What interesting business apps that you started using in your business recently do you recommend, and why?
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
Poshly has been actively using Slack, a fun corporate messaging app, a lot lately. It’s a great way for our bi-coastal team and remote team members to communicate and helps us build company culture. Slack has fantastic apps for mobile and desktop so it’s always easy to stay connected.
2. Sprout Social
We’ve been using Sprout Social for growth marketing. It’s great for discovering influencers in our target market and reaching out to them, and for finding conversations relevant to our brand and joining in. We’re really happy with the other social discovery tools too, like cleanup (for finding inactive followers) and suggestions for who to follow.
NextDeadline is a brilliant little app that helps bridge the gap between strategy and implementation. We use values-based business planning to create a one-page plan based around our company’s core values. While this gives us a great high level overview, we’ve found NextDeadline then helps us easily figure out what to focus on next for implementation, based upon our key checkpoints and milestones.
4. Teamwork Project Manager
As a project-based software services company, it is crucial that we are highly efficient in our entire process. We need to effectively track our projects as well as forecast our availability to take on new work. We also need to track hours on a task level for billing purposes. Teamwork Project Manager meets all of these needs.
Sidekick is an awesome app that works with ZinePak’s CRM, HubSpot. Basically, Sidekick tracks email opens and clicks. I can set notifications to get updates in real time when someone opens or clicks on an important email or link.
6. Five Minute Journal
Happiness studies show that starting and ending your day by focusing on things you are thankful for is a great way to get a boost. Five Minute Journal makes this process simple, prompting you to list three things each morning and night that you are proud of or thankful for.
Timely is a useful app to schedule calls. This makes it a lot easier for users that have questions about your product to schedule a call with your team and get their questions answered. Instead of having to contact us and suggesting available times, they can click on a “schedule a call” button and automatically see a calendar with available times for our call.
Rapportive is an awesome Gmail plug that pulls LinkedIn info (company, title, profile picture, location) and displays it right in Gmail. This is helpful when you receive an email from someone you don’t know. Also, our sales team uses Rapportive for client prospecting. Just type a possible email address in the Gmail “To” field; once the person’s profile pops up, you know you’ve got it right.
Our office manager used to spend hours each week standing in line at the post office waiting to send out test packages of new food items. No more! Now he just uses Shyp and it saves us time and money.
I’d heard about Evernote for a long time, but only recently started using it while at a conference this summer. I was surprised at how much easier it was to use than the native iPhone notes app, and I’m still discovering its potential.
We started using 15Five this year. It offers a way for managers to keep in touch with their employees — kind of like a quick “touching base” app. It’s been an incredibly valuable service. It helps our company stay on top of issues, identify bottlenecks early, keep in touch with employees and brainstorm new ideas. 15Five will be an integral part of our engagement strategy going forward.
Intercom is great as it lets you personally communicate with users in your app or website through a little chat bubble that pops up in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. You can manually send messages or automate them to show up based on a user’s actions (like when they first sign up) to give your app that personal feel. We’ve used Intercom to learn a lot about our users.
I was skeptical at first that a music player could make me more productive, but Focus@Will has proven me wrong. It’s like Pandora, but they play music that boosts your concentration and focus through different stations. I often find myself listening to up-tempo and classical. They even have stations for ADHD and rainfall. If you find yourself struggling to focus while working, give them a try.
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