We are all inundated with “new” and “improved” options for doing business online everyday. As business changes seemingly every second in this exciting online world, small businesses and freelancers must handle a variety of projects with multiple clients. It gets difficult to choose which products to invest time, but it’s a necessity to remain ahead of the curve and collaborate efficiently.
To keep things simple, I highly recommend three products to handle the following: web-based office tools, email campaigns, and identity management.
Google Apps - It comes as no surprise and they definitely aren’t in any dire need for any more publicity, but Google Apps is the unquestioned leader for office tools in the cloud. They obviously handle email, which continues to improve with no hassle on my end and has great search capabilities. Their documents can be shared and edited with multiple people, including forms that can be sent online and automatically uploaded into their spreadsheets. They take care of calendar and contacts as well. Also, they integrate with many business products in the Google Apps Marketplace, which really brings them to an untouchable level.
MailChimp - I haven’t found a mass email solution that works as easy and efficiently as MailChimp. Whether you are sending one email to a prospective client and want to make it look extremely professional with HTML format or you are sending automatic monthly emails to 10,000+ users and want to track which links specifically were clicked from people who opened your email, they cover it all.
OneLogin - As consultants, clients, and employees come and go and the amount of different websites we utilize expands, nothing can cause more of a problem than a lost password or needing to revoke a user’s privileges. OneLogin has come to save the day in that regards. You can register all of the sites you access to your dashboard for one-click login for both business and personal uses. You can allow specific users to have one-click login access to certain sites without having to give them any password, aside from their OneLogin password, which you can easily remove or alter with you administrator capabilities. Also, their help is ridiculously fast, which just seals the deal. Every time I recommend a product to be added, it usually takes less than an hour for them to get back to me saying that have everything configured.
I hope that helps some of you. When I was looking around, my goal was simple: remain lightweight and agile in the ever-changing business cloud world. Hopefully, you do the same.
What are some products that you use and why? We love hearing new ideas.
posted by Casey Armstrong