Today Steph and I want to share a few of the programs we have been using that make our lives easier as small business owners.
First we needed an email client. We wanted something that was free (so no Outlook), Mac friendly (so no eM Client), and intuitive (so no Apple Mail). After a lot of research we finally decided to use Thunderbird and we couldn’t be happier. It meets all of our requirements including the intuitive interface which means we can spend less time trying to figure out how to use our email client and more time working on other aspects of our small business.
Second we needed a calendar application. Though Thunderbird has a builtin calendar we weren’t able to sync our calendars together which a was deal breaker. We also really wanted ample functionality to really stay organized as a team and stay on top of projects and meetings. We researched quite a few traditional calendar apps like Google Calendar and Sunrise but decided against them because we wanted an application created specifically for business optimization. Asana does a fantastic job of meeting and even exceeding our expectations of a calendar app. In Asana everything is broken down from projects into tasks which can be assigned to various team members, all of which can be managed online without the use of email. Also, if you enable it, you can get unicorns randomly flying across your screen when you complete tasks, which is awesome.
Lastly we needed a file sharing program. We wanted to be able to share larger files and images with our web designer Eli as well as with each other. For this there was no trial and error, we just took Eli’s advice and downloaded DropBox. On top of giving us the ability to share large files it has also allowed us to edit and save shared files in real time such as income records and to do lists. DropBox, unlike the rest of the tools we have mentioned, may need to be upgraded for more space at a price in the future; however, the first 2GB are free which we haven’t even used half of, so this has been perfect for us.
We hope these tools will help some of you better organize your small business, they certainly have helped us a lot! If there are any aspects of these programs that you would like us to go more into detail about just let us know!