9 tools to adopt in your business in 2022 to save time in business

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Running a business takes more time than you might think. Fortunately, several marketing tools and web platforms can simplify your efforts. And that, we like that!

The important thing is to maximize your time promoting your products or services and avoid wasted time doing administrative paperwork. To help you, we have chosen 9 essential tools that will change your life as an entrepreneur and allow you to focus on what is really important!

1. A project and task manager

Your business is growing fast and your team is growing? You will need an online records manager, guaranteed! The most popular options are ClickUp, Monday, Asana, and Notion.

Why use these platforms?

Ideal when you have a team or work with contractors, these platforms allow you to manage ongoing projects within a team that is not connected to a server.

At Alexem Studio, we use ClickUp to manage the administrative tasks of the team. It is also our way of centralizing communications with our collaborators. Thanks to ClickUp, delegating tasks is child’s play!

Plus, the web and mobile app is free! Don’t hesitate any longer and download it from the App Store or Google Play .

2. A cloud storage site

Are you traveling and your laptop has run out of battery? No problem! Access your files anywhere in the world thanks to a simple Internet access (secured, of course!). In addition, whether your team is in the same city or remotely, the Cloud allows you to share and work on several documents simultaneously and securely.

Proven options include DropBox , Google Drive , iCloud (an Apple product), and Adobe Creative Cloud . However, our favorite by far remains Google Drive. Here’s why…

The benefits of Google Drive

Above all, Google Drive is accessible for free and does not require installation since it is an online tool. These are important advantages, especially when starting a business!

It is possible to create and modify documents at the same time, in real time. This essential tool also allows you to manage access rights to a file, in order to control the roles of each user: read only, comment or modification.

Note that by using Google Drive, you can adopt from Facto the Google suite (Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides) to replace Office. Moreover, any document created with the Google suite is automatically saved in your Google Drive. It is therefore impossible to lose your documents, or the last backups since everything is done without having to think about it!

The Google office suite is available for free. The free version of Google Drive includes 15 GB of storage. This basic package includes your emails and photos. Therefore, we strongly recommend the Inbox zero method.

3. A web content manager

Are you traumatized by the idea of writing lines of code to create or modify your website? Even though we love web development at Alexem Studio, we understand that. This is why it is always advisable to opt for a website with a CMS (Content Management System or content manager in French).

There are now a plurality of options to create and manage your website in a simple and autonomous way. Basic web pages are highly recommended for people looking for jobs or internships, service companies or needing an online store. The best-known options are WordPress , Shopify , Squarespace , and Wix . These tools offer free or paid templates, but we usually recommend WordPress.

Why WordPress remains on the podium?

An eternal classic, WordPress is and always will be our top web platform to use. Being open source and offering a myriad of themes and extensions, WordPress can literally do it all.

As a business start-up, you will fall in love with the many free options that are easy to set up. Several free templates may be suitable for non-profit organizations (NPOs), solopreneurs or any start-up business. And as your needs grow, we can add features.

WordPress, like WooCommerce ‒ its online store extension ‒ allows you to be autonomous and modify your content yourself without requiring the service of your agency. Keep it simple, we like that!

4. A tool to design visuals

Would you like professional visuals for your small business, but are not a graphic designer? This is now possible thanks to several online tools.

Our team offers you Canva , LucidPress, Adobe Spark (now Adobe Creative Cloud Express) or even Google Slides (and yes!), but the unbeatable and essential of the moment is definitely Canva.

Why Canva is gaining momentum with entrepreneurs?

An increasingly popular platform, Canva never ceases to amaze us! Artist or not, it allows you to create quality visuals in minutes. For most people who are new to professional design software like Adobe, Canva saves a lot of time (and headaches) to stand out online. In addition, new options are regularly added to stay up to date and respect the different formats of your documents. Whether for your social networks or presentations, this aspect is a plus, that’s for sure!

In order not to distort your brand in front of so many inspiring choices, Alexem Studio suggests that you respect the colors, fonts and general style of your brand image. This is why we offer the creation and configuration of Kit Canva aimed at making you autonomous while respecting your brand image.

To do this, the paid version of Canva is required. It remains very affordable (less than $200 per year) and allows you to remember the details of your brand image while having access to a panoply of royalty-free images and infographics. Otherwise, Canva has a more than decent free version: try it now !

5. A web-based management dashboard

Would you like to see your Web performance with a single click, but don’t have the hours to monitor 30 different sites? Good news! Apps have been created to do this for you, aggregating this information in an efficient and intuitive way.

To keep an eye on the SEO, performance and statistics of your website, several options exist. We have selected the ones we know best: Diib and DashThis .

At Alexem Studio, we use Diib, but recently we discovered DashThis. Applications that save us time, we like that. If they are Made in Canada or a Quebec company, we love it!

Directly from Charlesbourg, a district of Quebec City, DashThis allows you to collect countless data (data) and present them in a simple way in a marketing dashboard that reflects your image. Paid application, this is an investment that will save you hours and hours of compiling data from around thirty different sources. Setting up the dashboards for the first time will take some time and thought, but the advantage of DashThis is that your representative speaks French!

Who are dashboards for?

These dashboards are particularly interesting for companies active on the Web and having to make presentations to their shareholders, to a board of directors, when applying for financing or for any other committee. When starting up, these tables allow you to gather all the essential information that you need to monitor periodically as an entrepreneur. You can create several types of dashboards, for different needs.

