awesome free business tools

You don’t have to have a big budget in order to start or grow your business.  There are many free tools available online you can take advantage of.  All you have to do is know where to find them and start using them!

  1. Google Apps: Where do I start? Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, YouTube, Google Hangouts, Google Calendar, Google Analytics, and many more!  Wow. You can do so much for your business with just the Google Suite.

Gmail, well, free awesome email!  It’s now the standard and pretty much the only free email that won’t make you look dated online.  Google Drive lets you store and share your documents with others.  You can invite your clients or teammates to collaborate, edit and more. You can also do the same with Google Docs and Sheets which are basically Google’s alternative to Microsoft Word and Excel.

YouTube and especially Google Hangouts connected to YouTube can be a powerful webinar/communication and content marketing tools for your business.  Google Hangouts is so powerful that there are WordPress plug-ins that take advantage of this system to add in webinars to self-hosted Wordpress sites.

  1. Graphic Apps:

Loved by so many, Canva is an awesome graphics web app.  Even if you’re not a graphics pro, it’s easy to use and comes with free beautiful templates and images.
Need a little more freedom and power? Want Photoshop but can’t afford it? PicMonkey and Gimp are just some of the free apps that pop up when you Google for free photo editing apps.

How about when you’re on the go? There are also many smartphone apps you can download.  Just one of these that’s pretty cool is Adobe Post!

  1. Calendar/Appointment Management: Calendly is pretty neat and something I use regularly to help me with scheduling meetings.  I love the simple interface and that it easily connects and syncs with my Google Calendar.

  2. Project Management: Asana is my current favorite. It’s really great with keeping track of tasks, projects and related communications that otherwise could easily get lost in emails (BTW. If this tends to happen to you because your inbox gets too crowded, check out my blog post on how to keep the email overwhelm at bay).

  3. Networking/Marketing:

Facebook Groups.  Facebook is the standard for Social media but also more challenging for organic reach. Using Facebook groups for networking makes it easier as long as you give value and nurture relationships.

Other platforms available include LinkedIn for B2B marketing, Instagram for showing off great images of your products and for PR, SnapChat and other newer platforms for reaching different audiences and building your authority and relationships.

  1. Royalty Free and Attribution Free Images:

When creating graphics for your social media accounts or using images for your websites, don’t just Google and use whatever you find.  It’s important to use images with licenses that allow their use for your intended purpose and give attribution when required.  Pixabay, Unsplash, WikiMedia Commons, Open Clipart and many other sites offer beautiful, free AND attribution free images to use for your Social Media, Websites and other graphic needs.  My favorites, including these sites, are ones that are easy to search through so you can  find the right image for your needs more quickly.

  1. Social Media Management:

Buffer. To help you manage your social media accounts. They have a neat app called Pablo to help you quickly create and post images. Great for posting on many platforms but just as with other social media managing tools, not so much with Facebook as Facebook reduces the reach of posts posted through these.

  1. Misc:

I’m not sure what category Evernote would fall under.  I use it mostly for note taking but it can be so much more.  Others use it for collaboration, bookmarking content, project management, and you can even have emails sent to directly save into it.

Have you used any of these tools? Do you have any to add to the list? Let me know in my Facebook Page!

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