August 01, 2013
9 Google Apps That Your Business Can't Live Without
From project planning, to photo editing, to budgeting and beyond, the Google Apps Marketplace has thousands of free or inexpensive software solutions that will address the many varying needs of your business. We've taken a look at some of our favorites that will help you boost your productivity and efficiency. Once you've incorporated these great apps into your routine and workflow, you'll ask yourself how your business ever thrived without them.
"Expense reports that don't suck." That's Expensify's tagline, and they're right. They take what is arguably one of the least fun part of running a business and make it easy and intuitive. Expensify is built for businesses of today. They have apps for all mobile platforms, which can use GPS to track mileage and electronically manage receipts. On the desktop front, you can reimburse via direct deposit or PayPal (or do it manually), manage finances with powerful analytics. They also offer seamless integration with QuickBooks, Salesforce, FinancialForce, Bill.com, Google Apps, Evernote, and Oracle Fusion, making sure they work with any tool you might use already.
MailChimp makes it easy to send beautiful newsletters to your customers, manage your subscriber lists, and track the performance of your campaigns. You can also integrate your email marketing with social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as with other tools like Google Contacts, Contactually and many others thanks to their open API. The best part? MailChimp takes sophisticated marketing tools like segmentation, A/B testing and ROI tracking, and makes them accessible to anyone -- for free. Talk about a marketer's dream!
In their own words, "Cirrus Insight takes the power of salesforce right side Gmail" by tracking and managing customer information straight from your inbox. It keeps your Salesforce in sync with Gmail and Google Calendar, and will do the same with Google Contacts in the near future too. With Cirrus, you can save emails and attachments to Salesforce and create new leads and contacts within Gmail. Whether you're in marketing, support, or sales, make sure that the valuable customer information flowing through your inbox makes its way to Salesforce with Cirrus Insight.
Contactually is the newest relationship marketing platform for professionals who know that their network is their business's greatest asset. Contactually will automatically organize and update your contact database and track all of your communications across email, social media and phone with your most important contacts so that you and the platform both know exactly when and about what you last spoke. Then, the system will send you automatic follow-up reminders so that you reengage with the important people with whom you haven't spoken to in quite some time to prevent that relationship from falling off of your radar. Keep your relationships warm, prevent important people from slipping through the cracks, and never leave money on the table again with Contactually.
Looking for a fail-proof way to delight your customers with awesome support? Meet Desk.com, a member of the Salesforce family. The social help desk allows you to support your customers via email, web, live chat and phone, along with less traditional channels like Facebook and Twitter, all in real time. It's more of a complete support system than a help desk, and is one that's sure to keep your customers satisfied and engaged with your brand.
Boomerang is a great Firefox and Chrome add-on for Gmail that allows you to control when you send and receive messages. The tool offers three main features to ensure that your emails are in the right place at the right time. First, the simple "Send Later" button allows you to schedule emails for future delivery. Next, when you receive an important email that you want brought to your attention again in the future, you can set this reminder using the "Boomerang" button. Last, Boomerang's response tracking feature reminds you to follow up with your contacts if they don't respond to your message within a particular time frame. Overall, Boomerang is fantastic for managing your outbound email process and ensuring that individual messages don't slip through the cracks.
If you live in Gmail and are also use Basecamp avidly to manage your projects and to-do lists, then Gcamp is the answer to your prayers. Gcamp is a Gmail contextual gadget that connects your favorite Google Apps, Gmail and Basecamp to one another, allowing you to add to-do items and lists to Basecamp directly from Gmail. You can also post messages to Basecamp by quickly shooting off an email. All in all, Gcamp combines two leading web tools to give you the ultimate boost in productivity.
OffiSync's software increases the already robust power of your beloved Microsoft Office suite by seamlessly integrating Office products with the Google Drive and App suite. This integration greatly improves your ability to create, share and collaborate on documents. You can edit your documents in Microsoft Office or in Google Drive, and the changes will instantly sync between the two platforms. Additionally, if you're working with other people, you can use this tool to track your collaborator's changes in real-time. Need further convincing? It's a free tool, so you can get started right away without worrying about budget constraints.
Find yourself on business trips often? If you haven't discovered it yet, TripIt is about to come your best traveling companion (and one that won't crowd your precious personal space on that dreaded six hour flight to boot). TripIt is a free app that helps you and your employees travel smarter by organizing your travel plans regardless of where you've booked them. That's right -- you'll have your confirmation numbers, frequent flier numbers and more from over 1,000 booking sites, all stored in one central location! The app, which is also available for most mobile devices, allows you to share your travel plans with others in your network and see who's traveling where on a company travel map.
What's your favorite app in Google's Marketplace? Have you tried any of our favorites out before? Let us know in the comments below.
How do 5 small business owners use Contactually to rock their referral strategy? Click here to find out.