Top 5 Essential Online Software for All Startups

If you’re a startup entrepreneur, you probably already know how crucial it is in this day and age to keep organized online. Having the right apps and software in place can dramatically increase productivity levels on your team. Plus, with software getting cheaper and cheaper, it’s more affordable than ever to get your team on board with these useful tools.

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These online software tools can keep your startup connected and operating efficiently. | Photo: Taskworld

Forget comparing and contrasting different software, subscription plans, and feature sets. We’re rounding up the top five essential online software that practically any startup can benefit from. It starts with Taskworld.

1. Taskworld

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Photo: Taskworld

Taskworld is a complete solution for managing and distributing tasks. Visual task boards provide everyone with an easy grasp on what they need to do, how to do it, and when to complete it. You can assign tasks to one or several people, plus include details like file attachments, a due date and tags. Then just drag and drop tasks into the appropriate boards as they get completed. How you organize your boards is up to you, but Taskworld provides templates: project members, days of the week, departments — just to name a few.

Clever organization gives you one glance at everything happening within your startup.

Tasks live within projects that you can also create and assign. Projects are either public for the entire workforce to access or limited to relevant team members. Plus, this clever organization gives you one glance at everything happening within your startup and the to drill down further into tasks as needed. Taskworld provides analytics for checking on progress and completions within tasks, projects, and member assignments.

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Photo: Taskworld

Another terrific feature of Taskworld is the built-in chat. It basically combines most of the functionality of Slack right into the client — two apps in one. You get public channels for the entire team to see, private channels for smaller groups, and direct messages.

Rachel Burger, senior editor at software review giant Capterra said about Taskworld, “If Steve Jobs were to make a minimalist, effective to-do application, this would be it.”

Taskworld is a complete solution for managing and distributing tasks.

Taskworld is free to try for 15 days. Pricing thereafter is simple: pay based on the amount of users you require. It starts at just $8 per month and includes access to the mobile apps as well.

2. Google Docs

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Photo: Google

For quite a while, Google Docs has been the collaborative productivity app to beat. This web-based software includes tools for creating documents, presentations and spreadsheets. The amount of templates and features can compete with the likes of Microsoft Office, but the easy collaboration is bar none. Just invite one or several Google users to join in on a project and you can all edit in real-time. Watch each other work together, then discuss using the built-in chat.

Google Docs is free itself, but startups should really take advantage of G Suite which adds far more storage and includes custom email addresses. That starts at $5 per month and increases based on users.

3. Intercom

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Photo: Intercom

Intercom is a suite of intelligent products designed to put you in direct communication with your customers. This platform lets you set up a chat system right on your website to communicate with customers, send targeted email and in-app alerts to keep customers engaged, create a knowledge base to provide automatic support, and offer a live help desk complete with chat, email and social media support. These four products — Acquire, Engage, Educate and Resolve — work seamlessly together to ensure customers always feel in the loop.

Intercom states on its website that “Every website visitor is a sales opportunity. Chat and convert them to customers.” This couldn’t be more true, and the tools you get with an Intercom subscription allow you to easily do just that. After your 14-day free trial, Intercom starts at just $110 per month for a whopping 250 people. You can also buy the four products individually starting at $49 per month each.

4. Zendesk

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Photo: Zendesk

Zendesk’s famous customer service and ticket software already has many high-profile businesses on board like Box and Shopify. The suite includes tools for chatting with customers online, a built-in call center, social apps, an analytics monitor, and even software for targeted campaigns. The goal is to improve customer relationships, minimize support issues, and make handling data from customers simple and manageable.

Zendesk’s Support, Chat and Talk services are available now and start at just $5 per month per user. Explore and Connect, the new tools for analytics and campaigns are coming soon with their own pricing.

5. Canva

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Photo: Canva

Virtually every startup should be using Canva.

Canva is an absolutely beautiful and easy-to-use design program. It lets you create magnificent marketing materials for just about any purpose. Whether you want to create gorgeous social media posts, stunning email images, ads, letters, or even restaurant menus, Canva turns anyone into a professional designer. It includes access to over one million stock images, plus thousands of templates and gorgeous fonts. Once you fill in your information and add in photos, your design is basically complete and ready for download. Virtually every startup should be using Canva.

Canva is free for personal use. Teams looking to collaborate plus add in custom fonts and custom logos can sign up for a premium subscription, which is as little as $10 per month.