Mohammed Ashoor, VII Tech’s founder, wrote a blog about different cloud productivity tools that save us both time and money by doing more work in less time. He recommended apps for accounting, social media management, human resources and project management. read it here 

We’ve  grown quite a bit since that blog post and so have added some more tools to our productivity tools lists.  We’re sharing them with you here in the hopes that they will serve you the same way that they’re serving us.

 

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Proposify

Proposify allows users to create and manage proposals in the cloud freeing them from the burden of internal storage on a server or computer.

It allows them to choose between industry-specific proposal templates for web designers, marketers, consultants and many more. Users can then customize the look-and-feel of the proposal to match their own brands. On large proposals, multiple team members can collaborate to create the proposal.Additionally, Users can create their own sections and snippets that can be conveniently dragged and dropped to new proposals whenever needed.

The proposal is then sent to the client who has to sign their acceptance in the designated section. This creates the option of adding a contract to the proposal to which the client can choose to accept or decline (in the same way as accepting the proposal). In the event the client has any extra comments or would like to change certain terms, deliverables, timeframes or whatever, they can post their comments on the proposal before signing which is then automatically sent to the User.

The analytics in Proposify captures a range of useful information such as closing rate, which sections of the proposal have been viewed the most and for how long. It also allows for integration with other tools such as Basecamp, HubSpot and Salesforce. More integrations are work in progress.

Pricing starts at $25 with 5 active proposals a month, going up to $3000/year for unlimited proposals. To read more about Proposify visit the website

 

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Bitbucket

Bitbucket is a web-based hosting service that can either be hosted in the cloud or on a local server.  It allows our team to collaborate on creating and managing source-code as well as keeping track of progress versions (“Version Control”) of the history of the code.

Our development team uses Bitbucket for its useful features such as being able to collaborate on projects, assigning tasks to specific people and making sure the best person is on the job. It also allows for comments and discussions to be had related to the source code.

For a small team like ours, Bitbucket offers unlimited repository projects for 5 users for free, or 10 users and unlimited projects for $10, which works perfectly.

 

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MailChimp:

Email Marketing is an essential part of any business.  While there are other types of email marketing softwares, such as Outlook (which offers a merge tag option allowing personalized mass emails), we’ve found MailChimp to be the perfect email marketing software (EMS).

Mailchimp offers a number of easy options for designing, sending and saving templates of our emails. We use Mailchimp to create newsletters for different purposes such as holiday greetings, company news, updates, promotional newsletters, etc.

Steps of email marketing:

   Acquire Emails: MailChimp has a WordPress widget that is integrated and you can add a subscription widget to allow interested users to register/subscribe to receive company updates. The widget feeds into our database of subscriptions.

   We, then design the email we’d like to send by either choosing from a library of templates, or we create our own designs (complying with brand guidelines) and once we’re done we select our targeted segment from our database list and either send the newsletter or schedule it for a later time/date.

Mailchimp also allows the User to merge tags creating personalized emails that address the receiver’s first name, surname or both.

It also has advanced analytics tools that measure data such as opening rate, bounce rate, clicks and interaction as well as reporting how well did a specific campaign work.

Newsletters are responsive and change size depending on the device they’re opened on. They also allow social sharing so that Users can share their newsletters on social media. It’s worth noting that MailChimp has a strict permission-based marketing policy/anti-spam policy and violating such policies might result in consequences.

We also use MailChimp for our e-commerce websites. When connecting an online store with MailChimp, it analyses the customer history and behaviour to make data-driven recommendations on what they might like.

The free version is up to 2000 subscribers, and 12,000 subscribers for $10 a month. More features are available through the paid subscription. To learn more visit the website 

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Teamwork

A while back we used to use Basecamp, however for the past year we’ve switched over to Teamwork and our development team is a lot happier using it.

Teamwork is a project management software that allows teams (managers, staff and clients) to collaborate in the cloud. It even comes with a mobile app that syncs your tasks and sends you reminders of upcoming milestones.

Through Teamwork, we create individual projects, manage any collaborations, view permissions, assign tasks to colleagues  and link tasks to milestones. Furthermore, Users can share files, notes and comments on individual tasks, files and notebooks. Additionally, Users can create Gantt charts and allows for unlimited users.

Pricing starts at $12 per month for 5 projects and 1GB of storage space and can reach up to $249 per month for 500 projects and 400 GB of space with multiple plans in between. 

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Slack

About slack:

A while back we talked about Slack. Rather than deal with those burdensome internal emails taking up unnecessary space in our inboxes (and our lives), we use Slack for most, if not all, our internal communications. It has made our lives a whole lot easier and since prices start at $6.67 per user per month (if paid annually) ( read more about it here) .

About Slaask:

Slack has a customer service widget called Slaask. By installing Slaask widget on our site, customer queries/visitor requests are funneled directly to our slack allowing us to receive messages and reply promptly. Slaask also tracks analytics such as response time, number of queries and allows visitors to rate the customer service online. To read more about slaask, visit the website 

 


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