SAAS (Software as a Service) is the new norm these days with every possible business and development need being put on the web to be done from anywhere. There are some great tools and not so great tools. Some are free and most have trial periods so you can kick the tires. Here are the ones we recommend. If you use something that you think others will benefit from please comment below and we’ll check it out.
Moqups.com (Free – $29/month)
This is a really cool tool for coming up with a wirefram mockup of your website, interface or project. I haven’t done anything serious with this yet but it seems very capable and clean.
Zapier.com (Free trial, $0-99/m)
Want to connect your accounting system to twitter so if an invoice goes past 30 days you tweet a public message to humiliate your client? Yea, me niether but you could do that. Zapier can connect almost anything to anything. Really helps with Migrating invoice systems or email systems or automating workflows and all for a small monthly fee.
Quoteroller.com (Free trial, $19-199/m)
I love this tool. The interface is slightly clunky at first but the pricing module is just worth the cost alone. Being able to offer clients an estimate where they can pick and choose services, tiers and allowing them to adjust quantities of a particular service and then accepting and discussing the proposal online makes this tool stand out from a lot of other lessor quote management tools. I have never had a complaint from a client yet and it makes putting out proposals fun again (if it ever was).
flinto.com (Free trial, $20/m)
This is a great web-tool for generating mockups for client. Wether it’s a web mockup or app (what I use it for) you can create cool interaction with just screenshots so you can do rapid prototyping and mockups before the heavy lifting begins. The coolest feature allows you to create an actual fake “app” on an ipad, phone or tablet that acts like an app so your client can really visualize what you are trying to do.
Moo.com (online store)
I get all my business cards from Moo.com. I love the Luxe and the minicards. They definitely stand out and I hope people actually keep my cards longer because of it. They also print stickers, labels, cards and much more. They have great pre-sale support and the templates they give you make it easy for your or your designers to create content.
Stripe.com (free+processing fees)
For online payments nothing is better. Great support and development api libraries. If you can’t figure out how to get a payment into your site or system then your system or developer is lame. They make it foolproof. My only wish is that they had a swiper tool app.
Wunderlist (free, paid version)
I use this every day to manage my tasks and todos. There are versions for all platforms (mobiles, desktops and web) and it all stays in sync. They are coming out with a new version soon and there are paid levels for more team interaction,etc… but I am happy with the free version. The UI is also very clean and modern.
Evernote (free, paid version)
This is a tool I have struggled with as I would stop using it for long periods of time and then I’d use it all the time. The key to Evernote is to use it all the time. It makes organization of projects and notes and webpages and anything else on your computer easier to manage. I use it on conference calls to take notes and jot down ideas when I am driving using the recording feature. The web grabber is a little clunky when you first use it but it gets much easier the more you use it.
Pivotal Tracker (60 day trial, Free – $750/m)
Managing projects with software doesn’t need to consist of MS Project and Visio and a bunch of gantt charts. Pivotal Tracker is a SCRUM / Agile based tool that will let you track user stories, request, bugs, etc.. and assign them teams and track the status of that task from start to finish. For a primer on AGILE look here. I like that the site doesn’t try to give you every possible feature. You use as much as you need and you can manage your own tasks with minimal effort or an entire team of people.
Need a logo on the cheap. Don’t want to pay $250 for the 99 designs (Which we also recommend) then fiverr is what you want to use. You’ll get a logo or many other services at a price you name. Sure, your designer, coder, writer will be in a village somewhere that is blurry on Google earth but hey, it’s $5.
Need an online database for you or a team?
These all cost something from free to expensive but the free ones are pretty good. I suggest using the trial mode first anyway.