Being productive, fast and efficient is crucial for the success of any company, but especially for startups. With a large amount of open source tools and affordable applications, today it’s easier than ever before to improve your productivity and to optimize your workflow for fast growth.
But if you’re just starting out, it might be challenging to choose the right tools for your startup. If you are a budding entrepreneur, we’re herewith providing you with a little overview, which will hopefully help you discover some useful tools for your growing team.
Trello: A visual collaboration tool that creates a shared perspective on any project. Trello’s boards, lists and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your startup life in a fun, flexible and rewarding way. It can be used as a very simple Sales CRM, for basic HR processes, product development tasks, office management, or to simply keep track of team/startup goals. The basic version of Trello is free, and the app can be synchronized across all your devices.
Canva: You want to increase the efficiency and quality of your design work? Canva set out to empower the world to design anything and publish anywhere. Their platform combines a drag-and-drop design tool with a stock library of photographs, imagery and illustrations. With Canva, you can also choose from a wide range of professional templates to create social media graphics, presentations, flyers, posters, invitations and much more.
Hootsuite: You need some help managing and improving your social media accounts? is a widely used social media management platform with more than 16 million users. Their battle-tested technology, extensive ecosystem, and social DNA helps startups and any kind of other organizations create human connections at scale. Why Hootsuite? Because as a startup you’re just too busy not to have all your social media accounts in one convenient place.
Hunter.io makes it very easy for you to reach out to other professionals and potential clients. Their tool lets you find email addresses within seconds (by telling you the email address formats of companies) and enables you to connect with the people that matter most for your business. That being said, Hunter is especially helpful for your sales, recruitment and marketing colleagues. The tool can be used for free for up to 100 requests per month.
Quipu is an invoicing and finance software for freelancers, startups and small enterprises. It’s specially designed for dummies on finance, freeing up your time for value creation matters. Quipu helps you save money, since you have to spend less time on administrative tasks. Their solution lets you centralize your invoices, quotes, expenses, bank account and your bookkeeper in real time. With Quipu you can easily make sure to have your financial information in order!
Mailtrack is a helpful tool which enables you and your startup team to know if your emails were delivered and when your emails were opened. It offers a seamless integration with Gmail, is free and reliable. In case you want to be reminded when someone doesn’t open an email you sent, or if you want to get rid of the Mailtrack signature, you can easily upgrade to Mailtrack Basic (€2.50 / month) or Pro (€4.99 / month.
Slack is a collaboration hub for teamwork, where the right people of your team are always kept in the loop and key information is always at their fingertips. Work in Slack happens in channels, so all the right people can be included, all relevant information kept in one place, and new team members are able to get up to speed easily. With Slack, teams are better connected, which is especially good for remote startup teams.
Factorial helps small and medium businesses automate their human resources management. Their cloud-based HR platform enables companies to manage the onboarding of employees, their contracts, pay slips, time off, benefits, insurance and much more, making the HR role a lot easier. Factorial’s human resources software does most of the paperwork for you, so you can spend more time on what really matters: Your startup team and employees!
Upwork is the world’s largest freelancing website. It enables your startup to find independent professionals that help you with different tasks like coding, design, online research, content creation, etc. – without the traditional barriers of set time and place. Freelancers on Upwork offer more than 3,500 skills, helping to ease the pain startups and small businesses face in finding skills they need to get work done.
Grammarly enables you to make your communication clear and effective, wherever you write. Grammarly’s AI-powered products help your startup team to communicate more effectively. Millions of users already rely on Grammarly every day to make their messages, documents, and social media posts clear, mistake-free, and impactful. The basic function offered by Grammarly, identifying most spelling and grammar errors, is available free of charge.
It’s worth mentioning that not just software tools and applications can enable your team to become more productive. Also, a clear communication of goals, a strong team spirit and a shared vision are important. An also important step for increased productivity is trying to avoid distraction and time-consuming stuff like unnecessary meetings. Instead, try to establish an effective, open and results-oriented working environment.
In the end, there’s no right or wrong way to be more productive. What works for startup team may not work for others. It’s a process of trial and error to figure out what works best for your team, your company goals and your routine. The more small improvements you make, the bigger will be their impact moving forward.
Last but not least, it’s important that you as a team leader make sure to also look after yourself, your physical health and your social life. If both your mind and body are fit, you’ll be able to be more productive, while also staying happy.