Every now and again I come across some phenomenal resources. I might tweet it but then it is forgotten.
With this blog entry I aim to create a canva for my friends to find all the great tools I’ve ever found. Naturally this means it is a constantly updating post.
If you have some great resources email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
For the unemployed… (just in case your business venture isn’t paying the bills yet 🙂
– http://www.50waystogetajob.com (thanks Google 🙂
To help you find clients
– http://bom.jte.zone (thanks Marc Ashton)
– localsauce.biz (thanks Asogan Moodaly)
For sending out newsletters (sooo important and so underutilised)
– Mailchimp or SurveyMonkey.
For those who want to know if their business idea is investor ready
– pitchbot.vc or abaca.app (thanks Peter Lundquist)
For tech businesses
– Gitlab (tool for code version control, tasks management and collaboration) – thanks Anton Kulikalov
For team work and productivity
– slack (thanks Anton Kulikalov) and airtable.com, status.coda.io and podio.com (thanks Peter Lundquist)
-Magnetic, Pivotal (thanks Vuyisa Qabaka)
For managing all aspects of your business (i.e. an integrated solution which might take a little time to setup but then all parts speak to each other)
– Zoho comprehensive suite (thanks Syamant Sandhir)
For keeping track of time
– Tsheets.com (Thanks Gillian Rightford)
For virtual meetings
– ZOOM (limited to 45mins),, whatsapp group calls, Appear.in – (thanks Vuyisa Qabaka )
for product demos (ie. showing your product/app etc to potential clients)
– DU screen recorder, Invision (thanks Vuyisa Qabaka )
For learning and upskilling yourself and your staff
– EdXonline, Future Learn and Class Central (thanks David Dunn)
For travelling on a budget
– Blinkist, Jetcost, Couchsurfing (thanks Raoul Rugamba) and also Rome2Rio (free app that helps you get from a to b at the lowest cost using also public transport)
– Boomerang or my favorite Google Apps (though not free at USD 3 per month per user) or MailerLite (thanks ThatPinkHoney)
– Wave apps and Wave Invoicing (thanks Johannes Andreas)
For graphic work (banners, specials for your sales, advertising posts, etc)
– canva.com (thanks Mukundi Lambani)
For managing life, work and teams
– trello and whatsapp for business, asana, evernote (thanks Hilton Theunissen), onenote
For managing your finances and books (not all free but very cheap)
– Wave Apps, Xero for accounting (thanks Hilton Theunissen)
For managing sales
– Pipedrive (amazing tool but I prefer Trello. Go into Pipedrive and then copy their format and structure to Trello – York’s cheat sheet)., proposify (thanks Hilton Theunissen)
HELPDESK software (important to know what people are complaining or struggling with)
– Fresh desk (thanks Vuyisa Qabaka )
To manage meetings and calenders
– Doodle (thanks Vuyisa Qabaka )
Other resources (thanks Jaco du Preez)
– Startup Stash (curated tools for startups), StarupNation.com (everything you need to start your biz), StartupResources.io (best tools for your startup), Business Strategy Templates (for that presentation you will one day need to do… flevy.com), StripeAtlas (if you’re planning on starting an online business cheaply), To find pics for your website etc (Fotolia, Unsplash, PxHere, Pixabay), Finding shit from other people (crwodsupply), to advertise for free your startup (AngelList, VC4Africa and frankly every ducking website list you can find! You want all the traffic in the world)
The Chief Coffee Drinker’s List
If you are curious as to what I use… here is my list (after having tried a thousand apps and having been tired out by most of them). Please note this is a subjective list that works for me so experiment with other apps (not only will you find the perfect one for your working style but also learn how to onboard users and customers, persuade them, etc from others).
For emails I use Google Apps (great email but crap tools like Google Docs) but if Microsoft was a bit more easier to buy I’d go for Office 365 Home edition (5 users) with Outlook Premium which gives you 1TB of space and all the features of office 365 which are really becoming imppressive. For now I use Google Docs because I’m lazy, not because the software is good.
for Docs and storage I bought the USD 10 per month Dropbox (1TB). It is simply the most powerful and best way to manage backups, files etc.
