By Carl Heaton

Running a startup is not easy.

The pandemic hasn’t been making things easier, either. Perhaps the biggest challenge of running a business in these trying times is getting excellent, free tools and apps to get a ton of things done.

I know that everyone struggles with keeping things organized and just maximizing efficiency with work.

I give you ten powerful apps that will:

  • Help you set meetings in a snap.
  • Teach you how to use AI with no coding skills.
  • Allow you to join any number of meetings with zero note-taking.

And we’re just getting started!

1. Codex

Codex website

OpenAI’s Codex is a brand-new ML tool that converts your English text into actual code. Professional programmers can use Codex to speed up their work, while inexperienced programmers can learn how to code.

Review

The OpenAI Codex can be considered a programming model with general uses. This means Codex may be used for almost any programming task.

OpenAI states that they’ve successfully used it for explaining code, transplitation, and even refactoring code. 

Usage

If you have staff who need to learn how to code but have no background, you can use Codex to use natural language to create basic, usable code.

For more advanced coders, they can code without a keyboard. Codex is used for solving problems, coding animation, teaching a program problem-solving skills, and so much more.

Sign up for access to Codex here.

2. SigmaOS

SigmaOS website

SigmaOS is a browser for Macs that boost productivity by making people work better and faster.

Review

SigmaOS differentiates itself from other browsers by adding unique features:

  • Snooze pages reduce distractions while working.
  • New split-screen capability helps you focus on tasks.
  • Workspaces help you organize different clusters of web apps and pages more efficiently.

Usage

The internet is full of distractions.

This is why I think SigmaOS can help you and your team members focus more on daily tasks by giving you an updated browser with productivity features and not just raw speed. But, of course, raw speed isn’t new – Vivaldi and Opera GX are crushing the speed game.

For example, you can sleep pages that have too many notifications (like Slack or Trello). You can also group your bookmarks so that your personal bookmarks are separated from your work-related list/s.

3. Questionwave

Questionwave website

Questionwave is a killer yet super simple app that will allow you to field questions from your audience before a live stream.

Review

Questionwave’s maker, Charles Dairo, says he was inspired by live Q&A sessions held on different platforms. This app solves the problem of wading through simultaneous feeds of questions on various platforms, bringing the host closer to their audience.

Usage

Questionwave will be most beneficial for the person or team responsible for social media management. For example, I would send out the Questionwave link 24 hours before my live stream on Facebook so people can ask me questions. Thus, I would have enough time to prepare for the questions.

4. SERP Preview Tool

The SERP Preview Tool is a highly convenient tool for visualizing your site/page look once indexed and surfaced by Google.

Review

This straightforward SEO tool can help site owners and copywriters in improving their copy. You don’t have to download anything to use the SERP Preview Tool. Visit their site and add your meta description, URL, and page title. This free web tool offers a standard view (desktop and mobile), an image-rich snippet view, and a video-rich snippet. You can also add a date or a rich snippet with details like price and ratings.

Usage

Visual cues rule the internet. When users chance upon your site/page link, all they can see is the page title and the meta description. When was the last time you checked these elements?

You need to have a granular approach to optimizing pages. First, perform initial visual testing of your page titles and meta descriptions using the SERP Preview Tool. You might be surprised as to what tiny tweaks can do!

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5. Framestack

Framestack Website

While not exactly an app, Framestack is an excellent collection of libraries and frameworks that contain essential tools for getting projects off the ground. The goal of the collection is to reduce hit-and-miss and improve the convenience of coding.

Review

Framestack’s creator made the library open-source so that you can find the source code on Github. Everyone is encouraged to contribute to the project. Framestack’s tools are beneficial for improving site design and user experience.

Usage

Framestack can help startups in several ways. It’s essentially a library of tools, so you have to pick and match. For example, you can use Sheet2Site to build a site quickly with just Google Sheets. Gamemaker Studio is a great way to get started on your first game project. If you need to develop a native mobile app, use React Native, which utilizes JavaScript and React. So many ways to build and get a new project started!

