Meeting Invitations Made Simple With Calendly

Calendly takes the stress out of scheduling a meeting. It connects with Google Calendar and gives you a link to send people to check your availability and set up a meeting. This is much easier than sending a bunch of emails to check each other’s open dates and times.

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Cost: Free

Track Your Freelance Goals With Harpoon

As a freelancer, have you struggled to figure out your financial goals, much less track them easily? Then Harpoon may be perfect for you.
Harpoon is a financial planning and metrics app designed for freelancers. It helps freelancers answer vexing questions, such as:
  • When do I schedule my next project?
  • Should I be making more money this quarter?
  • Am I on track to meet my yearly goal?
  • Should I speed things up?
  • When can I take a vacation?
  • Is it time to raise my rates?
It comes with a lot of pretty and powerful dashboards to help you take control of your financial projections. You can also use it to track your time and invoice clients.
Cost: $14/$24/$34 per month (scales depending on the number of clients you include)

Get Your Invoices Paid Faster With Fundbox

Do you own your own business? Do you sometime sweat bullets while you’re waiting on an invoice to be paid?
This is a common problem, particularly for small firms. Now you can use Fundbox to get paid fast.
When you know the amount you need, enter it in the Fundbox calculator They will determine a set “clearing fee” you will pay back (on top of your initial invoice amount) over 12 weekly installments. If you pay it off early, you’ll save money. And as you build your history with Fundbox, the clearing fee will decrease.
As an example, let’s say you have an outstanding check for $5,000. The minimum clearing fee for three months is $243, and the maximum is $343. Fundbox will advance you the $5,000, and when your client pays you, you will pay Fundbox $5,000 plus the clearing fee that is currently due.
For those times when you really, really need the money (and the client is stalling), Fundbox could be a lifesaver.
Cost: Free to signup, then pay a predetermined fee based on the payments you need advanced to you

The Best Alternative To Google Alerts

Want to know when something important to you (or your business) appears online?TalkWalkerAlerts is a great alternative to Google Alerts.

I’m impressed with this tool, which sends me better results than I typically get from Google Alerts. To make it easy to switch, you can import your existing Google Alerts. When you create new alerts in TalkWalker, you can subscribe to email alerts or RSS feeds for your searches.

Cost: Free 

Reduce Chrome Memory Use With OneTab

I love using Chrome as my primary browser, but it is a memory hog. I often find myself with too many tabs open, and Chrome grinds to a halt. However, I hate to close tabs for fear of losing track of something.

OneTab solves this dilemma—making it easy to consolidate a bunch of tabs into one. 

Clicking on the OneTab icon instantly converts all of your open tabs into a list, which you can name. When you need to access those specific tabs again, you can either restore them individually or all at once. Using OneTab saves up to 95% of memory in Chrome.

I love that you can save multiple “lists” of sites and restore them easily—or even share a link to them with someone else. You can also come back and edits your lists.

Cost: Free 

Best Online Graphic Design Tool

Need to make a quick graphic for your blog, social media site or a presentation? Canva lets anyone create graphic design layouts quickly, with minimal design skills. It won’t replace a bona fide graphic designer, but it’s great when you need something easy and cheap.
Canva features a lot of predetermined graphic sizes ranging from social media graphics to blog graphics, Facebook covers, cards and more. It also has many free stock images, fonts and background images. Canva also offers over 1,000,000 premium graphic files that you can purchase cheaply (around $1/graphic).
After you create a graphic in Canva, you can easily download the file or share it on Twitter and Facebook.
Cost: Free and premium graphics available for your layouts

Get Email Signups By SMS

Now you can easily capture email signups by SMS with JoinByText.
It integrates with several email service providers and marketing automation companies including ActiveCampaign, AWeber, Campaigner, Emma, iContact, InfusionSoft, MailChimp and Publicaster by WhatCounts.
After signing up, you get to pick a one-word keyword that people can send to a 5-digit shortcode assigned to your account. When they do, they are prompted to enter their email address to join your list.
Cost: $19/month to capture up to 500 email addresses; larger plans are available.
Thanks to DJ Waldow for tipping me off to JoinByText!

Communicate With Colleagues Using Cotap


Cotap provides an easy way to communicate with your colleagues through mobile messaging. It’s a simple and secure app for sending individual and group text messages, without having to worry about collecting personal mobile phone numbers.
Cotap automatically creates a directory as coworkers join, so it’s easy to find people when you need to reach them. You can also choose to sync to your mobile phone’s contacts, which will let you send messages to customers or business connections.
When someone messages you, you will get a push notification.
You can also connect to your calendar in order to have conversations with past or future meeting participants.
Cotap offers a business version with more features. These add the ability to:
  • Create custom mobile push notifications
  • Analyze usage and engagement
  • Get enhanced administrative controls
Cotap is available as a free app for iPhone and Android.
Cost: Currently free to download the app; additional pricing information has not been announced.

Improve Team Communication With Slack

Slack is a gorgeous (dare I say slick) application for communicating internally within your company or organization.
It combine elements of messaging (think Skype and chat) along with file sharing. To me, Slack could (and should) replace a lot of “conversations” that don’t belong in email strings. That, and it creates an internal repository of important files, links and more.
You use Slack to create open or private “channels” for the projects, groups and topics that teams within your organization want to share. Everything is instantly shareable and searchable.
Channels can include messages, files and comments; inline images and videos; rich link summaries; and integration with common services including Twitter, Dropbox and Google Drive.
There are free native apps for iOS, Android & Mac desktop.
Cost: Slack is currently free during its beta release; once the final version is released, there will be a free “lite” version and paid versions ranging from $8-15/user/month (for more features and file storage). Sign up now for free, and get a credit of $100 for your team if you decide to upgrade later.

An App To Replace Your Keys

Never worry about losing your house key with KeyMe.
In the “what will they think of next” category, KeyMe is an app that lets you scan your keys and then get copies made. If you’re locked out and need a replacement fast, you can get a new key at a local KeyMe-authorized locksmith or at one of their kiosks. They’re aren’t too many of the latter right now (just a few in NYC), but I expect to see these pop up all over the place. The company is also expanding a delivery service.
Imagine if you are out of town and for whatever reason you need a friend to get in your place. Just use KeyMe to send them a digital copy of your key. Your friend can then get a physical copy made by a locksmith.
You can also get key copies shipped by mail. In addition to ordering plain-looking keys, you can get them in a variety of shapes and styles.
KeyMe services 85% of the most common home and office keys. They also claim a 99% accuracy rate compared to traditional locksmiths, which have an average 15%-25% error rate.
The app guarantees very high levels of security, so your keys won’t fall into the wrong hands.
Cost: The app is free. Keys cost about $4.99-$5.99 each, with 30% off additional keys plus free shipping. Mail order keys arrive in 3-5 business days.