Resources

resourcegearsThese are additional apps, sites and other tools that we have found in our business travels.  Some of them we do have a business relationship, but for most of them they are just sites, articles, books, etc that we have discovered and found helpful.  If you know of any resources that we have missed, should include or have any experiences (good or bad) with these resources, please let us know.

It’s also worth checking out our Helpful Information page.

 

Personal Productivity

Here are some resources for your own personal use as you work to be more productive.

Podcast Directory – I’ve put together a podcast directory for those of you who might be just getting started in podcasts.  I find them a great way to stay ahead of my industry and keep up on current events.  I go over those and some other ways to stay ahead here.

Productivity

Doodle – A great app when you’re trying to schedule a group event.  You can poll for everyone’s availability and then pick the best date for everyone.  Has both paid and free options.

Evernote – A great tool that works on all your devices (and the web) for taking notes, keeping track of things or just jotting down those things you don’t want to forget.  Free or paid versions.  One of the best tools we have used.

Evernote Essentials – Every great tool has its own user’s guides.  This is one designed to show you how to use the key features of Evernote and to get the most out of it.

Greenshot – This is a great free tool for capturing images of your screen.  Fully featured and easy to use.  Did I mention it’s free?

ScheduleMax – A nifty web application that lets you schedule appointments with your clients and partners without having to exchange 100 emails.  Free trial to get started.  Take a look at it and save yourself a lot of hassle when trying to schedule those important meetings.

Collaboration

These are tools and sites that allow you to share with your team, clients or other participants.  The technology out there is simply amazing today for very reasonable prices (or even free!)

MeetingBurner – A cool tool that some of our customers have recommended that allows you to host a webinar.  Smaller meetings are free and it has some unique collaboration tools.

Dropbox – We love Dropbox!  This is a storage solution that allows you to share and backup files across multiple devices.  You can get up to 2GB of storage for free (more with referrals) or there are a number of reasonably priced solutions for more storage that allow you to share across a team as well (you can do some sharing even on the free account.)  It’s very reliable with great features and works almost anywhere.  We like this over some of the other solutions out there.

Google Apps – A great solutions for small businesses (or even bigger businesses with some limitations.  One of the best collaboration application suites out there.  No longer free, but very reasonably priced it included a variety of powerful tools like email, spreadsheets, presentation, storage, word processing, calendar collaboration and web conferencing all for the same price.  We don’t find it as intuitive as some products but very powerful and flexible all the same.

Office365 – This is Microsoft’s answer to Google Apps. The good things about it are that the applications are what many of us have used for years at home and at work (Microsoft has done a great job of that.)  It also does a good job of allowing a small or medium sized business to affordably use many of the powerful features of Exchange, Lync and other big business type features.  You may need to buy up to these, though and you may find that to use some of the more powerful features, you want someone that has some level of technical knowledge, but it’s not too hard and there are a number of tutorials out there.

GoToMeeting – A great specialized solution to on-line meetings with sharing of almost everything you could ever need.  It’s a great solution if you need more robust functionality for web meetings.  Office365 and Google Apps both have solutions that are included (higher level plans in Office 365) but that aren’t quite as robust in our opinion.

GoToMyPC – This lets you control your desktop remotely.  We find it to be one of the more robust solutions for simply controlling one computer from another.

LogMeIn – Much like GoToMyPC, this allows you to control a computer from another computer but it’s also a great solution for support or for monitoring multiple computers in your office.  A bit more technical, but a good solution.

Business Continuity

These are tools for making sure that your business keeps going when something happens.  There are so many solutions out there, it can be hard to pick through them.  Not being on this list doesn’t mean they’re bad, these are the tools that we have found that we like or that our customers have recommended.

Avast – This is an anti-virus application that we’ve been using for some time now.  It’s got a free option, though many businesses will want to use a paid option.  It’s reliable, full of features and provides a great breadth of protection. There are probably better options out there if managing multiple computers but for many solopreneurs this is a great option.

Backblaze – We have been using this for years and find it very easy to use.  This is good for one computer and will also back up external drives, so we tend to copy important files to that external drive and it backs them up silently.  It’s one of the ones left out there with unlimited data.  They don’t send you a lot of notices that you’re filling up (because you’re not) and it just works, easily, for a good price.

Carbonite – If you need something more robust, Carbonite has a plan for it.  Their plans are space limited, but affordable and will let you do a lot of great things like offsite backups of servers, NAS drives, Personally Identifying Information (PII)…almost anything.

 Software Purchasing

This is a great summary infographic from Capterra, a site where you can read reviews and other resources of commercial off the shelf software for various business problems.  The process isn’t quite this easy, but it’s a great starting point.

How to Buy Software