“Online business models are still evolving. New and different products and services pop up every day. This gives rise to supporting products and services. A business can make substantial profit by helping others execute their plans for making money.” - Mark Ostrofsky
Running a business can be described as a never-ending challenge. There’s always something to be done or some problem to be solved. Running an online business is even harder. In addition to all the aspects of a regular business, an online business has to deal with the challenge of distance. Usually, in an online business, clients and employees alike are scattered across the globe.
It’s only natural that many businesses have taken to the internet in order to make their own lives easier and in order to work better, and so should you. You need to use the various tools and apps that were designed to solve the most common business problems, be they related to communication and collaboration, billing and accounting or calendars and scheduling.
What follows is a list of 99 online tools and apps that you can use in order to improve your work flow and make sure your online business is a success.
1. Project Management, Task Lists, Planning, Collaboration & Workgroups
- Torch Project Management – A complex suite that lets you centralize all your messages, e-mails, files, tasks, Google Docs and many other elements you may make use of when undertaking a project. You can bid, track your time and invoice clients with it.
- TeuxDeux – A simple iPhone to-do list app. It’s very sleek and works well.
- No Kahuna – This is a very straightforward project management app that has been streamlined extremely well.
- MinutesInAMinute – An online app that lets you keep track of your company meeting minutes.
- ProcessMaker – In a company, procedures are important. This app will help you create such procedures in order to organize your company’s work flow and eliminate paperwork.
- Oh Don’t Forget – A great way to send reminders to your phone that’s perfect for all the little reminders that don’t quite warrant a Google Calendar entry of their own.
- ProjectPipe - If yours is a small or middle sized team, you may want to consider this project management app.
- Task2Gather – This is a free online task and project management app.
- TaskAnyone – This handy app lets you assign tasks via email and it will follow up on them until completion.
- LiquidPlanner – This great tool has rolled team management, task management and project management into one convenient app.
- Collabtive – This is an easy to use collaborative project management program that tracks milestones, task limits, time and more.
- Basecamp – Basecamp is one of the best project management tools out there. It’s easy to use and it lets you do a lot of stuff, from the creation of multiple customized projects to file-sharing, the creation of to-do lists, milestones and much more. If you haven’t tried this out yet, you definitely should.
- Zoho Suite & Zoho Projects – An impressive suite of online business tools that ranges from docs to wiki, planning and invoicing. Zoho Projects is a more complex project management tool than Basecamp. What it does gain in terms of features, though, it loses in ease of use. If you need a more powerful project management tool, then this is for you. If not, then you should probably just stick to Basecamp.
- Google Docs – One of the most popular document creation in a collaborative environment out there. If you haven’t started using this yet, then you should definitely do so.
2. Whiteboards, Mind Maps, Charts & Graphs
- ExploraTree – This is a cool online mind mapping tool that provides you with ready-made thinking guides. It can come in handy.
- Best4C – This is a neat online charting and diagramming tool that will definitely come in handy when working on your presentations and when reviewing your own work.
- MindMeister – Possibly the best mind mapping tool out there. It’s a great tool for anyone tha has trouble brainstorming. Be sure to check it out.
- WiseMapping – This is yet another mind mapping tool that allows you to publish and share your mind maps.
- Scriblink – This is a simple app that provides you with an online whiteboard. Sometimes that’s all you need.
- Gliffy – This is another charting and diagramming tool that can be pretty handy when you need it.
3. Calendars, Schedules & To-Do Lists
- NowDoThis - This may be one of the simplest tools in this entire article, and maybe that’s what makes it so effective. It makes the to-do list obsolete and gets you to focus on one thing at a time. It’s a great way to run a schedule.
- Appointy – This online tool does exactly what you would expect it to do: it keeps track of your appointments. It’s pretty effective.
- Scheduly – This tool adds your business to their directory and lets your customers schedule their own appointment time slots from the ones you’ve set as open. It’s a very cool way to schedule your appointments.
- Remember the Milk – This is a wonderful task management app that supports gMail integration. Definitely worth checking out!
4. Conferences & Meetings
- Hipchat – This is a cool group messaging app that helps you share files, create chatrooms and collaborate with multiple people in real time. No more tedious email exchanges.
- SnapEngage – A very cool live chat tool that you can implement in order to let customers get in touch with you before purchase or after completion in order to avoid any excessive emails.
- Yammer – This is another great tool that aims to create better communication among a group of people. What it does is it creates a private social network for your business and has an interface that is similar to that of popular socialization sites such as Twitter.
