The cloud is now at the forefront of business computing, and the rise of the SaaS model is driving down the cost of business software. Gone are the days when companies used bulky proprietary software to handle their business. Online business apps are generally easier to set up and they store your data remotely, so can be accessed from anywhere. There are now online business apps for all areas of company management, including CRM, accounting, project management, and help desk.
The great thing about cloud apps is that they are tailor-made to cater businesses of any size, and can be scaled very easily. Some of the applications listed below feature freemium subscription model, so you only pay for the features you end up using.
We have curated some of the best online business apps out there and grouped them under relevant sub categories. Find out how these cloud applications can help boost your business!
Ah…the joys of brainstorming. Who doesn’t love shouting out random words, and writing them in an equally random layout on a whiteboard, for no apparent reason? Okay, so on a more serious note, at times, the brainstorm technique can be useful. When you are seeking inspiration, anything that can free up the mind is surely a good thing.
If you work by yourself, though, brainstorming is nigh on impossible. There’s no-one to bounce ideas around with, meaning that the key element of the process, collaborative thought, is not present. Of course, you can encourage yourself to think differently, and come up with left-field concepts, but it will never quite work as well as the real, group-based thing.
This is a problem that new service Luma7 hopes to fix, or at least alleviate. This platform works as a cross between a search engine-derived brainstorm, and a mind map, using the power of the web to provide a network of related information to trigger your own free-thinking. It is an interesting, new genre of online assistance, but is it just a reskinned version of Google? I warmed up my creative grey matter, and gave Luma7 a try.
Project management is a seriously challenging job of its own. Keeping track of what needs to be done, by whom and by when, can be tricky, even when working with the smallest of teams. Little wonder, then, that there is now a very considerable selection of online project managers available, including the likes of Basecamp, Huddle and 5pm.
Subtask is the new kid on this particular block – so new, in fact, it’s still in invite beta – and it shares many features with its more established competitors. Rather than being list-based, however, Subtask provides a more innovative approach; new projects are displayed in a mindmap-like hierarchy, allowing for multiple levels of tasks and sub-tasks.
In theory, this layout should make things clearer – but does it? (more…)
Got a goal? The chances are that you have an aim in mind, whether it is visiting the gym three times a week, consuming fewer calories each day or writing a certain number of words before nightfall. Keeping to these goals can be tricky unless you have a little helping hand.
Some people can rely on self-discipline, but most of us need some encouragement to stay on the right track. Beeminder serves a great dual purpose, making possible to not only track the things you are doing to meet you goal, but also motivates you to do so.
Collaboration Software is nothing new. As early as the 1990s big companies were developing cool programs that enabled people to work remotely, together. They were reserved for the larger corporations. Now web apps such as Basecamp have revolutionised the scene enabling any group such as college students working on assignments or AppStorm writers brainstorming for ideas to work together; no matter where they are in the world.
While this is all well and good there are limitations. A company called Jaconda realised that web development teams were often ignored when it came to collaboration software. What there was on offer didn’t amount to much. So they released their own app to allow motley crews of developers to code happily together. Upon my first glance it appeared to be nothing more than a glorified IM system. But when I looked closer I found a cool API that would surely impress team leaders.
When you’re working on a project, from a huge project like building a house or starting a new business to a smaller job like making a new website, effective project management is the key to success, particularly if you are working with other people. Collaboration with other people has always been something of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s possible to share the load and draw on the talents of different team members, but the major downside is finding an effective means of communicating with your collaborators to convey ideas and give feedback on progress.
ThetaBoard is an online project management tool that can be used to help keep track of how you are progressing through the various tasks that need to be completed for the projects you are working on, exchange messages with the people you are working with, and assign tasks to your co-workers. Online project managers are hardly a unique category, but ThetaBoard has a unique twist that might make it the simple tool you need if you’ve found project management apps too difficult to use.
Many businesses, small and large, frequently have to create quotes for services that they are providing for potential clients. No matter the service being provided, there are a number of similarities in any quote. While it doesn’t have to be that complex, if you’re having to create multiple quotes for each client, and then only a few of the clients you pitch actually decide to pay for your services, it can quickly get overwhelming.
Pricetag is a site that allows a user to create a custom quote for any potential client by letting you take advantage of those similarities to make the process of creating quotes a simpler and less painful process. They aim to make quotes easier by saving information that applies to all quotes, so that you only have to enter some information for each quote. Pricetag definitely makes the process easier, but read on to find out more and learn what I think about it.
As our list of reviews makes clear, the market for project-management apps is not an empty one. From the ever-popular Basecamp to free, open-source solutions such as TeamLab, project managers are not lacking for options.
Which is why, as one of our writers wrote recently, when it comes to project-management apps, “it’s less about how many features the app has and more about its usability and interface design.”
On that note, let’s see how Doolphy stacks up against the competition.