101 Top Productivity Tools for Startups and Businesses

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There is a wave of entrepreneurship in the business world today. Startups are now a new way of changing business modus operandi, and will hopefully disrupt and innovate productivity and change the way things have been done in a lot of industries that are in need of a shakeup.

Startup companies can come in all forms, but the phrase “startup company” is often associated with high growth, technology and innovation oriented companies. These companies know they have to have focus, dedication and a clear idea of where they want to be heading. Moreover in the fast paced world of startups, it is all about productivity, focus, risk management and team building.

The two sides of Productivity Crayons Words

The two sides of Productivity Crayons Words Photo: Horia Varlan/Creative Commons

IntelligentHQ have put together this 101 list of some of the best tools that you might need in the early stage or in any other stage of your startup. Using the right tools can make a huge difference to management and productivity.

The State of Online Collaboration For Business infographic

The State of Online Collaboration For Business infographic

 

Books that every startup should have close at hand

Most of the things you’ll learn when running a startup will come to you through experience and trial and error. However, its always a good idea to be as prepared as you can, and the following books contain some essential insights into getting a startup company through the first stages and maintaining its success.

1. The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank
2. Rework by 37 Signals
3. Lean Startup by Eric Ries
4. Founders at Work by Jessica Livingsotne
5. The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

Sites to use and bookmark for you business, startup

The following is a list of powerful websites that can help you with your startup. They can be used for news, resources and other ways to increase your performance and business productivity.

1. Quora
2. Hacker News
3. Stack Exchange
4. Stanford University’s Entrepreneurship Corner
5. Linkedin

Tools and websites to help find a domain name

Good domain names are critical for a brand and successful company. Finding a good domain name can be difficult. The good ones are hard to find or are already taken. Here are some tools to help you in your search for the right one.

1. Lean Domain Search ( find a name based on the keyword )
2. Wordoid (helps to create a name that sounds good)
3. Bust a Name (slightly different approach to naming your domain)
4. Name Station (hold a name contest)
5. JustDropped (search for domain names that have recently expired)
6. Word Mixer ( lets you enter up to five words which are mixed up into new words)

Wireframing tools to make sure you create the right web frame and product

Most website designs start with the creation of a wireframe. Choosing the right wireframe software can be a complicated business, depending on your needs.

1. Balsamiq
2. Mocking Bird
3. Jumpchart
4. ProtoShare
5. Lumzy
6. HotGloo

Surveys tools and ways to understand performance

Businesses have lots of questions. Startups have even more. Surveys are an excellent way to get an idea of public opinion.

1. Surveymonkey (Free)
2. Pick-fu A/B test approach to market research (50 responses for $10)
3. Kiss Insights Collect customer feedback on your site
4. Surveygizmo
5. Wofoo

Coming Soon page

A Coming Soon page can help to ensure your startup has a successful launch. Letting people know about your product before it launches will give you a head start, as people are more likely to interact with your company if they’ve heard of it before.

1. Launchrock  Viral lauching soon page (Free)
2. Ooomf Launchrock for mobile
3. Unbounce By far the best software for building landing pages (Free for 1 page)
4. Launch Effect Wordpress theme for viral launches
5. Prefinery  Full beta management system

Sites to promote for beta users

Launching in Beta is a standard method to prevent the upset of an imperfect release. In recent times it’s been utilised as a promotional technique. Below are some good sites to use.

1. Killer Startups
2. Beta List
3. Startup List
4. Younoodle
5. Hacker News

User Testing

The best way to effectively generate valid feedback is through user testing. The below sites provide genuine, unbiased feedback.

1. Usabilla
2. UserTesting
3. Fivesecondtest
4. Startuplift

Pitch Deck

Investors constantly get pitched, so it’s important to catch their attention quickly and engage them by keeping it simple. Here are some sites to help you present your pitch.

1. Slideshare
2. Speakerdeck Slideshare with a nicer look
3. Sliderocket
4. Prezi For more creative visualization

Affordable product demo videos

A demo video is a must for any startup. People prefer video to text and It’s more engaging and easier to consume.

