As a business owner, you have to deal with a lot of work a day, from order management to delivery, from marketing to packaging. It’s hard to focus on everything at the same time and be on top of the game. That’s why people are longing for automation these days. With the best productivity apps, you can save time on repetitive tasks to invest in more impactful business activities.
This article outlines the 10 most popular and effective apps that are free to use or only costs a little to implement. We believe that they can help you leverage your performance and grow your business faster.
Trello is among the best productivity apps used in modern workplaces. It helps transfer the tasks from one person to another and between different teams smoothly on one screen. You can create different channels for each step in the process, move tasks from one lane to another when each work is completed. You can also assign tasks to whoever is in charge and mention them in the comment section to ask for opinions.
The app is particularly beneficial for work involving numerous stages such as content marketing or recruitment. For example, in a marketing team, writers, editors, and graphic designers participate in creating the promotion campaigns. In this case, Trello ensures that people are aware of the working process and finish the job in time.
Todoist serves as a free assistant to manage your to-do list. A free plan allows for creating up to 80 projects, making it easier to divide your tasks into as many lists as you want. Different lists are available for work, family, household chores, emails, even specific projects, and long-term goals.
The app is also known for its simplicity. You can work on Todoist like a hand-writing to-do list. It only takes a few steps to outline what you need to do and remove it when you’re done.
Gmail is the largest email platform these days with over 1.8 billion users worldwide. The app works excellently in distributing and storing emails for a long period of time. Besides the basic function of sending and receiving messages, you can add emails to reference groups by using labels and forward emails. You are free to customize your recipient list as well.
Furthermore, Gmail provides users with a lot of plug-ins to create tasks in other project management apps like Trello and Asana, send messages in Slack, or add emails to Evernote.
The specialty of Evernote is that it helps keep your storage organized, thus making it easier to find any document whenever in need. The app allows you to take notes by text or voice on any device and save them to your account. Meanwhile, you can integrate it with Google Drive, Gmail, and Outlook to save documents and emails that you may need to refer to later. You can also save a full copy of web pages to your Evernote account.
Zapier works as a connect portal between different apps with no need for coding experience. The app is connected with more than 1500 platforms to help you create e-commerce workflows. For example, Zapier Shopify’s integration allows for automatically exporting order information in a spreadsheet, adding new customers to your email marketing tools, and publishing product descriptions based on a predetermined time.
Slack is a popular app for real-time communication. The app allows users to send an instant message to other team members without the formality of emails. You can also create a common discussion channel for everyone. It comes with free and paid add-ons that help automate the communication process. You install a plug-in to automatically collect daily meeting updates, distribute orders, or send weekly employee engagement surveys.
Another plus point of Slack lies in its wide-range integration with other apps. Besides chatting, you can save attachments directly to Dropbox and Google Drive, or add Slack’s to-do items to your to-do list, among others.
Notion is becoming more and more widely used these days in team management. The app helps ensure every team member has access to a central source of information, thus boosting the overall performance.
Basically, it enables users to create an internal knowledge base that anyone in the company can search and access. You can also build up distinctive workspaces for different teams, such as HR, marketing, sales, and customer service, and quickly look for information recorded by any of them.
Notion’s free plan allows for adding unlimited team members and creating up to 1,000 storage pools, which is good enough for a growing business with a limited budget.
WaveAccounting is one of the best productivity apps in terms of financial management. The tool enables business owners and their financial teams to jointly track sales, invoices, expenses, and profits.
Using Wave’s free plan, you can get unlimited bank account transactions, billing, and receipt scanning. In other words, you can easily collect and integrate all your business income and expenses in a central system. Your employees can add their business credit cards to record the expenses and submit an image of the receipt on the Wave mobile app.
Wave also allows for accepting payments with a number of transaction fees. The advantage is that it can automatically convert the payments into foreign currencies. Finally,
you can integrate your accountants and bookkeepers into your system, and set permissions to ensure that everyone can only see what you want them to see.
The most obvious advantage of Asana is that it allows your team to create your own workflow instead of following a prefixed model. You can choose to present your project in a Kanban dashboard like Trello, or simply view tasks in a traditional to-do list or even a calendar.
The app allows you to manage multiple projects from one central view, whereas in Trello, you need a separate dashboard for each workflow. Furthermore, Asana lets you assign tasks from any project to anyone in your organization from a central dashboard.
However, note that the free plan only works for a maximum of 15 members. So if you have a larger team, you’ll need to subscribe for a paid plan or consider another free app.
Atom8 is one of the best workflow automation apps for e-commerce stores. The app allows for converting repetitive tasks into workflows that execute whenever needed. It can be integrated with email marketing tools (Mailchimp, Klaviyo, Sendgrid), delivery management platform (ShipStations), and order management app (BackOrder) to streamline your business process.
You can set up workflows to publish products based on a schedule, categorize orders based on value, and billing address, segment customers based on demographics, spending, the total number of orders, or even tag customers on CRM, email marketing, and other platforms. It also helps with detecting high-risk orders and protects your store from potential fraud. A lot of gain in just a small plug-in.
So now you know what’s on the market. Next, think through what you want to improve with your business and your budget. Consult your team to get a thorough insight into your working process. We’re running on a free forever plan for Shopify Atom8’s integration. Take a look. It will not let you down.