Startups are known for moving quickly--it's what we love about them. But moving too fast without knowing whether everyone is working on the right things can stall your momentum, or even kill it. You can't just wing it.
Here are 8 products I've used to jump-start my startups:
I basically asked my entire team at QuotaDeck to only send me stuff on Slack. I get way too many emails every day already, but with Slack, I can see and reply to my internal team a lot faster. Slack makes it easy to organize team conversations into different channels, such as engineering, admin, or finance. In addition, Slack integrates well with external systems including Twitter, and various source control systems. This helps keep everyone up to date. To cover sensitive details there's direct messaging and private groups.
Sharing ideas, trends, and research across multiple devices is a snap with Evernote's clean interface. One of my favorite uses of Evernote is the time tracking; I use it to find patterns of productivity, trim wasted time, and pinpoint areas that need leveraging. Remote team collaborations and hivemind-sharing are where Evernote generates buzz and inspires momentum-making it easier to build a company utilizing the best ideas from your whole team in rapid time. Don't forget to use Evernote to scan business and vendor cards on the go.
This is a newer platform that I am a big fan of. These guys are helping me do a ton of marketing, social, content, SEO, stuff that I would have previously had to hire a firm or hire in-house, but they have a marketplace of freelancers who are vetted and ranked by other users. So far they are doing a stellar job for me, so that I can focus on other items on my list that has to get done.
You can't afford to waste brainpower and energy tracking paper receipts and mileage logs. I use ExpenseBot to snap pics of receipts; it automatically enters the date, amount, and name, also allowing you to note if you've reported the expense. Their distance and mileage tracking are top notch for travel. And their time tracking is great for monitoring billing hours or keeping tabs on how your productivity flows.
There's nothing as effective and rewarding as setting out a to-do list and accomplishing it. Todo features full task and list sharing with a team-based approach encouraging productivity from your whole organization. Task details include start, end, due dates, location, time, and space for notes. Color-coding makes tasks easy to find. You can even assign tasks to the team or make them recurring to make sure you're maximizing your time now and well into the future. Todo works with Siri on iOS, so you can just dictate tasks as you think of them. For early adopters, Todo also has a killer Watch app.
These guys can make your life way better. They aren't really an app, but I had to include them on here, because they have made an amazing impact on my 'startup life'. I use them at my previous startup LaunchLeads for the live-chat, because they are on from 6am-6pm and have a team helping me reply to our prospects requests. And also, for their phone answering services, so that we can have a virtual receptionist. I have hired in-house before and may do it again when we have more than 50 employees, but for startups, this is so inexpensive, to have real Americans answering your calls and forwarding, setting appointments, or screening your company calls.
I can't recommend Trello enough. Trello tracks workflows, providing excellent visibility into every project at every point. Make a board with task cards to share workloads and keep tabs on projects. Create checklists for to-dos anywhere and leave comments to keep everyone on your team up to date. Trello features a ton of integrations, including a great Watch interface, for more momentum on the go.
You guys probably already know about a few of these apps, but Audible for me makes the difference of either not reading ever, to 'reading' all the time. I love being able to listen to the audio book during car rides, on hikes, airplanes, busses, trains, etc. Before Audible, I would buy books and they would sit on my desk. Making it look like I read them...but I never did. Now, I am able to gain the insight of a book, even take notes on my cell phone, and do it anytime, anywhere.
What apps are you using to make the most of your startup time?