To begin this blog post, I want to confirm that we were not sponsored or paid in any way to talk or promote these following software tools. The tools we will be talking about on our blog were found and used through trial and error out of necessity. We have depended on these tools (both free and paid for) in order to smooth out internal processes and to grow our business. I wholeheartedly encourage you to check out the software I will go through below.
Initially, we were using Excel to manage our leads and sales process. Very close to its title, Pipedrive is a Sales CRM, or rather a sales management tool that helps you organize the different moving parts of sales into one easy to navigate platform. There are a ton of features from managing your pipeline by helping you keep track of the sales action through an easy to use organizer to sending and receive emails directly on the platform.
You can set activities and goals with reminders and mobile notifications and alerts. It can generate sales reports that help you understand where you are losing out on deals and where you can improve on.
Instead of having multiple excel sheets keeping track of your sales efforts, Pipedrive is the perfect software for keeping track of everything by being visual, easy to navigate and re-arranged as needed with drag and drop functions. No more copy and paste (thank god!).
Why we love it is because it saved us on time. It cuts back on developing multiple spreadsheets and figuring out how your sales process is going to run. We tried the trial, realized it worked and then paid. Never buy a tool or product without having the ability to try it out first. Just because a software is recommended with amazing ratings, doesn’t mean it’ll work for you.
I am going to rave about Sketch because it is an absolutely awesome User Interface and mock-ups tool. It is also so much more but I primarily use it for mockups. If you’re not a graphics designer by trade, it’s hard to get into design especially with complex programs like Indesign, Adobe Illustrator, and Photoshop. If your work is primarily photo-editing and manipulation than yes Photoshop is really what you need. But if you’re like me, and you just want a tool to mock up website features, Sketch is going to be your go to.
When I have a new product or software feature and I want to design the user interface, I’m going to mock it up using Sketch first. I walk through where the text is going to be, where the buttons are going to go in order to get a feel for that user experience. This is all drag and drops onto a backdrop.
Then I show what I’ve created to several people to see how they feel. It’s a fast, easy and time-saving tool that doesn’t require a lot of investment in. Once I’m happy, I either build it on to the website (if I can) or I’ll pass it onto my developer to implement. I do the same for my website drafts as well.
Sketch is a paid tool, but for it’s quick and easy to use features, it’s worth it.
Slack for our internal communications for obvious reasons. Slack facilitates text instant messaging communication between members of a team and it allows you do so and posts files across multiple created channels, Slack really is the best and easiest to use communication tool.
Slack has voice calling, file sharing, and can host your entire work team if you want it. Files are also easily found and dug up through their search button. With our current amount of employees we are still using the free version.
An all in one package, G-suite allows you to connect and reach your colleagues through Gmail, calendar, video callings through Hangouts and Google+. G Suit allows you to store files, and to create docs, excel sheets, forms, slides and more. It is a very lightweight, easy to use tool that’s all based on the browser. Anywhere in the world, I can access through the internet my Calendar, to-do list, Google Docs, Sheets etc. and share it with my colleagues. It is entirely cloud-based so you essentially don’t need to store anything on your drive.
Instead of having your files living on your computer, you can open Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel the exact same way as it would be if you were loading it from your desktop. When you edit it and save it, it automatically uploads back to the cloud so you can have this newly edited version accessible anywhere – even without your computer.
Not only does it save you on computer memory, it allows better collaboration for content when you have multiple eyes on it because it autosaves the newest version.
This isn’t just us tooting our horn but what would it say if we didn’t use our own software for our content management? Our platform allows us to manage our content by allowing us to create, post, edit and review content over multiple channels.
You can view your content in the editorial calendar across all channels over the length of a week, month, or however long you want in advance. You can schedule content where needed and communicate with editors and writers by booking calls or writing messages directly in the platform.
We just started using this software program specifically for our internal writing team. Monday is a project management software that allows you to schedule, create and view deadlines. We’re still in the process of testing out Monday for our workflow but we’ll report back after a couple of months. So far it’s been great. Monday is more robust than Trello.
Where Trello allows you to customize using cards and boards so you can build a system that works for you within Trello, there’s no central dashboard to look at all of your projects at once. Each project is divided by each board you create, and you have to click on that board to see the details of that project.
We have many client products and deadlines over a week and we create their content continually on a month-to-month basis. We needed a calendar view of everything in one place of that month which is something that Trello did not offer.
It’s important to have some management software to help you with multiple project deadlines, whether that’s Monday or Trello is up to you.
There you have it, 6 Software tools that we’ve been using to help smooth out our internal functions. This list is far from complete and we are always trying out new tools. If you have a suggestion or a comment on our blog give us a shout at email@example.com.