Tools of All Trades: Efficient Apps For All Kinds of Businesses


When you’re running a small business, you get used to having a multitude of factors working against you from the get-go. Time, capital, liquidity, human resources, efficiency, productivity and the whims of your chosen market are all just quotidian hurdles that today’s entrepreneurs find themselves vaulting on a daily basis. 

What many don’t realize is that while they may be working hard, they aren’t necessarily working smart. Ever since the first caveman learned that he could use fire to stave off the cold or sharpen rocks to hunt for his food, we’ve grappled with finding the right tools to ensure that we get as much done as possible to ensure that our time and effort are not wasted. 

For some of us, this dilemma is more pressing than others. Ask any plumber and they’ll tell you that they wouldn’t dream of starting a job without a pipe wrench. No self respecting carpenter could get much done armed only with a hacksaw. Yet, in the digital realm, way too many of us are expending unnecessary time and effort wielding tools that simply aren’t adequate to so the job efficiently. 

Whether you’re a realtor looking for the right CRM software to manage their client case or an architect trying to find the right density calculator for building materials, the importance of filling your digital toolbox with the right applications is something that you underestimate at your peril. 

While the application needs of individual businesses vary wildly, there are some that can boost the efficiency and productivity of virtually any enterprise. Let’s look through some now and see how they can benefit you… 

Apps For General Productivity

Evernote 

If you’re still using MS Word for everything, you really need to address the efficiency of your note handling. Evernote allows you to clip text and images from online or other documents, tag them to facilitate easy searches and embed images, audio or video files. 

It’s a great resource for assembling, interrogating and recalling information without having to trawl through dozens or even hundreds of disparate documents. 

The basic version is free although the business version is only $12 per user per year including administrator controls and unlimited storage space for uploads. 

Pocket 

Think of every digital interaction of your day, and every piece of information you come into contact with as someone handing you their business card. Chances are, you’ll want to put that card away somewhere for your perusal later. Pocket is a means to do exactly that, while affording you similar search and recall protocols as Evernote with the added bonus of being able to search and retrieve everything you store offline. 

Wunderlist 

Never has an app been more aptly named. Wunderlist is essentially a high concept to-do list, that enables you to create task lists and disseminate them amongst your workforce. Lists sync automatically so everyone on the team can see when a task has been completed. 

But that’s not all. You can delegate tasks to different users, allocate subtasks, add notes, set deadlines and even schedule reminders for different users. 

The basic version is free while the business version is a very reasonable $4.99 per user per month. 

Apps For Project Management & Collaboration 

Basecamp 

The go-to project management tool for a variety of users, Basecamp is favored for its simple interface and intuitive controls. If you can use any social media platform, using this is a breeze! 

You can invite collaborators, attach files of all kinds, create checklists and even chat within project groups. You can also create workflow calendars and track your project’s progress to ensure productivity among collaborators. 

For simple projects and small teams, it’s the perfect solution although it may lack the flexibility and density of information required for some projects. Basecamp also charges by the project not the user, so $20 a month will get you 10 projects and unlimited users, with various pricing plans all the way up to $150 a month for unlimited projects. 

Trello 

Trello combines Basecamp’s intuitive design with a much more visual “drag ‘n’ drop” interface. It presents the user with a series of lists and different tasks are represented as cards which can be moved from list to list or moved around depending on their completion status. As with Basecamp, you can attach all sorts of files and assign task cards to different users. Team members can also chat with each other within a specific card. 

At $3.75 a month it’s pretty easy on the wallet making it an essential for small and new businesses. 

Asana 

While we favor the visual layout of Trello, it’s not for everybody. Some people work better with checklists and a text based interface and these people will certainly get a lot out of Asana. Asana’s USP is its compatibility with a wide range of other essential tools such as Evernote, Google Drive, Slack, MailChimp, ZenDesk and even Wordpress. 

Asana’s basic version is free and accommodates up to 15 users making it ideal for budget conscious entrepreneurs and smaller enterprises. 

Apps For Customer Relations Management 

Nimble 

If your business is big on social media, then Nimble is a great way to integrate with your clients’ social media profiles. It gleans data from their social profiles and syncs with them meaning that you don’t have to update. In fact, there’s virtually no need for any sort of data entry with Nimble. It even integrates with Gmail, Outlook and Hootsuite. The more you use it, the more it learns about you and prioritizes your relationships. Starting at $15 a month it’s extremely good value to boot. 

Insightly 

Insightly offers two apps for the price of one. It’s a great CRM that also features some excellent project management tools, making it a great integrated solution for small businesses looking to double up on their efficiency. Users can categorize their contacts using tags as well as integrating social network profiles just like in Nimble. It’s also a great tool for lead management, allowing you to macro manage your sales funnel and assign team members to various leads at various points in their pipeline.





I hope you enjoyed this article about the tools of the trade for small businesses and startups including mobile apps.

Interested in more articles about business tools?

Read My Posts:

- 6 Free Apps & Software For Real Estate Agents 

- Reach Out On Reddit For ROI

Published by Michael J Schiemer
Owner of Bootstrap Business
Money - Marketing - Motivation
Digital Marketing | SEO | Social Media
Mike Schiemer Builds Better Business

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