How complex is an Entrepreneur’s Life? The answer itself is complex, as it has to be dug down on what perspective you are asking. Starting from researching over an idea and the respective market scenarios, till executing and convincing people to accept the idea. Every process in this cycle has its own complexities. Now, today – we won’t be focusing on what are the complexities in an entrepreneur’s life, but finding ways or tools which can make it easy. Technology has helped us in many ways and certainly can help an entrepreneur to reduce some burden on oneself. If you are an entrepreneur, these free tools can make your life easier.
We have divided the tools into certain categories based on the complexities faced by an entrepreneur. It could be in organizing tasks or priorities, carrying out meetings, communication, presentations, customer management and much more. Here are the list of 10 free tools that will make your life easy.
An entrepreneur’s life is not balanced, as it’s a mix of professional and personal life with no barriers. So Slack is a complete right tool for all the entrepreneurs to communicate with their team, formally and informally. Slack lets you chat with your team members directly or in a group. It also helps you create channels (few examples like: #marketing-team #general #customer-support) where you can discuss the relevant matters separately. On top of that – it has advanced features like search files, messages; pin important threads in the communication, etc. Another important thing in Slack is, it has integrations with major tools like Google Drive, Dropbox, Zoom, Skype, MailChimp, Survey Monkey, Trello, etc. The tool is free, where you are allowed to use upto 10,000 messages. Once the limit crosses, the past messages will keep on archiving. If you want to prevent that – there is also the pro version of Slack.
Google Calendar simply does not have any replacement yet. It is by far the most popular tool to keep yourself organized by making your work or personal schedules. If you are using Gmail or Google Apps, it simply sends you invitations of meetings over email, tells you who is attending or not. It reminds you of meetings, completing a task or doing some activity. The Google Calendar mobile app syncs the schedules and sends you reminders on phone itself. MeetingBird, a chrome extension is available which can help you access your calendar right inside Gmail.
If you ever wanted JIRA to be free, then Producteev is the answer. It is a complete free project management tool. As an entrepreneur, it is quite difficult to know the progress of work when you are building a product. Producteev helps you monitor the on-going tasks and overall progress of your team. You can add as many number of users and projects as you want and Producteev won’t charge you a penny. While it might not exactly what JIRA is, but it is quite equivalent and helps you manage your projects, tasks and sub-tasks in an organized way. Your team members can access the respective tasks, receive notifications over email and update task details or status of tasks.
Grammarly ensures your messages, documents and social media posts are clear, mistake-free and grammatically correct. As an entrepreneur, you do need a tool which solves your wearies of writing proper emails or preparing right documents for your customers. Available as a chrome add-on, Grammarly will keep a check on your writing while you work on websites, sending messages or writing content. It has been trusted by writers, bloggers, students and business professionals across the world.
Customer engagement is one of the core aspects of your business and you need to keep in constant touch with them. Through newsletters, messages and instant communication methods, you can constantly engage your customers. Newsletters are a great way to reach a mass number of customers. MailChimp is the most popular service for newsletters where it provides professional templates (both plain and HTML templates) and advanced features to track your email campaigns. MailChimp not only facilitates mass email campaigns, but also tells you how you can optimize the campaign to increase open rates.
Automation improves your personal efficiency by 5-10% on everyday basis. Some of the redundant processes are better to be automated which can help you save time. Imagine a scenario – where you want to receive an email to Gmail and automatically save the attachment in the email to your Dropbox account. Would not that be great? Zapier is here to help you do that. As a free tool, it will help you automate your personal tasks through the 2-step Zaps. Zapier can connect you with more than 750 apps, to manage better.
Tracking expenses is not easy and specifically when you are running a business with multiple other priorities. Sometimes due to the time-consuming process, entrepreneurs avoid it as well. Now Expensify is here to save your day by automating the expense tracking in real-time. Expensify helps you scan receipts for you to extract the information and store in the database. You can create expense reports with an overall insight over your expenses.
Staying digitally connected is certainly mandatory when you are trying to drive your business through online engagement. As an entrepreneur and face of your business, you will need stay connected with the audience. But sometimes it’s really difficult to cope with all social networks like Facebook, Twiiter and Instagram, simultaneously. Crowdfire helps you discover content based on your choices and spread it from just one app. It syncs your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts where you can share content at best time and also stay informed of overall insights of your account.
As an entrepreneur, you need to stay updated with the recent news and happenings on the go. But due to the busy schedule you might not get an appropriate time to go through every article or page you should read. Pocket helps you save these posts into your Pocket account or mobile app to read them later. This way you don’t miss out the important posts. Pocket reminds you to read the posts you have saved and also suggests some important posts around the web.
Entrepreneurs are flooded with innovation and ideas every day and to keep track of the ideas your own mind is not enough. Evernote helps to keep these ideas noted and share these ideas when required. You can quickly create a note, keep track of events through quick notes, add to-do list, save notes on the fly, save receipts, save your iOS reminders to your Evernote checklist and much more. Stay organized and stay de-cluttered.
Now you have some of the popular and free tools, we will advise you to put these into use and simplify your life. There are some bonus apps which believe are certainly helpful. Please find them below.
Awesome Screenshot: Helps you take screenshot of your browser or desktop screen where you can scribble or highlight some elements for reference of your team. This is a personal mention as it reduces a lot of burden to highlight some important section in an image of website or add comments to a design, etc.
Freepik: Freepik.com serves with free images, vectors, icons and designs when you need. You would be needing some good images and designs for your upcoming presentations or websites and Freepik can help you with that. FlatIcon.com is also part of the same website group, which provides well designed icons.
Survey Monkey: Create free surveys and questionnaires in minutes to share with your customer and get their feedback in real time.