Top 55 Tools to Boost Productivity, Improve Communication and Build Your Bottom Line

Recently I read a couple of articles that shared tools different business owners and their teams use to help keep things running smoothly.

So… I thought why not?

Maybe you’d like to see just a handful of the tools we use everyday to keep things running right around here.

BTW, this truly is just a few…

If you’re interested to learn more of the tools we use, start here:

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Document Storage, Sharing and Productivity Tools:

GOOGLE DRIVE – In this drive you start out with 15 GB of FREE Google online storage, which is a fair amount. It lets you store photos, stories, designs, drawings, recordings, videos and other data you need or want to save. After that you can get more storage. As you might guess, our data storage needs are pretty big. Link: http://google.com/drive

DROPBOX – We love this storage system, because it allows everyone on the team to go in and grab what they need to get their parts of jobs done. DropBox also allows us to share items to the communication and productivity systems we use quickly and easily. Link: http://dropbox.com

TRELLO – We’ve tried other productivity tools to keep us all on the same page, but by far this one works best for us. In it you create work “boards” much like you might by placing note cards on the wall. In each board I can assign tasks to different team members or they can add their own. We break tasks into sub-categories, too… Ideas, To Do, Doing, Under Review and Done. (That’s our favorite.) In short, this is a great way to turn your to-do lists into to-done lists! Link: www.trello.com

SLACK – An excellent and super-fast communication tool, SLACK works with Trello or independently with channels for every project you are doing and every part of your business. For us, this tool has replaced other less effective communication tools; it runs particularly fast on your phone. Hey, we move fast around here. We need a group-communication tool that moves as quickly as we do. Link: http://slack.com

VOXER – We used to be in love with this tool, but few members of the team actually used the walkie-talkie feature. They were texting, so we moved to SLACK. I still use VOXER from time to time to communicate with a couple of members (and friends), like our chief writer. It’s a quick way to give her notes… and I don’t have to type or make a call! Link: http://voxer.com

AMAZON S3 – With this tool Amazon offers its “simple storage service” (S3) that provides developers and IT teams with secure, durable, highly scalable cloud storage. Our IT guys like this one a lot. Link: http://aws.amazon.com/s3

INTERCOM – This “email” system allows our customer service people to talk to and assist you quickly and seamlessly. It is a closed system so only those interested in Cash Flow Diary and real estate entrepreneurship tend to join the Cash Flow Diary channel. It also allows for website interactivity, which is a cool feature. The great news is that anywhere from 5 to 25 people who have found us through Intercom join each and every day. (Can anyone say great lead generator?) Link: http://intercom.io

EVERNOTE – Trouble remembering things and getting through your to-do lists? Try Evernote. There’s an app to make it even easier to keep track of and manage tasks and projects. Link: http://evernote.com

ASANA – We used Asana for quite some time to keep the team up to speed on all the different working parts. It’s an easy tool to use. No long learning curve. When different team members have great ideas there’s a place they can put them. When different people finish their parts of projects, they have a way to share what they’ve done and alert others to the next steps. If you’ve been looking for a way to keep your team(s) and tasks in order, take a look at this tool. Link: http://asana.com

HELP SCOUT – This tool is simply a help desk for teams. It’s fairly easy to use and pretty useful! Be a good Scout; check it out. Link: http://helpscout.net

Business Tools:

SAMCART – While this is just one of the shopping carts we use (depending on what we need it to do), SamCart works well for an uncomplicated check-out experience. Link: www.samcart.com

PAYPAL – Yes, we use PayPal… rather we give people the option to use the PayPal Credit option when purchasing some of our larger educational products. It’s always great to give more payment options, and PayPal is flexible; it lets people use their credit cards to make purchases through the system, too. Link: www.paypal.com

INFUSIONSOFT – Early in 2015 we made the switch from another email system, because we were going through a big growth spurt. The transition took a little while, but the learning curve was well worth the time and effort… just like anything else worth learning, right? Not just an email-delivery system that allows you to schedule out hundreds of emails at a time, InfusionSoft does a whole lot more. It becomes an integral part of your marketing, your payment and product-delivery systems, helps you track activities, and… well, a whole lot of other really cool things. Link: http://infusionsoft.com

AWEBER – We started out with this email-delivery and leads-capture system, and it worked really well for us. If you’re just starting out, don’t have a lot of products to offer or just need a system that works well with your opt-in pages, try AWeber. We give it the thumbs up!! Link: http://aweber.com

