As a business owner, I am always looking for cool new tools to help me to be more productive and get a little bit more time back to do the things that help my business grow and prosper. Getting a little extra time to spend with the family is always great to! Most tools I have found usually add more complications and disappoint. Not this list of 12 awesome tools

From payroll to project management to insurance, accounting to cap tables, communication to documentation, my current working list (below) will have any manager, operations guru, or entrepreneur empowered to do business better, faster, and stronger.

Please, beg, borrow, and steal these so that you can get back to what you love doing—because chances are, it isn’t sitting in meetings or on the phone with your company’s insurance provider, or even spending your whole day putting together the onboarding paper work for your great new hire. 

Share these tools and please let me know what awesome tools you use, that make your life or business better, so that I can share them with others.

For Meetings

1. Calendly

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If you tend to protect your schedule, you’ll love Calendly.

Calendly allows people to schedule appointments with you based on the parameters you’ve set up (example, only between 10 AM and 5 PM in your time zone or never on Friday afternoons). It’s like your own personal calendar gatekeeper, just without the bathroom and coffe breaks.

2. UberConference


There are plenty of conference call apps and software out there, but UberConference is pretty much the easiest and best. It sets up the conference line for you, allows you to call in from either a phone or computer without a PIN, allows for easy recording and retrieval, and even calls you when your meeting starts if you’d like it to.  Great feature for those of us who never can quite remember the meeting time and are constantly late. 

3. Do

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Never sit in a pointless meeting again. Besides being an awesome visual meeting planner, Do helps your meetings turn into results by converting meeting points into specific task lists (So that you can check it later and follow up ). It also allows you to send out automatic meeting summaries after the fact with the one click of a button!

For Managing Contacts

4. Evercontact


Think of this app as your virtual email assistant: It scrapes signature blocks from your emails and then automatically adds the contact into to your address book. Meaning: When you get a phone call, you will know who it is, because Evercontact stored it from a previous email exchange.

5. Rapportive

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Purchased two years ago by LinkedIn, this Gmail plugin gives you a social-profile snapshot of whoever you are emailing. No need to hunt down their job title or most recent tweets; Rapportive puts it all right there for you. Rapportive also allows you to add them on most social networks directly from your email dashboard.

For Managing Your Business

6. LivePlan

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When you discover that you will need to put a business plan together the hardest most intimidating part is where do I  start, what do I need to include and how do I get my message accross. If you are building a business, or even if you’re already a few years in, this is the go to app for writing a business plan. In small, prompt-driven chunks, LivePlan walks you through suggested sections and gives you examples, allows you to drag and drop sections (or remove them if not applicable). It’s also cloud-based, so it auto saves avoid a full night of work only to discover it was all lost because nobody remembered to hit save.

What I love the most about LivePlan is that it removes the intimidating “blank white sheet” challenge and the rarely helpful “let me try to repurpose my friend’s business plan from a totally different industry and moment in time.”. You know you’ve done that! 

7. Capshare


This is the go to app for companies in which investments are made, options are issued, and equity is granted. In short, Capshare manages your cap table better than an Excel spreadsheet ever could. It saves headaches as things get more complicated each round and allows you to play out scenarios to see where you would or could stand as a founder, investor, or employee over time. This things program makes an overly complicated subject that could put you in a vegetative state and makes it clear and understandable.

8. Trello


This program is a fantastic way to keep your project on task and keep everyone involved and informed. If you are organizing the buildout of your website, the construction of your dealership or a wedding this program allows you to attach pictures set priorities and include full instructions . Email alerts keep you informed of the progress on each task you have set up. Assign tasks to the person working on an individual project. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this program and use it every day in my business. Best part its free!

9. Teamwork


This creative Project Management tool is really intuitive for all audiences (which, let’s face it, can’t always be said for other Project Management software). It also includes great privacy settings that allow you to control who exactly sees what (e.g., you can hide contact info of contractors from clients even if they’re on the same project); allows you to star projects so you aren’t always looking through a billion options; and has a great mobile app for updating on the go. 

For Outsourcing Your Business Functions

10. Zenefits


Think of Zenefits as your in-house HR and benefits department. The company becomes your “Broker of Record” for health, dental, and vision insurance; it interfaces with your providers and is there to help you navigate the unbelievably unwieldy insurance portals.

Beyond insurance, Zenefits handles any additional benefits you might offer (think 401(k) or pre-tax commuter stipends) and makes it easy for new employees to be onboarded, handling the new hire workflow from offer letter to legal docs. It also manages your company’s PTO, showing employees their accrued vacation and sick day balance, emailing supervisors for approval, and putting approved time off on your company calendar view so everyone can plan around one another.

Best of all, the account reps are super knowledgeable and help make this whole thing just generally awesome and easy.

11. ZenPayroll


If Zenefits is your in-house HR and benefits team, ZenPayroll is your payroll department. The company manages accounts payable for all of your employees. Additionally, it allows your employees to download paystubs, check withholdings, recalibrate deductions if their initial W2 info has changed, and get a friendly email as soon as they are paid. (And Yes ZenPayroll also syncs with Zenefits.)

12. Xero


This company is a great solution for your accounting needs. Specifically, it serves as your invoicing and accounts receivable system, your dashboard for visibility into your bank account balances and cash flow, and a resource for a variety of other bookkeeping needs. For your employees, it’s where they can submit receipts for reimbursement (via a nice mobile app, if they choose) that can then easily be approved by supervisors (and stored for your records!).

 

About The Author

Founder / CEO
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U.S Army Veteran Enjoyed working more than half of my life on acheiving Automotive Industry Excellence. Now Founder and CEO of AutomotoSocial.com an Automotive industry Jobs Social Networking Marketplace.

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