VerticalResponse Blog

Getting (and staying) organized is a goal for many busy small business owners juggling multiple tasks with limited time. Here are six online tools you can use to organize all your business needs, and make this your most productive and time-savvy year yet.

1. Trello
The perfect hybrid of an online to-do list and full-scale organizational tool, Trello is the ideal app for someone seeking a project management platform that’s easy to use with straightforward functionality. Among its many features, you can use the main landing page to organize your tasks by creating note cards and dragging them onto one of your customized Trello note boards (think Pinterest with Post-its). Each note card offers a color-coding option, allowing you to rank it by priority and proposed deadline.

Additionally, everyone in your business can keep track each other’s projects using the ‘Share with Others’ function, allowing for greater collaboration and transparency across teams. 

Trello is a free app with options to upgrade storage space, fun extras, and more visibility into other boards with an added fee. 

2. Buffer
The incorporation of social media has become vital to increasing brand awareness and reaching new customers in the marketplace. However, it can also be seen as time consuming and less valuable than other projects that generate revenue. Insert Buffer – a tool that allows you to automate your posts across popular social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, saving you time while growing your social reach.  

Buffer users can pre-schedule up to 10 free social posts per week (unlimited posts are available for a monthly fee) that can include a link, photo or infographic to help your followers better engage with the message you want to convey.

3. Evernote
Serial note keepers appreciate Evernote – an app dedicated to making sure you have one central place for all the important ideas you need to jot down for your business. Evernote’s web clipper extension gives you the capability to save snippets from online articles, handy URLs, typed notes, and even photo snapshots from your tablet so that you can retrieve them later.

Secured by the cloud, locating any saved note is made easy with the app’s bookmarking function that allows you to quickly search for what you want to get your next project started.

Evernote is free to use. If you need to collaborate with others or manage other users you can sign up for a Premium or Business account.

4. Anti-Social
Designed to temporarily rid you from all online distractions, Anti-Social can be used to block any website that causes you to waste time or be unproductive. A valuable tool that is best used during peak work hours, this app allows you the functionality to set start and finish points to ensure you have a restrictive period of time in the day for focusing and completing necessary tasks.

Anti-Social is an app you download and install on your computer, with a fee of $15 to purchase the license.

5. Freedom
From anti-social to zero social, Freedom gives you the capability to blackout the online world completely. If you’re someone who’s easily distracted and not heavily dependent on the internet or e-commerce management for your business, this app allows you to select up to 8 hours at a time where you go completely off the interweb grid.

Freedom is $10 for the license, but you can purchase both Anti-Social and Freedom together for $20.

6. Toggl
Have you ever wondered how much time you really spend on your daily tasks? If the answer is yes, give Toggl a try. This free time tracking software can be setup to track any task no matter how small. Simply plug in a name for your project and hit ‘start’ to begin. Even more useful, all of your sessions are saved in your account for review so that you can look at trends over time to better understand how you’re spending your time.

Toggl is free, but if you’d like to have a team of more than 5 people use the system, or you need to export data to share with clients, you’ll need to sign up for the Pro plan at $5 per head per month.

With the integration of these time saving business tools, you’ll be almost certain to see not only an increase in productivity, but you’re also bound to feel more inspired to develop and meet goals quicker to help your business flourish.

What time-saving tools are you using? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • EJ20

    Hi Kimber!

    I am a freelance programmer and have used Time Doctor since I started working from home last year. It’s a great tool, perfect for people like me. I am using their PRO version by the way, it has time tracking + project management.

  • Kimber Powers


    Thanks for your comment. I had never heard of Fanurio until you mentioned it but it sounds like another great tool. I like that it’s flexible and intuitive and although not free, the basic one time fee seems reasonable for what you get in return.

    I also appreciate you flagging up that it works across both OS X and Windows because that’s often a big question for many small business owners.

  • Kimber Powers

    Hi Marc,

    Thanks so much for your comment. I’ll definitely look into proofhub. Given that it’s a combination of Trello, evernote, and toggl, it sounds like a great option that would work for multiple needs. Glad to hear it’s working well for you.

  • Marc Denis

    Hey Kimber,

    We are using proofhub for the past two months. This tool is awesome combination of trello, evernote and toggl. This tools helps me to manage and track time as well as helps me to prepare notes as well.

  • Kate

    Hi Kimber,

    I’d like to suggest Fanurio ( which is a time tracking and billing software application, highly appreciated by freelancers for its intuitive interface, flexible timer and ability to produce detailed invoices.

    Fanurio is not free but it has a free trial. It costs 59 USD (which means about $5/month for the first year) and you can use it for life.

    I know that there are many freelancers who prefer to use a desktop application in order to keep their data on their own computers. Since Fanurio is a desktop application, it integrates very well with the platforms it runs on. On OS X, you can easily access timers from the the menu bar and from the dock icon menu. On Windows, you can start a new timer or control the active timer from the thumbnail toolbar or from the tray icon. You can also use global hotkeys to control the timers from within any running application.

    Fanurio is used by many freelancers not just to track time but to bill their clients as well. Fanurio can export invoices to HTML, PDF, Microsoft Word 2007, OpenOffice OpenDocument and other formats so they can be printed or e-mailed. Invoice templates can be created manually, with a visual editor (Adobe Dreamweaver, Microsoft Word or OpenOffice) or with the built-in template editor.

    I hope this helps.

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