12 must-have productivity tools for the small business owner
Your time is precious. As a small business owner, you can’t know or do everything that is required to run your business by yourself. Luckily, there is a lot of great productivity tools out there to help you run your business.
We have gathered some of the best applications and plugins, that can help you perform better and faster.
We have found the 12 best tools within three different categories:
- How to boost your business: Find new ways to easily scale your business
- Personal time management: Manage your time to become more efficient
- Manage your projects: The best ways of managing your project
HubSpot is a CRM platform for small businesses. The system is very popular and is known to be smart, simple and easy. It helps you manage your leads efficiently and maintain the records safely and securely.
Another core feature includes the ability to manage tasks, send unlimited emails, calls, logs and more. HubSpot is also known for its easy integrations with other platforms such as mail clients like MailChimp and WordPress.
Canecto is the easy to read automated web analytics PDF report, that lets you boost conversions. Powered by A.I and Machine Learning they analyze your entire website and your users’ behavior.
It provides unique insights into how you should improve your website according to user behavior and preferences. The great thing about Canecto is that you don’t have to spend time doing any web analytics or looking at tons of data. This is all taken care of.
It tells you exactly how to convert more users by giving actionable recommendations within areas such as User Journey, User Experience, Content and Marketing strategies. The best thing is that it predicts the outcome of all the recommendations. Thereby, you will know how much can be gain from the individual efforts.
Canecto saves you an enormous amount of time, money and wasted effort by calculating what is best for your business.
Clarity by Microsoft is a web analytics product for webmasters. Clarity is designed to help developers understand user behavior at scale, including why users struggle, where they run into issues, and why they abandon a website.
It contains features such as session replays and heatmaps. The app is powered by A.I and Machine Learning.
The next planned feature is called “Interesting sessions” it will highlight the sessions, that stand out from the regular user patterns. This helps you understand if you need to take special actions to solve an issue.
So far the tool is not much different than HotJar, but the A.I path that Microsoft has chosen will open up for some interesting perspectives.
Using Google Adwords is a must for almost any kind of business. The ads allow you to target your potential customers in an easy and cost-effective way.
It is important that you install the tracking script that makes it possible for you to do remarketing. This is a core feature since your customers probably need to be exposed to your brand multiple times before they are ready to make a commitment.
The product is also strong on reporting, and that makes it easy for you to follow up on your campaigns core metrics. You should know that it’s a tool with many options and it will require time and efforts to understand the full scope of your options.
Todoist is a great tool to manage your own time. It makes it possible for you to create different groups of tasks so that you can organize all aspects of your life. It comes with a strong notification feature that lets you know if you are on track with the tasks that are important to you.
Todoist has more than ten million users and syncs well across all platforms (IOS, Android and PC).
The reason for its popularity is because it keeps really good track of your time. On top of that, it is simple to use.
You probably know Evernote already. It was amongst the first personal management tools when it came out when the first smartphones hit the market.
The app helps you capture and manage ideas, projects, memories, and to-do lists in one solution. In other words your digital notebook.
It also lets you write notes, attach documents, scan images, takes voice memos or clip from the web. It works across all platforms, mobile and web and synchronizes your work seamlessly.
Because it is designed to be your digital notebook means that is an “all in” platform. This means that you get the true value of the platform if you use it for the majority of your work.
Rescue time is a unique kind of productivity tool. It monitors how your time in front of your computer is spent.
You get daily e-mail reports that show you critical matrixes of your computer behavior. The level of detail is quite overwhelming. It can categorize your web browsing behavior into different categories, and by doing to letting you know how much time you spend on online shopping.
This concept gives it a different take on your productivity and what you spent your time on. The transparency of the findings is the biggest asset of the application.
Focus Booster is one of the most popular digital timers. It allows you to time sessions and breaks, consecutively. It can track all the sessions you complete. It will automatically create timesheets and reports, allowing you to monitor your productivity.
It is a Pomodoro timer and time tracker rolled into one. This means that it follows a system where you work in 25 minutes intervals and take a 5 minutes to break in between sessions. This helps keep your brain from becoming over-tasked. So you can keep focused for longer.
Slack is a must have tool for everyone working in teams. It is used by more than 8 million people on a daily basis. The strength of the platform is how easily you can share information with your co-workers. As an advanced messenger app, the teams using it need to develop a culture that balance the ease of reaching your co-workers without disturbing them so they lose focus on what they are currently working on.
The platform lets you store documents, search and invite a guest (internal and external to your groups). It’s a highly customizable productivity app that plays well with other platforms. You can upload any kind of documents. The premium version even opens up for video calls.
Zapier enables you to automate tasks between other online services. This makes it possible to share data across platforms and to streamline your processes by removing the need for manual data processing.
The core strength of Zapier is the volume of possible interactions. As a rule of thumb, you can assume that every serious data provider that has data, which makes sense to share, has created a Zap for it (as it is called).
The service starts as a free service, but as soon as you have some data flowing around, they start to bill you (when it is more difficult to say no because of the now build in automation).
MeisterTask is a German made productivity tool that is based upon the Kanban principle. This means that you move a task through a flow from concept to implementation.
You define the steps yourself and can delegate the tasks to different kind of team members. It is very visual, and that makes it easy for everyone to use the platform.
It integrates with other tools such as Slack, Zapier and GitHub. But the real strength of the application it the easy of how teams can work together and get an overview for their collective task load.
Today’s world is driven by visual communication. So you need material that can support your messages if you want your audience to fully understand you. The easiest way to do this is to source photos and illustrations from a web database and this is exactly what Pikwizard.com is.
There are lots of similar services available on the market. What makes Picwizard unique is that the photos are free. They have over 100,000 free images and videos on the site, with 20,000 of those exclusive to them.
They have a lot of pictures of people, which tend to be rare on free stock photo sites. If you check out our site and search for “office” or “meeting”, you will see the quality of images on the website. All of which are free to use without attribution.
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About the author
Per Damgaard Husted