When it comes to running an online business, there are so many tools, softwares and apps out there fighting for your attention, and with more and more coming to the market each day, then it can be difficult and downright overwhelming to know which ones you should be using.
The good news is, you probably need a lot less than you think because if you’re implementing too much stuff in your business then you’re going to end up frazzled and not really getting much work done, so in this case, less is definitely more.
Only you will know what kinds of apps your business needs, and it will obviously depend on the type of business you’re running, so whether you need an app for project management, user testing or email marketing, there are many out there to choose from and below we’ve made a list of our top ones for you to try so you can see for yourself. The great thing about all of these is that they can be used across multiple devices so even if you’re on the go, then you can use the app on your phone or tablet when you don’t have your computer with you.
Trello is a project management that has probably changed the lives and businesses of millions thanks to its very user-friendly interface and visual layout that allows you to create a board for every area of your life and business that you need to get something done in and then you can add cards to each board and move them along as you complete them. This is a far more productive way of doing things if you’re someone who needs a visual overview of what you have going on instead of just a linear tool that works down a list that you check off. It also keeps everything organized since the separate boards focus on one category, such as your weekly schedule, your content calendar, or even your next launch plan.
Google Drive is an excellent tool that can basically help you run your entire business from one place. You can handle all your domain’s email, you can create your documents, spreadsheets, PDFs and presentations in there and the great thing is about Google Drive is that it’s cloud based so nothing is going to get lost if the computer suddenly crashes – you won’t lose anything and can just pick back up where you left off. You can sync all your documents across multiple devices, so if you need to edit something on the go that you created on your computer, the Google Drive makes it easy to do this just from using the app.
MailChimp is still one of the most well-known email marketing platforms out there and it’s especially great for those just starting out in business because their free plan allows you to have a list of up to 2000 people and still access key features such as automation and tagging, which helps when you’re doing things like creating sales funnels or need to have different lists for different sub-audiences.
Zapier is a game-changer for online business owners who want to automate everything as much as possible without having to set up different apps all the time. It basically links up all your apps to each other so that when one performs an action such as PayPal getting a payment, it automatically triggers another app like MailChimp to send an email related to that payment – for example when they bought a specific product and you need an email related to that product only to go out and then add them to a specific list.
Canva is an amazing and fun tool for online business owners who want to create things like graphics such as logos, Facebook covers for their business page or any blog graphics they might need. The great thing about Canva is that it’s completely free, so if you’re bootstrapping your business until you can afford to hire a graphic designer to do this stuff for you, then it’s a really useful app to have and you can create images from hundreds of templates and layouts, plus you’ll get access to a full suite of fonts, colors and graphics to play around with so that you can create high-end graphics that match your brand and that you’re proud to show off.
This app is great to have when you want to automate your social media posts and schedule them in bulk to save time. You can add multiple profiles and pages to this app, so if you manage different accounts across different platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, either for yourself or for your clients, then this is most definitely a great way to keep on top of everything and not be on social media all day.
Slack is brilliant app for keeping team and client communication in one place, and within each account you can have multiple channels, so for example if you run an agency, you can have a channel for marketing, one for admin, one for clients and so on. That way there’s no need for loads of back and forth emails and you can easily keep everyone on the same page.
This is a video conferencing app that allows you to host meetings with multiple people and even do webinars if you’re running a launch, for example. It’s a very easy and user-friendly platform that comes with lots of cool features and extras if you want to use them such as screensharing and automatic recording that you can use if you want to keep your training or copies of your meetings for another purpose.
Many social media scheduling tools won’t allow, or will at least limit how you can automate Instagram posts from their apps, so Later is the one that you’ll be using if you’re looking to schedule and automate Instagram and it also comes with other useful features such as filters that you can use to ensure you’re keeping your posts consistent with your brand.