Starting a business can be daunting. Limited manpower, finances and time can seriously scupper your plans. Luckily, the software market is saturated with apps and tools designed to help startups, creatives and savvy users. The hard part is choosing the right ones.
As a startup or small business, it is unlikely that you have the time to sit and test all these tools for yourself. So, in support of all the startups, creatives and digital savvy users out there, I have picked out 10 tried and tested apps for you.
Here are the 10 start-up tools that I have selected for this month’s roundup:
Going green has become all the rage in a very short space of time. So has paperless!
Don’t be the only one asking for receipts. Get up-to-date. Get Expensify.
From receipt scanning to reimbursement, Expensify automates every step of the expense management process. All you have to do is load the app and use it to submit your reports.
It is extremely simple and saves a lot of time for reviewing, approving, and reimbursing to employees. No more paperwork, and no more tracking where you have left your last few receipts.
Simply take a photo of the receipt and it inputs everything. It inputs the name of the place the receipt is from, the amount of money, as well as the date. It even transfers your receipts from Thai Baht to US dollars, or from US dollars to British pounds while you are travelling. This is a highlight for me as I am always travelling and converting my money. Everything is automated.
The software itself works well. However, I have found that it doesn’t integrate very well into other applications, and you need to have an Internet connection in order to use it. This being said, clients that are geographically dispersed are easily able to submit reports and receipts.
Their customer support line is pretty weak, but this app definitely holds more pros than cons, as you no longer have to collect receipts and hold onto them (while travelling!) until you are back in the office to scan them.
A similar service as Mailchimp, Botletter connects and engages with your customers via Facebook Messenger instead of emails.
This allows you to interact with your audience on a platform you know they check daily. From sending updates to drip campaigns, this outreach is personal and responsive too, allowing people to subscribe to your botletter right through messenger.
Using Botletter is easy and simple, increasing your chances of sharing your information with potential clients. This is a great tool to increase your engagement with your community, however, I find it rather costly if you have over 3k fans, depending on your budget of course.
Personally, I have tried it and I loved it, but I have watered it down to one message a month due to costs. This all depends on your budget and how much you are willing to send and spend.
With a solitary line of code you can create a branded tool for your website. From there, you can progressively add more lines of code for more complex designs and functionality.
Just in case you are wondering what the point of a responsive “toy” on your website would be, visit the Pts. website for yourself. At the bottom of the page, they have a link to their demos.
I got stuck there for about an hour, playing with all the designs that they have displayed!
Now, imagine that was your website. Imagine visitors were spending longer and clicking more on your pages. It could do wonders for your Google ranking!
The Pts. platform come jam-packed with guides and documentation to get new users started.
On the off chance that you’ve at any point been enticed to attempt your hand at creative coding, this could be a great place to begin. If you are eager to find out more about coding have a look to our WordPress Development Bootcamp
Figma is a web-based collaborative wireframing and interface design tool, available on the web, MacOS and Windows.
Sharing similarities, Figma definitely gives Sketch a run for its money.
It is available as a Chrome extension and works incredibly fast. It has great vector editing capabilities and a team component library, a definite bonus!
I am constantly engaging with my team members while we work on projects together, Figma has become an asset to our team meetings, especially while I travel.
Together we can rapidly prototype our interface solutions and get feedback, without having to juggle multiple apps.
Unlike Sketch, Figma is a free service and accessible to anyone. Operating in live time, multiple people can be working simultaneously on the project, making the design time that much faster. Our team can share projects with each other, comment, and leave notes.
Thanks to Figma, our efficiency has increased and we are able to create many different types of designs and materials for our company and certain clients.
Whether you create websites or apps, UI/UX mockups or prototypes, vector graphics or basic illustration design, Figma will unite you and your team members to create some magic!
If you are a designer, this is a definite go-to. Lists is an open source project, built by designers who want to work more efficiently with real content. This was built by designers for the sake of designers, a community focused on helping each other out.
Lists gathers all the data types you could ever need as a designer, a gallery of real content to populate your mockups, ready to be placed in your design. Imagine having all the types of content you may need to create mockups?
These creators have done a phenomenal job at creating these lists, with the help of their community. I have used them for multiple projects and will continue to do so in the future.
It is so easy and simple to use, with such a wide variety of content. If you need a list, any list, this is the place to be. Need real data for your prototypes? Stay here.
Aimed mainly at those in the sales profession, this app can help pretty much anyone who creates proposals for clients on a daily, or even weekly basis.
Proposify is a design and marketing proposal software that creates and manages beautiful, customised client proposals, and has become a huge timesaver in my life!
I am not in sales, but often create proposal for potential clients. When I came across this time-saving app, I had to try it out.
Compared to creating a proposal in Word, InDesign, or Google Docs, I managed to save at least an hour through Propsify.
Their gallery of easy to use templates with pre-written copy for a variety of services enables more than just a sales team to make use of them. I found it simple and smooth, as I was able to customize them to fit my own personal brand.
