2013 is going to be bigger and better. It’s something that is said every year and sometimes it is, certainly 2012 in terms of technology progression was an improvement on 2011 but improvements in an ever efficient world are hard to come by. Using online tools, to be able to do your job wherever and whenever you are connected certainly looks like the best way of improving efficiency in 2013, so here’s 5 online tools I think you should be considering to help you make 2013 bigger and better.
Need to archive stuff? You’ve probably got a zip programme on your desktop but what if you are not on your desktop and need a cloud option? Well, B1 can be downloaded as free programme (Windows, Mac, Linux and Android – so can even work on a smartphone). But it really comes into its own as an online archiver, or probably more as an online unzip tool. It can work with .zip, .rar, .7z files so can help you uncompress almost any files you may receive. You then just download the individual uncompressed files.
As an app or online, Evernote helps run more lives than a lorry-load of energy drinks. The online version though is the version that makes it all worthwhile. If you have not seen it – where have you been? It is effectively an online notepad where you can order and organise your thoughts and tasks to be done. It means you always have your notes to had as it is a cloud-based system you can access via smartphone app or via your computer’s browser.
Fairly self-explanatory, but much more as well. Online ‘virtual meeting’ tools are nothing new, but to find one that offers unlimited free meetings, with screen-sharing and audio conferencing is pretty rare. With FreeScreenSharing you can have up to 96 participants in your meeting too which should be enough for any small business, as will the 6 hour meeting limit (at the moment there is no limit to the number of meetings or total hours you can have per month). There isn’t video-streaming but being honest how important is that ever to the meeting. The downsides are the need for the installation of branded software and the use of Flash, but then again it is free.
Launching a website or a new section without proper-testing is like throwing yourself into the lion’s den with your hands and legs tied – it will only end messily. Yet, even if you test it hard in-house and beyond with friends, there are also always things you will miss. Employing a full QA testing team however, will also be likely outside your budget which is where this tool comes in handy. UserTesting is US-based but in the virtual world that’s no barrier and for less than the cost of a decent meal for two you can have your site tested by a set of users. Users create a video as they click through your site so you really see it from their eyes and you can even tailor the written questions they need to answer post-test too.
Need a job done quickly and cheaply? Outsourcing those sorts of task, especially the creative ones, opens you up to a very competitive marketplace, so competitive that everybody advertising their skills and expertise here is offering it for just $5 – hence the name . Looking for a logo? Video to be created? Maybe some link-building? For $5 it is often worth a punt and the standards of the majority of those offering their skills are actually very very high.
Those are five tools you may or may not have come across but could serve you business well in 2013. It is all about efficiency in 2013 and online tools are designed for that very purpose. Making the most of what you have and getting better value from those you outsource will help not only improve your overall direction but also your bottom-line – which is good whatever your line of business.