6 Automation, Project and Client Management Applications to Increase Productivity

We all know that running a business is no easy task. It not only requires a lot of time and attention to get the work done (something many businesses owners don’t have much of!) but it can also be difficult to juggle all aspects of running the company as well as managing clients.

To help you stay on top of everything, here is a list of six of my favourite automation, project management and client management applications that will change the way you run your business – for the better!

1) Dubsado

Dubsado is a comprehensive client management and automation application that enables businesses to collaborate, share files and communicate with their leads and clients with ease. The software provides the ability for you to create proposals, contracts, invoices and forms and even has a built-in scheduler to replace the likes of Calendly and Acuity.

With it’s easy and intuitive design interface Dubsado is perfect for those with little or no automation experience who are looking for an affordable way to grow their clientele base, manage leads, and stay on top of their marketing efforts.

Founded in 2015 and originally built to help photographers manage their clients, Dubsado has grown to be one of the most popular client management systems to date and is now in use by a wide range of industries from coaches, designers, lawyers, wedding planners and many more.

Pricing starts from just $35 per month and includes some of the following features:

  • Client Relationship Manager: Allows you to store all your client information, including contact info, addresses, project data, email addresses and more.
  • Client Portal: Allows clients to login and view their own account, view and sign contracts and proposals, view and pay invoices, edit contact information, complete forms and manage their projects.
  • Automation & Workflows: Automate your work processes with conditional triggers and actions as well as automatically send emails, forms, invoices and contracts.
  • Forms, Contracts & Templates: The ability to create custom templates for all your forms, proposals and contracts. Dubsado also allows the creation of custom and dynamic proposals that allow your leads to select their services, view the pricing dynamically, pay their invoice and sign their contract all in one go!
  • Email Tracking: Integration with Gmail allows for seamless email tracking so that you know which emails have been opened by your clients.
  • Financial Reports: Get an overview of your finances with Dubsado reporting includes profit/loss, chart of accounts, transaction records, financial goals and source tracking.
  • Time Tracking: Keep track of the time spent on any project and create invoices based off of time billed.
  • Website Integration: With the ability to embed forms, Dubsado allows you to capture your leads and trigger automations based off of their enquiries.
  • Appointment Scheduling: Allow your clients and leads to schedule appointments straight through your calendar with the options to take deposit payments, complete questionnaires, send automatic appointment reminders and integrate with your Google, Outlook or iCal Calendar.
  • Whitelabeling: Whitelabel your client portals so that they have your own unique URL based off of your domain name.

For a full list of features, visit the Dubsado website here: https://www.dubsado.com/features

Looking to setup your Dubsado account? Get in touch to learn more about our full Dubsado setup service: https://thevirtualstudio.co.uk/digital

2) Asana

Asana is one of the best tools available for organising and managing projects and tasks with your team and clients.

With a wide range of features such as Kanban boards, Gantt charts, tasks, subtasks, due dates, attachments, project briefs, approvals and many more, it is an all-in-one solution for any project. With the added ability to organise projects and create custom teams, you have the freedom to create a wide range of projects with specific team members so that you can assign tasks and keep on top of their progress.

Asana’s pricing is extremely competitive and with a free plan available, it allows even the most beginner businesses to jump straight in with no cost involved. Additional plans range from £10 to £26 depending on the features required.

For more information and a full list of features, visit the Asana website here: https://asana.com/features

3) Slack

Slack is a messaging and collaboration tool that helps businesses and their teams to keep communicate. Replacing the need for back and forth emails, Slack is perfect for maintaining productivity and efficiency.

With a free membership available, it is one of the most cost-effective software for teams available today and is used by teams of all shapes and sizes, from entrepreneurs to corporate enterprises.

Some of the features of Slack include:

  • Instant messaging and chat between team members.
  • Messaging reminders if you miss a message – perfect for getting back on top of work.
  • Sharing files with your team in one click, or attaching them to messages and files.
  • A live feed of activity from all channels.
  • The ability to create chat rooms for different topics, that users can subscribe and unsubscribe as they please.
  • Inviting guests into your Slack on a daily or annual basis – perfect if you need more team members in the future!
  • Integration with tons of other services, such as Google Drive and Dropbox.
  • Searching all messages in Slack – perfect for finding that one message you need to get your work back on track!
  • Customizable notifications so you can always stay up-to-date.
  • Team members can also set reminders to keep themselves accountable.

For more information, visit the Slack website here: https://slack.com/intl/en-gb/features

4) Zapier

Zapier is an automation tool that follows the ‘If that then this’ method and is designed to help set up automated workflows so your apps and services can talk to each other. For example, if an email was sent in Gmail, Zapier could automatically post the email as a new note on Evernote.

Zapier is an excellent solution for businesses looking to improve productivity and save some time in the process.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Connects all your services without requiring coding or an external developer.
  • Free service with paid upgrades in order to access more features and automation integrations.
  • Easy to use with a straightforward set-up process for each individual app integration.
  • Can also be used on an in-house basis, without the need for any third party involvement.
  • Zapier is available as both a web and desktop application which can be accessed from anywhere at anytime so you can create automations on the go.

Zapier allows for a free plan with additional plans starting at $20 per month: https://zapier.com

5) Trello

Trello is a project management software designed to help individuals and teams organize their work.  It’s basically like a virtual cork board with post-it notes – but better. You can use Trello to break up all of your tasks and projects, giving you an at-a-glance view of everything that needs to be done. And the best part is: there are no limits on who can sign up or what you can do with it!

From small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, people use Trello for just about anything they need to get done – from collaborating across departments (and time zones) and planning company offsite meetings, to managing remote teams’ workflows and keeping track of their progress on big projects.

Some of the benefits of Trello include:

  • Turn messy ideas into an organised structure with Trello’s intuitive design
  • Track every detail of your project for the ultimate in oversight and control
  • Collaborate effectively to achieve more together
  • Get everything in one place and on any device – even offline
  • Drag and drop boards and create Agile style projects

You can view more details on Trello and see a full list of their features here: https://trello.com

6) ContentCal

ContentCal is a social media scheduler and content management tool that helps you save time and get more done. With ContentCal, you can schedule your posts in advance, put posts through an approval process and easily manage all of your online content from one place.

Social media schedulers allow businesses to bulk upload their social media content and allow them to automatically publish on your behalf and on a set schedule, without any additional work required on your behalf.

So why is ContentCal different from other schedulers on the market?

  • ContentCal provides the ability to put posts through an approval process before they are published which means there will be no mistakes or miscommunication about what was posted on your behalf.
  • Collaborate on posts with team comments and notes
  • Gain insights into what posts are working best and which ones need improvement so that you can maximize your social reach.
  • Keep snippets of sentences and ‘pin’ ideas on the team pinboard for future use.
  • Categorise and organise your social media posts for easy filtering and repurposing.

ContentCal has plans suitable for businesses of all sizes, with a free plan available for the ‘Hobbyist’ and additional plans for $17 per month and $47 per month based off of team size, social profiles and amount of calendar. Find out more here: https://www.contentcal.io

If you’re like me, then there are a lot of things to juggle in your business. I’m constantly looking for ways to increase my productivity and stay on top of all the moving pieces that come with running an online business.

I hope this list has given you a few ideas on how to make your business run smoothly.

What is your go-to application for your business?? Let me know in the comments below!

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