There are two things in common among all small businesses. They’re ambitious, and they’re busy; meaning spare time a rare luxury. You can’t always be sitting at the desk to work and be available for a face to face meeting, but thankfully there is a single piece of technology that always keeps you connected, your phone! You and your team can always stay connected through mobile apps that will boost and maintain productivity.
Slack is the premier instant message program focused on productivity (with a side of fun). It is the best way to share information, images, or any other type of data between team members. It connects PCs and phones alike, and has a built-in virtual bot that can be programmed to complete a huge array of tasks.
Chatting through instant messenger is the most convenient and reliable way to communicate. It’s even better than face to face communication most of the time. Why? One big reason is that you can review the conversation later on. You can also use visual aids, or link further information without having to explain it in person, saving the time of your team for more important tasks.
Best of all, it can be free! If you need more power behind it, they have monthly fees for each member of the team, up to $12.50 per user per month.
More than just a task manager, Asana tacks on communication and social networking to their app. Teams and members can do everything a regular task manager can do – such as assign tasks, see dashboards on progress in a project, and set due dates – plus they can send instant messages, comment on, and like tasks or updates, or follow tasks and projects for customized notifications. All of this in both a well-designed desktop and an intuitive mobile app.
Asana starts off at the low introductory price of free for up to 15 team members and goes up to a monthly fee of $10.00 per user per month if you need more licenses or power.
As Pinterest is for photos, Trello is for lists. It is the master of keeping lists. You could use it for task lists, and skip Asana but you’d miss out of dashboards and other goodies.
No, Trello is more than that. It’s a way to organize priorities, research, images, dates or anything you might want to list. It’s flexible which means that lists can be reorganized on the fly, allowing your small business to pivot at a moment’s notice. It’s easy to manage through a simple and intuitive drag and drop interface which effectively remove the steep learning curve attached to some similar applications.
Trello also starts at a price of free, just like everything else so far, but it lets you have unlimited lists and users. What they lock you out on is connecting your Trello boards to other applications, like Github, Salesforce or Slack. If you want those, the price rises to $10.00 per user per month.
JIRA is part of Atlassian’s suite of tools specifically designed for software teams. It’s used to plan and execute plans on crafting software. It lets you track bugs, craft flows, and organize and iterate on release cycles.
On it’s own, Jira is a useful tool, but combined with other Atlassian apps such as HipChat and Confluence, it is something that simply indispensable for small businesses.
After a seven day free trial, JIRA has a different pricing structure. If they do the hosting, you pay a monthly fee ranging from $10.00 a month for up to 10 users and scaling up to $1500 a month for 2000 users. If you prefer to host your own server, or network of servers, JIRA has different pricing structures.
Everyone’s familiar with Google. Gmail is probably the most famous web-based email there is out there. Google Drive is another offering that allows you to host and share any file type with any other drive user. If you prefer to collaborate on the same document or image with one or more other team mates, Google files allow for real-time collaboration. It’s quite something watching three people typing out a manual together, in separate locations, crafting it in a third of the time that it would have taken individually.
With Drive, you pay for space. You can pay nothing for 15GB, or you can get up to 30TB for $300 a month.