It's a fantastic feeling to find a product or service that gives you new insight into your work, helps you get more done, or can save your company money. Here are several good ones you probably haven't heard of.
It's a prepaid, debit-based employee expense card that can be managed from a mobile dashboard. An alternative to credit-based expense cards, Bento offers business owners control over employee spending. With a click, business owners can restrict spending to certain vendors or vendor types, increase or decrease a card's limit, turn a card on or off, or restrict spending to specific days. Ideal for bringing transparency to employee spending for larger teams or centralizing business expenses for sole proprietors, the MasterCard-based Bento is accepted almost universally. It is QuickBooks compatible. Competitors include NetSpend, Walmart MoneyCard, and AmEx Serve.
Cost: One or two cards are free, with paid plans for more cards starting at $29 a month.
This Berlin-based agile project management tool has been in development since December 2016 but just launched at the end of April. It's a simple and lightweight tool designed for teams who manage multiple projects and features a backlog for every project, so ideas don't get lost. When you start working, you plan to complete tasks over a certain amount of time and when someone interrupts you with an idea, you can add it to the backlog and work on it later. Competitors include JIRA and Trello. Five days after launch the platform had 1,000 users only marketing on Twitter and ProductHunt.
Cost: $8 per user a month.
This visual programming tool and deployment platform lets you build and run a web app without technical resources. Using its editor, you build an application by designing the interface, and then programming it action by action. Bubble apps are not templated, can have a custom data structure, and can connect to any API, all without code. After spending a few hours learning to use the system you can essentially do the same thing you'd do with code. Once your app is built, Bubble handles the infrastructure so it works at scale. Closest competitors include Microsoft PowerApps, Dropsource, Configure.IT, Thunkable, and Knack. The New York City-based startup launched in 2015 and has 160,000 users with two customers accepted into Y Combinator and 2017 revenue of $1.2 million.
Cost: Paid plans start at $16 a month ($14 a month on an annual basis), although a free tier exists to encourage people to learn the tool.
This tool aggregates all the web apps you sign into every day for work--Gmail, Slack, Trello, or 400 others you may be using--into one dashboard that docks them all onto the left side of your screen for quick switching between tools. It has a focus mode to mute all notifications for up to 24 hours and you can search your Google Drive accounts by keyword without having them already open. According to CEO Julien Berthomier, in the next several weeks the company will be adding the ability to do a unified search within multiple apps all from one place. And if at least two people use Station in your company you can access a dedicated app store that aggregates all of the apps used by colleagues. The Paris-based startup behind Station has more than 12,000 users and recently raised $3.25 million in a seed round of funding. Competitors include Wavebox and Shift.
This tool manages the entire recruiting and hiring process and helps companies set up career pages, distribute positions to job boards, find and nurture candidates across the web, establish a structured interview process, manage interviews and feedback, generate offers, analyze recruiting performance and create a talent database with smart recommendations of candidates for future jobs. Using a special Chrome extension, you can source applicants on sites like LinkedIn and Github and bring them into Lever without leaving the page. It also lets you add notes about the candidate, email hiring managers or other stakeholders, add candidates to a job or no job at all, and email candidates directly to start establishing a relationship. It also offers an automated email campaign tool called Lever Nurture that the company says results in a 40 percent response rate from candidates, which is two to three times higher than typical response rates from cold email or LinkedIn InMail. The platform has more than 1,500 customers in more than 40 countries, has $73 million in funding and has sourced more than 19 million candidates. Competitors include Greenhouse, SmartRecruiters, Jobvite, and Catalyst.
Cost: Pricing is based on the plan you choose, company size and starts at $350 per month.
This employee time tracking app for distributed workforces does away with paper timesheets. It combines an automated, GPS-enabled, app-based time tracker with a user-friendly desktop dashboard to manage payroll and billing. The QuickBooks-compatible system supports drag-and-drop scheduling and enables one-click employee scheduling notification. It's ideal for companies in any industry with a distributed workforce, including construction, cleaning services, real estate management, landscaping, and healthcare. Competitors include Clockwise, Exaktime, and TSheets.
Cost: Pricing starts at $25 a month for one employee and increases from there.
This Berlin-based stock photo website offers high-quality photos shared by its community of photographers from more than 50 countries. All photos on the site are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, so they can be used for personal or commercial purposes, whether it's a company presentation or a book cover artwork. Competitors include Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Unsplash. Started in 2014 as a side project to help creatives find free photos, Pexels is now one of the largest photo communities in the world with more than 13 million monthly visits, two billion monthly image views, 2,000 photos uploaded daily, and a photo library in excess of 400,000 images.