- Skype – You can’t really make a list of conference software without mentioning the most popular voice messaging software at this point. If you don’t know Skype by now, you should definitely check it out. It lets you make voice & video calls online from your computer, phone or tablet. All in all, it’s a great conferencing tool.
- GretaStudio – This nifty app lets you create all sorts of audio-visual presentations, record trainings and e-learning materials.
5. Time Management & Tracking
- Toggl – A great desktop time-tracker that supports full integration with popular project management tools like Basecamp and FreshBooks.
- Motismo – This is a great time tracking app for creative professionals.
- Harvest – A great time tracking app that generates complex time sheets simply and efficiently. It also has an integrated invoicing & payment service.
- LiveTimer – This is an online time tracking service that has reporting features, touch interface for mobile devices and more.
- Tempo – This is a cool and simple time tracking app with reporting features.
- TrackMyPeople – Track your employees’ and your own time online with this nifty app.
6. Finances: Accounting, Billing, Invoicing & More
- Freshbooks – Our top pick for invoicing software. It helps you manage invoices and accounts as well as track time. If you’re working freelance or are managing a team of freelancers, then you should definitely give this handy tool a spin.
- LiteAccounting - This is a sleek accounting tool that lets you invoice your clients and track your payments without too many confusing extra features that you most likely will never use.
- BrainTree – A great app that makes online credit card payments as simple as possible.
- Invoice Journal - While this app may not be as powerful as some of the others on this list, it is completely free, so there’s that to take into account.
- BlinkPay – A great online payment tool that processes credit card information online, thus substituting services such as PayPal.
- BlinkSale – A great invoicing & payment tracking app. BlinkSale also sends automated reminders and thank you messages to your clients. It is fully integrated with BlinkPay.
- The Invoice Machine – This is a very straightforward invoicing tool that lets you create good-looking invoices quickly and without much hassle.
- ContractPal – This is a handy tool that’s worth checking out. It makes you go completely paperless as far as your contracts and forms are concerned. Yes, it lets you complete, validate, sign and proccess them online.
- Bootstrap – This online bookkeeping tool lets you keep track of your sales and expenses as well as organize your records for taxation and more functions.
- Zapproved – This is a neat app that lets you create and send proposals, manage the approval process and reach agreements easily. Definitely worth trying out if you’re looking to optimize your proposal system.
- Mint – A free money management tool that helps you keep track of your income, spending and investments quickly and efficiently.
- GoToBilling – This is a cool online app that lets you manage your invoices and payments as well as your marketing and your customer relations and more. It’s definitely worth looking into.
7. Crowdsourcing, Networking & Community
- LittleEngine – This is a community of small businesses and their patrons that try to buy locally and support local businesses. All in all, it’s a great resource to get people in your area to know you.
- OctopusCity – It’s a great resource for building an online business network. You can create minifeeds, use its embedded messaging service and create teleconferences for free. It also doubles as your address book.
- cmypitch.com – This is a great place to build your online network, meet other entrepereneurs, investors and service providers who can help you succeed.
8. Ads: Marketing & Publicity
- Prospect Insight – A web marketing suite that provides information to your sales team on how to maximize the return on your investment.
- SurveyMonkey – Just as the name suggests, this is an online survey tool.
- ReputationHQ – This is an online reputation management app that searches for your desired information across many websites.
- Shoutlet – This neat app lets you distribute and track viral marketing campaigns across various social networks.
- Traceworks – A great tool for online marketing that lets you set goals, plan, execute and optimize your marketing activities.
9. Email: Management & Marketing
- Ping82 – This app offers a suite of tools made to improve communication between the people working on a project. You can control, manage and track your email with it.
- SaneBox – A neat email organization tool that uses complex algorithms to determine the importance of every email in your inbox, moves the less important ones to another folder and provides you with a summary. Essential for those who find themselves who find that, instead of doing their actual job, spend most of their work time reading and replying to email
- Followup.cc – A great automated follow-up email service.
- SynergyMail – This is an online email marketing app that allows you to do campaign tracking.
- The Email Game – Have a cluttered inbox? Is the task of readng and replying to all the mails you get demoralizing? Well harness the power of gamification in order to get this done quicker and without all the dread usually associated with a full inbox by using this cool online tool.
- ContactMe – A great lead management tool that integrates well with both gMail and MailChimp.
- Aweber – A very cool email marketing tool that works great. Yes, the ‘A’ is for ‘Awesome’.
- MailChimp – A great email marketing app that allows you to manage your subscribers and that has advanced coding capability, tracking, reports and man other functions.
10. Customers & Contacts: Relationship Management & Service
- Stazzle – A basic customer relationship management app that lets you keep track of everything from birthdays to favorite sports teams and restaurants as well as refferals and the reasons for them.
