The Mac is for creative stuff, the PC is for Business. I would say I beg to differ and in the recent months I have taken small companies including my own from concept to opening their doors all on a Mac. I am always trying to find the easiest, most efficient way to help companies perform all the different tasks that are associated with running a business and the list below is a few programs that I think can help out any company looking to increase efficiency and/or cut their labor on the admin tasks.
1. BILLINGS: Invoice and Billing made easy
There are so many bookkeeping and invoicing programs out there but I have found the quickest and easiest to use is a program for the mac is Billings. A lot of start ups and small companies use Freshbooks, an online cloud program that makes invoicing and book keeping simple but sometimes Software as a Service, SaaS, is a costly way to go when having to pay a monthly fee. Freshbooks is a good program though and may be worth a look for your company. Billings integrates with a CRM program, Daylight, which can turn all of your leads and contacts into clients easily and make it easy to stay on top of prospective clients. It is basically a scaled down program that is similar to Salesforce.com.
2. EVERNOTE: Remember Everything
Whether it is remember an idea you have in the car, taking a picture of the whiteboard from your meeting, or keeping an electronic business card database, Evernote is a must have for anyone. With the text in picture search technology, the program reads all of your images and then you can use the search feature to find any words inside of a picture you have taken. Have you ever been in a meeting and after a long mind map whiteboard session you wanted to take that with you? Now you can and it is pretty dang awesome. You just set up all your own categories and write tags with each entry for easy to find info later. The best part about Evernote is that it is everywhere you are. It has a mobile app, desktop client, online version, outlook plugin, and browser plugins so anytime you want to save something just select some text or an entire page then Evernote it. After you have all of your ideas in Evernote you can take it right over to one of my favorite tools, Curio, for just about everything from project management, simple design, to-do’s, and more. Evernote works on both Mac and PC.
3. CURIO: MS Project on Steroids
It’s a mindmapping ,project management, simple yet powerful design tool, powerpoint engine, and much more. (and it integrates with Evernote). Curio allows you to create a start to finish project plan with all the documents, designs, live web integration and action items built into a simple to use tagging function that even my 5 year old niece could ace. The integration with Evernote is an awesome feature as well. It allows you to drag and drop any notes or images you have saved in Evernote straight into the project plan or mindmap and then tag it to any individual in your address book. It is simple to drag any contact onto an individual task and it keeps a clean list on the right hand side of the page of each individual’s tasks for the day. Integration with the new MacBook’s touchpad also makes designing in Curio a breeze for beginners. Don’t get me wrong, it is not photoshop or programs similar to it, but it can be a good starting point for design for any designer due to the quick and simple interface. This is basically a must have (my top recommended program) and should be the first step in putting Microsoft Project into the garbage. Who doesn’t hate managing projects with that program and with Curio it opens the door to creativity and innovation along with organization. You will soon find yourself with 50 different mind maps and ideas coming out of thin air. Here are some design mocks, wireframes, and project management tools that we use daily at m2volt and helped in the creation of our own company.
Curio Designing Screenshot
Curio Wireframe Screenshot
Curio Project Management/Mindmap Screenshot
4. WORDPRESS: Websites made easy
While there are so many platforms for websites, social media, or online advertising, I think the easiest and most efficient way to build a website is through WordPress. (For one, I am writing this article using the WordPress platform right now). It is as easy as Microsoft Word or the rapidly growing Google Docs to update and it can be set up to feed any of your Social networks automatically whenever you update your site. There is also an endless supply of plugins that can be added by the click of a button and add some pretty advanced features to your site without knowing any code what so ever. Along with that, there are many wordpress experts out there if you ever wanted to customize your site beyond the template layout you are using and did I mention changing your entire layout is as simple as clicking one button. WordPress is a super easy and efficient way to keep your site up to date and looking good and is much more than just a “blogging” platform these days. I hope you find these programs to be as useful as we have in starting m2volt. Contact us if you want to develop a custom site powered by WordPress since that is what we do here at m2volt. WordPress is a web program so it will work on any operating system.
What do you use for your company?
What do you use for your small business? Have you tried any other programs that we should know about? Would love feedback in the comments for programs on either Mac or PC.
This post was written by Shane Mac, co-founder of m2volt. You can follow him on twitter @shanemacsays.