CONSTANT CONTACT – This is a pretty good email-delivery system that helps you in your scheduled marketing. Plus, you can use it in a variety of ways beyond email. It’s a marketing tool. While we use something much more sophisticated now, Constant Contact is great for start-ups and if you need something simple to use to keep in front of your customers and audience. Link: http://constantcontact.com

MAIL CHIMP – Yet another email-delivery system you can use in your marketing to stay in front of people, Mail Chimp is interesting. Not hard to use. You might say even a monkey could do it. (Sorry… I had to.) Link: http://mailchimp.com

WORDPRESS – This may be a no-brainer, but we built both our primary content site and the training site (for members only) in WordPress. It’s an excellent site-building system, because it offers built-in search engine optimization and lots of killer tools that are pretty easy to use on the back end. On the front end where the customer experience takes place, WordPress offers ease of use and fast navigation. Right now we’re in the process of doing a few upgrades, which is pretty exciting. You’ll notice some neat changes and additional functionality over time. Link: www.wordpress.org

THEMEFOREST – This tool lets you choose from lots and lots of different WordPress themes, web templates and more. Brought to you by a global community of creatives, Themeforest is continually adding to its library of themes and templates for all. No matter what business you’re in, there’s a theme to reflect your message and goals. Link: http://themeforest.net

LIQUID WEB – Hey, as you grow, you might need a dedicated server. Liquid Web is the solution. Just like their marketing says, it’s a perfect match for web hosting needs big or small, managed or unmanaged, dedicated, shared, VPS or cloud. In short, Liquid Web offers a lot of solutions for keeping hackers out (think firewalls) and data stored safely. Link: http://liquidweb.com

HOST GATOR – As powerful as it is affordable, this cool web hosting service is user-friendly and has a fun mascot as a logo. While it’s certainly not the only web-hosting service around, it’s one of the best because it offers a high level of customer care and a back-end system that doesn’t befuddle the mind. Link: http://hostgator.com

MOBIT – Want to reach customers on mobile devices where they listen, watch and read most? Here’s your tool. It lets you text message customers in your marketing with smart mobile landing pages. Believe me… you want this one. Link: http://mobit.com

SCHEDULE ONCE – You want a great solution that makes online scheduling with your customers and prospects simple? This is the tool you should check out. It uses a common-sense approach to scheduling meetings. Send your customers to the link and let them schedule a time to chat. Link: http://scheduleonce.com

Tracking and Analytics:

GOOGLE ANALYTICS – Hey, sometimes the basics are best. This is certainly not the only tracking tool we use, but it’s a good one. Link: www.google.com/analytics

HOTJAR – Fun name, yes, but it’s not about fun. This tool allows us to track the activities of those who engage with our web classes, articles, pages and more. It uses a nifty “heat map” system that shows by color the level of engagement… let’s say when someone is reading one of our blog articles. (Yes, we can see you, so read to the end.) Link: www.hotjar.com

Social Media and Assistive Tools:

POST PLANNER – This tool makes it easy to FIND, PLAN and POST content that is proven to increase social media engagement on Facebook and Twitter. We use it a lot and love it. Dare I say it’s even fun to use?! Link: http://postplanner.com

TWITTER FEED – Feed your blog to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more with a click or two. This is one of our most-used tools. If you’re not using it, you should be. (Especially if you have a blog component in your website.) Link: http://twitterfeed.com/

BUZZSUMO – Want to analyze the performance of different types of content for any topic or competitor? Of course you do. (At least you should… if you want to stay ahead of your competition.) Use BuzzSumo! It pushes your competition out of the ring… Link: http://buzzsumo.com

COMMUN.IT – We’ve found this to be one of the easiest ways to drive traffic, increase fan engagement, grow followers and likes, and save time on social media. Using this tool saves us a lot of time. Link: http://commun.it

SPROUT SOCIAL – This tool lets you schedule, publish and analyze content to your heart’s content. Let’s just say that it works like weeds (pretty ones); you plant your content once and it sprouts everywhere! Link: http://sproutsocial.com

HOOTSUITE – When it comes to posting in your social media pages, you have a choice. Do it one at a time or get an auto-poster tool. We chose the latter… with HootSuite, because it works great. Like their marketing says, “Get serious about social. Join the 10+ million professionals who trust Hootsuite.” Hey, we do! Link: http://hootsuite.com

