Ten start up tools entrepreneurs shouldn’t live without!

As an entrepreneur, you’ve chosen one of the most challenging, risky, and rewarding paths to making a living. The freedom you’re allowed when running your own business is unparalleled, since there’s essentially no one telling you what to do. The downside is that when you do need help, you have to find it yourself.

To help prepare you for what lies ahead, here is a list of  tools we think today’s entrepreneur shouldn’t miss. Some are web-based, some aren’t.

  1. Evernote

At its core, Evernote is a note taking app. But it does so much more than that. Got a project you’re working on with others? Evernote makes it super simple to share documents back and forth in a flash. You can include pictures in your notes (and search the text in those pictures!), create notebooks to keep everything organized in a way that makes sense to you and the mobile app for iOS, Android, and Windows have a built-in chat feature to boot! And if you’re Apple junkies like we are, make sure you look for all of the other great apps that integrate directly with Evernote. One of our faves is Scannable because it allows you scan any document using your phone’s camera and quickly add info from scanned business cards directly to your contacts

  1. Canva

Canva will save me hours of time trying to find pictures. You can use Canva for every single project you have like: Blog headers, flyers, images for social media, everything.

Rather than paying a graphic designer for every little thing or spending the hours it takes to Google tutorials for every single step in Adobe Illustrator (Can you imagine?), you can just open Canva and whip them up in a few minutes. Their design tools are super easy to use, featuring tons of image dimensions and pre-made graphics to help you out.

Very little can rival the feeling of satisfaction that results from creating a totally legit graphic without any actual design skills.

  1. Trello

Use Trello and your programmers will love you. It offers the easiest and most collaborative way to organize, visualize, assign and monitor tasks as a team. It follows the Kaban list structure by letting you organize projects and tasks into boards (topics), which are made of lists (task-lists), which in turn are made of cards (tasks). While it’s great for project management, Trello’s multi-purpose: it also works for brainstorming, agenda planning, and any other list-based activities. To make things even better, it operates on a freemium model where the free tier provides all the functionalities a small team would need. Bonus: it integrates with Slack. What more do you need from a project management tool?

  1. Unroll.me

How many unwanted emails do you get every day? Tens? Hundreds? Do you even remember subscribing to that newsletter?? Unroll.me makes it easy to unsubscribe. It sorts through your email and finds all of your subscriptions. Then it shows you a list of all of them so you can unsubscribe with one click. OR, if you want to keep those emails (because someday, you might actually use that 20% off coupon you keep getting from that store you go into once a year), you can “roll up” your emails and Unroll.me will send you one email each day that shows you all of those subscription emails in one place. You get to choose what you actually read and what you ignore or save for another day. You can and should use this for everything.

  1. LastPass

If your brain feels like it’s going to explode if you try to remember even one more password, check out LastPass. This uber secure tool stores every password, login or another bit of sensitive data you have so your brain can take a break. It’s easy to integrate with any web browser so you can easily switch between accounts without having to find that piece of paper you wrote down that password on and then put it somewhere “safe”.

BONUS: Upon request, LastPass will also generate completely random, super secure passwords for you and for a small fee, you can get mobile access, too. Forgetful people, rejoice!

  1. Slack

If you are still using email to communicate with your team, stop that. Slack is hands down the best way to communicate quickly in groups or 1:1, organize discussions by topic (i.e. channels), and have everything in one place so it’s easy to find. It’s unbelievable how much time is freed up when you don’t have to craft an email for each quick sentence exchanged with your team. And of course it comes with a mobile app and integrates with a bunch of other apps that you’re probably already using. It also just rolled out voice and video calls for its premium users.

  1. Calendly

Skip the tedious email back and forths to schedule a good time to meet. Calendly allows you to share your calendar link with whomever you choose and allows those people to book time directly in your calendar. It syncs with all your emails and, on top of avoiding conflicts, you can set up rules for what times people can book. When a meeting is booked, it sends out an automatic invite to both people’s calendars. What I also really like is the feature to create a widget of your calendar and include it, say on your website, to make scheduling product demos easier (it’s what I used on the day100 homepage). The basic features are free, making it perfect for bootstrappers.

 

  1. Grammarly

Are you grammar-challenged? Ever wish you had an editor at your fingertips? Look no further than Grammarly. This browser extension is lightyears beyond your built-in spellchecker because this power partner scans for more than 250 types of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. No one will ever need to know youMake typoos, er…you make typos, because you won’t. Ever again.

  1. Asana

This one is especially valuable if you work with a team that is not always in the same place at the same time. Asana makes it easy to track projects from start to finish. You can assign tasks to members of your team, upload files that need to be shared or reviewed, leave comments for each other and track deadlines and upcoming tasks. If you’re tired of trying to remember who is doing what and struggling to get status updates, you’ll love Asana.

  1. 99designs

There is SO much design work to do when you establish your company. From a logo, to the website design, business cards and promotional materials, 99designs can help. It offers the quality and the artistic creativity of a pro without having to pay the salary of a full-time graphic designer. It works with your budget (logo pricing starts at $299) and you can either run a contest and pick your favorite of over a couple dozen submissions from different designers, or choose a designer with whom to work on a longer-term basis.

 

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