10 Essential Productivity Tools For Startups

October 31, 2016

The importance of productivity on an entrepreneurial scale is - or should be - the highest priority for any leader.

These are a few select tools that I'd recommend for optimizing your daily tasks as a business owner. If you have any you think are missing, let us know in the comment section below!

CRM  

Definition: Customer Relationhip Management system.

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Why You Need It: This is your most efficient way to track data on your current and potential customers, including via social media tracking. 

How Much It Costs: Insightly offers five different packages, ranging from $0 (free!) to $129 per month.

Organization

Definition: An efficient and orderly approach to tasks.

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What It Does For You: Any.do keeps your life at home and at work in order by syncing all of your lists and tasks across all of your devices.

How Much It Costs: The basic account is free, but for a premium subscription, it'll only cost you $26.99 for the year.]

Automation

Definition: The use of mostly automatic features in a system process.

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What It Does For You: If This Then That (IFTTT) is your own scientific formula for just about anything. Create 'reactions' for every action, based upon data from Fitbit, Facebook, Slack, Twitter, et al.

How Much It Costs: IFTTT is free t use. 

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What It Does For You: Zapier connects functions between apps, automating and synchronizing them for you along the way.

How Much It Costs: The basic plan - for personal use - is free. Businesses will pay anywhere from $20 per month to $125 per month, depending on your needs.

Marketing Tools

Definition: Product development and promotional strategies and actions that a company uses to develop and promote its products or services.

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What It Does For You: Hubspot has created a true hub for a sizeable portion of your inbound marketing activities. Their functionality covers about 90% of what other marketing tools do, and although they're not the best at each and every task, it's the best overall because marketing efforts are synced.

How Much It Costs: For their marketing tool, you'll look at spending anywhere from $200 per month to $2,400 per month (based on annual billing) and an additional required onboarding fee starting at $600. 

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What It Does For You: Hotjar let's you see what visitors are looking at and how they are interacting with on your website. This is extremely useful for optimizing your overall web design, user experience, and landing pages.

How Much It Costs: The plans range from free to $89 per month.

Collaboration

Definition: The action of working with someone to produce or create something.

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What It Does For You: Slack is the enterprise messaging system. This is where your team should live and breathe. It is the essential professional chat interface.

How Much It Costs: There's a free trial available that is for an unlimited amount of time, but is limited to functinality. To get everything, you're looking at paying $12.50 per month per user. 

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What It Does For You: Sayonara, Microsoft Office! Google Drive is the not-so-new, proven, collaboration-ready desktop publishing software on the cloud. Honestly, if you're not using Drive, you're either paying too much, wasting too much time, or both. Documents is equivalent to Word, Sheets to Excel, Slides to Powerpoint, and there's more, too. There is also cloud storage available. This is where your files should live.

How Much It Costs: Free for most (up to 15GB), but it ranges from $1.99 per month for 100GB of storage to $299.99 per month for 30TB. Thirty terabytes. That's 30 of those portable external hard-drives from Costco. For G Suite - specifically for organizations - you'll pay $5-$10 per user per month to get business email, full Drive access, advanced insights, unlimited storage, and more.

 

Virtual Receptionist

Definition: A person employed in an office or other establishment to answer the telephone and provide your callers with an experience worthy of your brand.

 

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What It Does For You: Abby Connect does more than just answer your phones. The Abbies are a conduit between your busines and your callers. Whether you're in a meeting, out of town, having a bad day, or waiting for that phone call, our virtual receptionists are fully trained to screen and filter based upon your needs and requests. Never let a call go unanswered and increase your potential revenue, brand image, and reputation for great customer service.

How Much It Costs: For incredible, elite customer experience provided to you and all of your callers, you'll pay anywhere between $249 to $919 per month, depending on how many live virtual receptionist minutes you'll be using. All features  - aside from a handful of special add-ons - are included in all plans.

Life Coach

Definition: A counsel on matters having to do with career and personal challenges. 

 

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What It Does For You: StayFocusd essentially blocks out sites and apps that frequently distract you from actually getting work done. Procrastinate much? Not anymore, not if you choose they're "Nuclear Option" and stay focused on your task at hand alone.

How Much It Costs: The app is currently free without an apparenty premium option.

 

 

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