SNIPLY – Share Content. Drive Traffic. Attach a call to action to every link you share. Sniply is one of the sharpest tools in the shed when it comes to helping you find and share content. It’s a very clever creation. Believe us when we say you need it. Link: http://snip.ly

SOCIAL OOMPH – When you’re ready to boost your social media productivity… and give it a little oomph, this tool can’t be beat. It allows you to easily schedule updates, find the right people to follow and monitor social media activity. Link: http://socialoomph.com

SOCIAL QUANT – Another great tool in our social media-boosting arsenal, Social Quant helps you increase your followers, engagement and leads. You can use it to get targeted and relevant Twitter followers who are ready to do business with you right now. In short, it quantifies followers. Link: http://socialquant.net

RITE TAG – It’s harder now than ever before to get heard on social media. If you want to increase your click-through rates and views this tool lets you do it as quick as a click by assigning tags that make sense and help you keep things organized. Link: http://ritetag.com

HASHTAGIFY ME – Find, analyze and amplify posts and content. If you notice, we use a number of hashtags in what we share out. That’s smart, because hashtags are a great way to tag specific content and events… and get people to find you. Link: http://hashtagify.me

PRETTYLINK PRO – Pretty Link makes it easy to shorten links, cloak links, redirect links, automate the ways you share them… and much more. We have literally hundreds of “pretty links” so we can dispense with the really long boring (ugly) URLs. Link: http://prettylinkpro.com

Livestreams, Meetings and Web Classes:

PERISCOPE – By far my favorite tool and toy to date! Never in my life have I seen such a fast delivery mechanism for online education. If you’re not “scoping” you should be… either as a viewer or as an educator. Sure, there are notably some really silly scopes, but that’s not us… that’s not me. My intent is and always will be to educate as many people possible about the opportunities in real estate entrepreneurship. Now I can reach even more likeminded individuals, which makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. (Hey, not joking.) Join me on Periscope: www.periscope.tv/cashflowdiary.

FACEBOOK LIVE – Admittedly I was using this tool more before I discovered just how much I love Periscope, but Facebook Live is something I will continue to use. I’ve even integrated our weekly Q & A with J web show into our private Facebook group page using a live feed. That way, getting into the show takes seconds and doesn’t require a log in like it used to. There was a little learning curve, but it was well worth it, because Facebooking Live works well to get our message out to lots more people than before. Plus, I can simultaneously livestream from both Facebook AND Periscope when I want to. Ahhh… technology!! If you want to see livestreaming in action, head over to my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cashflowdiary/

UBERCONFERENCE – Talk about making life easier… We have a team meeting once a week using this tool and one of the things we all like about it is the “record” function. That way, if someone forgets to write something down he can go back and listen to the call again. (It cuts down on possible confusions about all the stuff we do here at CFD, which is a lot.) Link: www.uberconference.com

GOTOMEETING – This easy-to-use, face-to-face and small-group online meeting tool lets me lead Mastermind Group Classes and coaching sessions. It’s cool because I can allow participants to either speak or text in their questions and comments, and I can share my screen with them while I teach. Link: www.gotomeeting.com

GOTO WEBINAR – “Tell your story. Reach more people. Grow your business.” That’s what their site says and we agree. We use this tool to bring people together so they can learn from the comfort of their home or office no matter what their physical location. Link: http://www.gotomeeting.com/webinar

JOIN.ME – Ever think only if I could SHOW someone what I’m talking about? You can! Join.me is one of the best see-my-screen tools we’ve found. I use it all the time to show members of the CFD team what I’m talking about. For example, I don’t have to try to explain a mind map; I can just have other join me on, well, Join.me and see my screen where I’ve drawn out the map. Or I can give a quick tutorial on using a software or whatever… There is no end to the way we use this tool!! Link: www.join.me

SKYPE – Yep! Skype. Guess what I use to interview guests for the Cash Flow Diary podcast? We then lift out the audio and voila! It’s like magic. Plus, I can use Skype to call anywhere. If I need to speak to an international investor or student, this system makes it very easy. It offers both one-to-one and small-group call participation. (You gotta love that!) Link: www.skype.com

WEBINAR JAM – Where would I be without this tool?! I love Webinar Jam. It makes hosting live web classes easy because it’s designed to let lots of learners get into the “room.” It works with lots of the other tools we use around here, too, so we can get lots of people to the web class at the drop of a hat. (Okay… more like a few days because we have to let people know events are happening, but it is pretty fast.) The automated replay functionality is the bomb! Link: www.webinarjam.com

