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5 Must-Have Tools for the Organized Entrepreneur (Part II)
I love to organize things. It's how I started my business as a Professional Organizer, before I decided I'm all about tech consulting for entrepreneurs. I'm also a female entrepreneur, which means life is insanely crazy at times. I counteract that by keeping things as organized as I can stand without being obsessive (most of the time). And so I now get to combine two areas that I'm most passionate about: technology and staying uber-organized!
This article is Part II to the article "5 Must-Have Tech Tools for the Organized Entrepreneur (Part I)", because there have been questions about WHICH specific technology tools and brands may be helpful to use. This follow-up article presents you with my hands-down favorite choices for these five must-have tech tools for entrepreneurs. Could you live without them? Sure, but I don't recommend that - to my clients or you. (Note: I've given a couple options within each category, so that you can choose the tool that best matches your particular needs.)
Here's the list of tech tool all-stars for organized entrepreneurs:
My fave: Yes, I took a bite out of the round fruit, and I have an iPhone. I chose it because it was easy to use, and a friend (also an entrepreneur) raved about hers. I played with it a bit, and well, I decided it was the tool for me. It's simple to use, there are lots of apps for this curious techie girl, and I feel I can manage just about anything wherever I am. And with my stylin' case, it doesn't look too shabby either.
Another option: If I didn't have this phone, I'd go with a Droid. The physical keyboard, and growing number of apps make this set of smartphones a solid choice for entrepreneurs.
My fave: I use and recommend Carbonite. All you do is subscribe, download a little piece of software, and all your files are backed up in real time. The backup is also stored remotely, which means if Bad Guy decides to be uncool and swipe my laptop, I don't lose all my files. Get the new machine and download all my files. I don't have to think or worry too much to get back up and running. I like that.
Another option: Mozy is also a fantastic, super easy-to-use backup service. Bonus: You can backup two computers for one subscription. Nice.
My fave: I use SplashID, and have for a couple years. SplashID has a password that protects all your other passwords, so I only have to remember one. Very nice, but make sure you choose one that is not your dog's name, or your address, or something else that's easy to figure out. Also, if Bad Guy tries to login, he better be smart, because he has ten tries and then he's locked out. Take that!
Another option: There are many. RoboForm and 1Password are good choices, and just like SplashID, they do "auto-fill", meaning a couple clicks and you are logged in. (Make SURE you password protect your laptop if you use it though!)
My fave: Evernote is my hands-down favorite. I'm a convert, because in the beginning, Evernote's simplicity was a challenge for me. So, if you decide to use Evernote, it's a software you can use on your computer or mobile phone, and keep text notes, pictures and audios tagged and grouped in notebooks. Search, email and share to your heart's content, or keep them all to yourself. Apply your personality and flair from there. Good-bye (unsearchable) piles of sticky notes!
Another option: One Note, which is quite similar.
My fave: BatchBook by BatchBlue. I looked all over to find a CRM to keep in touch with clients, leads, and referral partners. There's no shortage of big players in this area. There's also no shortage of big price tags. I didn't need to have 40 users, it was just me and maybe an occasional assistant. BatchBook does everything I need it to: keep track of who I talked to, where we met, when I last talked to them, what we talked about and when I needed to call them again. It also does some other things like run reports, print labels and integrate with other tools. Sayonara neglected spreadsheet of follow-ups. Bonus: It works with Google Apps.
Another option: Salesforce is a classic, or ZOHO CRM for a lower priced (or free) option.
Brandie Kajino is a small business technology expert, consultant, author and dynamic speaker. Empowering clients with information, tools, technology and simple solutions is her specialty. For more information on her services, products, podcast & internet radio show and free blog articles, visit sohosolutionist.com.
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