At a glance, you’ll see results for your website visits, most viewed pages, social media reach, YouTube channel popularity and paid ads, conversation of your customers, and more. This allows you to easily target your areas for improvement quickly for better performance. Ask for a free trial!

6. A social media planner

No need to be in front of your screen to post on social networks! Many platforms or applications allow you to publish at the best possible time, even if you are busy with other occupations.

Among our favorites: Later, Buffer, Canva and Facebook Business Suite. Of course, the tools to use will vary depending on the social media you use. Later allows posting to Instagram, Pinterest, Tik Tok, and LinkedIn. Business Suite is unique to Facebook business pages and groups while Canva Pro accesses a business Instagram account, Facebook page or group, LinkedIn personal profile or company page, Twitter account, as well as Pinterest, Slack and Tumblr.

Why Buffer particularly stands out?

With a modern interface, Buffer allows you to distribute content on the main social platforms: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. This marketing tool automatically shrinks hyperlinks in bit.ly to save the number of characters to use. Recent novelty, it allows to use the visuals of Canva or to use a photo free of rights on Unsplash.

It offers a free version of up to 3 social media accounts and free news sources like a podcast (in English). But for as little as $6 a month, it’s possible to analyze the engagement and performance of your posts. In addition, depending on the package chosen, it is possible to work as a team. Someone writes a post, you approve it… and voila, you save time!

With so many features at affordable prices, there is more reason to do without!

7. Automation software

How to use automation to save time without IT talent? Our essential tools are: Zapier , Automate and IFTTT.

First of all, what is automation? It is the use of intelligent algorithms requiring zero or partial human intervention in order to save time in our repetitive tasks.

Think about it, there are surely several tasks that you do repetitively. Automating them would help you manage your time better. For example, save invoice X in folder Y each time it arrives by email.

Why Zapier is our tool of choice?

For all your repetitive tasks, “There’s an app for that” or more precisely: “There’s a Zap for that”! Not only does Zapier save seconds or minutes of work, it offers several templates to help you learn about all the different ways to use automation when you don’t know anything about it.

Often, we work so automatically that it is difficult for us to realize which daily tasks could be automated. For example: posting to your social media, sending a personalized message to a prospect, adding new contacts to an Excel list or CRM database, adding new documents to your Cloud using Google Drive or Dropbox, forwarding an email to an employee automatically, and many more!

Because time is money, we believe this app is an essential business tool!

8. An integrated billing and payment system

Would you like to abandon your Word or Excel files and keep a tighter follow-up on your business income? Tools allow you to invoice and receive payments from your customers online, securely. A few options we like are Quickbooks Online , Xerox, and Square.

NO MORE invoices in word or excel and spreadsheets to manage your expenses and income! Access your invoices and the list of your transactions online. Better yet, no more calling your customers for unpaid accounts! Just set up email reminders to your customers if they haven’t paid their bill on time. It’s faster, and less annoying!

Why do your accounting online?

No more depending on your accountant to access invoice or payroll information. To save time, nothing better than being independent!

For as little as $4/month, Quickbooks online allows all SMEs, VSEs and solopreneurs to have professional services for a minimal investment. Quickbooks allows you to manage your incoming and outgoing invoices, your expenses, your tax reports, your mileage, in addition to payroll and inventory management. In addition, the Quickbooks community helps answer most of our questions.

Bonus: you can customize the branding of your invoices AND integrate it into your WordPress / Woocommerce site for complete synchronization.

Try Quickbooks now.

9. An online diary

How to avoid the availability dance when making an appointment with a potential client? By sharing your availability periods online so that they reserve the time that suits them best independently!

Several very interesting options have been developed over the past few years, including: Go Rendez-vous , Acuity Scheduling , Google Calendar, Square or Calendly .

At Alexem Studio, we already use the Google Workspace Pro suite. For our agenda and our meetings , we used the time slots feature that was included for a long time. But recently, we discovered the awesome Koalendar app. Which meets all our needs, and even more, in its FREE version.

See for yourself the look and functionality on the appointment form on our site.

Why manage your agenda online?

Making an appointment with a client can be long, because you have to offer several time slots which, sometimes, fill up by the time the client responds. The risk of making an appointment at the same time for 2 different people is great if you operate in this way, not to mention the email chains that this requires. To avoid these frustrating situations, it is better to define fixed time slots in your online agenda that update in real time.

Koalendar allows you to indicate the available slots weeks in advance and generate a booking link that can be shared directly or integrated into your site. People who book a meeting will receive an automatic confirmation and an automatically generated Google Meet link, in addition to sending an automatic reminder to remember your appointment, which prevents cancellations.

Whether you are starting or expanding, this application will seduce you with its professional look, its simple use and its low price (FREE!). The introductory version is more than generous, and will allow you to manage your appointments in a professional way.

Save time now

Alexem Studio understands the importance of saving time in business. Your time is valuable, and we’re sure you’ll be glad you discovered the tools on offer.

These tools are user-friendly and easy to use. We’ve chosen them so you can apply them to your business even if you’re not always comfortable with IT or automation. Whether free or paid, don’t forget that these tools will allow you to put all your attention on the development of your business in order to position yourself in the market at the height of what you are!

For help with installing or configuring these tools for your business , or any other information, our team is here!

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