STEALTH SEMINAR – What if you could have online meetings with unlimited possibilities? Now you can. Plus, with Stealth Seminars, there are NO contracts, NO commitments, NO software, and NO HTML or tech expertise required. Hey, that works for us! Link: http://stealthseminar.com

Marketing and Lead Generation:

CLICKFUNNELS – Woo hoo! Opt-in pages made super simple. Online lead generation starts with a good opt-in page. ClickFunnels lets you build one in a hurry. However, it’s really important that you have a few lead magnets created first. And a few videos in the can. While you don’t have to use video, it is a great interest-driver and conversion tool. Get over your fears of being on camera. After all, who can tell your story better than you? Link: http://clickfunnels.com

LEADPAGES – Another super-simple opt-in-page-building system, LeadPages is something we’ve been using for a couple of years. While we are using ClickFunnels more and more, we still have a few LeadPages up and running. They work, the tutorial takes only minutes, building pages takes minutes when you have all your components in place (content and video), you have the option to use video or not… excellent system we can recommend! Link: http://leadpages.net

OPTIMIZE PRESS – This is the new way to create and optimize high-conversion landing pages, sales pages and membership portals. Link: http://optimizepress.com

FIX YOUR FUNNEL – Sometimes you need a little help fixing your marketing funnels. This tool lets you “generate more leads and close more sales by connecting with your prospects in a mobile-centric world.” That’s the message we lifted from their site, but we couldn’t have said it any better. Link: http://fixyourfunnel.com

CALL LOOP – Quickly and easily send voice and SMS text messages to your customers, contacts, and subscribers in just a few clicks. This is a super-simple way to connect with your customer base. Link: http://callloop.com

Video Storage and Sharing:

VIMEO – We use the heck out of this tool! What can I say… we love it. The ease of grabbing our videos from various sources and storing them on Vimeo can’t be beat. We can also share private videos to participants of our Mastermind Group Classes and also share videos through Vimeo to other places. Link: www.vimeo.com

YOUTUBE – There’s nothing I need to tell you about YouTube you probably don’t already know. As a user you can never (and I mean that literally) run out of things to watch and learn on this site. We use YouTube to archive cool videos we think the public might like to see… even some episodes of our weekly Q & A with J web show and Inside the Shark Tank (one of my personal favorites that we produce). YouTube makes sharing videos on social media and every other way easy, too. If you haven’t seen our channel, maybe it’s time. Here’s the link to our channel: www.youtube.com/cashflowdiary.

SNAGIT – Don’t have content to share? No problem. Check this site out! It’s pretty self-explanatory… and really helpful. You’ll see when you hit their landing page. Link: www.snagit.com

Outsourcing Needs:

From time to time we need more hands on deck… or we need to test out new people to add to our marketing team. These are great places to find talented individuals who are hungry to work with you right now:

CRAIGSLIST – This highly underutilized site has hidden talent just waiting for your call. You can browse posts under different categories and you can create job posts (but there’s a minor cost to post jobs). Oh, and if you are planning events, like hosting your next Cashflow 101 game, CL is a great place to post. There are community and events boards. Check ’em out. Link: www.craigslist.org

FIVERR – While we don’t use this site a lot, you can find some pretty good help for small projects on Fiverr. And you can’t beat the cost. Just remember that you can’t expect to get good, cheap and fast simultaneously. Typically you get what you pay for in this world; Fiverr talent may be the exception. (Warning: expect upsells.) Link: www.fiverr.com

UPWORK – This used to be “O Desk” but the name changed. This is an excellent source particularly for cost-effective technical whiz kids. Yes, a lot of them are in far-off distant lands, but with today’s global economy and interactive technologies, this can be a plus. For example, they can be working while you sleep and vice versa! Just make sure to do your due diligence. Test different people out so you can be sure you’re getting the best of the best. Link: www.upwork.com

Again, this is but a small handful of the software, sites and online tools we use at CFD to make what we do happen day in and day out. (You’d be surprised by everything we use between all the team members.)

In other words, by no means could I do this marketing and real estate thing alone.

Success and wealth are team sports. (In today’s world it takes a fair amount of online activities, too, which is where all these killer tools come in.)

DISCLAIMER: Many of the links provided are affiliate links, which means we earn a few pennies per product if you click. We don’t want that to keep you from learning more or using the products. Feel free to type the links on your own into your Web browser. We won’t receive any compensation, but that’s okay. We don’t want a potential affiliate commission to get in the way of your getting what you need to make your business rock!

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