The software tools that a startup uses are essential to its success. The less time a team spends worrying about what tools to use and how to use them, the more time it has for improving the quality of its product.
Running a startup typically entails collaboration by geographically dispersed team members who are under intense pressure to achieve critical time to market objectives with fewer resources than established companies. Above all, the tools you use need to be easy to adopt, quick to deploy, and preferably free or inexpensive.
If your startup team is experiencing collaboration friction, we suggest you explore the tools below.
Planday is a scheduling and time-tracking tool for browsers, tablets, and major mobile platforms. The platform allows managers to chart out customer flows to understand your business' needs at different times of day, create various shift-types based on what kinds of labor is needed when, organize staff by skillset, and even include employee availability input into your final decision-making. It also tracks time-off requests automatically! Since creating schedules can be a task that takes hours to do manually, for any startup with scheduling requirements an app like Planday is a must-have to free up management for more strategic work.
Pricing: $2 per user per month; an additional $1 for to-the-minute punch-clock time-tracking
Trello is a productivity platform that allows for collaborative scheduling and task management. It lets users split their projects into different "boards" containing notes. In general, boards are used to identify and organize projects, while notes are used to define and manage tasks within a project. Users can comment on notes still in use and track when notes are archived (completed).
Pricing: Free; $20 per user per month for the Enterprise Edition
Infolio is a digital workplace productivity solution like Trello, but it is superior in several ways. Like Trello, Infolio allows you to manage tasks and visually organize tasks and notes in digital workspaces. However, unlike Trello, Infolio supports the inclusion of a wide variety of information types, including images, videos, PDFs, web pages, and embedded assets like YouTube videos. Additionally, Infolio allows you to invite team members to collaborate and add more information to your workspaces. Infolio's Activity Stream helps users to keep up with the swirl of collaboration, and Infolio's chat feature reduces the need to use email to communicate directly with teammates and stay up to date. If Trello was the first collaboration software for mid-size teams, Infolio is the next generation. It is a must-have for startups that want to get things done.
Pricing: Free; $4.99 per user per month for the Pro Edition.
Shake by LegalShield
Shake by LegalShield is a free legal template service that allows anyone to create, customize, sign, and store legally binding contracts. While Shake comes with a variety of templates for image releases and video production contracts, it also offers a Startup Bundle that covers independent hire contracts, non-disclosure agreements, founders agreements and more. For any lean startup team that uses independent contractors for short tasks, the streamlining of legal agreements is a boon for productivity.
Pricing: Free; Premium membership with a legal consultant, $17.95 per month
Wave Apps is a fantastic invoicing and accounting suite that can help a startup keep track of its finances. Avoiding the hassle of making bespoke invoices for each client and using a spreadsheet to tally credits and debits, Wave Apps makes it easy to bill your customers, pay your bills, balance your books, and even allows you to accept credit card payments. While not necessary for small startups that don't make many purchases, as a venture grows a product like Wave Apps quickly becomes a necessity to help keep spending records straight.
Pricing: Free; credit card processing and some other features cost extra.
Explore the tools above and share your feedback with us, if any
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