My favourite tools and apps for small businesses
Back in June 2019, so nearly four years ago, I wrote a blog on my website on helpful apps for small businesses. The focus was on micro businesses, such as mine, that need to juggle all aspects of running a small business almost single-handedly. I thought I'd take a look at that list and see what's changed. Well, surprisingly, not that much really!
The apps that business owners use obviously vary depending on the type of business, for instance I have no real need for Calendly, but I know many people who use it and wouldn't be without it. I've also tried Asana, OneNote , Evernote, Trello and occasionally use Dropbox, but I steer clear of anything which involves making a to-do list! I think that often it can take up more time keeping them up to date than just getting on and doing the task in hand.
With so many new apps appearing frequently, it can be hard to keep up. There are some that I'm keen to try (Scribe and ChatGPT) but I like to keep life simple - whilst I keep a diary on my phone, I also still have a paper diary, paper planner and a calendar on the wall!
So, here's the list of my favourite tools and apps and they are in no particular order:
Unsplash - a huge library of high-resolution photos. I usually use my own but if you're looking for something specific, this is a good place to look.
Microsoft Office - all the apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
Adobe Reader - Whilst Adobe Acrobat comes at cost, their mobile phone reader is free. It's extremely handy for scanning whilst on the move.
Microsoft Word - if you need to change a PDF into an editable Word document, MS Word will do this for you - for free!
WeTransfer - for sending large documents across the ether. We Transfer handles this well and is free but does have a seven day time limit for opening and downloading any files that have been sent to you.
Toggle - a time management recording system which is useful for recording time spent on individual clients, and also produces clear and concise reports. Free for basics which for me has always been perfectly adequate.
Brightbooks - accounting package, simple and free, with limitations, but I've used it for nearly eight years and it does everything I need.
Zoom, Skype and MS Teams - video conferencing software and pretty much a necessity these days.
Canva - a free to use online graphic design tool, easy to use for creating social media posts, presentations and much more. Free version has limitations but is still incredibly good.
Rocketbook - I've had my Rocket book more than four years now and use it in conjunction with the Rocketbook app. It's a wipe-clean A4 book which can instantly organise your handwritten notes into pre-assigned folders. Clever stuff and very stylish!
So that's it. As you can see, I generally use the free versions but for something like Canva, if you plan on using this a lot for social media posts, it might be worth going for the paid version which will streamline branding and colours etc across all social media. Saves a lot of time!