50 productivity tools for startup founders and entrepreneurs
50 productivity tools every entrepreneur must use. From social media to business model creation, this list has it all!
50 PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS EVERY ENTREPRENEUR NEEDS
For a startup founder, digital nomad, or an entrepreneur of any kind, handling all kinds of odd tasks, finding solutions and accepting challenges are all in a day’s work. When the balancing act gets tough, productivity suffers. Here are 50 productivity tools to enhance your daily mojo!
Timing is critical when it comes to social media. Buffer is a great tool that lets you schedule your social media posts so that you share your content when your fans and followers are most likely to be online. It’s free and you can upgrade for more advanced features.
There is no dearth of task management tools out there. There’s Asana which I have listed as well. However, where Trello excels is in its visual management of tasks. They way I like to use it is by creating buckets of tasks and move them from on bucket to the next as the task progresses through its stages. Of course, it’s incredibly versatile in more traditional use cases as well.
Hootsuite is another social media management tool that’s designed to handle multiple accounts and channels. It takes a leaf out of modern tabbed browsing features of web browsers to give you an easy-to-navigate dashboard. What makes HootSuite even more useful is its suite of plugins developed in-house as well as by third party developers. These plugins let you do everything from automating your social media posts, to social media listening.
Asana is one task management app that conquers them all. Quite literally. Working with a team and assigning work to each of them with deadlines is a breeze with Asana. There’s a nifty task calendar feature to visualise how your week and months are looking as well as a messaging dashboard to ease team communications.
Stacker earns its place because of its ease of social media messaging. It lets you read and respond to incoming messages across all your Social Media accounts from a single inbox. Stacker also gives you easy-to-read reports on every message you send out to your fans including clicks received with user locations and content engagement.
It would be a crime to not mention Slack. Whether your team members work remotely or from one office, Slack ensures that they are all well-connected. Communication is crucial when it comes to work and Slack makes it sleek as ever. Slack’s resident bot is sassy and useful. It also integrates with several other tools like Trello and Asana.
Aha! is a tool that can manage an entire product portfolio and streamline brainstorming processes. It is very useful for project managers and entrepreneurs doing the regular 10-hour long ideation meetings. The tool lets the user generate ideas, build strategies around it and set deadlines. All these can be tracked easily as well.
Contriber promises “a more human experience” when it comes to streamlining teamwork with the help of group chats, task management, file sharing and easy decision making. Contriber is essentially a collection of team working tools which make use of psychological processes that intend to take teamwork to the next level.
Knowlium makes it easy to develop and collaborate on developing detailed business plans. With a number of easy to use drag and drop widgets/sections, it can create compelling business plans with custom branding that can be used at any level of professional tabletop meetings – from your potential investors to team members.
Who hasn’t heard of Mailchimp! If you run a product, service, publication or blog, chances are that you need to send out regular emails to a growing number of users or subscribers. Although their are a number bulk email marketing platforms, and I have mentioned another in this list, Mailchimp is great for its simplicity, easy on-boarding, great templates and easy drag and drop email designer.
The Forever Free Plan is a blessing for new startups with budget constraint. You can send up to 12,000 emails every month for free.
With a plethora of tasks to attend to, how many times have we felt that 24 hours is not enough? Thrive Daily Planner is a goal achievement system specifically designed with professional intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs in mind. Here’s the interesting part: its NOT a software. It’s an old school pen-and-paper day organiser.
12. Sane Box
Sane Box helps to organise your inbox. It sends the less important ones to an archive from where it can be retrieved and read when required. Although Google’s priority inbox is a life-saving feature, Sane Box is for someone who prefers a dedicated solution which can be trained to meet your specific email usage behaviour.
Toggl is a nifty time tracking tool. It’s particularly helpful for freelancers or someone who wants to know where the day’s time goes. It gives you an overview of your billable time and team progress. Toggl also comes with an in-built invoicing system.
Unroll.me removes newsletters and other promotional mails from your inbox and keeps them bundled up elsewhere. You can read them as well when you have more time. Additionally, it helps you unsubscribe to newsletters without having to go inside each email and do it manually. Mighty helpful in fighting the ever growing problem of spam.
It works exactly as it is named. RescueTime sends weekly report on how the time has been used. RescueTime helps you understand your daily habits so you can focus and be more productive. It runs securely in the background on your computer and mobile devices and tracks time spent on applications and websites, giving you an accurate picture of your day.
This is one of the most popular productivity tools available. Essentially a digital notebook which stores data in the cloud, it can be used for anything imaginable – from simple typed notes, to rich content with images and videos, screenshots, scanned copies of bills, and lots more. It’s cross-platform so your notes goes where you go.
