Entrepreneurship is full of challenges and opportunities. Trying to balance it all can be overwhelming, especially when you’re on a budget.
Restore some balance by using tools that streamline processes and increase productivity. Here are 15 free online tools which can turn your weaknesses into strengths and save you money, too.
1. Evernote: Capture What’s On Your Mind
Evernote is an online note-taking application, which has a sort of similar set-up like Google Keep and Microsoft OneNote. However, Evernote is one step ahead in the game. It allows you to save notes in any format and share them with anyone you want.
Once you’ve completed the setup process, you can easily access your data from any device since notes are saved on the cloud.
2. Buffer: Post Content on Multiple Social Media Platforms
Social media is a great way to engage your audience. But it’s difficult to maintain a strong presence on different social media platforms without investing a lot of time. With Buffer you can schedule your content sharing on social media ahead of time.
Buffer allows you to manage multiple social media accounts (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest). Using just one dashboard, you can schedule posts, create campaigns, and analyze posts.
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With the help of this online tool, you can attract more people to increase your followers. The basic plan is free, or enjoy the full benefits by upgrading to a premium account.
3. Hootsuite: Manage Multiple Social Media Accounts
Like Buffer, Hootsuite is also used for a similar purpose: managing multiple social media accounts. The free app version allows you to manage five social media accounts, but you can unleash its full potential with the pro version.
With the premium version, you can manage a large number of profiles. For instance, if you have 10 Twitter profiles and 20 Facebook pages to update, Hootsuite can do it efficiently.
Other benefits Hootsuite offers include:
Targeted Messaging. Hootsuite’s dashboard gives you an option to send private messages to your targeted audience.
Analytics. Tracking down campaigns and creating analytical reports are key factors in managing social media. Hootsuite has a dedicated section for analytics, which also work with Facebook Insights and Google Analytics.
4. Slack: Share Files and Communicate With Your Team
Slack is one of the best messaging apps out there for teams. Here are some of its great features:
Integration of Web-Services. Slack has the ability to integrate with other popular web services (e.g. Google Drive, Dropbox, Help Scout).
Search Option. Looking for a specific message? Use a filter and find that message in a snap.
File Sharing. Share files with your entire team by using your computer or any of the integrated services like Dropbox or Google Drive.
Snippets. You can also share code snippet with your team members. Code snippets can be tested and all the information is stored within Slack portal.
Private Messaging. Group chats are just one form of communication Slack offers. It also supports private groups and one-on-one communication.
Mobile and Desktop Version. Slack has both mobile and desktop versions. The mobile interface gives you the freedom to check your messages from anywhere. The layout and functionality, however, is the same for both.
5. Skype: Communicate With Widespread Messaging
Skype is another messaging/communication app that offers a variety of useful features including screen sharing, instant messaging, and group video calls.
Skype to Skype calls are free, but to call a mobile or landline from Skype will cost you. Definitely do your homework first.
6. Redbooth: Online Project Management
Formerly known as Teambox, Redbooth is one of the best online tools for project management and team collaboration. It’s a one stop solution for enterprise messaging, task management, file sharing, voice, and video conferencing.
Let’s review some of its prominent features.
Integration. Integrate with numerous web applications including Google Drive, Outlook, Evernote, SharePoint, Dropbox, and others.
Easy Access. Access its web interface on Windows or stay connected with Android and iOS applications.
Centralized Workspace. Assign tasks to your team members, check the workflow, and share documents and files.
Reporting. Combat team leadership challenges by planning tasks and estimating the completion time.
Effective Communication. Boost productivity with real-time communication. Users can exchange ideas in groups or one-on-one chat.
7. Scraper: Review Competitors’ Activities
Want to keep track of your competitors’ activities? Get Scraper, a simple Chrome extension. It extracts your competitor’s content from their web page, which you can export into an Excel spreadsheet.
The exported data can be used to generate cold email lists, marketing tactics, and content topics.
The free version offers limited data extraction, while the premium version offers full throttle control of data. Designed for beginners, it’s easy to create a sitemap for extracting multiple data types such as images, tables, text, and links.
8. Canva: Design Graphics Using This Simple Tool
Canva is a free tool for creating visual content. It boasts a large number of fonts, images, and templates, plus other graphic elements, which can be used to make infographics, logo design, and custom illustrations.
If you aren’t good at graphic design, Canva is a great tool for getting your feet wet. And if sites like BuzzFeed are using Canva to create images for their posts, you know it has to be good.
9. Launchrock: Acquire Customers Efficiently
For those looking to build their customer acquisition early-on, this free marketing tool fulfills that need. Launchrock has the ability to build a “launching soon” web page, which creates a buzz before the official product launches.
It also offers users the ability to input their email address and sign up for updates prior to launch, too.
10. SurveyMonkey: Conduct Online Surveys & Questionnaires
SurveyMonkey can easily create surveys for customers. Not only are surveys an effective way to engage your audience, they can also be used to collect consumer information.
Here are some notable advantages SurveyMonkey provides:
- It’s User Friendly. Create online surveys effortlessly with simple design elements.
- It Provides a Quick Turnaround. Instant results. No waiting around to find out your customers’ opinions and feedback.
- It Offers Access to Tested Questionnaires. Access to tested and verified questions. This allows even an inexperienced person to create and conduct a result-oriented survey.
- It Provides Precise Reporting. Make the right decisions with precise results and reports.
11. Dashlane: Don’t Forget Another Password
Dashlane is a password manager that allows you to save notes, passwords, official IDs, credit cards, and payment receipts. You can also add phone numbers, addresses, and other personal information, too. All information is stored on cloud and is easily accessible via a master password.
Dashlane has a subtle browser integration that imports passwords from another database. In addition to Windows, it’s available for iOs and Android, too.
Dashlane offers basic and premium versions. The basic plan is free, while the paid version is $20 annually.
12. Google Analytics: Review Turnover, Reports, Analysis
Google Analytics lets you track and analyze how your ads are doing. Here, you can measure your Return-On-Investment (ROI) and check which ad is performing better.
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Source: Google Analytics
This service is user-friendly, quick, and accurate. It shows site statistics plus analyzes visitor engagement and other social aspects of the website.
13. Hiver: Shared Inbox for Support and Sales
Hiver is a corporate tool which allows businesses to transform their Gmail into a help desk platform. You can provide customer support, monitor operations, and manage and increase your sales. It’s a cheap and comprehensive business management solution.
Here’s how it works. There’s a master Gmail account (boss) and shared mailboxes (team members). The master Gmail account contains Gmail labels for assignments. When a support request or sales query comes to your inbox, you (a.k.a. the boss) can share that particular label with a team member and assign them the task.
14. Due: Invoice and Track
Due offers more accuracy than a manual tracking process. The time tracking tool enables you to accurately calculate how much time is spent on each project to create precise invoices. In turn, you’re charging the correct amount, meeting labor law compliance, and determining how your productivity is being affected.
15. MailChimp: Manage Email Marketing
MailChimp is a powerful email marketing tool used by more than 15 million people globally. Features include creating templates for emails, newsletters, etc.
With MailChimp, you can connect to your online store and see how your email campaigns are increasing sales via analytics reports.
Note the free version is only available if you have 2,000 subscribers or less. After that, you’ll need to sign up the paid version.