Team Collaboration Apps
Podio is a project management tool with endless customization capabilities thanks to its app center. Project management, employee management, status tracking, CRM, and other work right in one place. Need to do something special within Podio? They probably have an app for that. Make it as simple or robust as you’d like.
Price: $0 / mo up to 5 users, $9 / mo / user thereafter (with additional access).
Created by a former FB founder, Asana has quickly become an industry standard for project management software. Very simple to use for small and large companies alike. Their mission is to get rid of email when collaborating on internal projects and they’ve definitely done it. With an amazing user experience, Asana is wonderful to use for any type of team or business.
Price: Free up to 15 Members. $50/mo over 15 members, $100 over 30 members and so on.
3. Workflow Max
Workflow Max is a highly customizable platform for invoices, POs, and job tracking. Its deep integration with Xero makes it a must for most Xero users. Maintain time tracking and project management inside the platform and use robust reporting tools to create any report desired. Workflowmax thrives in professional service firms, and although their design has come into question over the last several years, Xero continues to make strides with the platform.
Price: Starts at $15 / mo for one user all the way up to $199 / mo for unlimited users.
4. Google Apps
Google Apps is an all-in-one office management solution. If you have a Gmail account, you probably have experience with Google Apps: Google Drive, Calendar, Contacts, and the rest of the suite. The power of Google Apps is in allowing teams of people (large and small) to seamlessly collaborate across documents, spreadsheets, and other items in the Google Apps environment. If you need an email client for your new business, we’d suggest just going with Google Apps as a complete solution for you and your office.
Price: $5/user/month or $50/user/year
Hipchat is a messenger app built by the team at Atlassian. A super simple, downloadable application for an in-app experience on your laptop / desktop which connects to just about everything via zapier. Utilize different rooms for different conversations (development, marketing, general, etc). Connect customer support software, mailchimp, twitter, and other accounts to Hipchat to be instantly alerted on new happenings with your business.
The awesome list of available emoticons doesn’t hurt either.
Price: $0 / user / mo or $2 / user / mo for additional functionality like video and screen sharing.
Yammer is more than just communication, it’s essentially social collaboration for any business. It’s become popular across large organizations and companies. Contact co-workers directly, easily share files, AND use hashtags, what’s not to love? Yammer professes to drastically reduce email usage within teams (around 40%), so if you find your team being slowed down by tons of useless of emails, we’d encourage you to check out Yammer.
Price: Start with the basic free offering, or upgrade to the enterprise level Yammer at $3/user.
Similar to Hipchat, Google hangouts is a very simple chat application. While it’s experience is a bit different than Hipchat (individual conversation windows as opposed to one, in-app experience) its ability to play nicely with all other Google products makes it a good option for businesses already using Google Apps. At a low, low price point of free, it’s hard to beat for most small organizations.
Price: Free (with a Google+ profile)
Slack has burst onto the scene in the last year as one of the premier internal messaging services. Its simple and flexible platform has made it the the go-to choice for many teams across any number of devices. The strong search capability and management of uploaded files cut through the clutter that most IM apps carry.
Price: Free, with a paid “Standard Package” for $8 / user / mo
Remember those awkward moments when you’re rushing to hop on a conference call and fumbling around with the conference password? Speek was built to solve that problem. Share your unique Speek URL with participants before the call. All they have to do is click the link and enter their phone number and Speek will bring them into the call.
Speek allows the admin to record the call and gives information in the browser on call participants (who they are, and how often they… speak). Access calls from your phone or desktop.
Price: Initial version is free. Pro & Team versions with additional features are $10 / mo / user.
Skype is still the standard for video calls (even though we prefer Google Hangouts when doable with participants). It’s easy to use and in most cases free. If you’re trying to be a virtual business, having a go-to video service is a must. If you’re looking for something cheap and flexible, Skype is probably the best option.
Price: Free for one-to-one video calls, $9 / mo / user for group video calls, screen sharing, and unlimited calls.
ScreenHero is an early stage startup which bridges the working gap of “showing” how to do something. This application acts as if you have two (or more) mice and keyboards connected to the same computer; but the team members can build on each other while in different parts of the world. Imperative for digital client relationships, distributed teams, and pair programming, we’re excited about seeing ScreenHero grow.
