Top 5 services entrepreneurs should use

| 22 February 2016

By Nafisa Akabor


To enhance office communication
slackSlack is a cloud-based collaboration tool for businesses that takes team communication to another level while keeping your inbox free of unnecessary emails. It allows you to communicate about various topics on different channels which can be open for all employees, or made private channels if needed.

It helps everyone keep track of projects or work they’re involved in through instant updates or instant-message-like chats. You can send private messages, drag and drop files, search archives, and receive push notifications. Slack is available on Mac, Linux and Windows, as well as mobile platforms including Android, iOS and Windows Phone (beta).

For inspired project management
trelloTrello is a project management tool like no other. It’s fun because it’s visual and, at a glance, can keep track of individual and team-based projects. It’s like a drawing board with lists or cards you can drag and drop. Each of these cards contain checklists, attachments, images, colour coded labels, and notes – all of which are searchable. You can even add reminders for tasks.

If boring lists in bullet point form don’t cut it for you, Trello is what you’ve been looking for. It can also be used for personal projects such as planning a holiday.

Get in formation
typeformOnline forms aren’t the most exciting to work with and can sometimes be annoying. Typeform manages to make it interesting and, well, better looking. It allows businesses that require information, registration, payment, insights or surveys to easily create forms to request this information from customers.

It doesn’t matter whether a PC or portable device is used to fill out forms. The interface allows you to drag and drop sections, add icons, backgrounds or rich media and add custom landing and exit pages with your company logo. Basic access is free, while Pro forms cost between about R161-R330 a month for unlimited forms.

For corporate mail via Gmail
google-appsOne of the most powerful tools out there is Google Apps for Work. If you love how Gmail works, you can run your corporate mail off it too, for a small fee. It accepts customised email addresses, offers 24/7 support, gives you 30GB storage and has business-grade security.

For companies who can’t afford downtime, Google guarantees 99.9% uptime and no ads. Naturally, it comes with access to Google Drive, Hangouts, Calendar and Docs. It’s already good enough for over 5 million businesses globally. If you’d like to test it before switching everyone over, it has a 30-day trial. Pricing starts at about R 80 a month, per user. Supports iOS and Android.

To upgrade your software
Office 2016 has really evolved over the years and now that it’s available as an annual subscription service, it has all the benefits of real-time updates instead of updates every couple of years. The latest productivity suite is more mobile-centric and cloud-first, which lets you carry on working on any device or platform.

It now offers features like real-time co-authoring where anyone invited to collaborate on a document can see changes as they happen through colour-coding. It can be accessed from the rich client platform or from the web. Other features include better file sharing, search and version history improvements. You can also annotate files for your reference. If you need an assistant, just make use of the ‘tell me’ tool.

This original thought leadership piece is brought to you by Nashua.

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