6. Storyblok V2

Storyblok Website

Good old Storyblok is getting an upgrade. If you’re looking for a visual editor with diverse applications, Storyblok (and Storyblok V2) are excellent picks.

Review

While everyone is familiar with WordPress, Storyblok is useful for creating great content experiences across multiple platforms, from different screens to corporate websites. Storyblok is designed with headless architecture in mind and doesn’t require the user to have any coding skills.

Usage

The most significant advantage of Storyblok is that it provides an alternative to people who feel limited by WordPress and other platforms.
For example, if you need to repurpose content for another platform, you can efficiently perform the content revamp in the Storyblok environment. The platform also has dedicated infrastructure in Mainland China and a custom domain to distribute your content.

Scott from LevelUpTuts gives Storyblok a try

7. Post-a-day

Post-a-day

Post-a-day is an upcoming service that provides subscribers with one branded social media post every day.

Review

While not exactly an app or platform like Questionwave, I think the concept is interesting because it helps reduce your social media duties. Furthermore, once Post-a-day goes live, it has the potential to expand to something more expansive and even more helpful to startups.

Usage

Does social media befuddle you? Do you struggle with creating short social media posts? Then services like Post-a-day are perfect for your startup. While the maker has not revealed the pricing system, this service is likely to be free of charge for some time before they even start charging anything for one post per subscriber. It would be interesting to see how they will create new content daily and sustain the quality in the long term.
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8. Synth

Synth Website

The makers of Synth call it ‘your second brain for audio.’ It’s a groundbreaking AI app that might turn things around for us during the pandemic.

Review

Synth can sound intimidating because AI powers it from the get-go, and it promises to be your ‘second brain.’

But wait – it works exceptionally well for everyone!

Synth uses machine learning, AI, and audio recognition to transcribe audio to text. Speech recognition technology has advanced dramatically in the past two decades, and it has now reached the point where software can accurately translate speech to readable words.

Usage

Synth has two considerable contributions to fully engaged people with many creative endeavors (or their new startup). First, it can summarize prerecorded videos, live streams, and online meetings, and it can also transcribe the audio as it is generated online.

So, for example, you can have a three-hour meeting, and you have to focus on the meeting. There is no need to take notes anymore. On the other hand, if you go through five hours or more of meetings and even online lectures throughout the day, Synth can also summarize information from those meetings.

9. Neuton.AI

Neuton.ai Website

Is it possible to use artificial intelligence and machine learning even if you are not a data scientist? Apparently, yes. Neuton.AI has made it possible with their patented software.

Review

Neuton.AI is a powerful AI/ML tool used for analyzing datasets with what the maker calls “selective learning.” The AI saves learning time by connecting with samples within the given dataset.

While setting up Neuton.AI requires some administrative skills related to AI and neural networks, the maker has done everything possible to make the workflow easy to use and understand for non-coding folks.

Usage

You can use Neuton.AI for validating datasets and performing training. If you do not have a validating dataset, the software automatically enables cross-validation. In addition, Neuton.AI provides access to multiple model performance models, from RSMPE, R2, F1, Recall, LogLoss, and so on. Thus, it can be used for feature engineering.

10. TidyCal 2.0

TidyCal Website

Are you tired of endless back and forth emails? TidyCal 2.0 solves this problem by giving both (or all parties) more power to agree on a time to meet and discuss.

Review

Running a startup or a freelance business means you’re going to meet with people – probably every day. TidyCal 2.0 reduces the effort needed to agree on a specific time to meet and discuss only.

Usage

You can send a link to people to add details to up to ten different calendars. Then, link these calendar entries to apps like Office 365, Zapier, Google Meet, and Zoom afterward. It’s fast, easy, and, I should say, more fun than shooting confusing emails. The current version also supports more than 25 languages. Awesome!

Today’s tech tools are getting more and more sophisticated. AI and ML are in everything, and they’re shaping how we learn and even attend Zoom meetings. These developments mean that all startups have to keep abreast of the latest digital marketing, analytics, and all aspects of doing business on the web. Fortunately, you have the choice today to explore new corporate courses – be sure to check out our Web Design Bootcamp, too.

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About The Author

Carl

He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.