Technology Tools for Small Businesses

5 Must-Use Technology Tools for Small Businesses

When I first started working with Jansen Communications (JC), I thought all I needed was my trusty laptop in order to get all my work done. Yeah, I was wayyyy off.

I now heavily rely on a bunch of technology—tools and apps—to get me through my day, and I’m constantly on the lookout for new and better things coming down the pike.

As of right now, these are the five must-use technology tools for small businesses that I take full advantage of to continue working smarter every day.

Google Apps

I have four email accounts—wait, no, five—and three calendars synched up on my phone. There is no possible way I could get half of my work done if I had to manually go in and check each separate account or remember all the different appointments on my schedule.

Thankfully with JC, we use Google Apps for email, calendars, document sharing, etc. It’s a great service—I’ve actually able to proofread documents offline, right from my phone, while riding the train.

Video Conferencing

Our JC team is scattered across the US, so we are definitely not in a traditional office setting. Though I have to admit, even though I work from home, I’ve never once felt isolated. Because of IM and video conferencing, I can chat and stay in touch with people throughout the day. I’ve used almost every tool out there including Skype, Google Hangouts, BlueJeans, JoinMe, and sometimes even Facebook to get a hold of people.

DIY Design Tools

For this one, all I can say is: proceed with caution. Yes, using the following tools can help you create a piece of art in a pinch, but it’s much wiser to go through a graphic designer. If you have bit of an artistic side, and strongly understand your own brand, then you’ll probably be okay. If not, seriously, reach out to a designer first.

That said, I’ve used the following when I needed an image for a social post or if I needed to create a presentation asap.

Canva

This tool is great for making social media posts or images for a presentation. You can customize colors (as long as you have a strong understanding of what HEX means) and fonts, and can take full advantage of their gallery of templates.

Visme 

Powerpoint presentations are the bane of everyone’s existence—whether you’re a college student or a designer. With Visme, however, you can actually enjoy the process of putting together a visually stunning presentation.

Plus, they have a great tool for creating infographics!

Time Management

I’ve talked about Toggl before as an app, but I love the desktop version. I use the timer to keep track of how long I’m spending on projects. Then, when I’m ready to invoice, I pull a report to see where and how I’ve spent my time. (You can also check out this blog post for a more in-depth review of Toggl.)

There’s also a little hack I’ve figured out for Toggl. If you download the Toggl widget, and download TurboTop (software that lets you decide which of your windows always sits on top), you can get the timer to stay in front of all your open browsers and windows. For me, having that timer tick away on the top right of my screen keeps me on task.

Got any other technology tips for small business owners? Share them below!

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