~ by Haley Lynn Gray ~
Do you have big goals for your startup business in 2018?
If you answered “Yes”, then read on.
To make your plans come to reality, you’ll need the right tools to power your way to business success.
Here are 5 tools to supercharge your productivity.
1. Project management – Trello
If your business relies on a team, especially one that collaborates virtually from remote locations, you need extra help to keep everyone on the same page. With Trello, you can break projects down into tasks and make it clear who’s responsible for what. You’ll also have a clear view of what’s complete and what’s still pending.
Set up your online Trello board with lists that include cards for each step or task. As you collaborate, you and your team can upload documents, create comments and checklists, mark due dates, and use color-coded labels to track tasks.
Because you can invite collaborators to join an individual board, you can include freelance contributors as well as employees as needed. Notifications let everyone know when important milestones arrive, from deadlines to accomplishments. The Trello mobile app helps remote teams bond wherever they are.
Power-Ups add modular features to Trello boards. Their functionality expands your boards with applications that enhance communication, file management, marketing, sales, support, and more.
- Free: Unlimited boards, cards, and teams. One Power-Up per board. File links and attachments up to 10MB in size
- Business Class upgrade: $9.99 monthly fee per user (with an annual pay plan). Unlimited Power-Ups. Files up to 250MB. Enhanced control of board creation and management. Priority e-mail support.
- Enterprise upgrade: Up to $20.83 monthly fee per user (with an annual pay plan). Additional customized security features. Dedicated account support and personalized training.
2. Team Management and Communications – Asana
Create to-do lists with individual tasks, projects, conversations, and dashboards, and synchronize them among members of your team. Transform items from class to class, turning conversations into tasks. Establish milestones that combine task identification with due dates that connect activities with those responsible for completing them.
Share files from cloud storage sites including Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive, as well as local files. Track individual team members’ responsibilities on a project-wide calendar. See a progress graph that tracks overall progress toward specific goals and identifies potential problems with task completion.
Mobile apps keep Asana at your fingertips wherever you and your team members travel or live.
- Free: Unlimited tasks, projects, and conversations. Maximum of 15 team members. Dashboards and search are limited to basic options.
- Premium upgrade: Up to $9.99 monthly fee per user (with an annual pay plan). Unlimited team members and premium dashboards. Advanced, customizable search and tracking features. Add start dates. Designate teams and projects as private. Make tasks contingent on completion of other tasks. Priority support.
- Enterprise upgrade: Pricing available on request. Advanced administrative controls, security features, and branding. Customized support. Data export and deletion. Control and block the integration of other apps. Added log-in security. Uptime guarantees. Multi-location backups.
3. Team Management and Communications – Slack
Communication forms the lifeblood of effective teams. Slack handles team telephone and discussions through public and private channels you can dedicate to specific subject matter or use to handle private discussions. Built-in voice calls and video calls with screen sharing remove the need for added communication apps. Direct messages support one-to-one conversations and small groups. Shared channels and guest accounts enable you to integrate clients, vendors, and contractors directly into your communication flow.
Slack also includes file sharing with support for uploading local documents or accessing them through asset platforms including Dropbox and Google Drive. Its search capabilities help you locate file assets, messages, and notifications you’ve archived. Connect your communication through a public or private WordPress site or in Skype.
Indexed, searchable archives make the entire history of your communications and file assets accessible quickly and responsively. Smart search recommendations point you to relevant materials. At enterprise scale, Slack accepts direct integration of hundreds of apps.
- Free: Searchable access to 10K of most-recent team messaging. Integration of up to 10 custom or third-party apps and services. Up to 5 GB of file storage. One-to-one voice calls and video conferences. Standard support.
- Standard: $6.67 monthly fee per active user (with an annual pay plan; monthly per-user cost rises to $8.00 with monthly billing). Unlimited searchable messaging. Unlimited integration of custom or third-party apps and services. Integrate clients, vendors, and freelancers through external access to shared channels and to single- and multi-channel guests. Enhanced log-in access and security. Customizable policies for retention of files and messages. Creation of customized groups of team members. Add up to 15 team members to voice-only and video conferences with interactive screen sharing. Enhanced search functions. Up to 10 GB of file storage per team member. Priority support.
- Plus: $12.50 monthly fee per active user (with an annual pay plan; rises to $15.00 with monthly billing). Addition sign-in and authentication options. Specialized message exporting. Add and remove users. Up to 20 GB of file storage per team member. Round-the-clock support and guaranteed uptime.
4. Personal Productivity – Wunderlist
To manage the tasks involved in a personal to-do list, Wunderlist gives users the ability to establish due dates and issue reminders. Shared lists enable subscribers to collaborate with friends, family, and colleagues. Wunderlist offers support for Macs and PCs, iOS and Android devices, Kindle Fire, and an online version for even broader support.
Folders organize related lists. Notes and comments capture ideas and communicate shared objectives. Due dates and reminders keeps deadlines top of mind. Notifications provide updates. Browser extensions enable you to create to-do items from e-mail messages and information you find online. In the Business upgrade, Wunderlist supports task delegation, and a team Activity Center to make individual task completions visible to all employees.
- Free: Multi-device support. Creation and sharing of lists. Unlimited comments. File uploads up to 5 MB of storage. Delegation of up to 25 assigned to-do items. Creation of up to 25 subtasks within each to-do goal. Choice of 20 backgrounds to personalize the look of Wunderlist.
- Pro: $4.99 per month. Adds unlimited assigning, file storage, and subtasks. Choose from 30 Wunderlist backgrounds.
- Business: $4.99 per user per month. Adds centralized administration and billing, team management, and team-size flexibility
5. Employee Hiring – Goodhire
Before you add new members to your team, you need to verify credentials, references, skills, and more. These needs become increasingly difficult to meet when you look beyond your local market to build a team of remote workers. Hiring unqualified candidates or individuals with dubious backgrounds expose you to risks and liabilities, as does using unqualified tools to screen candidates. Goodhire manages all these screening processes and more with turnarounds that typically range from one to three days.
From automated instant background checks to more in-depth verifications, Goodhire can customize inquiries with add-ons including drug screens and international checks. All checks provide respectful service that treats candidates fairly.
- Basic: $29.99 per check (plus a one-time setup fee) delivered in one business day. Data limited to Social Security Number trace, and a search of national criminal databases and sex offender lists. Costs drop when customers order more than 50 checks per year.
- Standard: $54.99 per check (plus a one-time setup fee) delivered in one to three business days. Adds a search of the domestic terror watch list and a seven-year search of county criminal courts. Costs drop when customers order more than 50 checks per year.
- Premium: $79.99 per check (plus a one-time setup fee) delivered in two to three business days. Adds verification of education and employment. Costs drop when customers order more than 50 checks per year.
At Gotkard, we use tools everyday to successfully grow our business. You too can use these powerful business tools to smash your goals!