Whether you are a solo freelancer, part of a team, or heading up a company with hundreds of employees, your business is only going to be a functional as the process you’ve established. And let’s be honest, there’s always room for improvement. If you’re like us, you’re constantly on the lookout for new tools and methods for increasing efficiency and solving problems – even if they are problems we didn’t know we had.
On the other hand, sometimes a new app will come along that seems amazing on first glance, but when it comes to implementing it into a real-world workflow, it just doesn’t seem to have a place. A tool might boast incredible features and seem really great on paper, but if you don’t actually use it, it might as well not exist.
So, here is a list of some of our favorite tools that we find ourselves using most frequently, which can help your business get and stay on track.
Dropbox and/or Box
Dropbox and Box are two of the biggest cloud storage heavyweights. They are both reliable, feature-rich, easy to use and available on basically every operating system. Pricing and storage capacity will vary depending on your needs, but they are generally comparable in this arena. Countless articles have been written parsing the differences between these two services and their many competitors, weighing the pros and cons in great detail. Our take? Choosing between the two probably comes down to personal preference, or if you’re like us, you may even find yourself using both. If a distinction has to be made, Dropbox is probably better for individuals and small companies for its ease of use and general familiarity. Box was built with business features in mind, and gets the edge for customization and access, especially pertaining to teams and managing users.
Almost everyone who has used a computer in the last twenty years is probably familiar with at least some part of the Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote). Office 365 is the latest version of that suite, which has moved everything to the cloud and now functions on a subscription model. This means you’ll always have the most up-to-date version of your office products, you can install them on any computer as well as any mobile device, and web-versions allow for creating and editing documents on any web browser. For business, the Office 365 subscription also comes with Skype credits, Exchange email, and storage and sharing options for Microsoft’s cloud storage, OneDrive. Not only that, Office 365 also integrates with both Box and Dropbox for easy collaboration on the cloud service of your choice.
Basecamp is a web-based project management tool, and is an absolute must for teams large and small. Trusted by some of the biggest companies in the world for everything from tracking progress on projects, to assigning tasks, to having centralized discussions and sharing files, Basecamp is your company’s hub for getting things done. Think of it like a company-wide to-do list where you can keep track of any number of different projects and teams. Collaboration is easy with Basecamp.
It’s happened to all of us. You end up on a group email with twenty, thirty, forty people, all sending messages over each other, not reading full messages, blowing up your phone for hours or days at a time. The whole thing quickly devolves into chaos, which really isn’t useful to anyone. Slack solves that problem by recognizing that email, while great, is just not the right tool for a lot of our modern business communication. Slack is a group chat tool designed for easy tracking, searching and organization of topics.
Sometimes, you just need to make a list. You might not know where it’s going, or quite how to organize it, or even how long it’s going to get, but you know it needs to happen. This is where Workflowy comes in. Available as a web app and for iOS and Android, Workflowy is a refreshingly simple note-taking and list-making app, with the key feature being infinitely nest-able lists. Especially useful for brainstorming, and for if you are like us, and your lists have a tendency to turn into more and more lists.
Need someone to chat with about ideas to launch or grow your business? We can help strategize and set you up with the right tools to take your business to the next level and help keep you organized while doing so. Contact the 10twelve team today!