At WBNL Coaching, we use and leverage several tools and apps to keep us on track, organized, and collaborating effectively. We have previously recorded and shared our favorites in training tutorials and business tips for our members (Evernote, Dropbox, Getting Things Done, Buffer).
In this week’s WBNL 52 coaching tip, we have compiled a list of some of the most popular and best-ranked tools and apps organized into these major categories:
- ORGANIZATION, COLLABORATION, & COMMUNICATION
- TO DO LISTS, NOTES & TASK MANAGEMENT
- SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
- PROJECT MANAGEMENTInfo current as of August 2016
We recommend and endorse: Top Producer 8iCRM/Software Solution
Top Producer CRM benefits to leverage:
- Desktop & Mobile Version
- Pipeline & Activity Tracking
- Mass Email + Drip Marketing
- Manage Listings & Closings
- Print Marketing & Fulfillment (Letters + Post Cards)
- Contextual Prospecting & Follow-up recommendations
- Action plans for follow-up and communication
ORGANIZATION, COLLABORATION, & COMMUNICATION
https://evernote.com/download/ (Free; Plus $34.99/year; Premium $69.99/year)
Evernote is one of the premier cross-platform note-taking services, allowing users to take and upload notes, pictures, audio and video snippets and organize them into cloud notebooks that can be synced across different devices. Loaded with powerful organization, formatting and sharing options, Evernote is still king even with competitors such as OneNote and Google Keep. The free version lets users upload 60MB worth of content monthly, with paid accounts allowing more options.
- A core app for paperless operations
- Take notes, sync files (Notebooks) across your devices
- Save webpages with the Evernote web clipper
- Share files & folders with clients and colleagues
https://www.dropbox.com (Free; Upgrade $99/yr)
One of the best and most popular services that gave birth to the cloud storage boom, Dropbox is the go-to solution for many people’s cloud storage and sharing needs. At its core, Dropbox is an online storage locker for your files, documents, photos and other data that you can access anywhere (as well as download for offline access). You can also use Dropbox as a way to share files for collaboration, as well as upload new material
https://www.google.com/drive/ (Free; Upgrade via Google Apps for Work (gsuite)
Google’s cloud storage service, Drive serves as a great productivity aid due to its integration with the rest of the Google ecosystem. Users can easily upload and download any file, and efficient file sharing and collaboration features let you easily work on shared projects collaboratively. Easy configuration of sharing settings, folder structure, quick access to recent files and details, and built-in viewing of documents, PDFs, photos and videos make for a versatile cloud storage tool whatever mobile OS you use.
https://slack.com/ (free; Team upgrades starting at $8 per user)
- Slack is a messaging, collaboration and project management app for teams
- Has four pricing tiers, including a robust free one
- Works with other apps (Dropbox, Evernote, Skype, Google Apps, Trello)
Slack takes conventional instant messaging a step further to make a more useful group messaging and coordination tool. Slack covers your IM basics with real-time messaging synced across devices. It also supports file sharing, direct and group messaging tools. In addition, the app features a system of chat channels, allowing you to quickly set up subgroups for task or topic-oriented discussions. Slack archives your communications, allowing you to search through old messages, channels and shared files, and includes integration with a variety of services such as cloud storage, Asana, Zendesk and more. Premium plans provide more features, such as expanded file storage and better app integration.
https://trello.com/ (Free; Teams – $10/mth per user)
- Collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards
- Tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process
- Excellent for project & content management
Trello is a highly customizable digital bulletin board that you can use to set up anything from to do lists, tasks, notes and more. Users create “lists”, which are dynamic containers that can be filled with “cards.” These can be anything from tasks, notes, ideas, pictures and more, that users can then drag and drop up and down the line, or move to other lists. All of this can be shared with other users, with provisions for creating new cards, adding comments, and assigning tasks.
TO DO LISTS, NOTES & TASK MANAGEMENT
Wunderlist – discontinued. Check out this great post from ChamberofCommerce.org: 11 Best Wunderlist Alternatives
http://www.any.do/ Free; $27/year
Any.do is an excellent and feature-packed app for creating to-do lists, reminders, events and other notes for getting things done. Any.do features easy task input, which can be typed in or dictated, complete with a touch interface for easily dragging and dropping tasks into various categories or for marking tasks as accomplished. Reminder notifications bring time sensitive items or events to your attention, and syncing and sharing features let you share tasks and lists with friends, family or colleagues.
https://en.todoist.com/ Free; $29 per year
Collaborative to-do app Todoist works on many devices and syncs seamlessly. One neat productivity feature is that as you check tasks off your list, Todoist keeps track of them and what project they were in, and then generates a productivity report showing how much you’ve completed in each category. For making lists and sharing them among family members or teammates, it’s a great app.
