Game Changers: 20 Essential Online Tools to Use in 2016

Every entrepreneur wants to grow their business, get more clients, earn more revenue, and accomplish more goals.

The problem is that it’s almost impossible to do all this by yourself. You’re busy making dozens of important decisions, managing your team, and trying to get through the present, and you don’t have the time to learn new areas of expertise or the resources to hire new people, at least not yet.

Fortunately, we live in a golden age of technology, and the programmers of the world have dedicated themselves to making everyone’s lives easier.

While there are always some options that are egregiously priced or gimmicky in function, there are dozens of amazing enterprise tools online that can help you better manage and grow your business.

Related Article: My Cheat Sheet: An SEO Manager’s Go-To Digital Marketing Tools

Here are 20 amazing tools, hopefully you will give them a try in 2016:

Marketing Tools

These marketing tools help you set goals, interpret data, reach new channels, and improve your campaigns steadily:

1. Sprout Social

Sprout Social is primarily focused on social media, making it perfect for any business engaged in a social strategy. With social listening, post scheduling, and analytical insights, this app can help you direct, execute, and understand the effectiveness of your social campaign on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.

2. Rocket Ranking

Rocket Ranking 2016 from Rocket Ranking on Vimeo.

If you’re into SEO, Rocket Ranking is the killer app you need to see better results. It offers onsite SEO analyzing capabilities, giving you recommendations for changes to increase your authority and rank. It also has a backlink building tool that helps you find link opportunities that your competition are already taking advantage of.

3. Shopify

Shopify is a perfect tool for small businesses, elevating your e-commerce capabilities to the next level. Integrating with multiple independent platforms, including Pinterest and Twitter, Shopify can help you sell wherever your customers are buying.

4. Insightly

Insightly was a tough fit for this category because it doubles as a project management platform, but primarily it serves as a CRM. This is where you’ll draw the most powerful conclusions about your customer base, giving you the ammunition you need to create targeted messaging that works in your marketing campaigns.

5. Bufferapp

Buffer is another social media tool, somewhat similar to Sprout Social, but with better team-based collaboration and scheduling capabilities. Try both and see which one works better for your needs.

Related Article: 7 Amazing Tools To Simplify Your Inbound Marketing Needs

Project Management Tools

These project management tools are all about keeping your projects and directives in order and properly managed:

6. Trello

Trello has exploded in popularity over the past few years, in part because of its unique visual style. Its system separates projects and to-do items into various lists, such as “ideas” or “in progress” or “completed,” which you can compare side-by-side, and delegate to various members of your team.

7. Drinkle

Drinkle is another tough app to categorize, since it’s both a project management platform and a CRM solution. However, its strength lies in helping you organize your projects and team members’ tasks, giving you greater transparency and control over your project management.

8. Basecamp

Basecamp is a familiar standby in terms of online project management tools, but it remains an effective option. It offers multiple different potential team “roles,” which is ideal if you have in-house workers, freelancers, and clients all working together.

9. Producteev

Producteev is project and task management software ideal for large teams. Using a unique tagging system to categorize and organize projects and tasks, its mobile version is especially useful for teams on the go.  

10. Teamwork

Teamwork, or specifically Teamwork Projects, is a project management app that enables team and client collaboration in an integrated dashboard, and is used by a variety of major brands like PayPal, Pepsi and Forbes.

Communication Tools

These communication tools are designed to get your team on the same page, no matter what:

11.  Mindmeister

Mindmeister is all about collaborative brainstorming, and helps “map” your team’s thoughts and ideas in a single, collective location.

12. Slack

Slack is a rising star chat app compatible with just about every device, and it’s completely free to use, which is perfect for businesses with a tight budget.

13. Boomerang

Boomerang helps your team stay organized by resending unreplied-to emails back to the original recipient. It’s exclusive for Gmail, and you should definitely try it.

14.  Hipchat

HipChat is a team-based chat platform, and one of its biggest draws is the custom selection of emoticons it offers.

15. Campfire

Campfire is a chat option perfect for businesses with multiple teams and sub-teams. With Campfire, you can create individual groups with designated members for project-specific or other exclusive chat opportunities.

Related Article: 14 Tools to Track Key Performance Indicators for Your Business

General Optimization and Efficiency Tools

These miscellaneous tools can otherwise help you and your team get things done more efficiently:

16. Evernote

If you haven’t tried Evernote yet, you need to. Available for every device, Evernote keeps all your meeting and project notes organized in one central location.

17. Dropbox

When it comes to managing and sharing files, Dropbox is still the king. Its pricing remains reasonable, and you’ll never have to worry about losing your files, especially if you maintain a good filing system.

18. Fiverr

Have you ever needed something simple done quickly, but didn’t have time to do it yourself? We all have. That’s where Fiverr shines. For $5 (or another agreed-on rate), you can have a temporary digital assistant knock out those tasks for you.

19. 99 Designs

99 Designs connects you with thousands of freelance designers, giving you fast design options you need for a relatively low price.

20. Google Docs

Document and spreadsheet collaboration is way easier with Google Docs in your lineup. Now it has a mobile app, and it’s easier than ever to keep your team in touch with the latest versions of your work.

Not all of these apps are going to be right for every business. You may try some and find they aren’t right for your team, or aren’t worth the money. However, if you give these apps a fair shot, at least some of them will be valuable additions to your current workflow, quickly returning on your investment.

As long as you keep moving forward and increasing your efficiency, there’s nothing that can stop your business’s acceleration in 2016 and beyond.

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