Whether you’re running a full-fledged business or just getting started, these 10 FREE business tools and apps are what every busy gal needs to help keep things moving smoothly. The fact that they are FREE is a bonus! Anytime you don’t have to carry an added business expense is a happy time, don’t ya think?
These 10 FREE business tools and apps can help any busy business gal bring a bit of order and organization to their life…for FREE!
My Favorite Top 10 FREE Business Tools and Apps- The Basics
Have you met Google and all its little friends? Google has a whole host of free resources that are very popular and easy to use. The best part? Many of their tools and apps provide nearly everything you can find in the Microsoft 365 (paid) Subscription!
One of the most used free email services on the planet, Gmail has been around a long, long time. It’s easy to set up and offers features for labeling and organizing email messages. You can also set up “sections” in your inbox to help you organize all the things you wan to see but aren’t ready to delete or move. Gmail even allows you to have multiple mail boxes in one view! I confess, I keep a LOT of email, so I’ve become adept at setting up labels and categories and using the section functionality.
NOTE: if you want a business email address but do not have a website but you don’t want the @gmail.com extension, you may want to upgrade to Google My Business. Pricing plans begin at $6/month and might be worth it to you if that is important.
Google Drive is a cloud storage system. When you use any of the Google apps, you automatically get 15g of space for free. Google Drive will house all of your email along with any documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDFs, photos, or any other kind of file you want. You can set up folders and share links to your files as well. Google Drive is very handy! I. Use it for a lot of different things. It is THE space I use to store digital products and resources to share with others.
Docs is a word processing solution available through the Google suite of products. It works a lot like MS Word. The Desktop version is pretty much the same. The Tablet version doesn’t have all the functionality but it has enough. I’m able to write most of what I need then move to a desktop for final edits.
Sheets is a spreadsheet solution. Coming from the Excel side of the world, I confess it took a while for me to warm up. Now? I use it exclusively for my business. I create awesome, powerful spreadsheets and Sheets has not let me down. As with Docs, some of the functions aren’t available on a tablet, but they are on desktop. I tend to set up the more complicated sheets on desktop then update on a tablet.
Slides is the Google version of MS PowerPoint. You can create awesome presentations with Slides! But Slides is way more than presentations. Did you know I designed a digital planner in Slides? You can literally create anything graphical with text and links. Cool, huh?
If you have a website, you’ll want to get to know Google Analytics. The amount of data available about your sites trends, click details, and analysis is in a word…overwhelming. I am Not an expert, nor to I claim to be one. There is a ton of free training resources available to learn the ins and outs and how to set up and use the reports. Invest some time to learn it. You won’t be sorry.
Thank you Google for 6 amazing FREE tools perfect for using in your business!
Ok, let’s move on…These next FOUR are also convenient to have and can provide a lot of value depending on your needs.
Disclaimer: If you sign up and validate your account with the apps listed below, I will earn a small commission or credit toward my use of the program or app. It’s kind of like a Win-Win because YOU totally get access to something new and amazing…for FREE!
More FREE Business Tools
Dropbox is a lot like Google Drive. It’s a cloud based file management system. The FREE version of Dropbox provides plenty of storage and was actually the first of the FREE business tools that I used. You can upload any type of file. You can also scan documents and save them as PDF. This comes in handy when you want to store your business receipts digitally.
I’ve been a Dropbox user for about ten years. I started using it at work to share files with a graphic artist. I’ve since expanded it to house nearly everything. If it’s not on Google Drive, it’s on Dropbox. (Trust me, I have a system for what types of information I store in each place.)
They also have a program where you can invite new people to join, and if they do, you gain extra space. That is how the graphic designer who got me into Dropbox has never paid for storage! If you’d like to check it out, I can hook ya up. Just click this link to learn more.
First let me say, Trello organizes my life. Seriously. It’s one of the FREE BUSINESS TOOLS THAT I CANT LIVE WITHOUT. Trello is an online organizational system that is incredibly flexible and can be used for a plethora of things. Trello consists of Boards (think something like a notebook) that contain Lists (think Categories or pages if a notebook,) and Cards that live on the Lists (think sticky notes.)
According to the Trello Blog: Trello is a visual collaboration tool that enables you to organize and prioritize projects in a fun, flexible, and rewarding way. A Trello board is a series of lists, with a bunch of cards attached and packed full with powerful features and automation.
I can write an entire post on the beauty of Trello. The bottom line is that Trello allows you to create and organize and boards for information, tasks, workflows and projects. It also lets you use automations to enhance the functionality. I use Trello to manage my business information, my calendar and tasks, the zillion “freebies” I’ve signed up for, course and membership details, product development, goals tracking and more. You can set up your own boards from scratch or work with existing templates. Trello offers a variety of free templates and then there are people who develop and sell templates (myself included!)
Trello’s free version offers everything for the average bear. The paid version offers more options for those that outgrow the free features. It’s not easy to outgrow the free features! If you’d like to learn more about Trello or sign up for a FREE account, click this link.
Canva is an online graphic design app that allows a novice to create amazing graphics. Graphics are a must for any kind of marketing, be it email, social media, or other platforms. True confession time, I avoided Canva for years! Then the program I was using made some changes and I decided to give Canva a try. It took three days for me to cancel my paid membership to the other one and fully embrace Canva.
Canva provides both free and paid options. There is plenty that a gal can use in the free version to make graphics for her business. The paid version offers more options for using their images and elements as well as a more robust file management system. Canva offers a 30-day free trial of their Pro account if you want to explore the differences between free and paid accounts. If you’d like to learn more, click this link.
If you want to grow an email list, MailerLite is a great FREE business tool. It allows you to grow an email list, write, schedule and send emails, break your list into segments based on interests, create automations, set up websites and landing pages, pop-ups, campaigns, and more. The free version allows up to 1,000 subscribers and the ability to send 12,000 individual emails a month. You also have access to all your analytics and is GDPR Compliant. It easily integrates with WordPress too! If you’d like to add MailerLite to your list of free business tools, click this link.
Whew! That’s a lot of information! There is so much more I can say about these tools that I use to manage and grow my business. But I won’t do that today, because I’m not sure either one I’d us can take in much more.
If you have any questions, leave a comment or email me. I’ll be happy to share more about these FREE business tools and apps.
If you enjoy this kind of thing, you’ll want to join my Insiders Group (see below) to get my (mostly) weekly updates. When you join, I’ll send you a link to download a March weekly planner! Are you following me on Facebook and Instagram? If not, head on over and check it out. I’d love to have you follow along. Until next time,