For managing contacts I use ever contact (auto updates your contacts with the lastest info from your emails)
For managing projects, tasks, teams, resources etc I use Trello. It is free. But to setup it up buy yourself the Trello GTD guide (I think it is USD 10?) and learn that step by step system (takes 20 min). Once you have that you’ll be able to manage your life soooo much more effectively. I dropped evernote and OneNote and now use one app for everything in terms of managing resoruces, knowledge, workload etc.
for getting around I use Rome2Rio (free) and Google Maps.
For managing all my loyalty cards and other crap I use Stocard (free app) so I don’t have to carry lots of cards around
True caller to manage my inbound calls and find to whom a number belongs to.
I use the Gmail app for emails. It is prehistoric and actually a little outdated, but I haven’t found a better replacement for now (actually I did – it was called Inbox By Google, but Google discontinued it).
For communication I use TelegramX but I still have whatsapp for business installed (I love whatsapp but hate that Facebook owns it so use it less and less – it is actually only installed on my tablet so I check it only 2 or 3 times a day).
For internet browsing – I use duckduckgo – slightly less powerful than Google Chrome but I LOVE how they protect the user vs selling Googles approach to selling you out.
For social media…
I use Facebook less and less. Keeping it open because so many people are on it, but as a tool it is near useless to me. Am a big fan of the free version of LinkedIn and it generated many amazing connections. Just don’t use it as a CV but rather to promote your work in a specific area of expertise. Love Twitter though still not sure if it generated much traction for what I do other than making me feel good when I get a like. I deleted Instagram for me (but keep it open for one of my businesses – our game lodge http://www.zebrascrossing.com ). Am a big fan of email signatures (clickit media is the best at EUR 4 per month). For blogging: I used to love WordPress but the others have caught up. I use WordPress for now for this blog but have started a personal blog on Tumblr which is so much easier (and free) to use and powerful than WordPress out of the box (WordPress offers much more but most of it is useless to me).
Business – WaveApps. Absolutely amazing (even logs to your bank to retrieve all transactions which you can categorize to monitor spendsing). Free and no clue how they make money.
For personal I use Monefy to track my expenses especially the daily coffees. I do this less for budgeting purposes and more to understand how I spend money and become more conscious about how the small items just add up 🙂
My hardware is specifically for my needs… a EUR 200 Samsung Tablet with S-Pen (the previous edition – I don’t like paying a premium for the latest editions of hardware as it is money wasted). The S-Pen allows me to write and take notes so I’ve eliminated pen and paper almost entirely). Plus a EUR 20 Bluetooth keyboard. For phone I use a Huawei P10 Lite (EUR 220) – great phone (not so great camera) but more than enough for my needs. I don’t own a laptop or computer. Thinking of investing in a Google Chrome Cast so I can project my tablet and phone to big TVs and overheads during presentations. I also own a EUR 5 headset. I am sharing all of this to highlight that you don’t need fancy or horribly expensive equipment to start or run your business. Obviously if you are a developer or do a lot of work on computers get yourself a computer , but even then stay clear of buying the latest and best. There are wonderful places you can get amazing refurbished laptops for rock bottom prices (Unlimited Computers for example in South Africa buys laptops and PCs from banks and they come with guarantees). Never Ever buy a fancy phone costing more than R 10.000. You do NOT need it and you’ll suffer more each month when the contract bill arrives.
Co-Working spaces – steer clear of the big brands like Regus/Spaces/WeWork unless you need their membership benefits. There are far more effective, cheaper and personalized coworking spaces and you’ll be supporting local entrepreneurs to whom you matter much more. Stay clear of renting an actual office until as late as possible. Use Coffee shops, homes, etc. Keep your fixed costs as low as possible.
For cellphones and internet usage
I steer clear of contracts, preferring either top up (e.g. in SA you can buy data for R 10 per GB from Cellc) or month to month contract. I rarely make real phone calls so am mostly a data user. When I travel (which is often) I used a Italian Sim card with international data (EUR 20 for 10GB) which is enough when not within a wifi zone).
For hosting I currrenlly use Axxess in South Africa but they dropped me a few times with my business. Would migrate but haven’t found any really good (and simple) alternatives. I used to enjoy GoDaddy but buying something there is akin to being swamped by cheesy salespeople – they try to sell you anything. 🙂
Hope the above list helps.