9 Must Have Efficiency Tools For the Entrepreneur

9 Must Have Efficiency Tools for the Entrepreneur

Effectively I’ve been out of the day job and been a full time entrepreneur for about a year and a half now.  In that time I’ve found some amazing tools that can make the life of the entrepreneur more efficient and effective.

If you think back to the days in the day job office where their were people who got off on how much time they spent at work – idiots,  I think its about achieving the maximum result in the shortest period of time so that you can get on with life.

The great news is that most of these tools on this list are free.  Have a look at this list and see if any of these tools can solve inefficiencies in your business.

  1. Skype – We use this more than the phone.  You will find that most other entrepreneurs and like minded business people are also on skype.  While you can use Skype to make calls to phone lines with their premium paid services I have found people complained about the voice quality, so now I mainly use it for online chat, small file transfers and free VOIP calls between pcs.  I use this tool all day every day.
  2. GoToMeeting –  An amazing tool that we use this to securely share our monitor screens with other JV partners or clients when working on projects together.  The great thing about this is that it can be like you are working in the one room for a meeting because you can both see the same screen. It also has a conference call number. Give their free trial a go.
  3. Basecamp –   This is an amazing tool for sharing files in a central location or sharing files and projects between multiple entrepreneurs or companies.  You can also securely share passwords via writeboards with this software as it uses SSL security to create a secure encrypted web session.
  4. Google Sites –  Effectively this is a Wiki – think Wikipedia if your not sure what a Wiki is.  We have found it is an amazingly simple and easy central documentation repository that can be accessed online.  This is how we do our documentation now.
  5. YouSendit –  An awesome tool for sending large files to other people you are working with.  There is a free version of YouSendIt but I found that it was a bit limiting in that it only allowed files up to 100mb. I ended up moving to a paid member of this service.   Just recently my graphic designer Narelle has got me onto a new tool called DropBox which does a similar thing, but essentially you share a folder online with any one you are working with called a ‘Drop Box’ and any member of the team who you have shared it with can download files from the drop box.  It also works as a backup tool because you can keep backup copies of your files in your drop box.   You Send It is better when sharing a one off file with someone but if you are working together all the time then Drop Box may be more efficient.
  6. Google Apps – Google provides so many free tools these days, and this is one of their best.  Effectively they will host your domains email for you so you don’t need to worry about having an Exchange server or anything like that.  It costs $50 per user per year and you get a Gmail type mail experience.  I believe this is the best way for a small company to do email.
  7. Google Docs –  This tool gives you a cutdown Microsoft Office type experience online. What I really love about it is that multiple team members can be editing the same document at the same time. This is without a doubt the best way to have multiple team members work on the same spreadsheet online
  8. Apple iPhone 3GS – Wow, what a phone for the entrepreneur.  This has it all.  The email client is great, the notes are fantastic, the phone is OK but I find the speaker phone to not be brilliant on it.  If you use the MobileMe service from Apple it will push your email and calendar to the cloud on the web and  keep all your devices and PC’s and Macs in synch. This device is a blackberry killer.  I just travelled and ran my business for a week from the other side of the country just from my iphone. When I got lost my iPhone GPS told me where I was and gave me directions of how to get to my conference – amazing.
  9. Mozy –  An affordable offline trickle backup service.  Select the important files on your PC or server and set them to upload to Mozy’s secure servers.  Then when any file changes on your PC it will automatically create a new copy of only the files that have changed on the Mozy backup servers. This is a must for any small company as it takes care of backups for you.  I have found that its best to start off with a small volume of files on it and then gradually add more files once it has successfully backed those up for you.

I hope that’s useful and saves you some time and hassles. Is there any major ones that I should have included based on your experience?


  1. Greg, good article and recommendations – I like the fact that most are either free or reasonably cheap based on what they deliver. I’d like to suggest another which we have found has great efficiency benefits around email that is ‘Xobni’ (www.xobni.com), there’s a free version and just makes using email more effective plus it integrates social networking into it too.

    • Good recommendation Pete, I’d never seen that before. I’ll suss it out because it solves a common problem in that these days we are just drowning in emails and information so if there is an easy way to sort and manage it then I’m all for it. Thanks, Greg

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