There are few things I love more than finding a tool that simplifies my life. Maybe it’s because I have four kids and a business and my life is, well…CRAZY.
Regardless, today I want to tell you about 15 of my very favorite online business tools, because if you’re a small business owner, you need to know about these. Simply put, they will make your life better. Read them. Try them. Love them. Enough said!
Are you grammar-challenged? Ever wish you had an editor at your fingertips? Look no further than Grammarly. This browser extension is lightyears beyond your built-in spellchecker because this power partner scans for more than 250 types of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. No one will ever need to know youMake typoos, er…you make typos, because you won’t. Ever again.
Eager to wow a crowd with your presentation skills? You need Haiku Deck. This little gem will make you look like you hired a high-end designer to create your slides even if you don’t have a creative bone in your body. Loaded with millions of free images, Haiku Deck makes it easy peasy to create clean, simple and modern slides that wow.
Hootsuite makes social media management simple–regardless of where your clients are hanging out! This power tool will allow you to schedule posts, view and respond to messages and track conversions. Bonus: they even have a feature that helps you run contests! If you’re using social media to build your business (and you should be), you need Hootsuite.
Have you ever wished there was an easy way to share files with your team? Meet your new BFF. Dropbox allows you to share files and folders with anyone you want, anytime, anywhere. We use Dropbox to store images, presentations, key documents and so much more.
At its core, Evernote is a note taking app. But it does so much more than that. Got a project you’re working on with others? Evernote makes it super simple to share documents back and forth in a flash. You can include pictures in your notes (and search the text in those pictures!), create notebooks to keep everything organized in a way that makes sense to you and the mobile app for iOS, Android, and Windows have a built-in chat feature to boot! And if you’re Apple junkies like we are, make sure you look for all of the other great apps that integrate directly with Evernote. One of our faves is Scannable because it allows you scan any document using your phone’s camera and quickly add info from scanned business cards directly to your contacts.
This one is especially valuable if you work with a team that is not always in the same place at the same time. Asana makes it easy to track projects from start to finish. You can assign tasks to members of your team, upload files that need to be shared or reviewed, leave comments for each other and track deadlines and upcoming tasks. If you’re tired of trying to remember who is doing what and struggling to get status updates, you’ll love Asana.
Do you have a square photo that you need cropped to a circle? Need to resize a graphic to fit on your website? PicMonkey has your back! Just upload a picture, crop/edit however you need it using their simple photo editor, then download the picture to your computer and boom–project done.
If your brain feels like it’s going to explode if you try to remember even one more password, check out LastPass. This uber secure tool stores every password, login or another bit of sensitive data you have so your brain can take a break. It’s easy to integrate with any web browser so you can easily switch between accounts without having to find that piece of paper you wrote down that password on and then put it somewhere “safe”. BONUS: Upon request, LastPass will also generate completely random, super secure passwords for you and for a small fee, you can get mobile access, too. Forgetful people, rejoice!
If you’re looking for a way to bring a little extra something to your social media posts, you need to check out Adobe Spark. you can create the same graphics you’re used to seeing but you can also create magazine-style web stories as well as animated videos! The possibilities are virtually endless and the results are pretty awesome.
If you’re on social media at all, you know the posts that stand out are the ones that have images. And often the ones that generate the most engagement are pictures with quotes. WordSwag makes creating these so simple. It offers hundreds of gorgeous stock images, searchable by keyword. It also allows you to upload your own pictures. Once you select your image, just type in your text, choose a font, and export to your saved pictures so you can share it. Boom!
You’ve been sitting at your desk for 5 hours and nothing has gotten done. Sound familiar? Where did all that time go? Rescue Time will tell you! It will track where you’re spending your time online, set goals for your day and track your progress, even set an alarm to tell you when it’s time to get off Facebook and get back to work (gasp!) BONUS: If you pay for the premium version, you can block distracting websites and track your offline activity as well!
Boost your productivity by tracking exactly how long each task is taking you and exactly how long you’re spending on each project. Toggl also lets you create weekly reports so you can keep clients up to date on what you’re doing and when.
I mentioned Scannable earlier but if you don’t have Evernote (or don’t have an iPhone), Genius Scan is a great alternative! You take a picture of a document and then save it as a PDF and you can email it directly from the app to whoever it needs to go to! Note: this is also available in the Google Play Store and Windows App Store.
How often do you set out to schedule a meeting or appointment with a client and then get stuck in a never-ending stream of emails or phone tag? You suggest a time, they can’t make it. They suggest another time but it’s during your kid’s school program. And on and on and on… Get out of the endless cycle and let Acuity take the stress out of managing your schedule. You’ll get a notification when a client schedules an appointment and it will even automatically sync with your calendar app. Sweet.
How many unwanted emails do you get every day? Tens? Hundreds? Do you even remember subscribing to that newsletter?? Unroll.me makes it easy to unsubscribe. It sorts through your email and finds all of your subscriptions. Then it shows you a list of all of them so you can unsubscribe with one click. OR, if you want to keep those emails (because someday, you might actually use that 20% off coupon you keep getting from that store you go into once a year), you can “roll up” your emails and Unroll.me will send you one email each day that shows you all of those subscription emails in one place. You get to choose what you actually read and what you ignore or save for another day. You can and should use this for everything, well, except for emails from us of course. You wouldn’t want to miss the good stuff we send, right? RIGHT?! 🙂
What are your favorites? Tell us in the comments!
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