Entrepreneur Tools

10 Online Tools You Should be Using Daily

by Nicholas Tart on October 18, 2010 · 21 comments

My dad and I always used to build stuff when I was growing up. We built derby cars, closet shelves, and wooden fences. We even finished our basement.

One of the first things he ever taught me was that there’s a right tool for every job. The same is true for building your online business.

Fortunately, entrepreneurs have built tons of tools to help entrepreneurs like you and me. Here are ten entrepreneurial tools I use on a daily basis in the order I use them.

1. Chrome

ChromeThe first thing I do in the morning is wake up, stumble downstairs, get on my computer, and open up Google Chrome. Based on my scientific experiment, Chrome (1.205s) loads almost twice as fast as Firefox (2.214s) and Internet Explorer (2.542s). Plus, it’s sleek and professional. I’m using Chris Delbuck’s theme.

Go get Chrome for FREE >>

2. Gmail

GmailWhen I open Chrome, it automatically opens my Gmail. Not using Gmail from the outset was one of my bigger mistakes as an entrepreneur. One of Gmail’s coolest features is that they let you send emails through the email address associated with your website. Now, all of my emails appear to be coming from wntart@juniorbiz.com when I never actually use that crummy, bulky, email dashboard.

Start using Gmail for FREE >>

3. Aweber

AweberAweber is what I use for the Start a Business and Make a Website courses. When someone signs up, they automatically get the emails for those courses on the days I specify. This way, I can offer these courses to anyone no matter when they sign-up. It also lets me manage and analyze all of our subscribers and email campaigns.

Start using Aweber for $1 (first month), $19/month thereafter >>

4. Pandora

PandoraOoh, how I strongly like Pandora. They let me play all of my favorite music for free up to 40 hours/month. I usually hit the 40-hour mark about ten days in. After that, it’s only 99¢ for unlimited playing for the rest of the month. I’ve been paying the 99¢ until Nick recently directed me to the next tool.

Start using Pandora for FREE >>

5. Grooveshark

GroovesharkGrooveshark is like Pandora except they let you play any song you want and it’s ad-free. Best of both worlds, right? You’d think. I still prefer Pandora because it’s easier to create a mix of music from all of my favorite artists and genres. But Grooveshark is a great alternative once you hit the 40-hour mark.

Start using Grooveshark for FREE >>

6. ClickBank

ClickBankOnce my email is checked and my music is Taylor Swift-ing, I check my ClickBank account to see how many books we’ve sold. We use ClickBank to handle our book orders because it allows us to easily pay our affiliates who are promoting the book on their sites.

Join ClickBank to Sell Your Stuff or Others’ Stuff >>

7. Stamps.com

StampsBefore Stamps.com, I was spending a few hours per week running to the understaffed post office and standing in line. Since I found Stamps.com, I can print postage and ship the books from home. If you’re shipping physical products, you need to be using their service. They send you a free scale and free postage when you sign up. But it’s $15.99 per month to keep using their service after the first month.

Start using Stamps.com for FREE >>

8. PayPal

PayPalPayPal is what I use to do all of our invoicing. If someone has a special order or bulk discount, I can email them an itemized invoice that they can pay online. If it gets lost in their inbox, I can send a one-click reminder. When we get their payment, we deposit it directly into our business bank account.

Start using PayPal for FREE >>

9. Mint.com

MintI started using Mint.com last week to track of all of my financial accounts. It’s awesome and it’s free. You create an account, add your bank accounts/credit cards, and set your budgets. Then they email/text you detailed reports with account balances and spending habits. Not to mention, a young entrepreneur started and sold it to Intuit for $170 million.

Start using Mint.com for FREE >>

10. RescueTime

RescueTimeI get distracted while I’m working, A LOT. Last week I spent 50 hours and 6 minutes on my computer. But, I wasted 4h 53m on Facebook, 1h 20m on Twitter and 5h 1m on email. That’s over ten hours of unproductive time (although one of those emails was from Forbes!). The reason I know these stats is because I started using RescueTime. It’s helpful and free!

Start using RescueTime for FREE >>

Closing Remarks

If you’re overwhelmed and want to start with one, use Chrome. It makes the internet a better place.

Click here to start using Chrome now!

If you’re already using Chrome and you want to boost your productivity, click here to start using RescueTime!

If you’re using all of them, leave a comment below to tell me how awesome you are!

{ 21 comments }

1 Buntu Redempter October 19, 2010 at 5:03 pm

I like this, I already using some of these, but I will even use more.

2 Nick Tart October 19, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Great, Buntu! Which one did you start using and how do you like it?

3 Buntu Redempter October 19, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Chrome, Gmail, Pandora, Grooveshark, PayPal and Mint.com. I love Chrome, super clean and the very fast than any browser that I know. I liked Gmail as well, It’s customizable, and look great. I used to like Pandora when It was free for me, and then It started to stop me from skipping musics and I switched to Grooveshark, which is the best, you can download music, upload, search by artists and see similar artists, unlimited music skipping and much more. I always had trouble with PayPal, but It is a good service, everyone should have one, Mint.com is my new favorite site, Plus It’s free.

