Entrepreneur - - By Alyssa Gregory

My Collection of Business Tools I Could Not Live Without

There are a lot of different applications, tools and services that I use in my daily work. If I counted up everything I use at least weekly, across all of my devices, I would probably hit somewhere around 55-60. I’ve talked about some of my favorite mobile apps and productivity tools before, but this post focuses on what I use — and need — every day on my main computer in order to run my business.

Here are what I consider the must-have tools and services as well as applications, in order to run my business efficiently. You may know of and use many of these yourself … or maybe you’ll be inspired to try something new.

Collaboration

I use these tools use to share information in the form of documents, spreadsheets, screenshots, etc.

Google Docs – A free, web-based word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, form, and data storage service offered by Google.

Skitch – A free screen capture, annotation and sharing tool for Mac users.

YouSendIt – A free web-based service that lets users send, receive and track large files on-demand.

Communication

These services form the backbone of my communication processes.

BlueTie – Business email hosting with contacts, calendars and file-sharing capability.

HootSuite – Social media dashboard for managing multiple social networks.

Ring Central – A virtual phone and fax system for business communication.

Skype – A free communication service for video and voice calls, instant messages and file sharing.

Graphics/Web/Other Media

From designing to coding to creating audio files, here are the media tools that top my list.

Audacity – A free multi-platform audio editor and recorder.

Illustrator – A vector graphics editor by Adobe.

Jing – A screen capture, screencasting and sharing application by TechSmith.

Firefox (plus relevant plugins) – A free, open-source web browser by Mozilla.

Photoshop – A graphics editing program by Adobe.

TextWrangler – A free text editor for Mac OS X from Bare Bones Software.

Productivity

These tools help me track and manage tasks, complete my standard daily to do’s, manage data and stay up-to-date.

Evernote – A free note-taking application that allows users to collect, sort, tag and annotate notes and other miscellaneous information.

Intervals – A comprehensive project management, task management and time-tracking tool.

iWork/MS Office – Office productivity suites. I lumped these together because I use MS Word and iWork Numbers daily with some of the other apps in the respective suites as needed.

NetNewsWire – A free desktop news aggregator for Mac OS X.

SugarSync – File backup and syncing software.

Your Turn

Of course, this isn’t everything I use, but it does include some of the tools, services and apps I consider most valuable; the ones that really help me to be as productive as possible.

What tools, services or apps could you not live without in your day-to-day work life?

Image credit: forwardcom

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