5 Free Tools to Keep Your Startup Lean

June 17, 2015

Startups use dozens of different services across business, product, and engineering teams to help their company operate and scale more effectively. Those tools allow companies to execute with precision, efficiency, and create a layer of accountability. Ultimately, they save us time and money, and drive business forward.


Earlier this year, I wrote a piece on the business  SaaS Tools my company uses for efficiency and scale.  As a small business, getting work done in a measurable and efficient manner is critical. But the price of these tools can quickly add up. So today, I want to discuss some of the best free offerings to keep your startup lean.


Here are my top favorites across the board:


1. Do


Do allows you to run productive meetings, focus the discussion, and make clear decisions.  It’s the easiest way to centralize all your notes, presentations, documents and other collateral. One of Do’s best features is that it keeps meetings on a timed agenda, which reduces tangents and keeps the team on topic.


2. Free Instagram Analytics Tool


Pixlee’s free Instagram Analytics tool provides subscribers with ongoing weekly reports to monitor your brand, discover emerging influencers, and identify top content. It provides a quick way to listen to what your customers are saying about you on social media and identify the users who are evangelizing your brand.


3. SideKick


Sidekick allows you to see who opens your emails, easily schedule emails for later, and to see information about your contacts. It’s an easy way for marketing teams to monitor which emails have been delivered, opened, and engaged with. Because Sidekick is a Hubspot product, it also seamlessly integrates into the Hubspot platform and offers valuable marketing insights.


4. Invision


Invision lets designers build interactive, realistic web and mobile mockups and prototypes. The biggest plus is that you can create interactive wireframes and designs without any code, but teammates can still interact with your design and get the full experience. Real-time updates, seamless syncing with other design tools, and version control also make this one of the best tools out there for designers.


5. Evernote


Evernote helps you collect and organize everything you need to be more productive. It’s the ultimate tool for sales. With Evernote, you can create individual notebooks for each prospect, turn on the voice recorder to capture content, and use Penultimate to digitalize drawings and handwritten notes. The service syncs across all devices so that you never “leave your notebook at the office” when you’re meeting with a prospective client.


Startups use a variety of tools and services that optimize their productivity. Today there are many companies producing great resources for entrepreneurs looking to run an efficient and lean startup. If you’re wondering exactly where to start and are on a budget, I believe these five free resources are an absolute must.

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