6 apps and online tools that have helped our small business thrive
By Ballast Point director Mat Wilk
In this day and age, there are more options than ever before for streamlining your business. Here are six that have made a huge difference at Ballast Point in recent times.
Trello is the thing that has really clicked for our business. This web-based, list-making application is a subsidiary of Australian software development and collaboration tool company Atlassian, which enables us to manage projects and organise tasks. The greatest thing about Trello is its accessibility. Unlike other project management software, it is useful in five minutes. It lets you create a structure that works for your business. At Ballast Point, Trello is a programming tool, a customer relationship management system and an online resource for staff. You can make of it what you want.
I’ve always thought that emails were anything but optimal. If you think about it, they are electronic forms of letter writing. Our inboxes are filled with all sorts of advertising material and pointless information, but they are hard to categorise and prioritise. This business communication platform offers organised spaces called channels for different topics, private groups, and direct messaging. We find it brings our business together and creates a conversation around subjects. It was particularly useful when our team members were working from home during Sydney’s COVID-19 lockdown, but I think it works anytime.
3. Text messaging via web browser
This may seem like curious thing to add to this list, but when you’re working with site managers and contractors who operate primarily via text message, the ability to type and send multiple messages quickly has been a great boost in efficiency.
Owned by Facebook, this free messaging service is also great for site communications. WhatsApp is a tool that site staff use personally with their mates, so it fits in with what they are already doing. You can see when people have read your message, and track multi-person messages.
Canva makes me feel like a graphic designer, website guru and much more. There seems to be nothing you can’t do on this graphic design platform. If you need to put together a professional presentation, pitch, template for a blog post or Instagram post, Canva is your one stop shop. I also used it to make T-shirts, which you can order via the app. We also recently used it to create a colourful new version of the Ballast point logo.
OK, it’s not a productivity tool, but Pixilart offers a fun way to express yourself visually if you are not an artist. It’s a free online drawing editor and social platform. I love it, and my kids love it. I believe it has the potential to revolutionise our business, we just don’t know how yet.