A tool-list to help entrepreneurs optimise their productivity in their startup adventure

Entrepreneurship means to encounter plenty of tools and apps that should increase staff productivity and streamline the development of your business. But how do you improve your time management? What marketing solutions are the most efficient when creating a startup? How do you optimize relationships with your customers?

Today many software and solutions exist to tackle the challenges of startup journeys across multiple departments. It can be tough to choose! HR, Accounting, Communication… Here are some of the most popular and useful productivity tools and apps that might just change your life at work.

Accounting

The Tide platform not only offers business accounts and related banking services, but also a comprehensive set of highly connected admin tools for businesses, notably offering full integration with accounting systems. Using advanced technology, all solutions are designed with SMEs in mind.

Xero is an easy-to-use platform for small businesses that connects entrepreneurs to all things business. The app provides its 2M subscribers with connections to a thriving ecosystem of 800 third-party apps and 200 connections to banks and financial service providers.

Part of the Intuit software suite for accounting and tax professionals, QuickBooks Online is a solution that provides business owners with reliable accounting services giving founders more time to focus on their core business activities.

FreshBooks is designed for entrepreneurs who wish to apply their time and expertise to other people’s problems. The software provides extraordinary customer service and helps companies save time to fully dedicate themselves to their passion and entrepreneurial adventure.

Expensify is a receipt tracking and expense management app that helps you manage company expenses. Whether you’re working for yourself, managing a team, or closing the books for your clients, Expensify helps you ditch the spreadsheet so you have more time to focus on what really matters.

Human Resources

Founded in 2005, Workday delivers financial management, human capital management, and analytics apps for the world’s largest companies, educational institutions, and government agencies.

BambooHR is an intuitive, affordable and cloud-based way for growing companies to manage essential employee information in a personalised Human Resources Information System (HRIS). Its software sets the HR department free to do better work outside of admin and data-protection allowing them and the entire organisation to be more strategic and productive.

Communication and collaboration

Slack is an increasingly ubiquitous hub that brings people, data, and apps together in one place. It is a single platform where people can communicate, collaborate, find and share important information, as well as accessing endless critical apps and services to be able to work at their very best.

Stride helps people who work for themselves to save both time and money. The app provides software and services to help entrepreneurs deal with things like health insurance and tax so they can focus on moving their business forward, faster.

Skype for Business is available anytime and anywhere and provides teams with instant messaging, video and conference calls.

The GoToMeeting app enables users to instantly join, host or manage a video, audio or web meeting from anywhere and any device. It also helps create a meeting space quickly and easily, and to turn online events into engaging experiences.

Fuze is a global cloud communications and collaboration software platform designed for business. With an innovative and consumer-inspired unified experience, Fuze enables a seamless transition between voice, video, messaging, and content sharing.

Zoom helps businesses bring their teams together in a frictionless environment to get more done. This easy, reliable cloud platform enables video, phone, content sharing, and chat and works across mobile devices, desktops, telephones, and room systems.

Qwil Messenger makes chat safer and compliant between staff, clients and partners. The app is a cloud-native chat platform that connects clients and employees of multiple firms and their brands globally. Their mobile and web app powers confidential conversations ensuring each user’s identity is verified & trusted, and their privacy is maintained. The business data generated is protected and hosted in the required GDPR & MiFID II jurisdictions.

Productivity and project management

Created by Microsoft, Office365 is a productivity cloud that combines best-in-class productivity apps with intelligent cloud services and helps you to transform the way you and your teams work.

Generated by Google Cloud, G Suite includes everything you need to be productive, do your best work, and comes together in one package that works seamlessly from any computer, phone or tablet.

Basecamp solves the critical problems that every growing business deals with. It’s the logical, calm and organised way to manage projects and communicate across your company.

Trello is a visual collaboration tool that helps create a shared dashboard for all projects. Trello’s boards, lists and cards enable entrepreneurs and team members to organize and prioritize work and personal lives in a fun, flexible and rewarding way.

Asana helps teams organize and manage all of their work, from small projects to strategic initiatives. Teams and managers rely on Asana to manage everything from company objectives and digital transformation to product launches and marketing campaigns.

monday.com is a cloud-based Work OS, where teams can quickly create workflow apps in to run their processes, projects, and day to day work. Teams shape their workflows and projects with a platform that adapts to shifting needs quickly, liberating workers from laborious manual work, and connecting staff in a collaborative workspace.

