The startup community is often known for their resourcefulness and ability to get a lot of things done in a short amount of time. As startup entrepreneurs have to wear many hats to get the tasks done, many may not know that many startup entrepreneurs turn to many tech tools to multiply their capabilities to 110%, 120% or maybe even 150%.
There is much to learn from the startup space entrepreneurs and professionals can implement into their life to get more done. Here are my top 5 tech tools that I use, (The best part is they’re all free… or at least freemium). .
Trello by far is my favourite productivity tool. I learned about it when i was involved with a TEDx conference. It is a virtual bulletin board where you can stick cards to different categories.
It’s usefulness lies with how you use it: At a personal level, it can be used as a personal to do list board or goal setting board where it is very easy to brainstorm (or brain dump) ideas and sort them out to different categories. At a professional level, it can be used as a draft of a business plan or a project management board to keep track of tasks and who’s responsible for each task. It can also be used as a CRM to keep track of leads and its progression down the pipeline.
The nice thing about Trello is that it’s shareable, meaning you can collaborate with team members as you tackle projects. Another useful feature is the email reminder feature where you can set a deadline to each of the cards and you can receive an email reminder which can be useful if you have a lot of deadlines to juggle.
Some degree of onboarding is needed if you are planning on using Trello with team members. If used in a project setting, it is recommended that leaders provide a demo/training for everyone on the team to understand how Trello works so everyone can get into the habit of using it.
You can try out Trello at www.trello.com
2- Google Drive & Google Docs
I have been an avid user of Google Docs and Google Drive since 2011.
Google drive started off as a Google Docs, a cloud based office suite offering users an alternative to MS office with a lot of online features, it later on spun off Google Drive, a cloud based external storage solution.
One of the biggest challenges to startups is document storage. While keeping things on you computers is the path of least resistance, but when you have to collaborate with people on a few documents or need to share files and folders, setting up share networks can be a lot of work especially if you’re not the tech type of person. This is where Google Drive can solve a lot of problems.
A well organised startup will set up a couple folders on the google drive and populate the folders as the startup develops. (Perhaps I’ll go over some organisational best practices in a future article.) I know there are other solutions like Dropbox that startup founders can utilise but I personally prefer Google Drive over DropBox because of the suite of Office Apps offered through Google Docs where multiple people can work on a word doc or excel file at the same time.
3- Streak CRM (For Gmail)
Streak CRM is another tool I use on a daily basis.
Streak CRM turns your Gmail account into a CRM (Client Relationship Manager) where you can assign each of your contacts a label and designate them a location along your pipeline. This is a must if you are in your early stages of your startup and you’re prospecting different investors or potential clients.
Another wonderful feature with StreakCRM is their ability to give you a notification whenever an email you sent was viewed.
You can find out more about StreakCRM at their website.
This is an app you may have on your phone but may not be using it much. Evernote is like a virtual notebook you keep on your phone, laptop and tablet. There are many features to Evernote but even the most basic feature can help make your life easier.
As a blogger, I come up with a lot of blog ideas during the most inconvenient times of the day (eg. While waiting in line) and a pen may not readily available. Evernote solves that problem of needing to record things at those moments and the best part is you can access it from other devices later on.
Like Trello, Evernote items can be tagged a deadline meaning you can get a reminder at a future time helping you recall the item and continue with it.
You can get Evernote from the appstore
As a startup, sometimes you may not have a designer nor the resources of hiring a designer. While some may turn to Photoshop, not everyone may have the patience to understand the complex nature of Photoshop. Canva is a website that allows you to create graphics of all kind from social media posts to google ads completely online without downloading Photoshop or have complex knowledge of design. With hundreds of templates and pictures to choose from, a non graphic person can create a decent ad or social media creative in half an hour.
The best part of canva is, there’s no need to download any software as it’s 100% online!
You can get Canva at www.canva.com
There you have it, five amazing tech tools for startups whether you are at a hackathon event with a pre validated idea (I’ll be writing an article on hackathons in the future) or an early stage startup looking to get started.
Comment below and share what are some of your favourite tools. Do you agree with this list? Are there any tools you feel that should be on this top 5 list?
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