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Software Tools We Use

written by Jade Jensen

You know how it goes. Every time you start a new job or a new position, there are often several software programs you must learn how to use.  For most of us, that can be a pain in the neck, but once you get in the habit of using those tools, it usually makes your job significantly easier—at least it should.

At Appsky Labs, we have browsed through many CRM, project management, and email tools. The following tools are what worked best for us! We recommend checking them out if you are searching for a specific tool.

ProsperWorks – Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM tools can be a complicated mess. You shouldn’t receive a massive headache each time you login. The goal of a CRM tool is to make your life easier, right?  It took us a while to find the CRM tool that best suited our needs. For us, that was ProsperWorks.

 

ProsperWorks is a simple tool that is recommended by Google and integrates seamlessly with G Suite.  We would argue that it is one of the easiest-to-use CRM programs out there, largely because of its simplicity.

 

Key Points:

  • Connect your google calendar

  • Invite team members to access

  • Generate reports over sales and pipelines

  • Create tasks and deadlines to follow

  • Keep track of your activity

  • List potential leads

  • List people and your connection to them (pulls from your gmail account)

  • List companies and your relationship with them

  • Create different pipelines, such as a sales pipeline or an interview pipeline

  • Keep track of people/clients in the pipelines and where they are at in the process

  • Place to put down projects/clients in the pipelines and where they are in the process

Software Tools We Use

MixMax – Email Management

It’s no lie that a person could spend hours on emails alone each day.  Between composing new emails, responding to emails, and reading emails, your life is consumed by emails.  Unfortunately, no tool exists for you that can respond and send out all emails for you quite yet (hello artificial intelligence, can you do that???). Until then, using a tool like MixMax can save you some time and make your emails to clients look more professional.

 

Key Points:

  • Create email templates and use them, rather than composing new emails

  • Insert unique signatures in your emails

  • Display web previews for links you share

  • Include polls, surveys, and more within your email.

  • Attach your availability, so people can schedule meetings with you directly through the email

  • Write code snippets in Gmail

  • Insert gifs into your emails (that makes it more fun, don’t you think??)

  • Undo send to fix or adjust the wording in an email (did you forget to attach?)

  • Customize emails with your company branding

  • Track when people look at/open your email and how often

Software Tools We Use

Qwilr – Proposals

Need to send proposals or visually appealing sales documents to potential clients? Use Qwilr! This tool is our go-to tool for creating proposals for our clients. Instead of sending a PDF over to a client, you can send Qwilrs to clients that looks amazing regardless of the device used.  Each Qwilr is an interactive, mobile-friendly webpage that is easy to design and change.

 

How does it work? Think of it like building blocks.  You can create a block for each section of the proposal.  For example, create a price quote section with the description of the service or product, the rate, quantity (number of hours), and Qwilr will calculate the price and total it up.  Create as many sections as you need and save some of the sections as templates to use again and again, saving time and energy.

 

Key Points:

  • Add images/videos

  • Include price quotes

  • Keep your company branding, by choosing a set typeface for each header section

  • Share proposal to client via link

  • Accept/decline proposal option, e-sign, and pay

  • Attach maps, surveys, and spreadsheets

  • Protect documents with passwords, time limits, and view limits

Software Tools We Use

 

Bric – Project Management

 

Have you ever predicted that a project for a client would take 100 hours, but ended up taking 150 hours? Do you ask the client for more money? Or do you take the hit because you didn’t predict the right number of hours in the first place? This can hurt your business, which is why Bric comes in handy.

 

Using Bric, you can predict the number of hours each project will take, insert the deadline, and it will divide how many hours will need to be spent on the project each week.  Then, you can schedule each employee to work on “x” number of hours on that project each week.  The employees will log in their hours on their timesheet.  This a great measurement of how many hours are spent on the project and if more hours are spent then need be.  Making future projections more accurate.

 

Key Points:

  • View calendar with all projects

  • View employee calendars and how many hours they have available

  • Request time off

  • Keep track of number of hours spent on projects

  • Measure your team’s work capacity

  • Place client information in one location

Software Tools We Use

Xero Accounting – Financial Management

 

Xero is the tool that we use to keep track of everything money related.

 

Key Points:

  • Send out invoices to clients whenever and wherever on your phone or online

  • Connect your bank account(s)

  • View bank balances, invoices, bills and expenses all in one convenient location

  • Keep track of payroll for employees

Software Tools We Use

 

Hootsuite – Social Media Management

 

If you aren’t already using this tool to manage your social media, you should consider changing that.  Social media management can be a time consuming. Taking the time each day to post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, is a lot more work than one may think.  That’s where Hootsuite comes in handy.  Using Hootsuite, you can schedule out all your posts days in advance.  If you’re ambitious enough, you could take one day every week to plan and schedule all your social media posts for the following week.  Heck, you could do it for the whole month! Trust us when we say Hootsuite is worth the investment.

Software Tools We Use

Unsplash – Stock Photos

 

This is a great website for anyone who likes to create graphics and needs high resolution pictures. All the photos are free for anyone to use and manipulate as one pleases. If you need a photo, consider Unsplash!

Software Tools We Use

Iconfinder – Icons

 

If you’re like us, you’re building websites and apps.  We frequent the website, Iconfinder, for any icons we want on the websites and apps we build.  It’s a database of over 1,700,000 icons and is affordable.

Software Tools We Use

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