17 Awesome Business Tools You Need To Be Using.

Smart technology is everywhere. If you're like most business people, you can't help but feel that there are too many tools out there. They all sound the same. Which leaves you confused, frustrated, and uninterested in changing.

Let's cut through the clutter. Here are a few awesome business tools you need to be using:

BUSINESS RESEARCH TOOLS

These tools help you learn all you can about prospective companies, existing clients, or industry partners

  • Owler (link) -- The team that built the revolutionary Jigsaw email finder platform that Salesforce purchased for hundreds of millions of dollars is at it again with another blockbuster sales research tool. Instead of researching people, Owler researches companies. It's easy to find and select which companies you want to follow. Each morning, you get a customized email with everything that happened at that company yesterday that you should know about. This service, which costs many thousands of dollars per year from other companies, is completely free from the Owler team. Drop what you are doing and sign up now.

CRM & ADDRESS BOOKS

These tools help you organize the people you know, the deals you need to close, and the marketing that gets you there

  • Cloze (link) -- We have used them all -- every CRM on the planet (or so it feels) -- and Cloze is by far the best to use if you need to build and maintain relationships with people. It collects, organizes and manages all the people you need to know -- right beside your email (and social) inbox. It's epic.
  • AgileCRM (link) -- It has 'CRM' in its name but with features like landing pages and social and web tracking and smart email campaigns it's really the best all-in-one marketing platform on the planet. And it's 1/10 the cost of Hubspot or Infusionsoft.

SECURITY & PASSWORD SHARING

These tools help you keep your team safe and secure without emailing usernames and passwords around

  • LastPass (link) -- Forget your passwords? Share your passwords over email? LastPass saves all your passwords for you and even allows you to set up sharing groups where you can allow family or friends to use your passwords -- without them ever seeing what the actual password it.
  • Blur (link) -- It's the most technical personal security platform  out there. It allows you to create disposable credit cards, phone number, or email addresses. It saves your passwords for you and notifies you when you might have gotten hacked.

PROSPECT RESEARCH

These tools help you learn all you can about prospects you want to do business sometime soon

  • AeroLeads (link) -- In a cluttered category of lead and prospect research, AeroLeads has the best combination of capture and results. They claim to verify email address and phone numbers multiple times before they pass it along to you. It works.
  • Capture (link) -- Ever want to zip through a website and vacuum up all the people and email addresses (and other contact information) you find there. Meet Capture by Ringlead. Not only will it capture leads on a website it verifies the email addresses and exports everything to Salesforce.

SCHEDULING EFFICIENCY

These tools make it easy to schedule and prepare for awesome meetings

  • Charlie App (link) -- Connect Charlie to your Google calendar (or Outlook) and it will automatically research everyone you are planning to meet with. An hour before your meeting you'll get an email with everything you need to know about those people.
  • Assistant (link) -- At the push of a button, Assitant checks your calendar and suggests up to  3 days worth of availability for meetings. It runs in Gmail, right where you are sending emails, so it is fast and a tremendous time saver.

GETTING-THINGS-DONE

These tools help you plan out what needs to be done and assign responsibilities to the people who need to help you get there

  • Todoist (link) -- This is the best tool ever created to handle recurring tasks, reminders, and team planning. They have native apps for more than a dozen different environments so you can take it anywhere and use it anytime.
  • Wrike (link) -- Imaging if Microsoft Sharepoint and Project decided to build an epic productivity platform for today's generation of Gantt Chart-needing professionals. It's mobile friendly. And runs in your browser. And it's free to start using.

DESIGN PLATFORMS

These tools help you ditch Photoshop and make it super easy to create impressive images for social media

  • DesignFeed (link) -- The hands-down, best ever online tool for creating epic quotes for social media. It is incredibly easy to use, but to make it even easier you can pick one of their curated designs, swap out the content, and post it live in seconds.
  • Canva (link) -- Ditch Photoshop and invest a few of those dollars in Canva. Edit images. Design new ones. Create social media content or designs for business cards or brochures. Share your designs with your team.

CONFERENCING

These tools make it easy to collaborate with your team, partners, or prospective customers

  • Appear (link) -- Go to your Appear link (ours is appear.in/edgy) and do some video conferencing, or share your screen, without needing to download all those bloated desktop apps. It's fast. And easy. And free.
  • SpeakEasy (link) -- Instead of waiting on hold for people to join your conference call, SpeakEasy will call you on your cell when the people who need to be on the call actually show up. Saves you time. Saves you from being a chump who uses FreeConferenceCall.com.

SECURITY & MISCELLANEOUS

These tools keep you safe while sharing files or cruising the internet each day

  • WhoHasAccess (link) -- Connect it to you Google Drive account with a push of a button and wait for it to tell you who has access to any one of your files. Using the tools you can take back sharing permissions too. It's a free and awesome way to stay safe.
  • Disconnect (link) -- Download one of their free apps or pay a little more to get unlimited secure and anonymous access to the internet. Makes web browsing safe while you're traveling or using WiFi from your local coffee shop.

Try one. Try them or all. Or bookmark this article for when you are looking for great tools down the road.

Great businesses use smart tools to do more with less.

These are just the sort of tools to do that for you.

BusinessStephen Palacino