I am constantly exporting my files and contracts into PDFs, so this app got a bonus from me as I can easily export a PDF version of my proposal at anytime. Propsify then sends both myself and my client a PDF version with signatures to file after closing.
The best part about this app, by far, is that I don’t have to nag or stalk my client to find out if the proposal was read or even opened. The online link allows me to track my clients viewing so I know which pages they viewed and for how long they spent on each page.
Like anything that is too good to be true, there are often downfalls. Unfortunately, while using Propsify, I found the editor had a few glitches and the text formatting was often lagging. These little glitches are easily forgiven when you realise how much time you are actually saving with this app.
Let’s be honest, we all love capturing moments and taking photos. So much so that the built in cameras on our phones are as competitive as they are in the professional photography industry.
Beyond taking a photo, we love to edit them. Whether it is adding contrast, saturating, or even just cropping and straightening, it has become an ingrained process.
With so many apps offering the same tools to edit photos, how do we choose the right app? We try them all! Which I have done, and I am proud to day, I have met my match.
Handy Photo is so addictive and really fun! The designers put so much effort into the look and feel of the app. Just opening Handy Photo and seeing the tranquil hues of blue, you can’t help but feel calm and at ease, ready to create!
With just the swipe of your fingers you can increase and decrease the intensity of each selected element, with just a few taps your photo comes alive in a vivid, dynamic way.
With multimedia playing such a large part in my own profession, I have tried multiple platforms to edit photos. Handy Photo definitely gives other editing tools a run for their money.
It is sleek, smooth, simple and versatile, with many options to choose from.
A winning feature many apps don’t hold is magic crop. You can reveal parts of the image that are hidden beyond their borders.
Handy Photo has become my go-to, try it out, you won’t be disappointed!
I am in two minds about this app. The fact that we (generally speaking) are so addicted to our phones that we need an app like this is rather frightening.
However, those who are mindlessly and constantly on their phones, all day, and are heavily addicted, this app may shed a little light into your consumed world of apps and social media.
I stumbled upon Anti Social while doing my usual trolling for new and exciting apps and thought it would be interesting to check out where my sneaky addictions lie.
The purpose of this app is to help users monitor their daily activities and interactions, providing comprehensive reports, as well as offering ways to help users battle their addiction.
Using this app is as easy as A, B, C, as it is based on statistics.
Use your phone as you would normally on a day-to-day basis, and the app tracks where you spend most of your time.
Emails, messages, notifications, calls, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, App after App the list is almost endless in todays age.
I was fascinated to see where my addiction lay hidden… Instagram and WhatsApp.
Simply put, this App actually does allow you to find balance in your life, if you allow it to.
Now that I am aware of where most of my attention goes, I can become more conscious of being mindful and setting time aside for apps as opposed to mindlessly trolling the net.
I love that this app gives you weekly reports of your app usage, and is dedicated to helping you spend your time productively.
I LOVE this app. It’s great for brand continuity.
Duotone is rather self-explanatory. In essence, the app turns your photos into beautiful images duotone.
I love that it is exactly what is says it is, and doesn’t try oversell itself. It is simple and is used for a specific purpose – uploading images and changing its filter colour.
As easy as clicking a button, once the image is uploaded and you have chosen your favourite colour filter, you can personally adjust the colour hues. You can adjust the levels of contrast or highlights you want, giving you a little more control in your image.
Processing images daily, I always look for the fastest and simplest route to save some valuable time. This app is one of them. Instead of having to upload your photo in to Photoshop to create a dual tone image, manually, Duotone is the quick and easy route. This is very helpful when needing to make background images quickly.
We, digital creatives, are always looking for ways to improve our websites, especially when it comes to ranking higher, going faster, and being more secure.
I used to try do it all by myself, until I met Checkbot.
Checkbot for Chrome will help you boost the SEO, speed and security of your website.
Test your site and 1000s of pages in minutes, with ease for broken links, duplicate titles, insecure pages, invalid HTML/CSS/JS and more.
I use Checkbot daily to crawl my site for problems and confirm fixes whenever I am making changes. It is like having an automated personal assistant who is never wrong.
Apart from its easy to use and install process, I am rather fond of the customized crawls that Checkbot offers. It allows one to focus your testing on the parts of your site you’re currently interested in.
There are two options here, Basic (for those smaller websites), giving you 250 URLs per crawl and unlimited crawls, and Pro (for the larger sites). This Pro option holds advanced features, from 10,000 URLs per crawl to Crawl localhost & IP address URLs and more.
As a website developer, I am constantly trying to rank my sites as high up as possible, Checkbot Pro is an essential tool to my online work. It really is an easy to use tool, regardless of how much coding you understand.
If any of these suggested apps and start-up tools have helped you, we would love to hear about it! Send us your feedback and let us know what you think of this months selection of tech tools for startups, creatives and savvy users.