11 Free Tools Every Entrepreneur Should Use

Image from http://www.businessinsider.com/Image from http://www.businessinsider.com/

Check out this list of great programs, websites and tools that can advance your business without adding to the bottom line:

11 Free Tools Every Entrepreneur Should Use.

I actually use many of these tools! Thought I would give them a shout-out and share why I love them (or like them, or feel kinda meh about them.)

Google Docs – I use Gmail for the three active email accounts I have and I love it. Took some getting used to, but now that I know how to find what I’m looking for, it’s second nature. I also really appreciate the free document programs they have. I’ve created presentations, managed shared spreadsheets, and kept all my in-process documents handy by using Google Docs. I highly recommend it!

WordPress – Well, since this is a blog hosted by WordPress, clearly I like using it! I blogged on Blogger for years and have a special place in my heart for it. However, WordPress just blows Blogger away. In my ever so humble opinion.

MailChimp – This is the platform I use for my weekly updates to RelyLocal members and the monthly update for our High Desert Consumers. It is pretty easy to use and they have been super helpful when I had a question. I also notice that they are continually refining the interface and design area in a way that is nice, not annoying. If you’re looking for a free email marketing tool (and every business or blogger probably should!), this is a good one to use.

Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn – Check, check and check. You can find all my links to the right of this post. Mosey on over and say hi! Facebook is my first love in the social media world. Twitter hasn’t quite captured my heart, although I post, read and retweet regularly. And LinkedIn, well, we’re just friends.

Skype – Although I have used this tool, it has not been as powerful as I had hoped. Mostly because I don’t really have anyone to talk to! Also, video calling means you have to look presentable and when you work from home, that is a real stretch.

Craigslist – I lived in the Bay Area for 12 years. Half my life has been lived on Craigslist. I’ve bought bikes, chairs and cars, found housing and jobs, and met friends on Craigslist. I find it is not as active in the High Desert. Still a good place to check out though!

PayPal – Love it! Use it for so many things in my life. RelyLocal is now accepting member payments through PayPal, which allows members to use a credit card.

Now, what I’d really like to know is what is the best free contact management tool out there? The ones I’ve tried to use are too clunky or confusing. We need one that can be accessed by 3 people remotely and doesn’t require 700 hours to reconfigure. Any suggestions?

Also, please take the poll at the top right of this page! We are doing some research about why people DON’T shop at locally-owned and independent businesses.

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