10 Amazing (Mostly) Free Tools You Need to Know About

free tools

As we’re building our businesses, we all want more – and better – tools and resources. No one would argue it’d be pretty tough to build an entire house with just a hammer. As we mature in our business and our knowledge, it’s also nice to add tools to our arsenal that can make us faster, stronger and smarter. Here are 10 tools to consider:

  1. Slack: Are you tired of using 5 types of communication methods to connect with your team? We’ve been using this tool for a couple of years now. As a virtual company, our emails can get overwhelming. With Slack, all our conversations are kept neatly organized and are easy to find. There’s a free version and the most expensive option is only $12.50 per month.
  2. Answer the Public: This ah-mazing, completely free tool is a content creators dream. We use it to understand what people are searching for when they type in keywords.
  3. Canva: If you haven’t used this yet, definitely set up an account now. The free option is great and it will revolutionize your creativity and ability to post cool things to social media in a very short amount of time. It’s like having a treasure chest of creative resources right in your back pocket.
  4. Google Docs: This has literally changed how we do business. It’s the most incredible tool that allows you to keep all your documents organized. It automatically saves the newest version of changes to any doc, but it also keep a version history, so you can go back and see what you’ve done, or who has made changes. Plus it keeps everything online, so you never have to worry again about your computer crashing and losing everything.
  5. Boomerang: So this is a new free Gmail suite tool I found – well new to me. Why have I not heard of this sooner? I don’t know how I’ve managed so far without it. We all have a crazy amount of email coming into our inbox every day, and a lot of times I find that I’ll send an email and then forget to follow up if I don’t hear back. No more with Boomerang. Boomerang allows you to set reminders so no one and no thing gets dropped through the cracks. Genius.
  6. Hootsuite: We use this to manage all our social media posting. And a recent change Hootsuite has made – if you use Hootsuite and your Instagram is a business profile, you can now post DIRECTLY to Instagram without having to use your phone to just get notified and then post it. However, this only works with single images and not videos.
  7. Meme Generator: Want to create funny, personalized memes? Look no further than this free tool.
  8. Last Pass: Tired of forgetting which password you used for which program, or having to share the login credentials with members from your team for the thousandth time? For less than $4 per month, this software manages everything so you only have to remember one master password and share it with whomever needs it on your team.
  9. Evernote: Ever have brilliant thoughts that get lost, or to-do lists you should’ve written down? This tool will become your best friend to get and stay organized. Clay, our founder, swears by this one.
  10. Frixion pens: This is not a software or online product, but one of the most revolutionary tools I’ve come across in the last five years. It’s an erasable pen. Once I started using these, I’ve never looked back. I can’t even begin to count the number of people I’ve told about these magic vessels of ink goodness. They will change your life, trust me.

And as a bonus, here are two things you should not use a free tool for:

  • Building your own website.
  • Tracking/managing your finances – like simply using an Excel doc.

Building something meaningful, like a business, requires using good tools. Ones that are quality resources and ones that don’t break the bank. Investing a little money in a tool is not bad, if it’s worth it, but if you do that, make sure you discipline yourself to actually use it and get the benefits it offers.

Julie Weldon is on the leadership team of 321GoProject and is the creator and host of GSD Entrepreneur podcast. Her diverse background includes being a cake designer, coaching basketball, traveling to 13 different developing countries to do volunteer work on a year long trip, working in the not-for-profit world for 10 years, starting two businesses, working as a People & Change consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers, taking a product to market (and “failing”, only to get back up and do it a second time), and working as a business coach/consultant to small businesses with her company, A Salty Rim. Her core belief is that it’s always about the people no matter if the company is large or small. Contact her at julie@321goproject.com.

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