Being a startup founder, you are juggling between different roles and dividing your hours into different departments. Organizing yourself, your startup process and the team are some common challenges you face, where you aim to boost the productivity. At the same time, you will always want to follow an economical process to run your operations.

It’s quite critical for you to adopt methods and tools to improve productivity at your startup where you and your team should learn new ways to do things smartly. There are lots of online apps and tools available which are available for FREE or at very lower prices to start with. Using these apps you can optimize your Project Management, HR and Finance operations effectively.

I am going to list down 15 such apps which have been quite effective to boost the productivity of founders and their teams; and also available in free or community editions with limited access or features.


One of the most commonly used app for team collaboration, Slack has added a coolness to the project development team. Slack not only helps you create teams for different projects, but also allows calling facilities between team members, hash-tagging important conversations as channels, file sharing & archives, easy search of conversations, slack bot for important reminders, integrations with tools like Dropbox, Zoom, Google Calendar, Skype and many more apps.

The FREE edition comes with a 10,000 number of messages for your team and all your team conversations will be archived past 10,000 messages. You can subscribe for the enterprise plans to retrieve your old messages.


An open source project management tool is really a great alternative to tools like JIRA. OpenProject helps with project planning & scheduling, product roadmap and release planning, task management & team collaboration, agile & scrum methodologies, time tracking, cost reporting & budgeting and bug tracking.

The community edition of OpenProject is FREE forever, but you need to install it on yourself in your own server. Cloud and Enterprise versions are also available on a per user per month basis.


A great alternative for Slack, which is completely open source and you can install & run it on your own server. Comes with the Cloud options, Rocket.Chat is free and unlimited where you can email and chat between your team members. Rocket.Chat offers communication and collaboration with team members through team chat, file sharing, video and audio conferencing options.


The best app to organize yours and your team’s tasks and priorities. With an easy to use Trello board, you can organize your lists and tasks of your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way. Irrespective of any domain or vertical, Trello is useful for teams who wants to simplify their tasks management and tracking. Each Trello card provides the options to write details about the tasks, add comments, attachments, labels, checklists and due dates. Trello powers up itself through integrations with platforms like Slack, Google Drive, Github and Evernote.

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A single place to plan your projects, manage and collaborate on your codes, test and deploy them. You can approve code review with pull requests, merge reviewed codes from designated approvers and also add inline comments for every commit. Comes with a cap of 5 users for the FREE edition, where you can have unlimited number of private repositories.

Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM comes with wide variety of features for your sales team, starting from sales pipeline, live chat, single click dialing, social media integration and analytics. Zoho CRM lets to build the workflow to automate your sales process and ensures that each stakeholder adheres to this workflow. Powered now with an advanced conversational AI tool Zia, Zoho CRM provides you the sales assistant for productive sales at your startup.

Zoho CRM is free for 3 users to manage your leads, documents, allow access from mobile app and much more features.


An open source ERP & CRM Solution which comes with huge list of modules for Sales & Marketing, Customer Service, Human Resources, Accounting, Manufacturing, Project Management departments of your startup. Odoo is completely open source and can be customized to your startup needs. One of the leading competitors to conventional ERP solutions like SAP, Oracle ERP, NetSuite etc, Odoo has achieved wide acceptance from companies across the world.

Odoo comes with the Community edition, which is completely FREE, Open Source and can be customizable as per your needs.


Buffer is your marketing automation tool to improve your startup’s marketing efforts on social media, by scheduling posts, analyzing performance and managing all social accounts at one place. Buffer allows adding multiple team members and provide them access permissions to manage your social accounts. Adopted by popular companies like The Seattle Times, Business Insider, and Fortune Magazine, Buffer also helps you to discover content and schedule your posts directly to social platforms.


Want to automate your work? Zapier is the tool which helps you move information automatically between your web apps and let you focus on your important work. Zapier integration helps you links your apps and transfer information between them. Comes with more than 1000 integrations and covers many of the commonly used tools like Gmail, Slack, Dropbox, Google Calendar, Trello, Google Spreadsheets, etc. Zapier is FREE forever with two-step Zaps or workflows.

ALSO READ: 10 Free Tools That Will Make An Entrepreneur’s Life Easy


Want to keep repository of your project documents, videos, audios, images or even code back-ups? Dropbox provides FREE account with 2.5 GB storage where you can store files and collaborate the files with your team members. Dropbox comes with mobile app and web app, allowing you and your team to access files from anywhere.


The fast remote desktop application is a great alternative for tools like Team Viewer. With a quite small size install file, you can download AnyDesk to your system and do one-click setup. Whether you are connecting from office or half way around the world, AnyDesk helps you access your team’s system from remote location instantly by just sharing the AnyDesk ID. It’s completely FREE and available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS and Rasberry Pi.

Just In Mind

If your team is looking for FREE prototyping tools for web and mobile app, check out Just in Mind which lets you define awesome experiences through prototypes and wireframes. Just In Mind does not need any technical skills or coding and allows you to design wireframes for all screens. Packed with UI kits for web, iOS and Android, Just In Mind allows collaboration between team members to ensure consistency and reduce rework.

Amazon SES

Sending emails to your customers to increase engagement is a mandate now and at the same time it is a time-consuming process. Let Amazon SES simplify this for you where you can send marketing emails, notification or transactional emails through an easy quick setup and fire up in one click. Comes with a FREE cap of 62,000 emails per month, Amazon SES ensures high deliverability and provides email metrics. Use Amazon SES in combination with Email Octopus to automate, analyze and optimize your email marketing process.


Do you have any insight on how your mobiles are performing? Fabric allows you to integrate your mobile apps (both iOS and android) and start gathering insight on how your users are using your mobile apps. Fabric allows you to know get insights on user engagement, growth and retention. It comes with tools to know the stability of your apps where you can get insight of how often the app is crashing and in what instances. Fabric also allows to create customized events to track certain activities and gather metrics around them.


During your project cycle or team communication or even during remote collaborations, you need to make quick videos of your applications or screens. RecordIt helps you quickly prepare a screencast of your screens and share with your team through a link. The best thing is RecordIt allows to covert these screencasts into GIFs which can be shared and played in the browser.

Bonus Mention

The community edition of OpenProject is FREE forever, but you need to install it on yourself in your own server. Cloud and Enterprise versions are also available on a per user per month basis. Microsoft Project Online is a alternative for this software.

One of the leading competitors to conventional ERP solutions like SAP, Oracle ERP, NetSuite etc, Odoo has achieved wide acceptance from companies across the world. Last but not the least another alternative tool can be a QuickBooks Enterprise 2020 or 2019.

If you have suggestions about apps which can help a startup to increase their productivity, please send them to us at or comment in the below section.