Growing startups are busy places and that's a good thing, when the busy-ness is truly productive and goal-focused. There are plenty of great, reasonably priced tools available to help you manage your startup's productivity, but finding them on your own would be one more item on your to-do list.
To save you time, we've rounded up some of the best tools for getting the most from yourself and your startup team, even when that team is growing fast.
Asana helps your team brainstorm ideas, manage projects, and more without burying everyone in an avalanche of email chains and follow-up calls. Templates, team pages, and to-do lists are built in, and you can assign responsibilities from within Asana. Asana's free plan offers the basics for up to 15 team members; the premium version starts at $10 per team member per month.
Buffer lets you manage your startup's social media posts in an intuitive way. Schedule posts in bulk on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and, on paid plans, Pinterest. Buffer analytics are presented in an easy-to-scan format, along with easy tools for re-sharing your greatest hits. Buffer's individual plan is free; other plans start at $102 per year.
Canva makes quick work of desktop design tasks like brochures, social media posts, report covers, graphics-heavy documents, and more. Canva offers plenty of images and hundreds of fonts plus drag and drop tools that take the hassle out of making your work look great. Canva is free for teams of up to 10 people and $13 per user per month for larger groups.
CoSchedule is an all-in-one marketing tool that helps your team manage your content marketing calendar, social media shares, overall marketing strategy, and projects with one tool. CoSchedule also offers granular tools like Headline Analyzer and Click to Tweet to optimize your content for SEO and shares. Team plans start at $60 per month.
Elevio delivers end-user support on your site to reduce ticket loads and increase user engagement. By drawing on all your support materials, Elevio makes it easy for your site visitors to find what they need. Elevio also makes it easy for visitors to contact customer support from your site. Plans start at $41 per month.
HARO (Help a Reporter Out) lets you establish yourself and your team as thought leaders in your industry. Simply register with HARO as a source, specify your areas of expertise, and journalists will contact you when they need your insight for a story.
7. Insight Timer
Insight Timer helps you and your team take the mental breaks you need to stay on top of your game and avoid burnout. Insight Timer's app offers more than 4,700 guided meditations on your phone. Some are as short as three minutes so you can focus fast before that big meeting or event. Free.
Jira helps software development teams “ship early and often.” You can use Jira's workflow templates or build your own to plan, track, ship, and improve your products. Free trial, pricing starts at $10 per month.
Lattice makes employee performance and goal management simpler and more consistent. Real-time employee feedback, weekly check-ins, review-cycle tools, and multi-level goal management are part of Lattice's Platform program, which is $8 per month.
Outreach is a popular account-based system for sales communication. Your team can use Outreach to contact prospects and clients quickly and efficiently, decide where to focus their efforts, and integrate their existing tools like Salesforce and Gmail for smarter workflows. Individualized pricing.
RankTrackr lets your SEO team see any form of ranking for your site pages, because it can access any Google data center to get accurate local ranking information, regardless of where your company is based. RankTrackr also lets you see search volume, competitor rankings, historical results, and keyword performance. Plans start at $15.20 per month.
Slack is so well-known and widely used that we almost didn't include it on the list. But if you have remote team members and aren't already using Slack's messaging and document sharing tool, you could see big productivity gains by adopting it. The company cites an average internal email reduction of more than 48% and a 25% average reduction in meetings, among its surveyed clients. Slack for Teams plans range from free to $12.50 per member per month.
Trello is a visual thinker's best friend. The card-based project tracking system lets everyone on your team see project overviews, assets, checklists, and more. Trello instantly syncs on all your devices so you're always seeing the latest information. Trello offers a free plan, a $10 per month per user business plan, and custom enterprise plans.
Upwork connects companies to freelancers in many fields, from animation to voice acting. If you need a designer, writer, developer, or consultant for a short-term project, Upwork lets you post your job, matches you with prospects, and provides a platform for work management and payment. Upwork charges hiring clients a processing fee of 2.75% per payment to freelancers.
Zenefits helps your startup manage HR, compliance, payroll, and benefits administration from a single dashboard. Premium HR tools, auto-updating payroll service, and help from certified HR specialists are included in the Zenefits Platinum plan at $12 per month per employee.
16. HostGator (Bonus)
HostGator web hosting comes with one-click installs of the most popular applications like WordPress and Magento, a drag-and-drop website builder, and 24/7/365 US-based phone support. Plans start as low as $3.48 per month, and TechDay attendees get 50% off with promo techday.
Once you adopt the right productivity apps, you'll have more time to focus on overall business development. And if you need a little help focusing, there are apps to help you succeed with that, too.