WorkFlowy is a notebook for lists. It’s a surprisingly powerful way to take notes, make lists, collaborate, brainstorm, plan. It uses an outline format with bullets and hashtags to filter and sort your lists.
Google Keep is a surprising contender, but a huge number of you rallied behind it. Not only is it simple, available on the web and for Android (sorry, iOS users), but it’s fast, flexible, and easy to use. At its heart, Keep is a simple syncing notepad that can keep checklists, photos and images, voice notes, and other text notes synchronized across devices and stored in the cloud. It supports time and location-based reminders, in-note photos, and color-coded notes. Everything is stored on the web, it’s easy to use, and if you’re an Android user, it’s practically there for you already—no hassle, and it’s already on your device. There’s no real barrier to entry—no accounts to set up, no lists to import or categories to set up, and so on.
https://buffer.com Free; $102 per year for upgrade
- Buffer is a social media managing and scheduling tool
- Get the Buffer Browser extension to add online content directly to buffer queue
- Available via your desktop and as a mobile APP (iPhone or Android)
- Connect your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ accounts
- New (July 2016) – Instagram remindershttps://buffer.com/instagram
https://hootsuite.com/ Free; from $9.99 per month for Pro
Hootsuite is a social media management system, meaning it’s a one-stop shop for updating Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, and now Instagram, too. Hootsuite helps keep social media managers and small business owners productive by giving them high-level tools for scheduling updates to their social network accounts, monitoring replies and feedback, and much more.
https://feedly.com/i/welcome (Free; Pro and Team paid upgrades)
Why spend hours hopping between different websites tracking down what’s new when you can have the latest stories and articles fed straight to your phone? Feedly is a popular mobile and desktop news reading tools. The mobile app manages to merge the best of multiple interfaces, with a text-only list view for quick browsing through your news feed, and flashier magazine and card-style layouts for a more visual approach. Users can sign up for topical updates from a variety of websites and blogs, or add custom subscriptions from sources like RSS. Articles can be saved in the app (or through Pocket) for offline viewing and shared through a variety of other apps.
IFTTT stands for “if this, then that,” and it’s an online tool you use to create little automations, no coding skills required. For example, you could say, “if there is an upcoming event on my Google Calendar, then send me a text message reminder with the event name, time, and address,” or “If someone tags a photo of me on Facebook, then save a copy of that photo to Dropbox.” The power of IFTTT is how easy it is to use and how many services are supported. Check it out, and start automating your life.
- Sales & Marketing – pipeline, CRM, campaigns, contact manager, forms
- Collaboration tools – chat, email, docs, projects, meetings, storage
- Finance – invoicing, books, expenses
- IT & Help desk
- Mobile apps
- Integrates with Google Apps for Work
Basecamp has a long history as a powerful project management and team coordination tool, and the latest major version, Basecamp 3 delivers tried and true tools, as well as new refinements. The app features threaded messaging and quick messaging with its group Campfire as well as Pings, to-do lists, centralized schedules and document and file storage. New tools include a Clientside mode for quickly getting feedback from clients while keeping your internal group content separate, a notification scheduling system so you don’t get notifications after work hours or during the weekend. It’ll take a bit of setup and costs at least $29 per month for a team, but it’s a powerful, professional tool to work with.
Cloud-based team collaboration, task and project management software.
Asana aims to avoid the hassle of keeping track of multiple email threads by putting your team’s project management and communications all in one place. Rather than coordinating over multiple messy email threads, Asana users can create projects, assign tasks to individuals, set deadlines, comments, requests and more. This way you can easily look up who is supposed to do what, check what’s already been done, share ideas, comments and efficiently communicate with the entire team whether on Android, iOS or in the Web app. You can use Asana and create projects and tasks with teams of up to 15 people for free, with premium tiers increasing this cap and unlocking more organizational tools.
Smartsheet is an intuitive online project management tool enabling teams to increase productivity using cloud, collaboration, & mobile technologies.
- Project management
- Sales pipeline
- Task management
- Gantt Charts