Price: Free (for now)
Are we biased on this one? You betcha. Sqrl fills the only void we had in our daily work flow. With all the great tools, our team was still buried in email and other communication platforms with clients. Onboarding, emails, and requests became a blurred line of misery, and Sqrl was built to automate a large portion of our external communication.
We lovingly refer to Sqrl as a “client request engine” solving the ever elusive “bulleted email problem.” Setup some reusable templates and put your onboarding or on-going work on auto-pilot. Never worry about having to follow up again with Sqrl.
Price: Free version with basic functionality and a premium account for $10 / mo / user.
Practice Ignition is a great tool for client engagement and re-engagement. Designed by a former Aussie accountant, it takes the administrational burden out of contract acceptance. Quickly get clients signed up for your services and reduce redundancies with the integrations into Xero & Workflow Max.
Price: Free for the first 25 engaged clients, all the way up to $899 / mo for those with 1501-3000 engaged clients.
14. Quote Roller
This is some of the best proposal software we’ve ever seen. Quote Roller allows professionals to easily deliver custom proposals while giving insight into potential client activities (opens and views). Clients can accept proposals on the fly with this beautiful and easy to use software.
Price: With an annual subscription users can pay for a range of packages starting at $9.99 / user / mo all the way up to $99 / mo for up to 8 users.
Accounting Procedures Apps
When it comes to managing your account payables, receivables and invoices, this is the software to have. Aimed primarily at small to mid-sized businesses, it simplifies and streamlines the process. Receiving, routing and paying invoices all are sent electronically, while Bill.com provides a complete audit trail along the way.
Price: Essentials level starts at $19 / mo per user with packages ranging in features leading up to a $49 / mo /user with customizable levels available above that.
ZenPayroll has set out to take the pain, shitty customer service, and confusion out of payroll. Their tag line is “The easiest way to pay your employees” and we think they’ve done it. Adding and managing employees is simpler than any other payroll software we’ve ever seen and you don’t have to pay extra for the less than great service from traditional companies like Paychex or ADP.
ZenPayroll is gaining traction, making themselves the platform of choice for internet businesses. With their integrations into online accounting services like Xero and time management platforms like T-Sheets it’s hard to see how they’ll fail.
Price: $25 + $4 for the first 10 employees and $2 per person thereafter
Expensify is the Tylenol for the expense reporting process-headache. By importing receipts from your smartphone, it makes generating expenses (or matching expenses imported from your credit card) a piece of cake. Letting you get repaid, not only quickly, but easily. Integrated with Quickbooks, Xero, Netsuite, Dynamics, Sales Force and Financial Force, Expensify gives you, as they say, “Reports that don’t suck!”
Price: 30 day free trial, $5 / user for the basic team package, $9 / user for the corporate package and an enterprise package available as well.
If, without a coffee, you can only get through 3 words of the over complicated sales tax code before falling asleep, then this software is a must. It creates an array of solutions for transactions, tax compliance, and reporting all within a system that is easy to maintain. Avalara offers an assortment of different tools that automate sales tax compliance and with their long list of integrations there’s no need to bounce around programs.
Price: TrustFile is free, other products vary based on volume, needs, etc…
19. Receipt Bank
Another player on the expense reporting field (or “pitch”, given their HQ in London) that gives you a hassle free way to convert your receipts and invoices into data your company can use with ease. A Xero Add-On Award Winner in 2013, Receipt Bank takes that extra step by sending the information immediately to the person (or software) that needs it.
Price: Free for the base plan all the way up to 190 pounds with increased functionality and multiple users.
Fathom is for accountants who want to take their services to the next level and in less time. Fathom has developed an easy to use software which extracts business intelligence from clients’ accounting data and then generates reports and insights from that data. If that in itself doesn’t peak your interest, then the seamless integration with Xero and MYOB should.
Price: Free Trial and then Bronze ($29/Month) through Gold ($14/Month) packages as well as a customized Platinum package.
