Online Business Tech Tools: Enhance Your Work From Home Experience
In today's fast-paced digital world, working from home has become the new normal for many entrepreneurs and small business owners. As a result, it's crucial to adapt to this change and find ways to manage and grow your business effectively from the comfort of your home. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most popular and essential online business tech tools that can help you streamline your processes, improve productivity, and maintain a healthy work-life balance. No matter the size or type of your business, these tools are designed to make your remote work experience more efficient and enjoyable.
Here is a curated selection of digital tools that offer immense value not only for your professional needs but also for enhancing your personal productivity and organisation.
Evernote: Boost Your Productivity
With Evernote, you can clip bits and pieces of information from the web, tag them for easy searching, and alter any of them by adding to it, condensing it, or embedding pictures, tables, audio, video, and the like. You can also use Evernote for organic notes and journaling, to-do lists, recipes, contacts, and even storage for tweets or emails that you want to keep handy.
Microsoft To Do: Organise Your Tasks
Got something on your mind? Get Microsoft To Do. Whether you want to increase your productivity, decrease your stress levels, or just free up some mental space, Microsoft To Do makes it easy to plan your day and manage your life.
Pocket: Save Content for Later
How many times have you run across something interesting, but you didn’t have the time to read it right away? If Evernote feels overwhelming to you, Pocket makes it easy to save videos, articles, and whatever else you find online so that you can peruse them later.
When you’re tired of social networking but still want to wind down at night with something interesting, Pocket might be your best friend. Even better, you don’t need an Internet connection to view what you’ve saved.
G Suite: Collaborate and Create
G Suite lets you port files among PCs, tablets, and smartphones. The standard package comes with 30 GB of online storage per user with options to upgrade to unlimited. And it allows you to create docs, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, and more.
RescueTime: Stay Focused
If you know you waste too much time on digital distractions like Facebook, Twitter, or online shopping, RescueTime can hold you accountable. It breaks down where you spend your time by application and website and lets you set productivity goals. A premium version even lets you block certain sites, track offline activity, or set notifications (like if you’ve spent too much time on one activity, for instance).
My Minutes: Manage Your Time
If you find you can’t stay focused on your most important tasks — or you’re wasting too much time on Facebook — My Minutes can help you stay grounded by setting goals, such as “Spend only one-hour checking email” or “Work out for 30 minutes.” The app is available for iPhones only.
OmniFocus: Personal Task Manager
OmniFocus is a personal task manager that lets you create projects and tasks and organise them into to-do lists. OmniFocus syncs between your devices and works with iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watch.
Toggl: Track Your Time
With one click, the Toggl timer tracks where every second of your time is going, making it ideal for anyone who needs to log billable hours. You can track as many projects or clients as you want, view colourful graphs, export timesheets, and sync your numbers with several project management apps.
Best of all, all of your employees can use Toggl, and you can divide them into different groups to stay organized.
Trello: Manage Projects Visually
Trello is amazing for project management and content planning. Trello’s main strength is that it’s highly visual: On any given board, you can create several lists, and move cards between them as the status of a particular project changes.
For instance, each article has a card, and we drag those cards from list to list depending on where they are in the writing process: assigned, writing, editing, ready to publish, etc. You can attach files, create checklists, and assign members to each card so they’re updated as the status of the article changes. Team members can chat directly on each card, too.
Asana: Prioritise Your Tasks
Asana is more text-heavy than Trello, and if you love checklists, this app is for you.
Projects, or “tasks,” can be easily prioritized within its flexible interface, and a dashboard charts your progress visually. You can chat with team members within those tasks, assign due dates, attach documents or other files, and choose what kind of notifications to receive.
The app integrates with an impressive number of other services, including Evernote, Google Drive, Slack, MailChimp and WordPress.
Slack: Streamline Communication
Use Slack for quick questions and answers. Though it’s not the most intuitive app from the get-go, it allows for easy filtering and searching that makes finding what you need a snap. You can create channels for just about any conversation theme: particular projects or clients, general water cooler chat, or whatever else works best for your small business.
