When you first thought of starting an individual practice or a small company of your own, you didn’t realize that it would entail so much work that is completely divorced from design. Problems like accounting and project management started to raise their ugly heads, and you all but started to panic. I am going to tell you a little secret. You will live to see your company triumph on this competitive market, if you learn how to organize with the help of several brilliant web apps. Here are some examples.
Invoicing and Financial Apps
All successful companies know how to control their finances. Your start-up or freelance practice abides by the same precept, and can only prosper as long as you organize its monetary aspects with great care. In this sense, it’s enough to start a web search for financial solutions, and you will notice straight off that there are plenty of cloud-based options for entrepreneurs such as yourself. The first of these would be Nutcache.
Nutcache is a free web app that takes all unnecessary complications out of accounting, so that you may even come to enjoy dealing with your incoming and outgoing transactions. Use this glorious app to add your clients and team workers, and then create estimates, track ell expenses, and send invoices to clients. On top of everything, Nutcache also provides a way of tracking the whole team’s working hours.
Apptivo is an amazing all-around solution that currently powers over 40K companies, in 40 countries worldwide, and helps 130K designers and IT specialists deliver top-notch services without compromising on the financial integrity of their business.
The software is not solely focused on invoicing. It also helps you manage your connections with clients, and tackle other administrative tasks. In essence, Apptivo aims to become the central command panel of your business, with a common data model. No less than 45 apps are bundled here together, so you will be able to address such matter as CRM, time management, project management, as well as send invoices that carry the mark of your brand identity.
Even the most insignificant decision can disturb your cash flow and affect your business. It’s amazing how much financial loss you could avert if only you had the time to mull things over before you hire someone or spread your resources too thin. Unfortunately, most of us can’t afford that luxury.
That is the reason why apps like Pulse exist. Pulse was designed to help company owners make winning calls, by calculating their likely financial outcomes for the future, in terms of days, weeks, and months. Give it a try now for free, and you will begin to sense the difference immediately.
Wireframing and prototyping tools
When you design websites, web apps, or mobile apps, you mean for them to be used by people. So, you need to make sure that they deliver a state-of-the-art user experience. Proto.io is a genial app that helps you test the prototype of your ongoing project, and find errors in UX before presenting it to your clients.
By running a series of simulations on your prototype, you will be able to fix anything that does not add up. Afterwards, feel free to create an interactive presentation for your clients, using screen transition effects and animations. Your clients will receive an impeccable rendition of your prototype, in its most finalized form.
In an ideal situation, your clients and team members would be able to read your mind and quickly understand what you’re planning to do. Failing that, you have to come up with a visual representation of your future project, one that comes closest to the picture you’re holding in your mind.
There is no better way to do that than using the wonderful add-on named Powermockup. This add-on is compatible with versions 2007, 2010, and 1013 of Microsoft PowerPoint, and enables you to pick wireframe stencils and icons from an extensive library. Use those tools to strike up a comprehensive presentation, or create new stencils with ordinary PowerPoint tools.
Collaboration and project management tools
Bouncing around with many projects can give any team leader a hard time. Therefore, I recommend a competent solution that automates your project management, such as Comindware Project. The software can be acquired in a package that fits your company requirements best, in terms of both price and mobility (cloud-based, or on-premise).
Once you started working with this app, you’ll notice that your team’s workflow becomes more balanced. A drag-and-drop UI invites you to establish priorities and assign tasks, and then Comindware starts to schedule tasks by itself, as well as re-schedule those that have been delayed. You will be able to take in the entire progress of your project, via a visual Gantt-chart.
Freedcamp is the second project management tool that I really need to bring to your attention. By contrast with other fitting software, Freedcamp is a free app, and it does not compromise on any feature in that respect.
Besides, this app enables you to add any number of clients and co-workers, and keep a direct communication line with all of them through the Meebo chatbar (which includes Gtalk and Live Messenger). With Freedcamp, you can share documents from Google Drive, as well as send invoices, assign tasks, and track time. Overall, this app also includes apps for CRM, or Calendar, Password manager, and Issue tracker.
The notion of time management makes sense in an industry where deadlines command the manner in which you assign your resources. Timeneye is a great app that helps you track how your team of web designers spends your time working on various projects, by generating and exporting detailed reports. It’s remarkably easy to use, and even allows you to add entries from Basecamp.
DeskTime is another viable option. Keeping a close eye on your most valuable resource as human beings in the professional context – time – may help you boost the productivity of your conjoint efforts. This web app is very popular all across the globe, and will make for a terrific ally to your design enterprise.
Email marketing is at the core of any 21st century business. Unless you send newsletters that convince people to come looking for your services, no one will come knocking at your door. Reach out to Sendloop in order to polish your emails and send them out in their best possible shape.
You can use the drag-and-drop customizer to fashion spectacular emails that are 100% responsive to all existing sorts of devices. The whole matter will only take 5 minutes of your precious time, and Sendloop also tracks your email metrics in real time.
In the interest of variety, I’m going to mention one more web app that you can turn to anytime, and trust to transform your email marketing campaigns for the better. Mailigen welcomes you with an eclectic variety of stunning email templates. You simply have to get your mind set on one of them, and then start sending appealing newsletters. Even further, Mailigen collects and analyzes data pertaining to your email campaigns, and you can see how they went by consulting very detailed reports and statistics.
A crucial part of running a healthy business is that of knowing how to communicate with your target-audience. Typeform is a fantastic web app that helps you gather all important information via online forms and surveys that look wonderful across mobile devices and take very little time to create.
Use Typeform for free, and you will be able to strike up as many forms as you need, and receive all available responses. The pro version, however, includes automatically respondent notification messages, and unlocks many other fields.
Alternatively, you may like to use FormAssembly. This handy little web app is extremely easy to use, and it will give you a straightforward way of gathering essential data with your web forms. Not just small companies, but medium-sized and corporate-level ones trust it with this vital task, as well.
Finally, I would like to suggest a couple of web apps that help you and your team mates share files in an effective manner. CloudApp is perfect for that purpose, since it offers an uncomplicated way to share screenshots, code snippets, video or audio files, bookmarks, and zip archives. Besides, you can also use a Raindrop and share from Photoshop.
Another great contender when it comes to sharing files with your colleagues is Droplr. This clever app also stays out of your way, and permits you to send up to 2 GB at a time. The storage capabilities, however, are limitless, and you can always edit how many other users exist, as necessity dictates.
I have reached the end of my list. I hope this eclectic account of 15 marvelous web apps helps you bring your company up to speed in every regard, and gets you closer to the success that you’ve been avidly searching for. I bid you good luck and good bye.