17. Google Hangouts
Hangouts is a great alternative to Skype and really comes down to a matter of personal choice. If you are using Google for work, however, it can perhaps be a better choice because Hangouts integrates seamlessly with all the google products – gmail, docs, calendar.
Not really a tool, but Upwork is great a source for finding freelance talent to outsource your work. I have found it to be better in quality than People Per Hour or the notorious Fiverr. You can find help to do anything from design a great looking logo, making time consuming entries in to spread sheets, to even getting help with coding. Certainly beats having the overhead of hiring full time employees when the work needed is small and seasonal.
WebEx by Cisco is a virtual meeting tool taken to a whole new level. It makes Hangouts and Skype look like they were made for high school students (with due respect, Google and Microsoft). WebEx brings high-quality 2-way video on tablets, smartphones, desktop and the web. Whether you’re holding brainstorming sessions or making presentations, turning your online meeting into a video conference has never been more feature-rich.
Its products include Meeting Center, Training Center, Event Center, Support Center, Sales Center, MeetMeNow, PCNow, WebEx AIM Pro Business Edition, WebEx WebOffice, and WebEx Connect. That’s like having a dedicated state of the art audio-visual room on your desk.
Hemingway reviews a write up and suggests better wordings and corrects any language errors. Not all of us are made for copywriting which is a very specific talent by itself. The app highlights lengthy, complex sentences and common errors; if you see a yellow sentence, shorten or split it. If you see a red highlight, your sentence is so dense and complicated that your readers will get lost trying to follow it.
If you find yourself in the need of having a massive web conference and want high quality video support, FreeConferenceCall is the tool for you. It can accommodate up to 1,000 participants. Perfect for hosting webinars.
With all other tasks accumulating, we don’t always have the time for accounting. Freshbooks is a cloud-based accounting tool that can be used to make invoices, log receipts and track time.
Producteev is a task management tool with a twist. It lets you to divide your team into tasks, assigning each team member a individual tasks under top-level project. This enables you to track the bigger picture and not just at a micro-task level.
LiveChat provides instant connection with customers and resolve issues much faster than traditional telephone or email based customer service. It also gives you a grade at the end of each chat to constantly improve the quality of your support.
However small your business might be, it is essential to maintain accounts efficiently, and LessAccounting makes it a lot less painful than it traditionally has been. While most accounting tools out there make it bloated with extensive feature sets, this tool promises to get you in and out of the app as fast as possible.
Plan intelligently organizes projects and tasks from all the tools you and your team use: calendar, email, JIRA, Zendesk, Salesforce, and Github. Think of it like a work concierge.
27. Instant 3.0
Instant tracks time spent on your phone, travelling, at places, while sleeping & on fitness activities. All this is tracked automatically and is put on a dashboard. Weekly reports give actionable insights based on data and uses storytelling techniques with trend graphs for this. There’s also automatic sleep tracking.
Workflow connects iOS apps and creates tightly integrated automation flows. Essentially so you can take content from one app and send it to another. Make PDFs, control your media, pull data from the web, and transform content as you see fit. Everywhere you can share, your workflows are there.
29. G2 Crowd
This is an unique tool that reviews a software on your behalf before you buy it. It not just saves money but also the time that is spent to research the desired software. With it, you can compare the best business software and services based on user ratings and social data. Reviews are mostly for CRM, ERP, CAD, PDM, HR, and Marketing software.
This tool integrates SMS, email, live chat, and even social media accounts into one platform for efficient customer service.
Momentum replaces your browser’s new tab page with focus goals. It’s a personal dashboard designed to eliminate distraction and provide inspiration, focus, and productivity. Momentum is available as a Chrome extension.
Pomotodo contains full workflow management. Collect ideas, schedule works, finish tasks, review history, right in the app. It is based on the Pomodoro Technique, a popular method to be more productive. With Pomotodo Pro, the todo list is even more powerful: subtodo, reminder, repeat, notes, and more.
Moodnote takes a low-key approach to positive thinking and enhancing productivity. Capture your mood and improve your thinking habits through an innovative approach to journaling. Moodnotes empowers you to track your mood over time, avoid common thinking traps, and develop perspectives associated with increased happiness and well-being.
Pipefy offers templates based on the market’s best practices to help you manage all your Startup’s essential processes. Templates include those for Agile Software Development, Product Management, Team Task Management, Growth Hacking Experiments, and lots more.
