Productivity Tools For Your Small Business or Startup
Posted by Dodd Caldwell · Jun 18, 2013
Here are some great productivity tools that we love and use almost everyday at MoonClerk. All of these productivity tools are either inexpensive or free and can help any startup or small business on a budget. Some of these productivity tools are great for managing communications and others for managing your administrative tasks but they’ll all make you and your team more productive.
7 Productivity Tools That We Use At MoonClerk
HelloSign is one of our favorite productivity tools because it lets you forget about ever printing, signing, scanning, uploading, and emailing a document. To get started, all you have to do is upload a document. You can then type information on the document, such as the date. You can also upload a signature or write your signature on a piece of paper and email it to them. They’ll automatically load that signature on the document and you can place and resize it. When you’re done, enter in an email address and they’ll send it. They offer a pretty robust free plan and given the headaches they remove, they’re one of the best productivity tools on the market.
Evernote is one of the better known productivity tools on that market. It lets you save your notes, photos, articles and pretty much anything else on multiple devices (like your computer, iPhone, iPad, etc.). Everything automatically syncs too. Evernote also has a great search function. Evernote automatically dates every note, so you can search by date. It can also automatically pull the location of where the note was taken. So, if you remember where you were, you can search that way. Also, Evernote uses optical character recognition to search for words within images, notes, webpages, etc. (even handwritten notes). When you search, it’ll find notes with the words you’re searching for and highlight them for you. Evernote includes 60 megabytes of uploads every month in their free plan.
Google Apps is a suite of productivity tools that provides a lot of power for a very small price. One of the most powerful features is email powered by Google Apps. Did you know that Google allows your business to create email addresses using your own domain name for free? Instead of using an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org, you can have email addresses like email@example.com. You’ll need to have your own domain name (web address) and access to your domain registrar (the company you bought it from). We suggest Hover.com for domain registration.
Hipchat is one of the productivity tools we use most often at MoonClerk. HipChat offers real time group chat and instant messaging. Everybody on your team, including those offsite, can keep up-to-date on everything that’s going on in real time. You can upload files to chats and you can search chat history. You can even have separate chat rooms – a room for each individual if you want private conversations, a room to talk about marketing issues, a room to talk about an upcoming event, etc. If you use the @ symbol before someone’s name, it will notify that person that someone’s trying to get in touch with them. Or use “@all” to notify everyone. HipChat is free for teams of 5 or fewer. It’s available online, as a desktop app (both PC & Mac), iPad, iPhone, Android, and through text messaging.
IFTTT give you the ability to connect different online services without having to know how to program. IFTTT stands for “If This Then That” and their slogan is that they put the internet to work for you. You can create “recipes” with different internet services so that certain actions take place. For instance, you say something like “If someone says the phrase Coffeee Subscription on Twitter then send me a text message”. There are a ton of recipe combinations. Another example would be that you could have every photo that is uploaded to your Facebook page automatically emailed to you. The options are pretty wide open.
Dropbox is software that automatically backs up and syncs your files. It’s available on the Dropbox website, as desktop software, and as an iPad, iPhone, and Android app. Any files that you put into Dropbox are automatically backed up online and are automatically synced to all of your devices. You can also have shared folders for your business and determine who has access to these folders. You can drag files into the folder and then everybody has access to them. You can also drag send public links to files and folders. In these cases, the recipient doesn’t even need a Dropbox account. Dropbox’s free account includes 2 gigabytes of storage.
MoonClerk is one productivity tool we can’t leave off. We know we might be a little biased but MoonClerk’s recurring payment system (which also supports one-time payments) can help streamline a wide variety of areas for your business and actually help your office go paperless. MoonClerk helps your business eliminate the need to collect on past due customers (because we automatically charge their cards) and makes it as easy as clicking a button to refund a customer.
Photo by Flickr user psd