4 Nick Tart October 20, 2010 at 10:57 am

Wow, Buntu! I should have asked you to write this post ;). You should start using RescueTime too. You’ll know exactly how much time you spend working on a daily basis and where you’re wasting your time. It’s awesome!

5 Buntu Redempter October 20, 2010 at 3:02 pm

You right, I should write your next post. I will give RescueTime a try, Thanks.

6 Kay October 20, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Hey Nick! Love the set of tools you’ve listed here.

I too love Paypal for doing many things, but have you tried FreshBooks for invoicing? It allows for full personalization/branding of emails, interface, etc.

7 Nick Tart October 20, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Thanks for the heads-up, Kay! I had never heard of them before. They are a much better option than PayPal. Just created my account!

8 Derek Jensen October 20, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Hey Nick!

I’ve setup an account with Mint but still need to fully use it. The features present surely do make it a great tool for watching how you spend your money.

I’ve just installed the rescue time so I will see and hope to have better productivity!

9 Nick Tart October 20, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Hey Derek! Mint is an incredible resource and I’ve just barely scratched the surface on it’s functionality. Aaron Patzer is on our list for Volume 2. Can’t wait to share his story with more people.

Dude, RescueTime might be even cooler than Mint. Let me know how cool you think it is next week!

10 Andrew @ Blogging Guide October 21, 2010 at 9:09 am

Great list of entrepreneurial tools! I agree with having a gmail account because with a gmail account you can have access to great Google tools which bloggers need.

11 Nick Tart October 21, 2010 at 9:29 am

Hey Andrew! I’m still paying the price for starting on Hotmail… I started my Analytics, Feedburner, and Webmaster Tools with my Hotmail account and now I have to switch over when I want to check Feedburner. Not to mention, about a year ago my Hotmail was hacked and they sent a spammy email to everyone in my address book… Gmail is a great thing!

12 Peace For Earth October 21, 2010 at 9:52 am

For a long time I’ve been a firefox fan and ran the other way from Chrome. Reading your post made me take a second look, and I’m so glad I did! You’re right – it’s so much faster. Thanks!

13 Nick Tart October 21, 2010 at 9:57 am

Ey Peace! I’m glad. There are two things I miss about Firefox. 1. The Alexa toolbar. 2. Firebug. Other than that, I’m Chrome 4 Life, baby!

14 Kimi October 22, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Interesting tools above :D

I am using some of them. But to me, i have different tools, such as sharesales, comission junction, notepad, and wondershare screencast software.

Thanks for sharing those tool.

PS. I prefer FF than chrome =D

15 Nick Tart October 23, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Hey Kimi! We’re also using CJ but we don’t use it nearly as much as these other tools. I’ve used Camtasia but I haven’t used Wondershare. I’ll check it out.

Why do you prefer Firefox?

16 Michael November 13, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Hi again Nick,
I commented a while back on September 3rd on your 100+ teen money making tips post http://juniorbiz.com/teen-money-making-ideas .

Here I see you use aweber. I was wondering if you have any tips getting subscribers? They trickle in for me very slowly, but are there any methods for getting a mass influx of people into your site to opt-in (ok, so maybe a full article on Yahoo! Finance is a little out of reach for me at this point ;-) ).

Thanks again for the great site Nick!

17 Nick Tart November 13, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Hey Michael! You’ve done a good job of setting up a squeeze page, but there are a few problems with it. I won’t get into too much detail here (because this will make for a great post ;) ).

The biggest problem is that I have no idea who you are when I go to your site. I’d much rather read a crappy report from an authority figure I trust (e.g. Michael Dunlop) than an outstanding report from someone I’ve never heard of. Your visitors need to know that you have credibility.

Here are a few good examples:
http://grownups.heyjosh.com
http://www.incomediary.com/create-a-profitable-blog/

Stay tuned for a more detailed post on this topic in the next few weeks.

18 Michael November 13, 2010 at 2:24 pm

That definitely makes sense Nick! Credibility is a good start for getting a higher opt in percentage. Thanks for the examples too! I’m not sure if I want to go down the second example’s route but Josh definitely had a really solid pitch. I have no way of establishing that type of credibility myself (as I’m sure you’ve dealt with the explaining the whole “how could a kid be credible?” before on this site) but I could probably write a script & get something using Fiverr.

I was more looking for a tip about driving traffic though – I get some sign ups, but what I’m really looking is for that backlink that funnels tons of people into my site. Would I go about getting those by offering to write guest posts for high authority/highly read sites?

19 Nick Tart November 13, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Yeah, guest posts are a great way to get traffic when you’re getting started. That’s how we landed Yahoo!. If you’re really serious about it, which it seems like you are, you need a blog associated with your squeeze page. Give people a reason to stick around awhile and develop trust before you ask them for anything, even if it is just an email address. If you’re just doing CPA or something like that, it’s a little different.

You gave me another idea for a post! Thanks, Michael! Keep the questions coming.

20 Purushottam Kushwaha November 29, 2010 at 8:21 am

Mint and stamps.com are really good tool.
Now I m using them. thanks NICK

21 Nick Tart November 29, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Sure thing, Purushottam! You should start using RescueTime as well. Especially if you spend a lot of your time working on a computer.

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