Cash flow forecasting can be the splinter in your foot after catching one on that unfinished deck that you keep meaning to finish – annoying, painful, and something that just gets worse when you ignore it. Spotlight reporting is the tweezers you need. They offer 4 different apps; reporting, forecasting, dashboard (1 page reports), and multiple organization plan. Any of which helps your business to easily understand forecasting.
Price: Free Trial, and then for $19/month for businesses and $99-$179/month for advisors.
Since stamping a time card has seemed to have gone the way of VHS – time tracking has become much more automated (but that doesn’t mean easy). T-Sheets is a bridge for that gap. They offer a simple-to-use interface which allows employees to track time anywhere, anytime and through any device. It then automatically tracks everything: employees, location, notes, job codes, paid time off, vacation time, and holiday hours.
Price: Free 14 day trial and then $20/month base and an additional $5 per user
Sometimes, simplicity is best. Harvest is the program that only has 8% body fat, giving you what you need, without the added weight of features you have no intention of using. Their laser focus on simplicity means seamless usability, and most importantly, staying out of the way with their simple Chrome widget.
Price: Plans which begin at $12 / month (1-3 users) all the way up to $99/ mo for unlimited business accounts.
For some people, the file management vs. file chaos standoff can feel like being in the ring with Chuck Liddell. That’s where Evernote helps to even the playing field. It gives you the chance to document notes, pictures, to-do lists, audio clips, emails, and any other file you can think of in the cloud. Evernote gives the tools to access all your information when and where you need it. Streamlining file management and allowing you to quickly and easily find what you need without wasting time.
Price: Free (Limited to 60MB/mo) and then $5/month (or $45/year)
Zapier is the E-Harmony for apps, bringing together combinations that you never thought could work together. For example, you can create Zaps that would send an SMS message when you receive an Email, or generate a lead in Sales Force when you get a new entry from Wufoo. By generating these actions, you can streamline efficiency ten-fold.
Price: Free for less than 100 Tasks, $15 / mo for 3,000 zaps per month all the way up to $99 / mo for 50,000 tasks / mo and 125 zaps.
“If this then that,” a term nearly everyone who has worked in Excel is familiar with. Take that same concept and put it towards your applications. IFTTT (pronounced like “gift” without the “g”), gives you the tools to trigger custom actions in other applications. For example, “If I am retweeted on twitter then send me a SMS message”.
When you sign up for a gym and go frequently but never see results, what’s your next step? Hire a personal trainer. If you’re one of those time conscious people but still never seem to have enough hours in the day, what do you do? A lot of people don’t know that there’s a personal time trainer called Rescuetime. Rescuetime offers a detailed report of time spent on applications and websites, all while running quietly in the background of your computer.
Price: Free (for the Lite Version) and $9 per month for the Premium
Found something you really want to read but just don’t have the time right now? You can just throw it in your pocket, an online queue easily accessible from your desktop or mobile device and read it later. Easily tag articles and utilize integrations with Feedly or Buffer for easy “pocketing” and sharing. Pocket is one of those applications that makes you say, “Why didn’t I think of this?”
Price: Free with a premium version for $45 / year.
Feedly takes all of those bookmarked blogs you have in your web browser, and combines them into one application. Feedly has created an interface which allows you to not only browse a multitude of content but also share feeds, blogs, videos and more. In addition, Feedly syncs between multiple devices – so what’s on your computer, is on your iPhone, is also on your tablet. This is our favorite RSS reader since the death of Google Reader (RIP).
Price: Free or $5 / mo for Feedly Pro
Contactually is a CRM built to help you manage contacts, referrals, and leads. The seamless on-boarding of contacts gets users up and running in no time. Proclaiming that their users get “30-40% more referrals” Contactually alerts users on the best times to follow up. Contactually is one of those contact management / CRM systems that was truly made for our modern web-based world with their cross device functionality.
Price: Plans start at $19.99 / mo / user and scale up to an enterprise package of $99.99 / mo / user.
Tout provides templates, important insight, and real-time analytics to your sales team. With Tout track each of your emails to see when a prospect has opened the email, clicked a link, or downloaded an attached file. The insight into actions alone is enough to support the cost, but with the ability to share templates across team members and an “in-email” experience – Tout becomes a must for teams trying to close deals.