- SyncWizard - This app will help you synchronize all your contacts, calendars, bookmarks and more between your desktop and your portable devices.
- Clarify – An unorthodox customer service app that lets you create and annotate screenshots easily in order to quickly and effortlessly explain any issues your customer may have problems grasping.
- Join.me – Another tool in the vein of Clarify, but with a twist. Where Clarify let you capture and annotate screenshots, Join.me lets your customer (even if they don’t have an account), see what’s on your screen in real time.
- Free CRM – A web-based CRM suite that allows for sales force automation.
- SalesJunction – This is a very customizable and easy to use contact management system. It’s also very affordable.
- Kumquat – A great app that lets you solicit feedback from clients, superiors, peers, fans or anyone else you might want feedback from on any projects, plans, activities or blogs.
- Hively – Gamification strikes again: good feedback is tough to come by. That’s what Hively seeks to solve, by giving your customers and co-workers an incentive to generate it.
- Feefo – This is a transparent and comprehensive customer feedback system that doesn’t allow business owners to edit customer feedback.
- Backboard - An online tool that allows users to markup documents.
12. File Storage: Backup & Collaboration
- Dropbox – This is a great online backup and sync tool that works equally well for individuals and small business owners. It’s very easy to use and highly affordable.
- Mozy – Another popular backup service that also has a business-oriented variant called Mozypro that lets businesses do secure data backups in the cloud.
- Pixily – An online service that lets you organize, share and aggregate your documents.
- ThinkFree – This is a great resource that lets you view and edit files, provides a collaboration space for your team as well as the ability to post to blogs via a web-based editor.
13. Office Suites & Applications
- LibreOffice – A great office suite that has all the functionality of Microsoft Office for free.
- OpenOffice – Yet another cool free office suite with all the functionality of MS Office.
- OpenGoo – An open source web office with everything the MS Office suite contains and more.
- ConcourseSuite – Yet another open source suite of online programs. This one also offers customer relationship management apps as well as online presence management and customer service.
- WORKetc – This is an online suite that includes employee timesheets, document management, customer support, sales and project management, billing and invoicing and much more.
- PDFHammer – A free online PDF editor that allows you to merge files, rearrange, reorder and delete pages and more.
- gOffice – This suite includes Web Word Wizard, an online word processor.
- Pingdom This is a web monitoring tool that alerts you via email and SMS whenever your site goes down. This ensures you immediately know about any downtime and can solve the problem quickly.
- Evernote – A great notebook app that can take notes on the desktop, in-browser and on mobile devices. You can use it to quickly capture anything on the screen, add images, sound bytes and anything else you might need in order to remember. It’s a virtual notebook that syncs across all your gadgets.
- Outlandish – This is a landing page management tool for small and medium-sized advertisers.
- DocStoc – This app has a lot of documents you will need to use as a professional.
- LeadLander – This app allows you to see exactly what companies are checking out your site.
- Readability – Another notebook much in the vein of Evernote. If you find yourself wanting to remember a URL or anything else, for that matter and aren’t quite sure where to jot it down, this may be the app for you.
- 1Password – A great password management tool that lets you keep track of all your passwords in one place. Don’t worry, it’s completely safe!
- Sharedbase – If you run a members-only website, then this tool might be for you, as it’s specifically oriented towards the management of such websites and of the membership databases behind them.
- GoodBarry – This great tool is an integrated system that not only runs your website, but it also manages your online store and takes care of your email marketing, automatically growing your customer database while it’s at it.
- Scrobbld – This is a great PayPal and eBay management app that helps you keep track of all your transactions by having them all in one place.
- PhoneSheet – This is an online call and contact management program that allows you to track inbound and outgoing calls.
- Vontoo – This great app provides automated voice messaging on demand.
- GigTide – This nifty tool helps you create resumes online as well as publish them, manage them and keep track of them as well as your contacts and cover letters.
- Lumifi – If you need to compile research and other materials from multiple sources, this may just be the app for you. It’ll make sure you discover information that you might have otherwise missed and assemble that information into a coherent and well stated argument.
- VersoChat – This is your one-stop-shop for web analytics, chatting with online visitors as well as live web statistics and more.
- SmoothStart – With SmoothStart you can create online landing pages designed for generating, tracking and managing new leads.
That about wraps up our list of the top 99 apps you need in order to run a successful online business. Of course, you don’t need all of them at once, but you’re bound to make your life easier if you start using a selection of these programs. Have we missed your favorite app? Let us know by leaving a message in the comments section below!