In a world where social media sites are booming platforms for promotion and business endeavors are widely shared online, having access to tools that help boost productivity at your fingertips is necessary to stay ahead of the competition. Creating a website with a professional aesthetic, tracking your traffic, and staying on top of industry-relevant news are all things that business owners need to prioritize in 2020, and this list of resources will help you do all that and more. Get work done quickly and efficiently and boost your productivity both online and offline with these 10 essential online business tools.
1. Social Media Marketing: Buffer
Manage your promotional social media posts with Buffer, an online tool you can use to schedule social media posts on any platform in advance. Create your post, schedule it, and Buffer will automatically publish it. You can also schedule multiple posts on multiple platforms, saving you the time it takes to post manually and separately on each account. You can sign up and try it for free.
2. Budgeting: Harvest
Harvest is an app that makes it easy to keep track of your hours and expenses as well as create custom invoices that you can record and send to clients with just a few clicks. Once you’ve sent an invoice to a client, you also have the option to allow Harvest to send them reminders to pay their invoices to avoid uncomfortable situations. You can also track detailed schedules and information about your work projects in advance, making it easier to budget and make the project more cost-efficient.
3. Task Management: Swipes
Swipes is both a personal and collaborative task management app with a minimalist design to help you get tasks done in the simplest and least overwhelming way possible. Swipes Personal is a free app that acts as a to-do list, with the option to enable notifications and reminders. It can be downloaded on both your laptop and phone. Your information syncs automatically so that when you make a change on one device it changes on the other as well. Swipes Workspace is a program that can be used alongside your coworkers or employees to create step-by-step plans and goals that everyone can view, edit, and add to.
4. Creating a Distraction-Free Workspace: FocusMe
FocusMe is a popular app and website blocker you can download on your laptop or Android. It helps you save time and get more work done by minimizing distractions like browsing social media or messaging your friends. You can choose which apps you want to block, and the amount of time you’ll lose access to it. This tool is especially useful if social media promotion is a central part of your marketing strategy; although it’s important to stay on top of notifications from your followers, there are times where they can sidetrack you and hinder your workflow. FocusMe can help you tackle your procrastination habit, and you can try it out for free.
5. Web Analytics: Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free online tool that boosts productivity by providing you with information about your visitors and customers. It analyzes the traffic you get on your website or app and tells you where it comes from, whether it’s social media, referrals, SEO, or other methods. It also tracks how many people continue using your site, and how many people lose interest after just one visit. Using this tool, you can compare the amount traffic and customers you have to the amount you had previously, which allows you to compare which one of your marketing strategies generated the best results.
6. Collaboration: Google Docs
Google Docs is a free service that allows multiple people to view and edit the same document so that you and your coworkers can work together in real-time instead of sending projects back and forth between edits. Google Docs also gives you a variety of templates to choose from based on the nature of your project. Google Sheets and Google Slides have the same functions and are a part of the same word processor as Google Docs, but you can use them to create spreadsheets and presentations instead of documents.
7. Creating Timely, Relevant Content: IndustryDive
Keeping up with the trends and recent headlines that are relevant to your industry is especially important if you run an online business. Posting up-to-date content on social media, your blog, or other platforms is vital to draw in clients and keep them interested. IndustryDive allows you to choose from 13 of their outlets to read news articles about specific industries, including waste, utility, HR, construction, and many more.
8. Communication: Slack
Slack is an organized digital workspace that allows you to create separate “teams” where you can send and receive messages and add attachments. You can choose whether you want to keep workspace groups public or make them private, and you may direct message a group member to start a one-on-one conversation. Slack optimizes team communication by providing you with a single space for sharing all of your online work discussions and documents, and you can easily find specific conversations or documents using their Search feature.
9. Proofreading Content: Grammarly
Grammarly is an app that catches your grammar and spelling mistakes and helps you improve your writing skills with weekly reports of your progress. This online tool helps you quickly proofread all of your documents and can be downloaded to Safari to check your emails, social media posts, and website content for grammatical errors that might make your customers question your reputability! It’s completely free, but you can pay to upgrade your membership and get deeper, more detailed edits.
Navigating an online business on your own can be tough, but these apps and tools can give you the push you need to optimize your content and craft. Try them out for yourself and observe how they improve your productivity to determine if they’re of use to you!