Notifications are easily customized, which is useful for when you want to stay in the loop yet filter out unnecessary noise.
Zoom: Video Conferencing Made Easy
Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars
Skype for Business: Connect and Collaborate
Skype is a familiar name to just about everyone who has wanted to make a free video call online, but Skype for Business offers meetings with up to 250 people, integration with Microsoft Office, chat, file transfer, and more. Microsoft offers Skype for Business as part of its Office 365 Business package.
Mailchimp: All-in-One Marketing Platform
All your marketing needs in one place with Mailchimp. Bring your audience data, marketing channels, and insights together so you can reach your goals faster. With Mailchimp, you can promote your business across email, social, landing pages, postcards, and more — all from a single platform.
JotForm: Build Custom Online Forms
JotForm is a Free Online Form Builder & Form Creator. If you need online forms for generating leads, distributing surveys, collecting payments and more, JotForm is for you.
Streak: CRM for Gmail
If your small business uses Gmail or Google Apps, Streak is a great little CRM that integrates with both. Instead of organizing customers by contact, it lets you keep track of where you are in your business relationship.
For instance, perhaps you’re just beginning a pitch, or maybe you’re finalizing a deal. You can view all emails associated with each client directly within Streak, and a newsfeed can keep everyone on your team updated on the status of everything in the app.
Nimble: Social Media CRM
If your business has a prominent social media presence, Nimble might be the CRM for you. It gleans data from your contacts’ social profiles, updating itself so that you don’t have to do it. It even analyzes shared interests and integrates with Gmail, Outlook, Hootsuite and many other services.
PayFast: Secure Online Payments
Payfast offers secure and instant online payment processing for South African businesses. PayFast works with 80+ shopping cart platforms and custom integration.
QuickBooks: Simplify Your Accounting
If your small business is like a lot of others, you already use QuickBooks, or your accountant does. QuickBooks has a lot going for it, including a familiar, easy-to-navigate interface and integration with many other services. You can send invoices on the go, view balances, approve estimates, and link to many other services.
Wave: Free Accounting Software
Say you’re on a tight budget and you really, really don’t want to pay for accounting software. There’s an app for that, and it’s called Wave.
As long as you have fewer than 10 employees, Wave is an easy-to-use platform that can take care of your invoicing, expense tracking, receipt scanning, and more. You can add links to your bank accounts and integrate with other services, too.
Dropbox Business: Cloud Storage for Teams
Dropbox Business is a cloud computing app that allows you to sync files and folders across various platforms. The mobile app gives you access to all your files on the go and offers plans for really small businesses — we’re talking just three users.
Microsoft OneDrive: Sync Files and Folders
Microsoft OneDrive allows cloud storage and file sharing through synced folders. You can view and edit OneDrive files from any smartphone or tablet with the OneDrive mobile app
Docusign: Collect Signatures Online
DocuSign allows you to easily collect signatures online or via a mobile device. This is the perfect tool for collecting necessary information from clients and remote employees.
Eversign: Sign Documents Online
Eversign allows you to securely approve, deliver and sign documents online, anywhere. Eversign has been optimised for any type of device — whether it's a PC, a tablet or a mobile device.
Additional Resources for Small Businesses
Online Tech Tools are changing how small-business owners work, making it possible to stay on task and up to date away from the office. If you’re looking for more resources to help your small business, we have you covered.
As we have seen, there is an abundance of online business tech tools available to help you thrive while working from home. By embracing these digital solutions, you can not only maintain productivity but also uncover new opportunities for growth and innovation. Remember that the key to success in a remote work environment is to be proactive, adaptable, and open to new methods of working. With the right combination of tools and a positive mindset, you can transform the challenges posed by the coronavirus into opportunities for your business to evolve and flourish in the digital age. Embrace these tools and create a seamless remote work experience that will keep your business going strong, no matter where you are.
So, as you continue to navigate the world of remote work, don't forget to explore the various tools and resources available to support your small business journey. What is your favourite business app or tool? Have you tried any of the ones on this list? Do you have any tips for small business owners working from home? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below, and let's help each other succeed in this new era of digital entrepreneurship.