You know, I’m lazy.
The less I do, the happier I feel. The more tasks I can transfer to somebody else – the better.
However, outsourcing, automating and sitting around won’t get you anywhere. Trust me. I tried.
So how does a lazy one cope with all the hassle that comes when you’re setting up a startup?
The answer is as simple as it can be – by staying super productive. And I think, these productivity tools are the core area to improve on.
Here’s a list for you of the most productivity tools for startup founders, that I could think off as of 2016 August:
Keeping the accurate books: QuickBooks
Yeah, nobody likes accounting, I get it. But this one might just make your life easier. It’s the market leader of such tools and it’s an affordable solution that could be based on your needs. Just select the plan you feel the need for and start calculating. It’s pretty simple to work with and I would go with this one rather than excel sheets any day of the week. Don’t forget that you can easily migrate to Intactt once your startup grows big.
Writing Emails, Blogs, Social Media Messages: Grammarly
I can’t believe how much this helps me during my everyday life. I’ve been using a free version of Grammarly for some time now and it’s one of the first few plugins that I install on my Chrome. I encourage you to at least try it, especially if your first language isn’t English, I guarantee it will make your writing much more productive.
Kicking A** and Taking Notes: Evernote
Another tool that I use on a daily basis. Love the connectivity it delivers. For example, you can start writing a note on your phone and finish it on the laptop just by using an internet browser or a dedicated app. There was a time when I had a dream about how should I pivot one of my businesses and I wrote it down on my phone. In the morning, I couldn’t remember anything, but later that day I noticed I had a new note. It wasn’t groundbreaking, but I’m still happy that I managed to capture that idea. So if a lot of things happen in your mind – try writing them down.
Project Management: Trello
I absolutely love using Trello. SalesChakra uses Trello for everything – content calendar, brainstorming, creating individual task lists and so on. It’s free, fast to setup and you can add others to your board which makes communication much easier than just sending emails back and forth. You can see some examples of use here.
Automated Twitter: IFTTT
I’ve been looking for various ways to optimise the automated process. There was always a missing some piece from my “perfect process”. And I admit it, even using IFTTT isn’t as good as I wanted it to be, but I guess unless I create my own twitter machine, the same will be. However, IFTTT is probably the best I used for such tools. What I do – I pickup RSS feed & attach it to twitter so whenever a new post is posted on my favourite blog it will automatically send a twitter to our followers. I would share the post despite so it makes the life that much easier.
Engaging your Facebook page followers: Post Planner
Probably the only tool I would use if I had to post on Facebook daily. It makes life super easy by offering a content that is already flying with you target audience. You still have to go through everything and schedule those post on your own, but just because it saves time providing relevant content and allowing you to save time browsing BuzzSumo, it gets on the list.
Team Communications: Slack
The reason why some startups fail is the lack of communication during the early phase. But here comes the good old Slack. This little web-based tool lets you create channels, talk privately, send files and perform other regular day-to-day activities. What I like about it is a wide array of other tools it supports. For example, by using IFTTT you can make a use of Slack even if you’re one man army. Have a look at this inspiring example. And even if you are using some of the advanced tools for chatting with your team, it is still handy to have as your secret diary to keep things organised.
Keeping deals organised: Hubspot/Salesforce
I kept this last for a reason. I had so much trouble deciding who to pick. Salesforce – is generally the best CRM you can get as a company with endless potential with their customisable apps from their own app store. However, it is nowhere near as simple as you would expect and that’s what’s making difficult to decide if it’s worth the nomination. And it’s not budget friendly.
However, another contender is the Hubspot CRM – it’s a neat little CRM that can meet all your early needs. We’re currently using Hubspot for a few months and we’re really happy how it’s performing so far. I love the fact that once you add an email it automatically picks up all the information about the company from social media pages. Makes it really simple to create new accounts and move them through your pipeline. Salesforce does that too, but you would require additional plugins. Overall, I would say Hubspot CRM is more than enough if you’re a small startup and I would suggest Salesforce if you’re experiencing an explosive growth and expecting to become an enterprise in the future.
On the final note
There are many more tools available and already covered some sales productivity tools in our previous blog. These overall are the top tools I would use if I have to work as a startup’s CEO. And I previously did use them in my older projects. I would say stay super productive even if you’re a couch potato – it will be quite pleasant once you start optimizing workflow and will start truly doing more by working less.
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by Jonas Matkevicius
Jonas is a marketing specialist at SalesChakra. He is a certified inbound marketer who drives social media engagement and optimizes content for audiences. He loves to write on sales, non profits and entrepreneurship.