We are asked about the SaaS tools for business that we use to plan, communicate, manage and design a project with so often that we decided to blog about it. Software as a service or SaaS and the cloud make it possible to run our agency and the tools that we use are scalable and can work for organizations of any size. Rather than focus on the design software that we use–since most of our readers don’t design–we’re going to share five of our favorite cloud based tools that make us more efficient. Every business has unique needs, so we recommend identifying your goals and analyzing the options before investing resources into a new tool. We love the five tools listed below because they have helped us communicate with our prospects, clients and colleagues.
Productivity: Google Apps for Work
There are several Google products to chose from, but we love the space and seamless integration that we get from Gmail, Drive, Calendar and Analytics. Gmail accounts have large storage limits that automatically sync to Google Calendar and access to document collaboration via Google Drive means you no longer have to save and share files since everything is accessible from all connected devices.
- Cloud-based storage for easy access
- Easy sharing capabilities for collaboration
- Automatic syncing
- Mobile apps for access everywhere
InVision helps companies of all sizes unlock the power of design-driven product development. InVision gives teams the freedom to design, review, and user test products—all without a single line of code. With intuitive tools for prototyping, task management, and version control, it’s your entire design process all in one place. Even if you’re not a designer, InVision may come in handy for you because it makes sharing files, designs and inspiration easy and collecting conversational feedback is built in.
- Easy to solicit feedback
- Simplifies feedback process by having clients, team members and stakeholders comment directly on files.
- Launch meetings, create guided tours, and present to stakeholders.
- Free and unlimited user testing
- Integrations automatically push and pull activity from your favorite systems (like Google Drive and Slack) straight into InVision.
One of the more exciting products we’ve recently adapted. Slack integrates your systems together. It is an internal communication app that allows you to bring together multiple conversations into one place. With thousands of available integrations (including Google, Asana, InVision and MailChimp), brings all of the systems we talked about on this blog post together. You’ll never miss anything important no matter where the conversation is happening. Host group discussions, transfer files and search through conversation archives. Slack will save your team time and organize your communication in one place.
- Messaging for team members
- Drag and drop share files
- Feature rich mobile app
- Integrates with countless third party systems
MailChimp helps you stay in touch with prospects and keep your visitors informed. They offer many ready-made templates, but also have the flexibility for custom templates. The service is free for lists below 2,000, but for those with larger lists, MailChimp offers enterprise accounts packed with powerful features.
- Manage multiple lists
- A/B testing
- Revenue reporting
- Google Analytics integration
- List segmentation
Task Management: Asana
Keep everybody on your team on task. Asana is a streamlined collaboration and task management tool, allowing you to monitor progress, schedule tasks, document relevant conversations within tasks, and prioritize it all.
- Birds-eye view so you can follow the teams that impact you
- Create priorities and due dates, get notifications, organize ideas, tasks, discussions and files in one place
- Search and filtering options for different progress and timeline views
- Mobile app available