13 FREE Apps I couldn’t live without for Solopreneurs, Micro-Businesses and Virtual Assistants
Pixabay So I spent A LOT of time looking for decent free images when I started out. Pixabay is my favourite as it has a pretty good selection of images, they are really easy to download and the site doesn’t trick you into browsing through loads of images, only to find you have to pay for them at the end (so many sites out there that do this!).
Canva An amazing app (that I still can’t quite believe is free), where you can design amazing graphics for your marketing material, social media posts, website and presentations; probably my favourite here!
Waveapp Now I can’t lie, there are better accounting software packages out there, however, if you are looking for something free and functional, this is the place to start. It has some great functions such as on-line payments, automatic reminders and receipt scanning. It also produces professional-looking invoices and is fairly easy to use for the non-bookkeeper.
Highrise My favourite free CRM by far. It’s really easy to use but until recently, was only compatible with iOS. Their launch of the Android app this month now sets this as a firm favourite. It’s free for up to two users and has some cool functions like task-tracking and reminder-setting. I also love how easy it is to customize for your business.
Hootsuite Now I’ve tried most social media scheduling tools and in my opinion, this is the best of the freebies. It’s easy to use and you can get some basic, but very useful, reporting from the free version. Thumbs up to Hootsuite.
Benchmark I’ve used another well-known email marketing app which I struggled to get to grips with (ok, my-laptop-nearly-went-through-the-window type frustration). Benchmark is easy to use for the newbie and still produces great results.
Awesome Screenshot I definitely couldn’t live without this nifty Chrome extension. Use it to screen-capture any part of a webpage and download in high quality png. I use this a lot for adding graphics to reports and for social media posts.
Email Extractor If you’ve ever been hunting on the web for email addresses for your marketing campaigns (or whatever!) , this fabulous Chrome app makes life a lot easier. Not only will it extract the email addresses you can see on the site, it also finds those behind the scenes in the webcode. Massive time-saver!
Tweetreach A great site for doing hashtag research for social media campaigns; simply enter a hashtag and find out its popularity!
Toggl This is a great time-tracker for Virtual Assistants and anyone that bills on an hourly basis. Create your clients and projects and use the online timer to track your billable time.
WeQ4U This little diamond is a recent find and not really specific to micro businesses or VA’s, rather everyone! Install this on your phone and it will automatically route you through to free numbers, avoiding those horrid 0845 (etc.) costs. Not only that, (yes there’s more!), if you get put in an infuriating call queue, simply press 9* and get on with your business; the app will call you back when an agent is available. Huge time and money savings here!
Slack If you need to collaborate with your team, then Slack provides a simple platform for real-time communication. Nice interface and the ability to group conversation topics, share files and lots of emoji fun too :)
Google Suite Ok, now this is obvious…maybe. However, if the purse strings are tight, you don’t need to buy MS Office software, use Google docs, Google sheets and Google slides instead. 15MB of free Google drive storage and so many cool Chrome extensions to choose from; keeps me happy anyway!