Save time, communicate better and stay organized with these six business tools. Added bonus: all are free or very affordable, and live in the cloud for easy access.
Drastically reduce the number of internal emails you send and receive every day by getting your team on Slack, a simple but powerful messaging app. Built around individual conversations or “channels” that you can organize by team, project, department or topic, Slack aggregates all communication and makes it real-time, archived and searchable. Plus: emojis, animated gifs and a $0 price tier. Enough said.
Keep projects moving and catch to-do items before they fall through the cracks with Asana. A project and workflow management tool, with Asana your entire team can assign, track, schedule and prioritize tasks among employees. Commenting and file uploading keep information organized and at your fingertips. That feeling you get when you check off all your tasks for the day? Priceless. Coincidentally, that is also the cost for teams with 15 or fewer members.
Get the marketing power of a Fortune 500 company with the budget of a neighborhood lemonade stand. Autopilot is a powerful marketing automation tool that lets you send targeted, personalized emails, post cards and text messages based on customer behavior. Track your customers’ activity and automate their journey with tools like promotional and follow-up emails, welcome post cards, reminder text messages and more. Autopilot can also function like customer relationship management (CRM) software to organize your clients, prospects and vendors, or integrate with Salesforce. With plans starting at just $25/month, it’s a no-brainer.
Love it or hate it, social media cannot be ignored. Effective social media management and engagement is a 24/7 operation, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep over-caffeinated interns posting, pinning, and liking well into the night. Buffer allows you to schedule posts in advance, analyze engagement data, and determine the ideal times to post for maximum impact using their Optimal Timing Tool. Start with a free account, then upgrade if needed to get additional features for a small monthly fee.
From hosting a meeting of remote workers to training a client or subcontractor on technical information, there is no easier tool for screen sharing and video conferencing than join.me. When you’re ready to start your meeting, head to join.me, get your meeting access code, and send it to the participants so they connect to your conference directly. Forget sending emails with elaborate meeting instructions and links. The free plan is a great place to start, and an affordable monthly fee gets you even more functionality.
Put an end to the edit-save-send cycle with Google’s answer to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Google’s online document solutions make collaborating with your team on documents, spreadsheets and presentations a breeze. Documents, which are saved automatically, can be accessed from anywhere, and team members’ suggestions or edits are immediately captured. With Google Forms you can send and manage surveys and questionnaires. Best of all, get started for free.