When you’re running a business, there are a dozen balls to juggle and never enough time to get everything done.
Aside from having a personal assistant (we should all be so lucky!), an entrepreneur can make life easier by having some tools that simply get the job done.
Here are some of the tools that I use on a daily basis to run my start-up marketing consulting business. Some of the tools are similar in functionality or have overlapping features but they all deliver good utility and value.
Humin: Once you discover Humin, you will never want to use the iPhone’s phone app again. Humin is a better way to tap into your contact list.
TriggerFox: An iOS app that combines contacts from multiple places (Gmail, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook) and delivers insights based on the people who matter in your networks. Since launching a few months ago, TriggerFox has gone through several iterations that has made it easier to use and more useful.
Refresh: If you want on-the-fly insight into people you’re meeting, this iOS app provides background information, email correspondence, and tools to write notes, connect, email and make introductions.
Tempo: The best calendar tool I have come across (and I have used a bunch), Tempo has a rich set of features that includes insights, conference calling and insights.
Fantastical: This is an easy way to use natural language to schedule calendar meetings. If you want to schedule a meeting for tomorrow, all you need to do is type: “Coffee tomorrow at 1 a.m”, Fantastical does the rest. Since discovering it a few years, Fantastical has been a go-to tool on my laptop and desktop. On the iPhone, I use Tempo to schedule meetings.
Rapportive: A Gmail extension (acquired by LinkedIn), Rapportive displays information about people who send you email – location, job, shared connections. It’s particularly useful to get a quick snapshot about people you don’t know.
Trello: One of the easiest project management tools. Trello uses cards to break down projects into bite-sized chunks. It really makes collaboration much easier.
Pressly: A content curation plan that makes it easy to embed content into Websites and email marketing, as well as standalone Websites. I’m currently using it to collect content for my weekly startup newsletter. Here’s my startup “hub”.
Pocket: If you consume a lot of content, Pocket is an easy way to quickly add it to a reading list. I have a Chrome extension installed, as well as having it integrated into Zite on my iPhone.
Evernote: A super-popular tool to clip and bookmark content, I use Evernote to collect material when doing research for clients. I’m also using it as a reference source for a book that I’m writing about startup storytelling.
Sparrow: An email client and iOS app acquired by Google, Sparrow makes it easy to create and manage multiple inboxes, which is great if you have email accounts on behalf of different clients. The set up process for each account is dead simple, which is great.
Accompli: Having played around with many iOS email apps, I have settled on Accompli. It recently unveiled a new feature that automatically divides your inbox into “Focused” and “Other”. Accompli has a calendar app as well but I use Tempo for calendar activity.
ProsperWorks: A CRM tool built within GMail, ProperWorks recently completed a major update that made it much more user-friendly and accessible. It’s a valuable tool to identify and classify sales leads.
Streak: Another CRM tool for Gmail, Stark has some solid features. It is a snap to identify sales leads and classify them. I like the ability to schedule email and track opens (frequency and time opened). They plan to offer link tracking in the next six months.
Buffer: A tool that makes it easy to schedule social media updates at specific times. Buffer is time-saving productivity tool for people who want to maintain a steady social media presence but don’t have the time actually be on social media all day.
Riffle: A free extension for many social platforms, Riffle puts Twitter profiles on steroids. It quickly delivers a wealth of information (bios, followers, tweets, top hashtags, mentions, most used clients, etc.) about people who appear in your streams.
Momentum: It is not a productivity or business tool but it’s definitely inspiring. Momentum is a Chrome extension that displays a beautiful photograph upon opening a new tab. You can also write down your priority for the day.
What are the tools and apps that drive your entrepreneurial world?
More: One tool that I didn’t mention originally is Canva, which makes it a snap to create graphics for blogs, social media, presentations, etc. Kevin Restivo also mentioned Sunrise, a mobile calendar app.
For start-ups looking to jump-start their marketing, I offer strategic planning, core messaging, product marketing and content development.