Price: $30 for the Professional Edition and $49 for the Team Edition. A customizable enterprise edition available for larger teams as well.
Having trouble bringing relationships to that next level? Well, Relate IQ isn’t exactly a love guru, but when it comes to professional relationships it’s the next best thing. Relate IQ captures all your communication in one place so your team can easily manage next steps. RelateIQ also provides tools and insights aimed at increasing your effectiveness by automatically tracking and analyzing day-to-day interactions and offering up necessary follow-ups. Drive your relationships to that much needed next level of development with Relate IQ.
Price: $49.99 / user / mo for a small team package and $99 per user per month for the business package which includes upgrades like integrations.
You can only squeeze an orange so tight before the juice stops flowing, then in comes the juicer. If your conversations are the orange, then Refresh.io is the juicer, giving you the insights you need to get the most possible out of every conversation. By bringing together hundreds of sources, you can easily prep for sales meetings with Refresh. Everything from around the web (achievements, photos, status updates, events and interests) is all in one place for your sales team to increase their close rates.
Marketing & Social Media
With our first business we became more intelligent about the marketing we needed, and it was crucial to have regular touch points with existing clients and potential clients who just wanted to know more about us. The first step was creating a monthly newsletter and Mailchimp had everything we could possibly need – for free. Drag & drop templates, embeddable signup forms, and a suite of analytics. Mailchimp is one of the simplest to use email marketing platforms out there.
Price: Start for free with pricing that scales as more subscribers are added to your list.
Buffer is the ADHD medicine for social media. You probably have 4-5 different platforms to worry about but when you factor in timing, frequency, and content, it’s enough to make your head spin. Buffer not only consolidates all that info and but also delivers useful insights and analytics to help with future content decisions. As if that’s not enough, Buffer also nudges users a couple suggestions a day with updates that are similar to the previous postings.
Price: Free, Awesome Plan – $10 / mo, Business Plans from $50 / mo to $150 / mo.
Hubspot is one of the biggest marketing automation platforms in the game. What’s marketing automation software you ask? Think about an all-in-one platform that does everything you could ask for: CRM, analytics, email marketing, landing pages, track links, drip campaigns, A/B test. The possibilities are nearly endless for your marketing team. Even get paired with some pros at Hubspot to help you master your target market. While the price is pretty hefty, Hubspot is great for professionals trying to scale their marketing activities.
Price: Starts at $200 / mo, pro package at $800 / mo, and a enterprise package at $2,400 / mo.
Cloud storage has quickly become the cell phone of business communication; no longer just a nice thing to have, but a necessity for day-to-day operations (We’ve posted the ‘need to know’ about the Cloud before). When it comes to storage on the Cloud, Box not only gives you affordable packages, but an incredible amount of features along with it, particularly the mobile optimization. Box is a more enterprise friendly solution compared to its nearest competitor, Dropbox. With over 90% of the Fortune 500 using Box, cloud storage has clearly permeated the business world.
Price: Start with a free (limited storage) plan, then a $5 / user /mo for up to 10 users, all the way up to a $35 / user / month enterprise plan.
Sometimes time management becomes more management and less time; Smart Vault aims to change that, they take care of the management for you. Smart Vault gives an insane amount of features that gives you everything you could possibly need in a cloud software. It has features like scan to cloud, custom branded client portal, automated email notifications, and an Outlook Plug-In. Throw in the copious amount of app integrations and you’ll find it’s a fantastic option for your cloud storage.
Price: Free Trial – then a basic plan that starts at $29/month for 2 employees, with a Team and a Professional plans.
Dropbox is the king of cloud storage, however primarily in the consumer space. Even if you’re afraid to use Dropbox for your client needs, there’s no reason not to be using it for your personal ones. Why slow down your computer’s HD when you can pay for cheap space with Dropbox? Manage files straight from your desktop and web, and share with ease.
Price: First 2 GB free, $9.99 / mo for 100 GB, with prices scaling as you need more storage.
Have some apps you love that weren’t mentioned on this list? We’d like to hear about some of your favorites!