Whether you’re just getting started or already have an established business, whether you’re self-employed, a corporate CEO or a team manager, you will need tools to assist with your daily tasks. A vast panel of software, web applications, apps, etc. have been created to help you work better and be more productive. They help maximize your time, manage your tasks and priorities, communicate more effectively, improve team collaboration on projects, and optimize your communications and your online presence… long story short, they make your life easier!
Some apps are free, though their professional more comprehensive versions are paid. We recommend giving them a try before you buy them. Think free trials!
To begin, here are the top 3 must-have aps according to entrepreneurs:
- Slack: flagship tool for internal communications (and external too). It’s easy-to-use on a mobile and can replace the other usual channels for exchanges (email, Skype, in-house chats, etc.). Discussions can be organized by theme/project, documents can be shared and modified, and notifications can be personalized to stay focused on what’s important. For smaller organizations, the free version is quite sufficient. Paid versions go from €7.50 to €14.50 monthly per user.
- Trello: an online project management tool for organizing tasks lists with your teams. Users can create and share charts, add to-do checklists, assign tasks to employees, etc. You work is continuously synchronized on all devices. Trello can be integrated with other applications (Dropbox, Google Drive, Slack, etc.) and is entirely free.
- Evernote: a popular note-taking and to-do tool, also used to capture and sort all types of content (web pages, blog articles, etc.). You can keep all your notes at your fingertips with Evernote, since it’s compatible with all devices. It’s fast, so you can search documents, notes, etc. efficiently. Three versions: free, €6.99/month and €13.99/month/user.
Aside from these three, there are a number of other tools established entrepreneurs list among the must haves. We’ve done our best to divide them into categories for you:
Organizing your time and your tasks
- Doodle and Calendly, for planning meetings, events, etc.
- Toggl, time tracker, your ally for increased productivity
- Todoist and Wunderlist, for drawing up your to do lists
- Io or Zapier, synchronize your apps and tools, and thus your various tasks
- Freedom, to stop distractions and keep focused!
Keeping yourself informed
- Feedly, an RSS news feed aggregator and must have monitoring tool
- Google Alertes : no more missing hot news online
Managing your projects
- Asana or Workflowy, to stay organized in your projects
- Tom’s Planner, “Gantt’s charts for the rest of us”
Communicating and sharing with your teams
- Zoom and Skype, for your videoconferences
- Front, shared inboxes to avoid an overload of messages
- Dropbox, service for storing and sharing files online
Sustaining and managing your online presence and fueling your community
- WordPress, the most popular tool for easy website and blog creation
- Buffer or Hootsuite, for programming the posting of your messages on social networks
- MailChimp, a must for launching your email campaigns
- Hype Auditor, Social Blade and Google Analytics, for tracking your stats on social media, your website, etc.
- Shopify, for creating your e-commerce
- Google My Business, for creating an attractive business profile to draw in customers
Managing your prospects, clients and sales
- Pipedrive or Sales Machine, for making your sales more efficient
- Docusign, safe and easy solution for electronic signatures
- Intercom or Livechat, interfaces for easier interactions with clients
- Hubspot, free CRM, fast and effective
- Typeform, Google Forms or SurveyMonkey, for all your needs in forms and questionnaires
- Eventbrite, for managing all types of events
Managing your finances
- Quickbooks et Winbooks (available in French or Dutch), online accounting tools, suited to SMEs
- Freshbooks, online invoicing software
- Expensify, for anyone who’s tired of managing their expenses and expense reports
Working on your visuals
- Unsplash and Pexels, bases of freely usable images
- Canva, for finding attractive content or beautifying a presentation
- Tuzzit, platform with many visual and canvas tools
- Adobe Photoshop or the free Pixlr, for editing your photos
Planning and managing your business trips
- Jack & Ferdi, the first “bleisure” app, making your business trips into memorable experiences
- Hotel Tonight, the best last-minute deals on hotels
Relaxing and meditating
- Petit BamBou, free app with a large number of guided meditations
- Insight Timer or Headspace, for meditating and sleeping better
To top off our list, we wanted to talk about paper! It’s true: some of us may never manage to break away from it, be it for our to do lists, brainstorming or simply taking notes. If you classify as old-school, be sure to go for scrap or recycled paper!
Footnote: Our intent was not to be exhaustive with this list and a great many other tools could be perfectly relevant to you and your undertakings. So, what we encourage you to do is work on an objective/need basis and do a quick assessment of 2 or 3 tools (ideally using the free trials) to find the one that’s best for you!
N.B. : nous n’avons pas cherché à être exhaustifs en réalisant cette liste et d’autres outils non repris sur celle-ci pourraient également s’avérer pertinents pour vous et pour vos projets. Ainsi, nous vous encourageons de travailler par objectif/besoin et de faire une analyse plus ou moins approfondie de 2 à 3 outils, de profiter des essais gratuits offerts et d’ensuite décider celui qui vous convient le mieux !
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