1. Goanimate Create animated videos for free
2. Animoto - Free for up to 30 seconds (or $2.50 p/m)
3. Wyzowl - Product demo videos from $475

Analytics

1. Google Analytics
2. Kissmetrics - Actionable metrics
3. Clicky  Real time analytics

Funding

1.Angel List  (Investor search)
2. Gust (Investor search)
3. Kickstarter (Crowdfunding)
4. Rockethub (Crowdfunding)

More crowdfunding sites here.

Bellow an Infographic about The top 100 accelerator programs in the WORLD and their locations useful for startups and businesses to manage their network and funding.

The top 100 accelerator programs in the WORLD and their locations – Infographic

The top 100 accelerator programs in the WORLD and their locations – Infographic

Outsourcing

Startups outsourcing has become a very attractive option to cut costs and boost efficiency.

1. Odesk General freelance work
2. Elance General freelance work
3. 99designs  Design
4. Crowdspring Design
5. Designcrowd Design

Project management

Startup companies are often so busy working on their product that they don’t have time for effective project management. Here are some sites to help with that.

1. Asana( Free )
2. Trello ( Free )
3. Flow
4. Remember the milk
5. Producteev

Personal Productivity

Sometimes you need to complete a major project, tackle a task you’ve put off, or just knock out a ton of work in one day. These sites will help you manage your workload.

1. pomodoro.me / focusboosterapp - Time tracking (Pomodoro Technique)
2. Wunderlist  To-do-lists
3. Stayfocused  Manage distractions
4. Evernote Get organized
5. Mindmeister  Mindmapping

Social Media

Social media is very important to create your online presence and get your company well known. These sites can be used to manage your various social media platforms efficiently.

1. Buffer Schedule your posts
2. Hootsuite Social media dashboard
3. Tweeriod Determine the best tweeting times
4. If This Then That Auto-manage twitter
5. Pagemodo Facebook page design ($6 p/m)

Infographics

Infographics are useful ways to show complex data and information to people in a very visual way. Keeping it simple and clear is always a must.

1. Piktochart
2. Easelly
3. Infogr.am

Email marketing

1. Madmimi - Great software, best pricing
2. Activecampaign Email and social media
3. Sendgrid
4. Mailchimp  ( Free for up-to 2000 contacts )
5. Campaignmonitor

A/B Testing

1. Visual Website Optimizer  probably the best A/B testing tool
2. Optimizely
3. Google website optimizer (Free)

Livechat

1. Olark.com Probably the best livechat, nice design
2. Snapengage.com
3. Clickdesk.com Best value / $

Cloud storage

1. Google Drive  ( 5GB free )
2. Dropbox ( 2GB free )
3. Box ( 5GB free )

Accounting

1. Wave Accounting( Free )
2. Tradeshift  Free and simple invoicing
3. Xero Accounting ( from $19 p/m )

CRM

1. Pipedrive - Simple, minimalist, easy to use. Best paid option.
2. Base - Free for up to 150 contacts.
3. SugarCRM - Free opensource version
4. Nimble - Social CRM

  • Stephie Daniel

    Great list of productivity tools for organizational purposes. What I believe that the productivity comes into action only with the proper work management and the sort of work management being done up by me is with the help of cloud based task management software from Replicon ( http://www.replicon.com/olp/task-management-software.aspx ) which works pretty well with the right approach to come up with. You can consider including this tool as well in this wonderful list of productivity tools for start ups.

  • Robert Macklyn

    Pretty cool list of tools for managing the productivity for startups and businesses. Its been my pleasure to come across this post as I am pretty much concerned about the productivity rise in terms of the business. And for that I look out to have the best opportunity for the business basically the tools that helps gain the productivity.

    I missed out one tool that I have been using for the sake of business productivity. Its the cloud based task management software from Replicon ( http://www.replicon.com/olp/task-management-software.aspx ). Can we have it in the list mentioned above?