Advertising online? Check! So what else can you do with the web? Here are 10 time-saving, fuss-free online tools that make your business life a little easier and your brand a little better:
- RescueTime. Find out just how you are spending your days with this quiet but ruthlessly honest little app. It monitors the active active on your computer; it can differentiate between different tabs on browsers and gives each program and site its own productivity rating. Use it to track down and eliminate your biggest time thieves.
- ViaPost or PC2Paper. Whether in you are in the UK or the US you can send direct mail using just your computer. These sites print your documents out at the relevant sorting office and have them packaged and posted for you.
- DocuSign. Create and securely sign binding documents without ever touching a piece of paper. This app means you can approve contracts on the move and set reminders to makes sure clients sign their part too.
- Turbine. Manage time off requests, purchase orders and other office administration online. This system lets employees submit requests from any device, and means managers can approve and action requests without the need for countless forms and never-ending filing.
- Square or mpowa. Take credit and debit card payments on the move with a smartphone or tablet. These apps send you a small plug-in device for swiping cards, which then takes payments, connects to your accounts and sends receipts via email.
- HARO. Help A Reporter Out lets you put your expertise to use in marketing your company. Journalists send out requests for interviews or information, categorized by subject or specialisation. You receive relevant queries by email and immediately have fantastic, free PR opportunities.
- eFax. Send and receive faxes by email. Route your fax number so that any fax sent to you is sent digitally to your email inbox. Send documents from email and have them arrive in hard copy through the recipient’s fax machine.
- Sparked Community. This new app helps you manage your company’s social responsibility commitment by facilitating micro-volunteering. Your employees use their skills to complete tasks posted by charities or other not-for-profit organisations. You can track participant numbers, hours completed and the financial equivalent of time donated.
- TimeTrade. This app tracks your calendar and when you need to arrange a meeting it automatically offers available slots to clients or colleagues. It doesn’t share the details of your diary, only free time, and then updates your calendar with the slots the other party selects.
- Evernote. This is an incredibly handy way of keeping your ideas, documents, images and anything else you want to remember in one place. The app syncs between all your devices and lets you easily search by keywords, tags or even handwriting in images.
Matthew Stibbe is CEO and writer-in-chief at Articulate Marketing, where he helps high-profile clients such as Microsoft, HP, Symantec and NetJets communicate clearly with their customers. He is also the founder of TurbineHQ.com, the easy way to take care of office paperwork online, including an employee database, expenses, holiday and sickness management and other admin chores. He blogs about business and technology, Bad Language, and about flying on Golf Hotel Whiskey and the Forbes Aviator column. He has a commercial pilots licence and flies a Cirrus SR22, holds a degree in modern history from Oxford University, is a member of the Business Superbrands Council and a Fellow of the RSA – Simone