Several days ago I posted about the search for the top tech tools for small businesses and freelancers. I was preparing for a presentation on Top Tech Tools for the Editors’ Association of Canada—BC Branch monthly meeting.
Darren Barefoot pointed me to an amazing and thorough list of the top 100 tech tools.
My presentation was only an hour so I stuck to the top 5 tools that I use every day. They may not be the best tools for you, but they are the ones that work for me. The tools I recommended are:
1. For organization: Basecamp. Basecamp is a project management tool.
It nicely stores all project communications, files and contact information. I use it instead of email for messages related to a project.
2. For calendars: Google Calendar. Google Calendar has all the basic calendar functions you can imagine, but it also let’s you share your calendar with others. You can make parts of it public or private. You can sent event or meeting announcements to others. And you can import other people’ calendar into yours.
For example, my partner James and I need to be able to book client appointments and be able to see when each other is free. Google Calendars lets us manage our own calendars as well as a company calendar.
3. For money management: Bring in the cash with Blinksale. Blinksale is great for service-based businesses who need basic invoicing tools. With Blinksale all your invoices are in one place. You can see what invoices are paid, open and overdue. It integrates with Basecamp so you don’t have to retype all your client contact information. And it let’s you send out invoices and reminders in an easy, simple way.
4. For large emails: YouSendIt.com. YouSendIt is good for file attachments that are too big to send by email. It works especially well for files that are 1-2 GB, which you really should not send via email with most email clients. There is a free YouSendIt service that lets you upload your attachment to the YouSendIt server. YouSendIt then notifies your contact that a file is there waiting to be picked up. It is email, but not email.
5. For productivity: get Harvest. Harvest is how I track my hours. I can see multiple projects and multiple users and export reports on how we are spending our time.
Sometimes you don’t want to know, but when you do, Harvest is a good tool.
If you want to learn more, check out the individual sites or visit Congniview.com for the top 100 list.