When there is a time crunch, it is hard to revise a write up. Grammarly is a tool that is used by thousands to check grammar, plagiarism, readability, and lots more. It started as a web-only service but now has a Mac app and Chrome extension as well. I have found to decrease the amount of time I take to make revisions of my written content by several degrees.
Paperform is the alternative to the highly popular Typeform. It is an easy to use form building service that creates gorgeous looking layouts. Creating forms with Paperform is just like writing a document, and lets you write styled text, upload pictures and brand the form to your colors and fonts. What’s more, with out-of-the-box Zapier support for all plans, you can connect with over 750 services without writing a line of code.
Shift was built with people who rely on multiple Gmail accounts and G-Suite apps like Docs, Drive and Calendar – for both personal and business purposes – in mind. In particular, those that love the Gmail web interface. One of the biggest pain points they face is constantly needing to toggle between all of these accounts. Shift ends that nightmare by allowing you to access multiple gmail accounts, easily switch between mail, calendar and drive, and lots more.
Also Read: 3 steps to producing content that converts
Refly is a smart editor that helps you write better content, faster. It is an editor for content marketers, bloggers and authors that helps avoid grammar mistakes and spelling mistakes. Furthermore, it keeps you up with industry standard of content marketing by optimizing and sync your content for search spiders and bots and suggesting a range of keywords to be used in your writing.
Want to read something but do not have time? Save it to Pocket. It is integrated efficiently with several platforms and works remarkably well for content curation as well by connecting with the literally thousands of automation processes via IFTTT or Zapier.
Ever found yourself in long hours of research trying to figure out how exactly you should implement a particular feature of your product or an entire idea? Siftery lets you see what software others are using, get automatic recommendations for yours.
41. Hubspot’s Email Tracking (Formerly Sidekick)
Created by Hubspot, Sidekick, which is now part of their free-to-start sales platform, can very well be dubbed as your personal assistant. It tracks emails when they are sent, opened or read. It also shares the location of the receiver/sender. It can also be used to schedule sending emails at specific times.
Canva helps to create beautiful graphics and social media imagery with the help of great typography and free stock images. Canva gives you access to millions of images, photo filters, free vector icons and shapes, and hundreds of fonts.
43. Inspect by InVision
Inspect is actually a feature of InVision, the design and prototyping tool. Inspect gives you pixel-perfect code with a click, so nothing gets lost in translation. As your design evolves, the code does too. At any point in your product design process, the tool lets you snag the most up-to-date working code for immediate use.
Moreover, Inspect makes design and tech communication a breeze by freeing you of the necessity exporting confusing PDF docs and long email chains.
Any.Do manages projects right from your smartphone, syncs it across web and desktop. Why I like it enough to include yet another to-do app in this list, is that it seamlessly connects to your phone and email apps which I find incredibly useful. Missed a call from your mom, Any.do will remind you to call her back. Got an email? Any.do can help set up a reminder to do something or reply at a later time.
WebSlides is a new open source way to build beautiful presentations that run in your browser. WebSlides are all about telling a story, then sharing it in a beautiful way: hypertext, clean markup, and lovely CSS as narrative elements. Simply choose a demo and customize it in minutes.
46. If No Reply
A ridiculously simple email automation that works from your Gmail. It handles inbound and outbound sales directly from your inbox, lets you setup drip campaigns for new signups via the API and every email is sent from Gmail, just like usual. If that doesn’t make the deal sweet, nothing will.
Beam offers instant voice calling and screen sharing for small remote teams, right from the menu bar of your Mac. It comes fully integrated with your Slack team for easy onboarding, instant voice calling for two-person and group calls up to six people, screen sharing during calls, auto-accept for calling by just click on a person’s icon, and loads more.
A tool that is aimed completely on increasing productivity is how IFTTT should be described. It means “If this, then that”. It integrates several other apps like Pocket or Evernote and it automatically triggers an action based on other actions. Now that saves a lot of time.
Rocketbook is a paper notebook that’s cloud connected and endlessly reusable. It provides a classic pen and paper experience, yet is built for the digital age. Although it feels like a traditional notebook, the notebook is endlessly reusable and connected to all of your favorite cloud services.
When you write using any compatible pen, your writing sticks to the pages like regular paper. But add a drop of water, and the notebook erases like magic.
Have an idea that you want to quickly put it out in the wild and garner some early interest? You’ll need a website and better than coding it up from scratch or buying an HTML theme which will need changes as you quickly test out messaging and copy, is to use a simple drag and drop website builder that creates elegant and mobile friendly websites. That’s where Strinkingly comes in.