Microsoft To Do helps generate lists, tasks & reminders whether you want to increase your productivity, decrease your stress levels, or just free up some headspace. Microsoft To Do makes it easy to plan your day, manage your life and stay on top of the tasks at hand.

ProofHub enables users to stay in control of their projects, remote teams and clients even on the go. It is a SaaS based project management software that fits perfectly in every work culture as it solves four major challenges: planning, collaboration, organization and delivering them on time.

Milanote is an easy tool to organize ideas and projects into visual boards, simplified by a flexible drag and drop interface that let team members arrange things in whatever way makes sense for their project.

Payments and banking

Square believes the economy is better when everyone has access and room to grow, they also believe that no one should be left out because the cost is prohibitive or the technology too complex. Square empowers businesses of all sizes and entrepreneurs to send invoices and grow their business.

The PayPal Here contactless reader and app allow clients to accept Visa, MasterCard and Maestro debit and credit card payments and receive payment via PayPal. The app helps track cash, cheque payments and issue invoices from a smartphone. With no contract, no monthly fees or hidden costs, you can get paid anywhere you do business.

Revolut for Business is on a mission to help their customers (personal and business) improve their financial health, empower them to have more control, and promote financial cohesion across the communities in which the company operates.

Neat offers a stable and secure experience and is built for today’s global economy, where borders are disappearing and it’s easier than ever to start a business. Starting from concept to making the first sale and moving to international expansion, businesses need a financial experience that evolves with them.

Customer Relationship Management

Streak is the only CRM built entirely within your Gmail to help you get things done in the most organised way possible. Whether you want to close more deals, manage partnerships, or track support issues, Streak helps entrepreneurs focus on what matters most to their business without having to leave their inbox.

Insightly helps modern businesses of all sizes build lifelong customer relationships and grow faster than ever before. Insightly’s out of the box capabilities allows companies to tailor their user experience in customer-facing roles. Insightly is easy to onboard and use and can be customised to any industry.

Salesforce is a, or rather the, customer success management platform. Their social and mobile cloud technologies including their flagship sales and CRM applications help companies connect with customers, partners, and employees in entirely new ways.

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Social media: 7 of my favourite tools to create engaging designs

Here’s a series of easy apps, software and tools which I tried and that I hope will help you create all the designs you need for running your social media strategy across channels efficiently.

Since its launch in 2013, Canva has truly changed the way people design. To date, its design tool has attracted over 15M happy users across 190 countries, who have collectively created more than 1B designs. How does it work? Its integrated marketplace provides both free and paid stock photography, fonts, illustrations, and thousands of templates.

Since 2016, Adobe Spark has been an alternative, mobile-friendly solution to using its powerful editing and creation software for free and solve piracy. While Spark remains free to use, Adobe is adding a new paid feature to help SMEs create branded media content. The feature, called Branded Stories, lets users design graphics, web pages, and video stories and can set one consistent template or theme to be present across every piece of media.

Founded in 2012, PicMonkey helps people create standout visuals that make a point, express a view, and leave a lasting impression. Whether you’re making Insta posts, Facebook covers, YouTube thumbnails, web pages, holiday cards, posters or just about anything with a visual, PicMonkey can help. With thousands of graphics and templates, unlimited stock photos and cool features, users can make their creative process enjoyable, inspiring and productive.

Developed by Kaleido, an Austrian-based AI startup, remove.bg was built to make workflows simpler and faster, to foster creativity, rethink photography and design, and to enable others to build the products of the AI Century. By making complicated tech simple the experts aimed to enable everyone to benefit from the recent advances in Visual AI, from individuals to businesses of all sizes.

Headquartered in Vancouver, Lumen5 uses machine learning and AI to help create impactful, engaging videos from existing content so users can make video a regular part of their marketing strategy. The Lumen5 media library gives easy access to millions of photos, video clips, and audio files, to always have the elements needed to create the perfect video.

Multi-awarded design expert Piktochart is an easy-to-use visual communication tool that helps you tell your story whether it’s in the format of a presentation, a report, a banner, or an infographic with the visual impact it deserves. The company aims to pioneer the future of visual storytelling so that anyone can do it and is passionate in delivering stories that are more powerful, more engaging, and more enjoyable when told visually.

Born in San Francisco, Figma is the first professional-grade online tool created specifically for interface design. The design expert helps the entire product team create, test, and ship better designs, faster.