for feedback. Milanote’s basic plan is available for free with no time-limit.
What might you add to this list and why?